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Morning Notes

Power Outage in Clarendon — A small power outage affected several businesses in Clarendon yesterday evening, including Arlington Independent Media and Galaxy Hut.

County to Expand Citizenship Aid — “Arlington government officials plan to expand a subsidy program that helps prospective U.S. citizens pay the costs associated with their efforts. County Board members on July 14 are expected to increase the subsidy amount and expand the ranks of those eligible to participate in the subsidy program, which is funded by private donations.” [InsideNova]

Local Couple Helps Seniors to Downsize — “Bill and Betty Ubbens, realtors with Weichert Realty and parishioners of St. Ann Church in Arlington, assist seniors with downsizing… The Ubbens have found the biggest resistance to decluttering is the ‘sheer amount of stuff to go through and the time to complete the inventory and planned disposition of the property.'” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Arlington Man Wins Big in Poker Tourney — Arlington resident Yaser Al-Keliddar won more than $150,000 and a World Series of Poker bracelet in a $3,000 limit hold’em tournament in Las Vegas earlier this week. [World Series of Poker]

Monitor Broken at ‘Super Stop’ — As seems to happen every so often, the electronic display at the Walter Reed Drive “Super Stop” along Columbia Pike — also known as the “million dollar bus stop” — is broken. A sign on the monitor, which is supposed to show real-time bus arrival information, says a replacement is planned. [Twitter]

It’s Friday the 13th — Be careful out there. But then again, only 27.4 percent of you are superstitious.

Photo courtesy @thelastfc

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Morning Poll: Should Clarendon Stores Close Their Doors in the Heat?

“Why is the door open, are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood?”

That must be what some retail employees in Clarendon are be thinking this week. Amid a scorching heat wave, many stores are still keeping their doors propped open.

What is otherwise a solid strategy for getting passersby to come inside becomes absurd when the temperature reaches well above the 90s.

This is nothing new — it’s been happening for years. But even the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services is now making fun of it via social media.

Not everybody hates the open doors, however. A certain employee of this publication, who will go unnamed, acknowledged that the open doors are probably a bit wasteful, but argued that the cool breeze feels nice when walking by.

What do you think?

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Clarendon Apple Store Back Open Today, Following Brief Closure

The Clarendon Apple Store is back open today (Monday), after closing briefly over the weekend.

The shop at Market Common Clarendon started turning customers away Friday afternoon, citing a leak in the ceiling due to problems with the apartments above the store.

But an employee at the store told ARLnow that those problems have been resolved, and the shop is now open on its normal schedule once more.

One of the store’s hefty glass doors remains missing, however, still replaced with the black plywood visible from the store’s exterior Friday. Some stains remain visible on the store’s ceiling, and the shop’s large video screen along the back wall wasn’t turned on as of Monday morning.

The management company for the apartments above the Apple store, Avalon Clarendon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking clarity on what caused the leak.

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Clarendon Apple Store Has Closed Temporarily

The Clarendon Apple store closed suddenly Friday and has remained closed since.

The closure appears to be temporary. A sign posted on the door says: “Effective immediately, Apple Clarendon is closed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to visit our nearby stores.”

The store’s windows are blacked out, and one of the doors appears to be missing, replaced with plywood painted black. Through a portion of the door not covered, several large air blowers — the kind used to dry carpets after a flood — could be seen inside.

Within seconds of a reporter trying to photograph through the glass, a security guard appeared and blocked the view. The guard said he could not say what happened to prompt the closure.

While there is thus far no official explanation, tipsters who contacted ARLnow alternately said the closure was due to a “sprinkler bursting” in the store or “some water problem” in the apartments above. No word yet on when the store may reopen.

Update on 7/2/18 — The Apple Store reopened as of Monday morning, with some visible damage inside.

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Downed Pole Closes Lanes of Washington Blvd During Rush Hour

A light pole toppled over on a busy road near Clarendon this afternoon (Thursday), prompting lane closures and traffic delays.

The pole fell to the ground around 5:45 p.m. on Washington Blvd at the intersection with 10th Street N. At least one vehicle was damaged — a sedan with visible damage to its front that was driven up onto the median. Two other vehicles were stopped nearby with no obvious visible damage. All three were being driven when the streetlight fell.

No serious injuries were reported. It’s unclear what caused the pole to fall.

Emergency vehicles blocked one travel lane in each direction on Washington Blvd, causing traffic backups in the area.

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Lululemon at Market Common Clarendon Moves for Renovations

Market Common Clarendon’s Lululemon store temporarily moved to “The Loop” this week as its 2847 Clarendon Blvd location undergoes renovations.

The athletic retailer announced the move on the store’s Facebook page Sunday (June 24). As of Tuesday evening, the store was still holding its “Rooftop Sweat Series” on the roof above its old store.

The new, temporary location at 2700 Clarendon Boulevard occupies the space previously taken by the Sabrina Cabada pop-up art gallery. The location neighbors the Apple store and Origins.

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Gallery Clarendon Opens, Beginning Temporary Stay in Former Restaurant Space

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Gallery Clarendon opened its doors Wednesday (June 20), using two floors of gallery and studio space to showcase the work of local artists.

Located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, the gallery is a temporary project of the Arlington Artists Alliance. It occupies the space vacated by Mexican restaurant Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in October 2016. Admission to the gallery is free, although pieces may be purchased, and there are plans to begin offering art classes within the next few weeks.

The length of Gallery Clarendon’s stay depends on when Regency Centers, which also operates the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, can find a permanent tenant for the site. Sandi Parker, managing director of galleries at the Arlington Artists Alliance, said they anticipate being open for at least a year.

“I always liken it to staging a house — it looks better when there’s something there,” Parker said. Regency Centers was “very generous to allow us to use the space,” she added.

The gallery is planning a grand opening for sometime in September, Parker said.

For both events, “we really want to engage with the Clarendon community,” Parker said. They plan to have “some of our potential teachers on site to work with kids,” and hope to partner with local businesses to elevate receptions, she added.

The art on display will change at opening receptions held on the second Friday of every month, Parker said. Reception attendees will have the opportunity to meet and converse with artists.

The gallery had aimed to open in April, but complications in obtaining an occupancy permit from the county caused delays.

“This is kind of a unique space in that it was originally a restaurant/bar… so it’s a change of use,” Parker said. Safety updates like replacing lights were also necessary after the space’s lengthy vacancy, she said.

Now that the gallery is open, Parker said they look forward to getting to know the Clarendon community.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’re going to meet a lot of Clarendon residents and… find a whole new market.”

Regency Centers operates several properties in Northern Virginia. Although Jan Hanak, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, said he wasn’t aware of any other arrangements like this one, the corporation is  “certainly interested in those types of uses because it creates a certain type of buzz at the property and brings new people in.”

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ACPD to Begin Enforcing Clarendon Drop-off and Pick-up Zones Tonight

Arlington County Police will begin issuing tickets as it enforces its new drop-off and pick-up zones in Clarendon tonight (Thursday).

ACPD made the announcement via Twitter this morning. It follows several weeks of public outreach about the new rules, which are intended to stop double parking, blocking of crosswalks and bike lanes, and other bad driver behavior.

The enforcement comes as an event has taken over Clarendon’s Metro plaza.

Make Music Day kicked off at 11 a.m. and is planned to run through through 9 p.m. tonight. Performers include Americana group Know1Else, who will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and 9:30 Club veterans Skyline Hotel, slotted for 8 p.m.

Make Music Day began in France in the early 1980s and takes place annually on the summer solstice. The event is now celebrated in 800 cities across 120 countries, said Carol Leonhart, co-director of Make Music Day D.C. and co-founder of Global Jam 4 Peace.

The event also featured booths for music organizations like the Songwriters’ Association of WashingtonCancer Can Rock and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation.

Melanie Pincus contributed photos and reporting

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Morning Poll: What’s Above the CVS in Clarendon?

Last Friday, as we eagerly awaited the arrival of the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup in Clarendon, a few ARLnow staffers had some time to kill.

As the minutes ticked by and Lord Stanley’s cup was still somewhere between Dulles and Don Tito’s, we looked up at the CVS Pharmacy across the street and realized something: there was a second floor. It might seem obvious to others, but we hadn’t noticed the windows there before.

What exactly was up there, we wondered?

Before Slacking the intern to request a full investigation the following week, we saw two people peering out the window at the growing crowd below.

The clothes they were wearing were a pretty good clue as to what’s up there — but that’s not going to stop us from making the most of this mystery and posting it in the form of a morning poll.

So we put it to you, our readers: what do you imagine is above the Clarendon CVS?

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Overhaul of Tricky ‘Clarendon Circle’ Intersection Could Start This Fall

Arlington could soon kick off work on improvements at one of the county’s trickiest intersections for pedestrians and cyclists.

The County Board is set to approve a $2.5 million contract for the overhaul of the “Clarendon Circle” — the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson Boulevards all meet, just past the Metro station.

Planners have hoped for years now to add improvements to the intersection, like shortening the distances pedestrians have to walk across roads. The work will also include the installation of additional bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.

Plans also call for adding a “green streets” element to better manage stormwater on N. Irving Street, next to the Silver Diner.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the construction contract at its Saturday, June 16 meeting as part of its consent agenda, which is typically reserved for non-controversial items. Should Board members approve the deal, the county estimates that work could begin this fall and wrap up in the winter of 2020.

The Clarendon Circle project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off in the winter of 2019, after the Board voted on May 22 to let the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties move ahead.

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BREAKING: Caps Stop in Clarendon, With Stanley Cup in Tow

(Updated at 12:10 a.m.) Dozens — if not hundreds — of adoring fans flocked to Clarendon tonight (June 8) to welcome home the Washington Capitals as they brought home the Stanley Cup.

The team gathered for a private celebration at Don Tito along Wilson Blvd, and fans congregated on both sides of N. Hudson Street to cheer and offer their thanks. Players arriving at the restaurant early on included T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Philipp Grubauer.

Wilson even got the chance to hoist the Cup and show it off to the assembled crowd.

The Caps returned from Las Vegas earlier this afternoon, after besting the Golden Knights in five games to win D.C. its first major sports title since 1992.

ARLnow broadcast the staggered arrivals of players and the Stanley Cup on Facebook Live. The Cup can be seen in the beginning of the video.

Caps star, Conn Smythe Trophy winner and one-time Arlington resident Alexander Ovechkin arrived after our live feed ended. Later Ovi brought the Cup down from the party to show screaming, smartphone-wielding bar-goers, as seen in the video below.

Despite a brief summer thunderstorm rolling through — and Thursday’s excitement putting a slight damper on Clarendon’s Friday nightlife — the line to get into Don Tito’s remained relatively long as of 11 p.m.

More social media posts from the celebration, after the jump.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Rocks the Red — It was lit in Arlington during last night’s Stanley Cup Finals — literally. In Rosslyn, a swath of red and the words “ALL CAPS” was projected onto a prominent office building. In Ballston, the lights atop another office building were switched to red. [Twitter, Twitter]

Young Caps Fan Provides All the Luck — Parker Matthews, a 7-year-old Arlington resident, kept finding four leaf clovers on the ground during the Washington Capitals’ playoff and championship run. She would display the lucky keepsakes in front of the TV during games. [NBC Washington]

Celebrations Around Arlington — The scene last night after the Caps won the Stanley Cup in Game 5 was one of jubilation throughout Arlington. In some parts of the county, homemade fireworks were going off. In Clarendon, fans cheered in the streets while a fire truck used its horn to lead the crowd in a chant of “let’s go Caps.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Where to Buy Caps Stanley Cup Gear — The team store at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston could have Stanley Cup championship merchandise as soon as Saturday, though the exact timing is unclear. [Twitter]

In Less Exciting News — “Rising interest rates already are impacting the amount Arlington County taxpayers will have to shell out for bond-approved capital projects in coming years. But county-government officials hailed the recent 2.99-percent interest rate received on sale of $153 million in municipal debt as a testament to the government’s rock-solid credit rating.” [InsideNova, Arlington County]

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Earl’s Sandwiches to Shutter Ballston Location, Though Clarendon Store Staying Put

Earl’s Sandwiches is planning to close down its Ballston location next Friday (June 15).

The local sandwich shop announced the decision on its Facebook page yesterday (June 6). The location at 4215 N. Fairfax Drive, across from the Ballston Metro station, opened back in 2012.

Earl’s added in the Facebook post that the restaurant’s Clarendon store will remain open as part of this shuffle.

“While we have had a fabulous time running our second location, we’re ready to get back to our roots and fully concentrate on creating amazing sandwiches [and] experiences for our customers,” the post reads.

Earl’s first opened its Clarendon location, at 2605 Wilson Blvd, back in 2005.

We'd like to announce the closing of our Ballston location effective June 15th, 2018. While we have had a fabulous time…

Posted by Earl's Sandwiches on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Photo via Facebook

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One Year Anniversary of the Clarendon Bus Stop Deodorant Post

One year ago today, a mystery captivated the Arlington community.

Why, we asked, was there a stick of Old Spice deodorant on top of a Clarendon bus stop? We sent an intern to interview passersby to see if anyone had any idea how it got there.

“People get drunk on the weekends, that would be my best guess,” said a man who works at a local bar.

“I assume somebody just threw it and didn’t expect it to land up there,” said another passerby.

[…] “Maybe somebody was upset with the deodorant’s performance and threw it up there out of anger. Or, more often than not, people throw things up there to see how often they stay up there.”

A few weeks later, the deodorant was joined by a bottle of mouthwash.

We may never know the real explanation of why either personal care product went astray. The deodorant spent a few months on top of the bus stop, looking no worse the wear despite plenty of wind, rain and other inclement weather. Then, one fateful day, we arrived at our office and it was gone without a trace.

On this one year anniversary, we again photographed the bus stop. The roof was sans deodorant, but you can see a new addition in the zoomed-out photo: stray shopping carts from a local Giant grocery store.

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Morning Notes

‘Coffee With a Cop’ Comes to Clarendon, Pentagon City — The Arlington County Police Department is hosting a pair of “Coffee with a Cop” events later this month, at a Starbucks in Pentagon City and Northside Social in Clarendon. In a press release, ACPD said it “is committed to developing and maintaining strong relationships with those we serve, a vital component to ensuring the public’s trust.” [Arlington County]

Potomac Roaring Over Great Falls — Those within earshot of the Potomac River are being treated to an especially loud roar this week as the rain-swollen river “churned and even exploded into the air at Great Falls.” It also flooded parts of Alexandria and the Georgetown riverfront. [Washington Post, Twitter, Twitter]

Artisphere Closing Anniversary — It has been three years since Artisphere closed its doors in Rosslyn. The former county-funded arts venue is now a co-working and events space.

Photo courtesy @jimcollierjr

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