91°Scattered Clouds

by Andrew Ramonas — July 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Metro SafeTrack Surge 4 service changes (Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority)Arlington is set to lose one of its Metro stops on the Blue and Yellow lines for seven days as part of another “SafeTrack surge,” which is set to start tomorrow.

“Surge 4” track repair work is slated to begin Tuesday and will keep the station closed through the following Monday.

Until the Crystal City station’s scheduled reopening on Tuesday, July 19, Metro will have free shuttle bus service to connect the stop with the Reagan National and Pentagon City stations.

Arlington and airport officials are encouraging travelers to avoid driving near the three stations and use buses and other modes of transportation to get around.

An Arlington County website has the following information those affected by the Metro maintenance work and station closure.

Street operations changes for Surge 3 and 4

Supplemental local bus service continued from prior surges

  • The new ART service and additional ART bus capacity on routes that parallel the Blue Line will continue through Surges 3 and 4:
    • Midday, evening and weekend service for ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Courthouse) – This route provides a direct connection from Crystal City to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. On weekdays, 40-foot buses will be used to add capacity.
    • 40-foot buses for ART 42 (Ballston-Pentagon) to add capacity – Each 40-foot bus has five more seats and room for more standees compared to 35-foot buses normally used on this route.
  • For changes to bus service operated by Metro and other jurisdictions, visit Metro’s website.

Alternate travel and work options

Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

by Jackie Friedman — July 7, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

ArtJamz Underground Studio, a new “paint and sip” studio, will be opening next Friday, July 15, in Crystal City.

Located in the Crystal City Shops, at 2105-B Crystal Plaza Arcade, the 1,000 square foot public art studio and lounge will offer freestyle paint sessions, guided classes, and other private and public special events.

Studio time for customers includes art materials, an easel, a smock, two complimentary glasses of wine or one beer and local artists that are on hand to give tips and guidance.

“We really encourage original art, for people to create something unique,” said founder and CEO Michael Clements. “Our tagline is unleash your inner artist because we want our studios to be as close to what an artist would experience in their studio.”

Customers can choose from six different canvas sizes — and they’re also allowed to paint on the walls. Just for fun, fake artist mustaches and berets are offered at an additional charge.

This will be the first permanent ArtJamz location in Virginia (it also hosts popup locations). The business has two other physical locations in D.C.

“Our mission is make the world a more creative place,” said Clements.

Customers can book sessions online. Until opening night, ArtJamz is offering a special where patrons can book sessions using the promo code “opening16” to receive 20 percent off a reservation.

by Adrian Cruz — July 5, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Starting today, the third stage of Metro’s SafeTrack maintenance plan begins, affecting Blue and Yellow line service in Arlington.

The third stage will begin at 8 p.m. on July 5, continuing until July 11 and it will involve the Blue and Yellow lines being completely shut down between National Airport and Braddock Road, in Alexandria.

Blue Line trains will run every 15 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Greenbelt.

Riders will be able to take Metroway BRT buses for free, between Pentagon City and Braddock Road, to bypass the closure. For airport customers coming from stations below Braddock Road, shuttle bus service will run between the station and the airport.

The fourth SafeTrack stage will run from July 12-18 and the same lines will be shut down between National Airport and Pentagon City. That includes a closure of the busy Crystal City station.

Blue Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and National Airport and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Greenbelt.

Shuttle bus service will run to National Airport from Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Metroway shuttle service will also be available for free during this stage.

For its part, Arlington County will continue to run the expanded bus service implemented for SafeTrack’s second stage. That includes expanded midday, evening and weekend service on the ART 43 between Rosslyn and Crystal City and additional 4o-foot buses to increase capacity on the ART 42, which runs from Ballston to Pentagon.

Arlington County is encouraging alternative commute options during the surge, such as teleworking, ridesharing, biking and walking if possible.

Video Courtesy WMATA

by Jackie Friedman — July 1, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Crystal City Twilighter 5K on July 25, 2015 (photo courtesy Crystal City BID)Crystal City will host the annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race on Saturday, July 23.

The race, organized by Pacers, will kick off at 8:30 p.m. The relatively flat course will start and finish will be in front of 2121 Crystal Drive.

There will also be a post-race party with food and drink specials at local restaurants. Cash prizes will be awarded to overall male and female runners. Age groups ranging from 1-10 and 80+ will also be given prizes.

Registration is $45 for adults over the age of 18, but $25 for those 18 and younger. Space is limited to 3,000 runners.

Disclosure: The run is sponsored by the Crystal City BID, an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — June 28, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Anna and David Sculpture in Rosslyn

View from Central Place — An ABC 7 reporter visited one of the top floors of the still under-construction Central Place residential tower in Rosslyn. The residential building is slated to open in 2017 while a twin office tower next door is set for 2018. [Twitter]

Wine in the Waterpark Extended — Crystal City is extending its popular Friday night Wine in the Waterpark events through July. The event offers beer, wine and music in an outdoor setting. [Crystal City]

‘Women in Secularism’ Conference — A Crystal City hotel will be hosting the fourth “Women in Secularism” conference in September. The conference “brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a ‘woman in secularism’ — not just in theory, but in practice.” [Women in Secularism]

Photo by Jackie Friedman

by Jackie Friedman — June 24, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Outdoor movie in Crystal City

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Candy and booze are set to star in Crystal City’s al fresco film series later this year.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District’s “Sweets and Sips” flicks for Crystal Screen in September are slated to include four movies that feature chocolate and wine. Initially, the organization planned to screen Star Wars movies this summer, but were unable to show them.

“Despite earlier confirmations with the movie licensing company, rights to publicly show the Star Wars movies for the Crystal Screen outdoor movie festival were lost due to an unexpected move from the DARK SIDE!” a Crystal City BID email says. “So, we’re celebrating by drowning our sorrows in the comfort of sweets and sips.”

The email adds: “Bring a picnic or take-out from area restaurants and enjoy sips from the pop-up wine bar (cash) with hand-selected offerings from the Crystal City Wine Shop and tasty sweet samples from Crystal City‘s Schakolad.”

The movies are:

  • “Willy Wonka” (1971) on Sept. 6.
  • “Bottle Shock” (2008) on Sept. 13.
  • “Chocolat” (2000) on Sept. 20.
  • “Sideways” (2004) on Sept. 27.

Movies are scheduled to start about 30 minutes after sunset outside 1901 S. Bell Street.

by Adrian Cruz — June 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

The Earth Treks climbing gym in Crystal City is expected to open soon, perhaps by late July.

ARLnow reported last year that the gym in Crystal City was expected to open in “late spring,” however the opening date has since been pushed back.

“We’re presently targeting the second half of July,” said Earth Treks VP Chris Jenkins. “We’re in the home stretch, but I still don’t have an exact date.”

He said the company may wait a month or two after the gym’s initial opening to hold a grand opening event.

“We are going to have a member’s ‘grand opening’ party, but not immediately after we open,” said Jenkins. “As it would be open to members primarily we like to have a little breathing space between when we open the doors and when we have our first big event celebrating it so we have some time to build the membership base.”

The gym features a 35,000-square-foot climbing area along with training areas, dedicated yoga and group fitness rooms and private climbing teaching areas.

This will be Earth Treks’ first Virginia location. The company has three other gyms in Maryland, located in Rockville, Timonium, and Columbia.

Photos courtesy Earth Treks

by Adrian Cruz — June 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Fourth of July fireworks, as seen from the Air Force Memorial (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)Long Bridge Park is again set to have live music, food trucks, lawn games and face painting as part of Arlington’s annual July 4 festivities.

The free celebration, which also is slated to include drop-in kickball games, moon bounces and balloon art, is scheduled to run from 5-10 p.m. The Hollies guitarist Steve Lauri and West Virginia cover band Cazhmiere are scheduled to perform.

Some of the food trucks scheduled to participate in the event’s “food truck rally” include: Bada Bing Cheesesteaks and SpiediesThe Big CheeseThe Farm EffectGrapevine RestaurantLemongrass Food TruckMac’s Donuts, Rod’s Oasis Shaved Ice, Salou Kaba, Tapas TruckTortoise & Hare Food TruckUnion Dog Food Truck.

Long Bridge Park Independence Day flyer 2016Long Bridge Park won’t have on-site parking during the event, but shuttles are slated to run between the park and the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations.

If you can’t make it to Long Bridge Park, you also can see the fireworks in Arlington from:

  • Key Bridge
  • Air Force Memorial
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • Gravelly Point Park
  • Gateway Park

The fireworks are expected to begin at 9:09 p.m., lasting about 17 minutes.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — June 21, 2016 at 11:35 am 0

Police car lightsArlington County and Pentagon police are responding to two Noodles and Company restaurants in Arlington due to bomb threats.

According to initial reports, someone phoned in multiple bomb threats to the Noodles and Company restaurants at 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City and 1201 S. Joyce Street on Pentagon Row.

The restaurants have been evacuated, we hear, and bomb-sniffing dogs from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency are en route to sweep the area.

by Jackie Friedman — June 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

Crystal Car logoThe annual Crystal Car show is returning this weekend to Crystal City.

The fourth annual Father’s Day Car Festival is being hosted by the Crystal City BID in the surface lot located adjacent to 220 20th Street S., on Sunday, June 19 from 2-6 p.m.

“This family-friendly festival will have a large variety of automobile categories including sports cars, electric vehicles, classic muscle cars, antiques and more,” the Crystal City BID said in a press release. “Along with the cars, enjoy live music, food trucks, and a beer and wine garden hosted by the Washington Wine Academy.”

Admission is free for guests and vehicles but cash is required to when purchasing beer and wine.

Those with cars they want to showcase can register online.

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

by Adrian Cruz — June 16, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

Example of Dye TestAfter the oil spill earlier this year that released 13,500 gallons of mineral oil into the Potomac River, Dominion Virginia Power has announced that it will conduct a dye tracer test this morning.

The test is being conducted to determine how oil traveled from Dominion’s Crystal City substation to the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary.

The dye will be a bright peach color and it is non-toxic; it’s expected to last no longer than a week and, according to Dominion, currents and sunlight will likely cause the dye to dissipate within a day.

Photo Courtesy Dominion Virginia Power

by ARLnow.com — June 15, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

The Washington Monument is seen in the distance, above Arlington County's fire training facility near Shirlington

Shark Tank Casting in Crystal City — ABC’s “Shark Tank” is holding a casting call today at the 1776 incubator in Crystal City. “Applicants will have roughly 90 seconds to make their initial pitches to casting producers, with about three minutes for a Q&A portion.” [Washington Business Journal]

Bill Clinton Visits the Pike — Former President and possible future First Gentleman Bill Clinton met with Virginia Latino leaders at Cafe Sazon on Columbia Pike over the weekend. [Facebook]

Arlington Man Is Suspected Serial Bank Robber — Police have identified a serial bank robbery suspect who was arrested Friday in Falls Church as 42-year-old Arlington resident Amin Huie. Police say Huie is the “Forever Loyal Bandit” who has robbed seven banks since 2014, including a Capital One Bank on Columbia Pike last year. [Fairfax County PD, WJLA]

More on Garvey’s Win — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey’s “unorthodox, controversial” strategy of appealing to non-Democrats in the Democratic primary is “likely to alter future campaigns,” writes Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey, in an analysis of Garvey’s decisive primary win last night. [InsideNova]

Repairs to Westover Branch Library — Work to repair water damage and install new windows at the Westover Branch Library will take place from mid-July to late September. The library will remain open during that time. [Arlington Public Library]

County Touts Increase in Trail Usage — “After a week of single tracking along the Orange/Silver Line between Ballston and East Falls Church, automated counters in the County’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor show an increase of between 70 and 90 percent in bike ridership from the same period last year. Capital BikeShare use in Arlington is up between 20 and 50 percent.” [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com — June 13, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Police car (file photo)A Gainesville man was arrested early Sunday morning after a bizarre incident in the Crystal City area.

It all started around 2 a.m., on the 2300 block of S. Eads Street, when three people walked up to the suspect’s car, thinking it was their Uber ride.

A “verbal altercation ensued,” according to police, and then the suspect, who was drunk and naked at the time, grabbed a hatchet from the backseat and “started swinging the object.” The three individuals managed to take the hatchet away from the man before he hurt anyone, police said.

The suspect tried to flee the scene but was soon stopped by a U.S. Park Police officer, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report (below).

Michael Monroe, 64, now faces numerous charges in connection with the incident.

DUI(significant), 160612012, 2300 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on June 12, a United States Park Police (USPP) officer responded to the report of a suspect vehicle driving erratically and nearly striking pedestrians. Prior to police arrival, the subject vehicle entered a parking lot where three individuals approached the vehicle believing it was their Uber. A verbal altercation ensued and the subject, who was naked at the time of the incident, retrieved a hatchet from the backseat of the vehicle and started swinging the object. There were no injuries and the three individuals were able to wrestle the hatchet away from the subject. The subject then attempted to flee the scene and that is when a USPP officer initiated a traffic stop. Arlington County Police officers also responded to the scene and attempted a field sobriety test on the subject, who refused. Michael Monroe, 64, of Gainesville VA, was arrested and charged with DUI, refusal, and disorderly conduct.

by ARLnow.com — June 13, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

Outdoor concert in Shirlington

W-L Soccer Captures State Title — The Washington-Lee boys soccer team defeated First Colonial 3-1 on Saturday to win the school’s first Virginia 6A boys soccer state title. Despite an injury, Maycol Nunez led the team with two goals. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Ceremony for W-L Grad Killed in WW2 — A special ceremony will be held today at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the memory of Merrill Walter Hoover, a star athlete at Washington-Lee High School who was killed while serving in the Coast Guard during World War II. Hoover’s body was never found following a ship collision in which he worked selflessly to save his shipmates. [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington RAMMY Winners — Clarendon’s Northside Social and chef Jonah Kim of Yona in Ballston were big winners during last night’s RAMMY awards, picking up “Favorite Gathering Place of the Year” and “Rising Culinary Star of the Year” awards, respectively. The awards program for Washington’s restaurant industry also honored major Ballston restaurant operator Mike Isabella Concepts. [RAMW]

Worker Rescued in Crystal City — On Saturday, a worker whose lift platform became stuck 30 feet in the air in Crystal City was rescued by Arlington County firefighters. [Twitter]

Cousins Tweets W-L Senior’s Yearbook Quote — “Best of luck at VCU this fall!” Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins told Washington-Lee senior Joseph Langley, in a tweet, after Langley used Cousins’ famous “You like that?!” moment as his yearbook quote. [ESPN]

More on Applebee’s Ballston Plans — Applebees is opening in Ballston with a “new, urban-focused design.” Why Ballston? “There are lot of Millennials in the area, and it’s an area that has a lot of office buildings as well as residential,” a company spokesman said, as quoted in a 1,070 word magazine article about the restaurant’s Ballston plans. [Arlington Magazine]

CPRO Names New Executive Director — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has named its interim executive director, former Rosslyn BID honcho Cecilia Cassidy, as its permanent executive director. CPRO’s previous executive director, Takis Karantonis, resigned in January after five years on the job, and is currently working for County Board candidate Erik Gutshall’s campaign. [CPRO]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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