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by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm 0

Artomatic, a free, unjuried creative arts event that invites artists to display their work — usually in large, vacant buildings — is returning to Crystal City.

The event, which was previously held in Crystal City in 2007 and 2012, will take place over the course of six weeks in the spring at 1800 S. Bell Street, the Crystal City Business Improvement District announced today. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the 100,000-square-foot arts space over the course of the event.

“The return of Artomatic to Crystal City demonstrates the area’s continued growth and development as an artistic and innovative laboratory,” said Angela Fox, CEO of the Crystal City BID. “Artomatic’s mission aligns with the BID’s efforts to transform our community into a place where people are inspired to create their own masterpieces.”

Dubbed a “playground for artistic expression,” Artomatic is known for its massive size and range of often-eclectic creative works, including visual art, music, film, live performance, fashion and more.

From a press release:

The Crystal City BID made its first massive splash onto the creative stage in 2007 by luring Artomatic across the river and helping them host their biggest art happening up to that time…

The 2007 and 2012 editions attracted over 35,000 and 75,000 visitors, respectively, and over a thousand artists for each run. Artomatic 2017 will be in approximately 100,000 square feet of space provided by Vornado/Charles E. Smith at 1800 S. Bell Street. Artomatic is anticipated to attract another large and diverse crowd given its proximity to metro, free parking after 4 p.m., and location among dozens of restaurants and watering holes.

The new location also has the benefit of an entrance along the interior concourse of Crystal City and part of the Art Underground. Launched in 2013 to transform Crystal City’s interior concourse into a vibrant arts and cultural destination, the Art Underground includes Synetic Theater, the 1200-foot long FotoWalk Underground, ArtJamz Underground, the Gallery Underground, TechShop, and Studios Underground which provides work space for two dozen artists.

The dates for the 2017 installment of Artomatic are expected to be announced within a few weeks.

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

A new fast casual Korean barbecue restaurant has opened in Crystal City.

KBQ Korean BBQ & Bar is located at 2450 Crystal Drive, next to Buffalo Wild Wings. It opened earlier today, offering a Chipotle-style experience, allowing customers to build their own rice and lettuce bowls, lettuce wraps, tofu dogs and rice burgers.

KBQ offers six proteins — from steak to pork belly to tofu — and nearly a dozen “banchans,” or sides. That’s topped off by a selection of sauces and garnishes.

In addition, there’s a separate “bubble tea shop” offering a selection of bubble teas, including taro, chai and mango, for $5 apiece. As of earlier today, the boba for the teas was not yet ready, so customers had to make do with bubble tea sans bubbles.

Though KBQ seems likely to capture a primarily lunchtime dining crowd in Crystal City, it also has a bar serving cocktails, beer, wine and “bombs” — as in soju, Jager, car and cherry bombs. The restaurant will be open nightly until 1 a.m.

Korean barbecue “is the hottest trend in the culinary world,” according to a press release announcing the restaurant’s opening today. The full release, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2016 at 11:20 am 0

A restaurant in the Crystal City Shops was burglarized Monday night, according to Arlington County Police.

From an ACPD crime report:

BURGLARY, 2016-11150052, 1600 block of Crystal Square. Between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on November 14, an unknown subject entered a business and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. The investigation is ongoing.

It has been a rather slow week for crime in Arlington. The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including at least one that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — November 10, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Trump cutout goes out with the recycling after Election Day (photo courtesy Ari P.)

David Black Convicted, Sentenced for Wife’s Murder — An Arlington County jury this week found Arlington Ridge resident David Black guilty of murdering his wife. Bonnie Delgado Black was found stabbed to death in her home, which was just blocks from her estranged husband’s house, on April 17, 2015. Yesterday the jury recommended that Black serve two life sentences. [NBC 4, WTOP]

County Board Ditches New Year’s Day Meeting — Eschewing a long-standing tradition of holding its first meeting of the year on New Year’s Day, the Arlington County Board yesterday voted unanimously to hold its 2017 organizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3. “We still will start our year off with the community, but without forcing employees to give up their personal and family time on a holiday,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. [Arlington County]

Retail Space for WeWork in Crystal City — The County Board on Saturday voted to convert 440 square feet of the WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City to ground floor retail space, at the request of WeWork. No word yet on what kind of a retailer may be moving in. [Arlington County]

More on Park Protests — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark has tackled the dual controversies of the baseball field fence in Bluemont Park (the Board acted on that yesterday, article coming soon) and the proposed Williamsburg Middle School athletic field lights. Clark concluded: “Popular sports for kids, peaceful green parks: competing Arlington virtues.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Evolent Health Stock Soars — As of 10 a.m. the share price for Ballston-based Evolent Health is up more than 12 percent today and nearly 70 percent for the year. The tech firm reported a narrower-than-expected loss and higher-than-expected revenue in the third quarter of 2016. [CNBC, Yahoo]

Board Approves Loan for Apartment Renovations — The Culpepper Garden affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors will receive needed renovations thanks to a $9.9 million loan from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The County Board unanimously approved the loan yesterday. The renovations are expected to begin in the spring and will require tenants to temporarily move to other units on site while their units are renovated. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Ari P.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2016 at 9:25 am 0

Food trucks near Ballston Mall

County Manager on Buck Property — County staff have “made no recommendations for any specific function” at the to-be-acquired Buck property near Washington-Lee High School, the county said in a press release this morning. Nearby residents have launched a petition against a proposal to use the property for school bus operations. Said Arlington County Manager Mark Schwarz: “Our ability to provide essential services is only as good as the facilities we have to support them. As our population continues to grow, our services will either deteriorate or cost the taxpayer more without adequate support facilities.” [Arlington County]

Fundraiser for Employee Struck By SUV — A fundraiser for a Mad Rose Tavern employee run over by an SUV raised more than $5,000 last night, the restaurant’s manager said on Facebook. Victoria Gonzalez, 34, is still in the hospital, preparing to begin rehabilitation. The next court appearance for the DUI suspect in the case is scheduled for Nov. 17. [WJLA]

Bowl’d to Introduce Breakfast — Healthy fast casual eatery Bowl’d (1028 N. Garfield Street) in Clarendon is introducing weekend breakfast service from 9 a.m. to noon, starting this Saturday. Bowl’d founder Allen Reed says the restaurant will be “giving away breakfast tacos, greek yogurt bowls and hot breakfast bowls to the first 150 people who come through our doors this weekend.”

Talento to Bring New Perspective to School Board — Democrat Tannia Talento, who’s running unopposed for Arlington School Board, says she wants to bring “the perspective of the working parent” to the Board. Another unique perspective: Talento said economic and family issues prevented her from getting a college degree. Talento says her priorities on the Board will be dealing with the growing student population, improving access to mental health services and narrowing the achievement gap. [InsideNova]

Arlington Lauded for LGBTQ Protections — “Arlington has been named one of 37 American ‘All-Star Cities‘ acclaimed for their high standard of inclusiveness toward their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer communities.” [Arlington County]

Innovative Companies in Crystal City — Business publication Bisnow says the following are “five disruptive companies establishing Crystal City as [a] nexus of innovation:” Lyft, TMSOFT, OrcaVue, Polynox Solutions and FourStay. [Bisnow]

by ARLnow.com — October 25, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Rosslyn at night, as seen from the Key Bridge

Woman Hit By SUV on Route 50 — A woman was struck and critically injured by an SUV while crossing Route 50 at Fillmore Street during Monday’s evening rush hour. The victim is expected to survive; lanes were closed while police investigated the crash. Nearby residents say the intersection is dangerous and accident-prone. [WUSA9, Twitter]

House Fire in Arlington View — There was an unusual house fire last night in the Arlington View neighborhood near Hoffman-Boston Elementary. A house’s gas meter caught fire, spreading flames into the home’s basement. The blaze was quickly extinguished, sparing the home from major damage. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Man Pleads Guilty in Hot Car Case — The man who accidentally left a friend’s two-year-old child in the backseat of a car, causing the toddler’s death, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Daiquan Fields was sentenced to a net six months in jail, time he had already served since the April incident, and is now on supervised probation. [NBC Washington]

Bonnie Black Murder Case Begins — The estranged husband of slain south Arlington mom Bonnie Black is now on trial for her murder. The trial of David Black started with opening statements on Monday; this morning witnesses for the prosecution are expected to be called. [WJLA]

Crystal City Post Office Moving — The post office along Crystal Drive in Crystal City is moving a few blocks down the road. The existing post office will be closed Thursday and Friday and the new post office, at 2180 Crystal Drive, will open Monday, Oct. 31. [Patch]

High Praise for Ambar — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar, which opened this month in the former Boulevard Woodgrill space, may get an indirect boost from TripAdvisor rankings. Ambar’s original Capitol Hill location is listed as the top-ranked D.C. area restaurant on TripAdvisor. [Washingtonian]

Amputee Athlete Visits Students — “Ghanian athlete and activist Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah recently visited with Arlington students to share his message that physical disabilities should not stop individuals from achieving their destiny.” [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com — October 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Fairfax County police car lightsA trio of suspects, one of whom was armed with a gun, robbed a man of his belongings in Crystal City on Saturday, police say.

This incident happened near the relatively busy intersection of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, just after 8 p.m. Police are looking for the three men allegedly involved in the drive-by robbery.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 161022054, 2300 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on October 22, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon investigation, it was determined that a male victim observed a vehicle pull up next to him and two male subjects exited the vehicle. One subject brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s belongings. The suspects took the items belonging to the victim, re-entered the vehicle, and fled the area. The first suspect is described as a heavy set black male in his forties. He was wearing a light blue jean jacket and had a beard. The second suspect is described as a black male in his forties. He was wearing a black windbreaker jacket and a black hat. The third suspect is described as a black male in his forties, wearing a black t-shirt.

by Andrew Ramonas — October 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Marine Corps Marathon road closures (Image via Arlington County)

Driving and parking around Rosslyn, Crystal City and other parts of Arlington could become a particularly challenging experience later this month.

Several streets in the county are set to close to traffic for the 41st Marine Corps Marathon Sunday, Oct. 30.

The race is scheduled to start about 7:55 a.m. on Route 110 between the Pentagon and Arlington Memorial Drive. Thousands of people then are expected to run on a 26.2-mile course through Arlington and the District.

During the marathon, Crystal City is slated to have an all-day family party with moon bounces, face paintings and crafts. Rosslyn also is set to throw a finish festival with live music and a beer garden.

The Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency plan to close the following roads, starting at 3:30 a.m.:

3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.    Marshall Drive from North Meade Street to Route 110

3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.    North Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Route 110 from I-66 to Jefferson Davis Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Wilson Boulevard from North Nash Street to Route 110

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Lynn Street from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    Fort Myer Drive from North Meade Street to Lee Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    North Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway

3:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.    19th Street North from Lynn Street to North Nash Street

3:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  N. Kent Street from Wilson Boulevard to N. 19th Street

3:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.    Route 110 ramp from Washington Blvd. to Pentagon North parking

6:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Lee Highway (eastbound) from Lynn Street to North Kirkwood Street

6:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Spout Run Parkway from southbound George Washington

Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Lee Highway

6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  GWMP from Spout Run to Memorial Circle Drive

7:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Francis Scott Key Bridge (all lanes)

7:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.  HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to HOV ramp at South Eads Street

5:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  South Eads Street from South Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.   Army Navy Drive from South Fern Street to 12th Street South

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  12th Street South from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive

7:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.  Crystal Drive from 12th Street South to 26th Street South

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.   Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street South to I-395

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.   Boundary Channel Drive from I-395 to Pentagon North Parking

7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  Washington Blvd. from Columbia Pike to Memorial Circle

Image via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com — October 19, 2016 at 9:35 am 0

Pedestrian crossing the street in Clarendon in front of traffic

Arcing Insulator at Rosslyn Metro — An electrical issue on the Metrorail tracks outside of the Rosslyn station caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines during this morning’s rush hour. The arcing insulator prompted single-tracking and a large fire department response. [WJLA]

Beyer to Shadow DCA Worker — Today, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is expected to “accompany contracted wheelchair agents to learn first-hand their role helping passengers with disabilities at Reagan National Airport.” The workers and their union, 32BJ SEIU, are fighting for a $15 per hour wage. Currently, they receive as little as $6 per hour plus “unreliable tips.”

Samsung Collecting Note 7 at DCA — Electronics manufacturer Samsung has set up a booth at Reagan National Airport to collect their now recalled and discontinued Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are banned from flights due to a propensity to randomly go up in flames. [Twitter]

I-395 HOT Lane Update — VDOT updated the Arlington County Board yesterday on its “managed HOV/toll lanes” project slated for I-395. County staff is currently studying traffic and noise impacts to Arlington and the project’s allocation of at least $15 million per year to transit along the corridor, which the county believes is insufficient. [Arlington County]

Tech Incubator Founder Moves to Arlington — Evan Burfield, the founder of D.C.-based tech incubator 1776, has moved to Arlington with his wife and one-year-old daughter. Burfield chose a $1.6 million home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood outside of Crystal City, calling it “a great buy on an up-and-coming area.” 1776 has a location in Crystal City that Burfield said is performing well. [Washington Business Journal]

Police: Arlington Man Called Reporter the N-Word — An Arlington man, 21-year-old Brian Eybers, has been arrested in Charleston, South Carolina on disorderly conduct and drug-related charges. A local TV reporter in Charleston says Eybers called him the N-word and then stood in front of his news van, blocking it from leaving. [The State]

Interview with Poet Laureate — Northern Virginia Magazine recently interviewed Arlington’s new poet laureate, Katherine Young. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

by Buzz McClain — October 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Jessica GuzikJessica Guzik creates communities. She guides strangers into friendships. She develops business partnerships. She improves regional spirit and helps hone municipal reputations. She provides the missing link between virtual reality and… well, reality.

“Cross pollinating socially, that’s harder and harder to do the older you get,” she said, explaining the inspiration for her incipient upstart, Curated Table. “Your big group of friends start families, people get busy with businesses…”

She doesn’t have to finish the thought: Time is short, everyone’s busy, we all are consumed by our screens and taking care of our spiritual and cultural well-being is an after thought, and our professional lives can suffer for it.

But when those companionship needs are met, nourished by a community-wide shared spirit, good things happen, not just to the individual but to those around them, not to mention their businesses.

Okay, so what does Jessica Guzik do? She’s not a politician, not a psychotherapist, not a health and wellness consultant and she’s not Martha Stewart although that may be who she has the most in common with. But with a twist.

“I design creative events that connect communities,” Guzik said. “That’s the simple explanation of it.”

Guzik organizes small dinner parties or lunches that bring together six to 10 guests — generally community-starved millennials, but other ages have opted in–who perhaps never would have met otherwise and to see what happens. It’s not a singles dating thing or a corporate networking event, although singles and corporations are welcome to ask for her services.

img_0012_28712327544_o-1024px

Afterward Guzik takes key learnings from these conversations and turns them into content in the form of white papers, reports and infographics that can be shared with other stakeholders or potential customers.

Guzik got the idea in 2012 when she put together a team-building lunch for her employer. She was living in Washington at the time and while the event and subsequent events were professional successful and inspirational, she personally was “feeling socially isolated in D.C.,” she said.

A move to WeLive in Crystal City crystalized for her not only her own lifestyle but also what could be done with the Curated Table concept and her other communal event idea, Crystal City Supper Club, in a ready-made, built-in neighborhood that was ripe for connecting.

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by ARLnow.com — October 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

White noise appYou might not think that a smartphone app that plays background sounds to help people sleep could be particularly lucrative or innovative. But then you would be underestimating both the market and the vision behind the app.

TMSoft, a small software company based in Crystal City’s 1776 space, released version 7.0 of “White Noise,” its flagship app, over the summer. The update pushes the app in the direction of being a social network, of sorts, for ambient sound.

White Noise, as we’ve previously reported, was released in 2008, just after the Apple App Store started letting iPhone users easily download third-party apps to their phones.

“When I first started I didn’t think anyone was going to download the thing,” said its creator, Ballston resident Todd Moore. “I just ran around my house with a recorder and recorded eight different loops: a bedroom fan, the outside crickets, rain, my HVAC [system]” and so on.

Thanks in part to media exposure — it was written up in the Washington Post, featured on the Today Show and made fun of by Jimmy Fallon — and a first-mover advantage, it became the No. 1 free app in the App Store. Through in-app advertising and a paid-for “pro” version, it was soon bringing in enough revenue that Moore quit his otherwise lucrative R&D job to focus on apps full time.

“I was making more money in a week than I was making all year at my job, and I said to myself, why don’t I quit and do this full time,” Moore recounts.

White Noise remains popular to this day, with the main app and its variants — including a “White Noise Baby” version for parents that includes a built-in baby monitor — generating the bulk of TMSoft’s revenue. (The company has some popular games and novelty apps in its catalog, but none were sustained smash hits on the scale of White Noise.)

“Putting people to sleep is our bread and butter,” Moore quipped, although White Noise is also used by those who want to use background sounds to help them work or study. “It was definitely the story of an app that bootstrapped a company.”

White noise appThe seventh generation of White Noise doesn’t stray from its original use case, but it does represent the culmination of five years of development toward a much broader vision for the app.

“The goal is to catalog the world’s sounds,” Moore said. “I want every country covered and every sound available.”

Why do that when a simple fan or rainstorm noise will usually suffice? User feedback, Moore said, has made him realize that the most impactful sounds represent a specific time and place in people’s memories.

“People are most comforted by sounds of their childhood,” Moore said. Thanks to user submissions, if someone wants to find a loop of a certain type of frog they heard once upon a time in Bermuda, for instance, there’s a sound for that.

Version 6.0 of White Noise introduced the feature that allows users to record sounds on their phone and, through an algorithm, seamlessly loop the sound so that it can play on repeat without distracting clicks or pops — no small engineering feat.

With version 7.0, users can now upload those sounds — and mash-ups of existing sounds — and download others from a marketplace that can be searched geographically. Users can then “heart” and comment on each other’s sounds.

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by ARLnow.com — October 10, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

M.flats apartment building in Crystal City

The new “m.flats Crystal City” apartment building has opened its doors to residents, developer Kettler announced late last week.

The 11-story, 198-unit building replaced a former post office, which moved to S. Fern Street near Costco in 2011.

Kettler says the building offers residents close proximity to the Crystal City Metro station, a rooftop pool, and units featuring “washed oak flooring, quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.”

More, from a press release:

Kettler, one of greater Washington, D.C.’s leading real estate development and property management companies, announced today the opening of m.flats Crystal City, an 11-story, 198-unit, high-rise apartment building located in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Va.

m.flats not only revives a site once occupied by the former Crystal City Post Office, but provides a community conveniently located just one block from the Crystal City Metro offering easy access to work, entertainment and downtown Washington, D.C.

“m.flats will provide a spark that will help Crystal City become the vibrant community we all envision,” said Robert C. Kettler, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Kettler. “It not only expands the number of residences, but takes Crystal City a step closer to becoming a thriving transit-oriented, walkable neighborhood.”

m.flats was the first residential building proposed to the Arlington County Board since the adoption of the Crystal City Sector Plan in 2010. The plan is a roadmap adopted to redevelop Crystal City through 2050.

“Demand for luxury city living is especially strong in the Arlington submarket,” added Pamela Tyrrell, Vice President of Multifamily for Kettler. “Many young professionals want a home that features an array of amenities, is in close proximity to mass transit as well as dining and entertainment options. m.flats offers all of the above in a boutique, well designed building.”

“KTGY designed an exterior aesthetic at m.flats that is contemporary yet restrained. In contrast to the existing 1960s-era buildings, the facades add color, texture and transparency,” stated Rohit Anand, Managing Principal at KTGY’s East Coast office in Tysons.

m.flats Crystal City offers primarily one- and two-bedroom units as well as standard unit finishes including washed oak flooring, quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Building amenities include a club room equipped with WiFi and ample lounge areas, fitness center, bike storage and workstation, and an all-season landscaped courtyard with fire and water features. The rooftop amenities include multiple entertainment spaces with outdoor seating and dining areas, outdoor kitchens with grills, fireplace, as well as a southern-facing sundeck with cabanas overlooking the rooftop swimming pool and views of the city.

The LEED Silver designed high-rise is Kettler’s sixth multi-family building in the Crystal City/Pentagon City market. Kettler opened The Acadia, a 411-unit high-rise luxury apartment building in Metropolitan Park, spring of 2015. Construction on m.flats Crystal City began at the end of October 2014. International award-winning KTGY Architecture + Planning was the architect on the project, Bohler Engineering, a civil engineering and consulting services firm, the engineer, and John Moriarty & Associates, the general contractor.

by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

A retail store for your Halloween costume and decoration needs recently opened in Crystal City.

Total Fright — or Total Party, during other times of the year — is open in the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive, near the Metro station. It was formerly located in the now under-renovation Ballston Common Mall.

The store is usually open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, but will have extended hours leading up to Halloween (Monday, Oct. 31).

There are a couple of other dedicated Halloween stores in Northern Virginia, including two Spirit Halloween locations in Falls Church and Springfield.

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2016 at 11:05 am 0

The Crystal City Shops shopping center at 2100 Crystal Drive hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning for one of its newest tenants: an Arlington Public Library branch.

The temporary, pop-up library is located near TechShop, a high-tech workshop that’s popular with startups, students, hobbyists and tinkerers. Dubbed “The Connection,” the compact, one-room library has adopted a tech and tinkerer theme, with free WiFi internet, books about coding, puzzles and games for rent, and gadgets like GoPro cameras and iPads for online magazines.

There will be weekly programs like book clubs, a lecture series, storytelling for children and strategy gaming, according to the library.

“The Connection is a temporary pop-up project designed to integrate the Library into the daily lives of Arlington residents,” the library said in a media advisory. “The pop-up library will serve residents east of Route 1, which runs through Crystal City and poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library.”

That nearest library — Aurora Hills, near Pentagon City — is also slated for interior renovations.

Today’s ribbon cutting was scheduled for 10 a.m. and, wasting no time for pomp and circumstance, the ribbon was cut at right 10:01 a.m. Attendees included local residents, representatives from property owner Vornado, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz, Arlington Public Library director Diane Kresh and other county officials.

The pop-up library is expected to be open at least until next summer, though it could remain open beyond that if it receives additional funding in next year’s budget. It is currently scheduled to be open 38 hours per week, Tuesday through Saturday.

by ARLnow.com — September 20, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Newly-installed solar panels on the rooftop of Buck & Associates in Courthouse (photo courtesy Billy Buck)

Vornado Reveals Big Plans for Crystal City — Vornado, the preeminent property owner in Crystal City, has filed preliminary plans to overhaul a number of its properties in the community. The plans include big changes to the Shops at 1750 retail space, near the entrance to the Crystal City Metro station, and a new multiplex cinema. [Washington Business Journal]

Lyft to Open Regional HQ in Crystal City — Ride hailing app company Lyft is planning to invest $350,000 to open a new regional headquarters in Crystal City, creating 32 jobs locally. “Lyft is thrilled to open our new office in the emerging innovation center of Crystal City,” said Steve Taylor, the company’s general manager for the D.C. area. “We’re extremely pleased by the warm welcome we have received from Governor McAuliffe, and state and county officials.” [Washington Post]

Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Attack on Law Firm Partner — Alecia Schmuhl has pleaded guilty in the vicious 2014 attack on Leo Fisher and his wife Susan Duncan. Prosecutors say Schmuhl and her husband took the couple hostage, slit Fisher’s throat and stabbed Duncan as part of a revenge plot after she was fired by Fisher from the Arlington-based firm of Bean Kinney & Korman. Fisher and Duncan survived the attack. [Washington Post]

Nominations Open for James B. Hunter Award — Arlington County is accepting nominees for the 2016 James B. Hunter Award. The award, named after a former Arlington County Board member, “goes to individuals, community groups, non-profit organizations and business establishments that promote cultural diversity and equal rights for all residents.” [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Billy Buck

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