Arlington, VA

An Arlington man looks so much like Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer that he had to be escorted by the police during the team’s World Series parade on Saturday.

Kevin Kramer, who’s lived in Arlington for the last 20 years, had his first fan interaction four years ago in an ALDI grocery store.

“They were shouting ‘Max, Max,’ and asked me to throw the first pitch for their charity baseball team,” Kramer said. “That’s when I realized, oh my god, this person really thinks I’m Max Scherzer.”

Over the next few years, people at Nationals Park would approach him for the occasional selfie or ask him why he wasn’t out on the dugout during games.

Then this year, the Nationals entered the National League Championship Series and “things started to get really crazy.”

Kramer, who’s never met Scherzer in person, attended Game 3 of the NCLS, where he says he was mobbed by fans. Once the team made it to the World Series, he took things one step further with a single blue contact lens to match Scherzer’s distinctively-hued eyes.

“This is all for fun,” said Kramer, who runs an Instagram account, @notmaxscherzer. “I don’t set out to look like him, I’m not an impersonator. I think because the Nats have become so popular, people really want to believe that I am him.”

A videographer accompanied Kramer to Saturday’s parade to capture the scene. As expected, dozens of fans quickly mobbed Kramer, wondering why he wasn’t up on a parade bus celebrating with the team. As a result, D.C. police had to escort them through the streets.

Someday soon, he said, he hopes to transform all of this into a documentary.

“There’s a fascinating psychology behind this,” Kramer said. “For example, a lot more women will ask me for an ID or ask personal questions only Scherzer could answer. Men, on the other hand, just want to take a photo and go.”

For now, he’s hoping to capitalize on the coincidence by booking appearances, including “ad campaigns, parties, or whatever.”

Photos via Timur Tugberk/Designing the District

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) A day removed from winning the National League Championship Series in spectacular fashion, Washington Nationals star Anthony Rendon enjoyed a quiet meal with his family at Silver Diner in Clarendon.

The local diner chain posted a photo of Rendon last night, showing him posing with his daughter and a server at the restaurant.

The Clarendon Silver Diner was a favorite of another Nats All-Star: Bryce Harper, who now plays for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rendon and the Nats will face the winner of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees in the World Series, starting next week. It’s the first World Series for the Nats since 1933.

Flickr (top) photo by Stephen Yates

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Activist and actress Jane Fonda will be coming to Arlington next weekend for an event with Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Beyer’s office is announcing this morning.

Fonda will be the special guest at Beyer’s fifth annual Women’s Conference and Forum, subtitled this year “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” (Last year’s conference was dubbed “Breaking Through: Women Work For Change.”)

“Rep. Beyer’s Women’s Conference is an annual event that convenes local stakeholders and experts to discuss a wide array of issues and how they impact women,” the congressman’s office says in a press release. “In addition to Beyer’s conversation with Fonda, the Conference will feature a plenary panel session focused on achieving equal rights for all people and eliminating the gender wage gap.”

The event is being held at George Mason University’s Arlington campus in Virginia Square on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 12.

The full press release is below.

Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) announced today that Jane Fonda will be a special guest at his Fifth Annual Women’s Conference and Forum: Nevertheless, She Persisted. Fonda is an award-winning actress, and a political activist for causes including feminism, Native American rights, peace, and the environment. She is the co-founder, with Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan, of the Women’s Media Center and the Founder & Chair Emeritus of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential. Her philanthropic work includes charitable support for education, young people’s reproductive health, and the arts. She has been a leading voice of her generation for over 50 years. Fonda and Megan Beyer, a global women’s advocate and former Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities under President Obama, will have a fireside chat to open the conference.

Rep. Beyer’s Women’s Conference is an annual event that convenes local stakeholders and experts to discuss a wide array of issues and how they impact women. In addition to Beyer’s conversation with Fonda, the Conference will feature a plenary panel session focused on achieving equal rights for all people and eliminating the gender wage gap. This will be followed two breakout panels – one on the impact of grassroots organizing and the other on understanding women’s rights and the law.

Rep. Beyer will also present the Clara Mortenson Beyer Women and Children First Award to McLean’s Marie Ridder, which Beyer announced last week. The event will be held at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus.

Image via Rep. Don Beyer/Eventbrite

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Bryce Harper saw his postseason prospects go up in smoke yesterday at the hands of his long-time former team, but the strikeout-prone Phillies slugger was gracious enough to pose with some Arlington firefighters afterward.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton hotel around 12:30 a.m. today (Wednesday) to assist with a stuck elevator, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli. After freeing those in the elevator, they happened upon Philadelphia stars Bryce Harper and Jake Arrieta in the lobby and asked for a photo with the former Nat and one-time Rosslyn resident.

Harper obliged, taking a photo with two firefighters outside the Ritz, where visiting pro sports teams often stay when in town.

“In Arlington, you’ll never know who you will run into on the street,” ACFD said in a tweet this morning. “Firefighters from A-shift handled a stuck elevator call and happened to recognize @bryceharper3, who happily posed for a pic. Bryce — Sorry about the loss, but thanks for being a good sport!”

Harper and the 79-78 Phillies are set to face the now-playoff-bound Nationals again in D.C. tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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Morning Notes

Ovi Visits Local Elementary School — “In conjunction with the launch of Ovi O’s, Alex Ovechkin’s limited-edition breakfast cereal, the Washington Capitals’ captain surprised Arlington Traditional School, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and a local Giant store with a visit on Sept. 10.” [NHL]

9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Courthouse — “Officials in Northern Virginia held a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Sen Tim Kaine, Rep. Don Beyer, military commanders, local Arlington County officials and members of the Virginia House attended the remembrance ceremony on Arlington County government plaza.” [NBC 4, WUSA 9]

Local Leaders Set Housing Goals — “Local governments around Greater Washington now plan to set targets for housing production over the next decade, as part of a regional initiative to build 320,000 new homes by 2030 and ease the region’s cost pressures.” [Washington Business Journal, Twitter]

ACPD Plans ‘Coffee With a Cop’ — “Wednesday, October 2 is National Coffee with a Cop Day and the Arlington County Police Department is hosting four events with our Community Outreach Teams to celebrate. Community members are invited to join police at these informal events to ask questions, voice concerns, get to know their neighbors, interact with the Community Outreach Teams and meet officers from other sections of the department.” [Arlington County]

Orthopaedic Office Celebrates Grand Opening — “Ortho OIC Orthopaedic Immediate Care, the area’s first independent orthopaedic specialty urgent care… will be holding a grand opening event on September 19 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event is open to the public and will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony.” [Press Release]

Farewell, Subway-Centric Paper — “The Washington Post is closing down its free daily commuter paper, Express, this week. The final edition of Express will be published on Thursday. The staff learned of the news at a meeting at noon on Wednesday.” [DCist]

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Cyclists can now ride e-bikes around national parks, including the Mt. Vernon Trail along the GW Parkway, thanks to a recent policy change from the National Park Service.

“We think this is a very positive development, and we are hopeful that this serves as a push for Arlington’s parks department to allow e-bikes everywhere,” said Henry Dunbar, director of active transportation for Bike Arlington.

According to the NPS e-bike policy, bike speeds of up to 28 mph will be allowed in all national parks. However, similar to traditional bicycles, e-bikes will not be permitted in designated wilderness areas.

“They make bicycle travel easier and more efficient, and they provide an option for people who want to ride a bicycle but might not otherwise do so because of physical fitness, age, disability, or convenience, especially at high altitudes or in hilly or strenuous terrain,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith in a statement from NPS.

The scenic trail is now the second bike trail in Arlington where people can ride the motor-assisted bicycle, after the W&OD Trail go-ahead from NOVA Parks in March.

“The only downside would be managing trail safety and congestion, which we already have issues with,” Dunbar said.

Recently officials have discussed plans to widen the W&OD Trail to ease bike-pedestrian conflicts, along with improving lighting, crossings, and signage.

The news pleased actor William Shatner, of Star Trek fame, who has since become an e-bike enthusiast (and the face of Pedego Electric Bikes, albeit not available in Arlington). Shatner butted heads with Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services in November for its “barbaric” e-bike ban.

“A regular bicyclist can easily travel 25mph!” Shatner tweeted Tuesday. “So if they allow bikes what would be the additional impact of an e-bike?”

 

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Morning Notes

County Releases Statement on ART Crashes — “We are incredibly thankful that no one was seriously injured in these incidents, which the County and ART take very seriously. ART’s number one priority is the safety of our riders and others on the road.” [Arlington County]

More I-395 Nighttime Closures — “Motorists should expect significant lane closures on the general purpose lanes along I-395 North this weekend, August 9-11, from Duke Street (Exit 3) to past Pentagon City/Crystal City (Exit 8C) for bridge rehabilitation work along the I-395 corridor.” [Press Release]

Arlington Opening Local Recovery Center — “Arlington County is opening a Local Recovery Center (LRC) to assist residents and businesses affected by the July 8, 2019 flood. This is in conjunction with the governor’s announcement that low-interest federal loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to help homeowners, renters and businesses rebuild from storm damage.” [Arlington County]

Facts About Arlington Resident Chuck Todd — Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, who lives in Arlington, shared some facts about himself in a new local magazine profile. Todd says he does not drink beer, prefers his coffee black, sleeps five hours “on a good night,” and thinks Lost Dog Cafe serves the best pizza in town. [Arlington Magazine]

Kudos for Quarter Market in Ballston — “The big top of dining options can generate a major case of FOMO, even when the meal in front of you satisfies all your conscious needs. This is particularly true at Quarter Market, where mall operators spent years seeking out and negotiating with a smartly curated collection of local chefs, restaurateurs and producers.” [Washington Post]

Escape Room Open in Clarendon — “Bond’s Escape Room has opened a second location at Market Common Clarendon… Located just above Sephora, it offers six escape room games with a wide variety of themes.” [Press Release]

Photo courtesy @clarendonalliance/Instagram

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Jay and Silent Bob — aka Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith — are coming to Arlington this fall to screen their new film, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

The long-time comedic duo are set to screen the film (NSFW trailer here) at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) on Sunday, Nov. 10, as part of a cross-country roadshow from Oct. 21-Dec. 12. Tickets ranged from $50 for general admission to $750 for a VIP meet-and-greet, but all are now sold out.

Per a description of the event:

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith come to YOUR town to show their latest and greatest motion picture, the star studded Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. The New Jersey stoner icons who first hit the screen 25 years ago in CLERKS are back! When Jay and Silent Bob discover that Hollywood is rebooting an old movie based on them, the clueless duo embark on another cross-country mission to stop it all over again!

Jay and Silent Bob are among the bold-faced comedy names coming to the Drafthouse this fall. Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang, 2 Dope Queens’ Phoebe Robinson and Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby are also set to perform.

The current comedy lineup at the Drafthouse through the end of the year is below.

Image via Arlington Cinema Drafthouse

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Oz restaurant, owned by “Real Housewives of Potomac” stars Ashley and Michael Darby, is closing after this weekend.

The Clarendon restaurant, which specializes in Australian cuisine and boozy brunches, first opened at 2950 Clarendon Blvd in 2015. Despite some televised internal turmoil, Michael Darby told ARLnow in 2017 that the couple turned things around with the hiring of a new chef, Northern Virginia native Brad Feickert.

In a statement today, Ashley and Michael said the imminent arrival of their first child (Michael has two adult children from a previous marriage) prompted the restaurant’s closure.

Michael and Ashley Darby announce, with regret, that they have decided to close Oz Restaurant and Bar. As you all know, both Michael and Ashley are involved in multiple businesses and are expecting a baby boy in the very near future.  They have decided that there was just not enough time to dedicate the right amount of time to raising their son and continuing to run the restaurant.

‘It has been four years since the restaurant opened and we have had the best employees anyone could ask for and we have made so many new friends who have patronized Oz.’ said Ashley.

‘I’m sad to see my little slice of Australia disappear but I have so many good memories of people enjoying the Australian experience at Oz. We are replacing one Aussie baby with a new one-half Aussie baby.’ said Michael.

Oz will serve its last meal this Sunday with an extended brunch. Please come in this weekend to say goodbye.

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Morning Notes

Fire Outside Shirlington Apartment BuildingUpdated at 9:30 a.m. — “ACFD working to extinguish a dumpster fire near an apartment building at 3000 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington. ‘Smoke conditions’ reported in portions of the building.” [Twitter, Twitter]

The Cost of Renaming Washington-Lee — “It will cost taxpayers about a quarter of a million dollars to change ‘Lee’ to ‘Liberty’ on the name of Arlington’s oldest public high school. School officials have released an estimate of $224,360 for the name change, with about two-thirds of the total for ‘soft costs’ (uniforms, athletic equipment and the like) and the remainder ‘hard costs’ such as signage.” [InsideNova]

Local Teen Gets Celebrity Shoutout — “When [H-B Woodlawn student] Cole Goco, 17, sits down to draw his comic Billy the Pop, every line and contour is decisive. He uses pen, after all. And, after five years, hundreds and hundreds of strips published regularly to a blog, two self-published comic books, a dedicated following, and — most recently — the recognition of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s safe to say Goco knows what’s doing.” [DCist]

Rosslyn Startup Gets Another Investment — “Frontier Capital, a Charlotte-based growth equity firm focused exclusively on B2B software, today announced a strategic growth investment in Phone2Action, a digital advocacy platform that connects citizens to lawmakers.” [BusinessWire]

Bomb Squad Investigates Suspicious Car at DCA — “A portion of the daily parking lot at Reagan National Airport was closed [Wednesday] morning after suspicious contents were spotted inside a parked car. Authorities checked out the car ‘out of an abundance of caution’ and nothing hazardous was found, per an airport spokeswoman.” [Twitter]

Local Pedestrian, Bicycle Crash Reduction Effort Honored — “The Arlington County Pedestrian Bicycle Crash Reduction Campaign aims to reduce bicycle and pedestrian-involved traffic crashes through the coordination of education, engineering and enforcement… Arlington County saw a seven percent decrease in pedestrian crashes and a 29 percent reduction in bicycle-related crashes in 2018.” [Virginia DMV]

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Morning Notes

A Look at Bryce Harper’s Rosslyn Apartment — “For much of the time that Harper was in a Nationals’ uniform, he rented a two-bedroom, 2,000 square-foot loft condo at the Wooster and Mercer Lofts, a luxury residential development from Abdo Development in Arlington.” [UrbanTurf]

Crash Takes Out Traffic Signal Near Fairlington — Per Alexandria Police yesterday: “Use caution in the 3600 block of King St, the Bradlee shopping center. A vehicle crash caused a traffic light outage. Treat uncontrolled intersections as 4-way stops. Be patient & take turns.” [Twitter]

Car Careens Over Wall in Arlington Mill — A car somehow rolled over a low wall and onto a sidewalk across from the Arlington Mill Community Center yesterday. The circumstances surrounding the crash are unclear. [Twitter]

Big Hole in Road Near Shirlington — A main road between the Shirlington and Fairlington neighborhoods was blocked for a period of time yesterday due to large hole in the road. The closure happened on 31st Street S., where a new sound wall is being constructed, during yesterday’s nightmarish evening commute. [Facebook]

Ballston Startup Gets Funding — MotoRefi, an auto refinance startup we profiled earlier this week, has “announced a $4.7 million seed raise led by Accomplice with participation from QED Investor sand Motley Fool Ventures. Ryan Moore, co-founder of Accomplice, will join MotoRefi’s board of directors.” [MotoRefi]

Service Cut to Metrobus Line — Metro is reducing service to Metrobus Route 2A (Dunn Loring-Ballston), after a ridership drop. Metro increased service to the line a few years ago and that net increase is now being eliminated. [Twitter]

Nearby: Companies Worried About HQ2 — “‘Recently a company was looking to put 600 jobs in this area, and they decided not to come here because they were concerned about getting the workers they need,’ [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Chair Cathy] Lange said, not identifying the company. ‘Many of the companies are worried that their workers in Fairfax County are going to be hired by Amazon. And they are not going to be able to have their growth plans.'” [Washington Business Journal]

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