by ARLnow.com — September 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm 2,203 0

Police car lightsA trio of men armed with shotguns robbed a hotel in Crystal City early Saturday morning.

The frightening incident happened just before 3 a.m. on Sept. 19, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the 1400 block of Crystal Drive. The men made off with cash following the hold up, police say.

From the Arlington County Police crime report:

Three unknown subjects entered the [Crowne] Plaza Hotel with shotguns and stole an undisclosed amount of money. The subjects fled on foot. The first suspect is described as a mixed race male in his twenties, approximately 5’10”-6’1″ tall and weighed 175 lbs. He was wearing a black ski mask, a black hooded long sleeve North Face jacket, black pants, and black shoes. The second suspect is described as a white male in his twenties, approximately 5’9″-5’11” tall and weighed 210 lbs. He was wearing a black ski mask, a baggy brown jacket, black pants, and black shoes. The third suspect is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ tall and weighed 155 lbs. He was wearing a black ski mask, a tight black jacket, black pants, and black shoes.

by Heather Mongilio — September 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm 0

Outdoor movie in Crystal CityThe Crystal City Business Improvement District wants to scare the daylights of people this October by holding a series of nighttime scary movie screenings.

The BID and Charles E. Smith/Vornado will show a scary movie every Monday in October, starting with 1989 horror flick “Pet Semetary” on Oct. 5 at approximately 6:45 p.m.

“With most of the area’s summer film series wrapping up before the fall, we saw an opportunity to expand the fun,” Crystal City BID President Angela Fox said in a statement. “The cooler fall temperatures and earlier sunsets combined with Halloween make for the perfect opportunity for a scary experience.”

Movies will be shown in the courtyard on S. Bell Street between 18th Street S. and 20th Street S. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes to the screenings and can win a $20 to Schakolad Chocolate Factory (1750 Crystal Drive) by tweeting or Instagramming a photo with the hashtag #CrystalScream — a take on the name of the BID’s “Crystal Screen” summer movie series.

Each movie’s start will vary depending on sunset, between 6:15-6:45 p.m., but should before 8:30 p.m. The schedule is as follows:

Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm 0

Crystal City Coffee with a Cop flyerResidents of Crystal City and surrounding neighborhoods are invited to have “Coffee with a Cop” at an event hosted by the Arlington County Police Department’s Second District Team Thursday night.

The event is being held tomorrow (Sept. 17) at the new Bob & Edith’s Diner at 539 23rd Street S., from 4-7 p.m.

“Coffee with a Cop has no agenda or speeches,” says a flyer for the event. “The event is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your District.”

One possible topic of concern for neighbors: the as-yet unsolved murder of Bonnie Delgado Black in nearby Aurora Highlands. Black’s ex-husband’s house, also in Aurora Highlands, was searched by investigators two weeks ago but so far no arrests have been made in the case.

by ARLnow.com — September 9, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,488 0

Car storage in Ballston (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Why Car2Go Can’t Cross the Border — Car2Go car-sharing service is launching in Arlington on Sept. 19, but users won’t be able to drive from Arlington and park in D.C., or vice versa. The District, which also has Car2Go service, is worried about traffic congestion and a loss of parking spaces to Arlington Car2Go users. Arlington officials have also expressed concern about allowing D.C. users park on Arlington streets, but appear more receptive to opening the Car2Go border. [Washington Post]

Arlington Kid’s Letter Read on Tonight Show — As part of a “Kid Letters” segment last night, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon read a letter from Caroline, who said she lives in Arlington. Caroline had a joke for Jimmy: “Which planet is God’s favorite planet? Saturn, because he put a ring on it.” Caroline also confessed that she has a crush on Fallon. [NBC]

APS Menus Now Online — Arlington Public Schools has put its breakfast and lunch menus online. The menus allow students and parents to review detailed nutritional information and to add funds to a prepaid meal account. Today, at Washington-Lee High School, students will have the choice of a 440 calorie chicken sandwich, a 324 calorie stuffed shell and breadstick meal, or a 304 calorie autumn fruit salad. APS also has a food-focused Twitter account. [Arlington Public Schools, Nutrislice, Twitter]

Nonprofits Moving from D.C. to Crystal City — Property owner Vornado has scored another new lease in Crystal City: the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Thanks to lower office rental rates, and generous concessions, Vornado has been steadily winning nonprofit tenants and reducing its vacancy rate, which soared due to the loss of military agencies following the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan. [Washington Business Journal]

Dems Select Winning Chili — Del. Alfonso Lopez and his legislative assistant, Jason Stanford, were the big winners at Monday’s annual Arlington County Democratic Committee Labor Day Chili Cookoff. Stanford’s “Fighting 49th” chili featured ingredients from the Columbia Pike farmers market and a secret seasoning blend that was inspired by the staffer’s Louisiana roots. The chili cookoff was held this year at the Barcroft Community House, due to construction on the usual venue, the Lyon Park Community Center. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by Heather Mongilio — September 8, 2015 at 12:10 pm 1,363 0

Grill Kabob, a family-run chain, has opened a new location in Crystal City.

The new store at the corner of 23rd Street S. and S. Eads Street — in the former Cafe Pizzaiolo and Hearthstone Pizza space — opened on Sept. 1, and business has grown steadily each day, said manager David Rasoli.

“The people keep coming since day [one],” Rasoli said.

Grill Kabob (507 23rd Street S.) is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant is also planning to open for 24 hours one day a week, “which is good for Arlington, good for people, good for us,” he said.

The kabob place serves multiple types of kabobs, including ground chicken, ground beef, lamb, chicken and veggie.

“Nobody else has veggie kabobs,” Rasoli said.

The restaurant also sells falafel and gyros, and everything is made fresh. Recipes are a family tradition, and everything is kept the same throughout the 10 Grill Kabob locations, said Rasoli’s daughter Toba.

Rasoli said the most popular dishes are the chicken and ground chicken kabobs. All meals come with two sides of rice, homemade bread and a salad. For the grand opening of the store, Grill Kabob also offered chicken and lentil soup on the house.

The food is healthy, fresh and not made with any additives, Toba said.

“You’re getting the best of the best, basically,” she said.

The new kabob restaurant will have some competition with Kabob Place a couple buildings down on 23rd Street S.

by ARLnow.com — September 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm 1,501 0

The frozen yogurt store FroZenYo has closed its doors.

The store opened in 2011 amid a boom in local froyo joints. That expansion has gone cold and turned into a contraction.

A sign recently taped to the door said the FroZenYo at 2231 Crystal Drive is no more.

“This location is permanently closed,” the sign says. “Thanks for all of your business. Please visit our Eye Street location [at] 1634 I Street NW, D.C.”

The closure follows the shuttering of FroZenYo locations in Ballston and Rosslyn this year.

About a half a dozen frozen yogurt shops remain in Arlington, including Pinkberry in Clarendon and Menchie’s on Columbia Pike.

by Heather Mongilio — September 1, 2015 at 11:00 am 1,464 0

Future 12th Street extension in Pentagon CityPentagon City and Crystal City may be connected by a multi-modal passageway by the end of the year.

The county is working with a private developer to expand 12th Street S. between S. Fern and S. Eads Streets to better connect Pentagon City and Crystal City.

The new extension, built by the private developer, will allow people to bike, walk or drive between the Pentagon City and Crystal City. MetroWay rapid transit buses would also use the new street to get from Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations, according to the Crystal City BID.

Two-way traffic on the new 12th Street S. extension is anticipated to start in 2016.

“This new roadway will become the main connection between Pentagon City and Crystal City. Considered the ‘Primary Transit’ street, 12th Street South has dedicated high-frequency transit service between Pentagon City and Potomac Yard,” according to Arlington County.

The entire project is anticipated to be completed in 2016, according to the project’s website, but a target date has not been set, said county spokesman Eric Balliet.

The southern part of the 12th Street S. extension is mostly complete. The developer still needs to install traffic lights and finish utility work before the road can open to one-way traffic, but Balliet said he did not know when that would happen.

“We expect this part of the street to open to one-way traffic later this year (no set date yet),” he said via email. The road is currently blocked off with gates and traffic cones, but pedestrians are able to use a sidewalk on the right side of the street.

The first half of 12th Street S. was constructed as part of the Metropolitan Park development project. Private developer Vornado is building a new complex with 22 levels, 699 apartments and 41,679 square feet of retail space next to 12th Street S.

A Whole Foods grocery store is also being built on the first level of the apartment building. There is no target opening date for the store, according to Katie Malloy, a PR rep for Whole Foods.

Metropolitan Park “completes the pedestrian streetscape along 12th Street for a seamless, urban experience between Pentagon City and Crystal City,” according to the Crystal City BID.

The northern half of 12th Street S. is expected to be completed next year, and is being constructed as an early part of the PenPlace development, Balliet said.

“I don’t have any updates about the timing of that portion,” he said.

PenPlace will sit next to the Marriott Residence Inn, off of Army Navy Drive and will extend to the new 12th Street S. The development, also being built by Vornado/Charles E. Smith, is projected to be five different buildings. The 16 to 22 story towers are expected to be office buildings, but one may be used for residential uses. A 300-room hotel is part of the five building plan and three connected open spaces are also being planned for the project.

There’s no word yet on when the bulk of the construction on PenPlace might begin.

by Eleanor Greene — August 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm 2,099 0

Ammanisahan flyerThe area’s first Uyghur restaurant will be opening this fall in Crystal City, according to one of its owners, Emam Maimaiti.

The restaurant will open in the space of the recently closed Charlie Chiang’s (320 23rd Street S.).

The new restaurant will be called Queen Ammanisa and feature Uyghur food from province Xinjiang in Northwest China, a place formerly known as Turkestan, Maimaiti explained. Uygur cuisine is being discovered in other parts of the United States, Maimaiti said, but he and his partner Fatima Baikeli are anxious to bring it to the D.C. area.

Uyghur cooking is a product of its geography and therefore is a mix of Persian and Chinese cuisines. It has kebabs and noodles “like you’ve never had before,” Maimaiti said. Lamb, mutton and beef are common in Uyghur food, as are carrots, raisins and lots of vegetables, he wrote in an email. Uyghur food is often halal too, due to the ethnic group’s predominantly Muslim culture.

As for the name, the partners had planned to name the restaurant Amannisahan, as posted on the window of the building now, which was the name of their previous restaurant in Beijing, where the suffix “han” means queen. They have decided to change it to the English translation, “Queen Ammanisa.” Queen Ammanisa was a queen and musician from the region who lived in the sixteenth century.

The owner would not reveal a specific opening date but hopes that the restaurant will be able to open mid to late fall.

by ARLnow.com — August 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm 3,770 0

Charlie Chiang’s has closed in Crystal City.

The Chinese restaurant, at 320 23rd Street S., has posted signs on the doors directing customers to its Shirlington location at 4060 Campbell Avenue..

“Thank you for your years of patronage!” the signs say. “We have consolidated our operations with our Village at Shirlington location — Ping by Charlie Chiang’s… Please visit us there!”

Another sign on the door says that a new restaurant will be replacing Charlie Chiang’s and will be “opening soon.”

The new restaurant will be called Amannisahan and will serve Uyghur cuisine, according to the sign. In an indication that a quick reopening may indeed be in the works, Amannisahan says it’s currently hiring restaurant managers and waiters.

Uyghur food is a blend of Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Chinese cuisines, serving dishes like kebabs and noodle soups.

by ARLnow.com — August 20, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,564 0

Rabbit (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Flash Flood Watch Tonight — Arlington and much of the D.C. area is under a Flash Flood Watch tonight. The watch runs from 4 p.m. to midnight. Forecasters say storms with very heavy rain will pass through the region and may produce flash flooding. [Twitter]

Regional Home Prices Flat — The Washington region saw no year-over-year growth in the median sales price of single family homes in the second quarter of 2015. That comes at a time when 93 percent of metropolitan areas reported increases in median home sales prices. [InsideNova]

Highline Now Offering Sunday BrunchHighline RxR in Crystal City is now offering Sunday brunch service. The bar/restaurant opened in February, in the former Bailey’s space above McCormick and Schmick’s. [Facebook]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — August 17, 2015 at 9:50 am 1,715 0

Dominion logoUpdate at 10:30 a.m. — Dominion says power was restored in Crystal City around 10 a.m.

A damaged power line may be to blame for a large power outage in Crystal City this morning.

Power is out to numerous office and apartment buildings, mostly along Crystal Drive. Dominion Power says a failed underground electrical cable is to blame. They hope to have power restored within an hour.

The outage has closed restaurants and offices in the neighborhood, according to Twitter users.

by ARLnow.com — August 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm 2,071 0

A man was arrested after leading Arlington County police on a foot chase in Crystal City yesterday.

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m.

Police had pulled over a suspected stolen vehicle on Route 1, near the CEA building, when the driver took off running. Police gave chase and, after a pursuit that included a sprint through a hotel, officers were able to take the man into custody near the PBS building at 2100 Crystal Drive.

Stephan Townes, 26, of Alexandria was charged with grand larceny auto and driving on a suspended license, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. He also was wanted on warrants for credit card fraud and identity theft in Arlington.

by ARLnow.com — August 4, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,750 0

Evening jog (Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi)

Sweetgreen, Taylor Gourmet Coming to Crystal CityVenture capital-funded salad purveyor Sweetgreen plans to open a 1,700 square foot store in the former Corner Bakery space in Crystal City later this year. And that’s not the only trendy eatery coming to the neighborhood. Sandwich shop Taylor Gourmet is expected to open in a storefront next door. [Bisnow]

Sunglasses Store Closes on Pentagon Row — There’s still more than a month until Labor Day but sunglasses store Specs New York, which opened up three months ago on Pentagon Row, appears to be closing. [Twitter]

New Law Allows Cocktail Pitchers — A new Virginia law that took effect July 1 finally allows restaurants to serve pitchers of cocktails. Previously, it was against the law to serve any mixed drink other than sangria via pitcher. Pepita, which opened last week in Ballston, is taking advantage of the new law by selling margaritas in a skull-shaped pitcher for $40. [Washington Business Journal]

TV Station Profiles Arlington Fugitive — Rosslyn-based WJLA featured an Arlington fugitive as part of an “ABC 7 On Your Side” segment. Police say Jessie Kim, 25, assaulted the new owner of what had formerly been his family’s dry cleaning business. Kim is also accused of destroying the owner’s phone and other property before driving off in a silver BMW. [WJLA]

Bus Accident in Ballston — A minor collision between an ART bus and a Metrobus happened around 5:00 p.m. yesterday in front of the Ballston Metro station. No injuries were reported.

Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 4, 2015 at 5:00 am 0

Want to live an active, car-optional life? Consider one of Arlington’s most walkable, most accessible and most amenity-filled neighborhoods: Crystal City.

Yes, Crystal City, the Rodney Dangerfield of the D.C. area.

And if you’re going to live there, consider one of the Crystal City’s best apartment values: the recently-renovated Crystal Square Apartments.

Just a half-block from the Crystal City Metro station, the building features spacious apartments, dark hardwood flooring, kitchens with maple or cherry cabinetry and stainless steel appliances, in-unit washers and dryers and new fixtures and lighting. Plus there are amenities like a large swimming pool, a brand new rooftop gym and cardio studio, a rooftop terrance with views of the D.C. monuments, a gaming and billiards room and, coming soon, a dog park.

While you’re living at Crystal Square, here are ten interesting outings within a half mile walk from your apartment.

  1. Beach volleyball. Situated right near 23rd Street, these pristine courts feature pickup games that begin after work hours. Which is for the best, because then the sand cools down between your toes.
  2. Watch planes, trains and soccer games. Maybe you have kids, maybe you’re a kid at heart — either way, you can watch planes and trains go by up close at Long Bridge Park. The soccer field there is also state of the art and hosts local leagues, colleges and occasionally D.C. United, too. Plus, you can see the monuments across the river.
  3. Try hot yoga. Ready to achieve something new in your workouts? At  Mind Your Body Oasis, static poses challenge you and the heat feels like a detox. And honestly, if can make it through an Arlington summer, these classes should be no sweat (Still, bring along some water).
  4. Cheer on your teams. Whether you just got to Arlington and still cheering your home team or you’re a diehard fan of local teams, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Crystal City Sports Pub are great places to catch all the sports you want, from the NFL to college basketball, extreme sports or an MMA fight.
  5. Sip some bubble tea. There are two kinds of people in the world, those who love bubble tea and those who haven’t tried it yet. Get your boba on with fruity smoothie flavors or traditional milky tea. Yelpers say Lily Bubble Tea and Smoothie is best accessed by foot, which works for you– it’s only a three minute walk.
  6. Take a ride. Whether you have your own racing bike, a casual cruiser or you take Capital Bikeshare, you’ll be right next to the heart of the region’s trail network. Bike to work in the city, head over to Rosslyn or take the  Mt. Vernon Trail down to see George Washington’s humble abode.
  7. Find a nautical treasure. If you’re looking for unique nautical gifts — and who isn’t? — check out Ship’s Hatch, a store that appeals to those who love being on the water, or know someone retiring from the military. This store will embroider hats with the name of any ship that has ever sailed if you know what you’re looking for, or if you’re just browsing, it may surprise you with a hidden gem.
  8. Make something cool. Ditch your dinky 3-D printer and upgrade to industrial scale, because TechShop is in town. It’s a design and fabrication studio “on a mission to democratize tools of innovation.” Once you buy a membership, the doors are open to you 24/7. And if you’re not already an expert, they also hold lots of classes.
  9. Eat some good stuff. Serving milkshakes, burgers and fries that taste like the ingredients just came from the farm next door, chef Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery has food you can feel good about. The company also aims to recycle everything they can, even the restaurant itself is made from recycled materials. Chef Spike’s We , The Pizza is next door, if you want a quick slice or a homemade soda.
  10. Catch a unique performance. Even if you’ve seen a play, you may have never seen a play like this. Synetic Theater is famous for its wordless Shakespeare productions and it also does a variety of other types of shows, all with physical acting and no speaking.

Ready to move in? Contact the Crystal Square Apartments today to schedule a visit.

Whether you head to the Crystal City Shops under your feet, take a walk or a bike ride, or attend one of the neighborhood’s well-known seasonal events, there is something to do in Crystal City every day of the year. But if you decide instead to kick back on your balcony or by the pool, we won’t judge.

The preceding article was written by ARLnow.com for our sponsor, the Crystal Square Apartments

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2015 at 9:25 am 3,575 0

Sunny day in Glencarlyn Park (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Booing at Meeting About I-66 Tolling — VDOT representatives were booed by residents at a meeting about the plan to convert I-66 to high occupancy toll lanes inside the Beltway. VDOT wants to have the tolling in place by 2017. In addition to residents, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is skeptical of the plan, worried that it may discourage travel at Dulles International Airport. [InsideNova, WTOP]

Opera Troupe Leaving Arlington — Forced to find a new home due to the closure of Artisphere in Rosslyn, the opera troupe UrbanArias will perform at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE in D.C. during its 2015-2016 season. [InsideNova]

Barbie Doll Convention Held in Crystal City — More than 1,000 collectors descended on Crystal City for the 2015 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention last week. The event included auditions for a Barbie-themed Broadway production. [Daily Mail]

Marine Completes Hand-Cycle Journey to Arlington — Double amputee Marine veteran Toran Gaal completed his cross-country ride to Arlington National Cemetery this past weekend. Gaal made the more than 3,000 mile journey, which raised money for other wounded Marines, on a hand-cycle. [NBC Washington, Stars and Stripes]

Call For Entries at Arlington Film Fest — The call for entries is now open for the 2016 Rosebud Film Festival. The final deadline for submissions is Nov. 6. [YouTube, Arlington Independent Media]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick


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