With high temps in the 80s and 90s, one does not exactly get the twigs and acorns crunching pleasurably beneath one’s boots feeling that traditionally prompts a craving for fall-related items — you know, the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte or a malty Oktoberfest beer.
Starbucks has been offering the “PSL” since the end of August (McDonald’s now has a version, too) and Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers started hitting local store shelves even earlier than that.
We know that such seasonal beverages are popular choices when the air gets crisp and the days shorter. But are they popular now before the official start of fall? (The autumnal equinox is Thursday.)
Given the proliferation of Starbucks and the crowds at our fall beer tasting event over the weekend, it seems like the answer might be yes. But let’s see whether actual consumption so far this season actually bears that out.
It’s September, which means that those who drive to work in the morning can expect to spend more time in traffic this month.
You might have heard the term “Terrible Traffic Tuesday,” which refers to the supposedly awful traffic on the Tuesday after Labor Day, when kids are back in school and workers are back from vacation.
But researchers at the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board say that Terrible Traffic Tuesday is, on average, not that terrible. The days after and the following week, however, are usually quite a bit more congested than at any time in August.
TPB dubs it the “September Shock.”
“Expect to see more traffic and increased travel times,” the organization said. “For everyday travelers, the extra delay can add up to hours of extra time spent in the car each week. Regionally, added up across all travelers, it amounts to a drain on productivity and economic competitiveness.”
“The annual jump is so consistent from year to year that the TPB analysts say it’s one of the most predictable and pronounced traffic events the region sees. Their analysis also revealed that September is consistently one of the region’s top two or three worst traffic months.”
TPB’s full report is available online.
One interesting and perhaps counterintuitive observation: the increase in traffic is “mainly a morning phenomenon” — there’s only a relatively small increase in traffic during the afternoon rush hour.
Maps provided by TPB show that in Arlington, the most severe increases in traffic congestion — upwards of 50 percent increases travel times — typically happen later in the morning rush hour, around 8-10 a.m., on major routes near the Potomac River crossings into D.C.
It’s September — Bid an especially hot and sweaty August adieu, September is here. Get ready for kids going back to school, fall beer tastings, outdoor festivals, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cooler weather. As a reminder, however: it’s still summer until Sept. 22.
Author Talk at Kenmore — Best-selling author Ann Patchett will be discussing her new book Commonwealth, which is set in part in Arlington, at an event on Thursday, Sept. 15. The event, at the Kenmore Middle School auditorium, is open to the public, with RSVP; it’s sponsored by One More Page Books and Arlington Public Library. [Eventbrite]
CEB CEO Stepping Down — Tom Monahan, the CEO of the publicly traded, Rosslyn-based firm CEB, is stepping down. The search is now on for a new chief executive for the 4,500-employee company, which will be moving to a gleaming new office tower after construction wraps up, likely in 2018. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
It’s August 10 and already the shelves of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other Arlington stores are being stocked with fall beers.
Pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest beers — the kind of brews that make you think of crisp, cool weather and fallen leaves crunching under your feet. Yet, we’re still a month and a half away from the first day of autumn, the leaves are still green and another sweltering heat wave is about to get underway.
How do you feel about this practice of starting fall early in the beer aisle? Do you appreciate being able to stock up on your pumpkin beers early, or do you wish retailers would save the Oktoberfests until closer to October?
Regardless of your answer, if you’re a fan of fall beer, be sure to mark your calendars for the seasonally-appropriate date of Sunday, Sept. 18, for a free ARLnow-sponsored “Mega Fall Beer Tasting Event” at Arrowine, featuring a whole bunch of great breweries, some rare brews for sale and grub from local food trucks.
Space is limited, and email subscribers will get first dibs; keep an eye out for an invite.
Hat tip to Peter G.
It’s the first frost of the season, and it could damage certain outdoor plants if precautions aren’t taken.
From the National Weather Service:
… FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT SUNDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT SUNDAY.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE MID 30S.
* IMPACTS… AREAS OF FROST… PARTICULARLY AWAY FROM THE URBAN CENTERS AND WATERS… COULD CAUSE DAMAGE TO SENSITIVE PLANTS TONIGHT.
A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT A LIGHT FROST IS EXPECTED. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE DAMAGED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.
Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk
First Day of Fall — Today marks the autumnal equinox and the first day of astronomical fall in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re losing about two-and-a-half minutes of daylight per day, as the sun rises later and sets earlier. [Capital Weather Gang]
Arlington Unveils New Mobile Visitors Center — Arlington County, which generates about $81 million per year in tourism-related tax revenue, has unveiled a new mobile visitor center. The “Stay Arlington” branded cargo van will provide visitor information and services, primarily from parking spots near five Arlington Metro stations, but also at large events like the Marine Corps Marathon. [Arlington County]
New Traffic System on I-66 Underwhelms — Drivers are scratching their heads, wondering what exactly VDOT is accomplishing with its new, $39 million Active Traffic Management system. The system went live last week. It “combines sensors, cameras, computers and signs to help drivers figure out what’s ahead between Route 29 in Gainesville and the D.C. line.” [Washington Post]
ACFCU Launches New Marketing Campaign — The Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, a nonprofit local financial provider and ARLnow.com advertiser, has launched a new website, NotABank.org as part of a new marketing campaign. “We are for people, not for profit,” the website says.
Pike Office Building Purchased — Bethesda-based Cascade Realty Partners has purchased the 30,000 square foot office building at 3401 Columbia Pike for $4.8 million. The office building is 75 percent leased to Bank of America. [Virginia Business]
Arlington, VHC Agree to Land Swap Terms — Arlington County and Virginia Hospital Center have preliminarily agreed to terms on a future land deal that would give the hospital extra room to expand. The deal would swap the county’s Edison Complex, next to the hospital, for hospital-owned property elsewhere and/or cash and other considerations. The County Board will vote on a proposed Letter of Intent on Sept. 24. [Arlington County]
Arlington Teen Mauled by Pit Bull — A 17-year-old was mauled by a pit bull in his home on 8th Street S., police said. The house was reportedly being used as a babysitting service for pit bulls and the boy suffered serious injuries after trying to break up a fight between two of the dogs. [NBC Washington]
Artisphere Still in County Hands — Arlington County and Monday Properties have not yet finalized a lease termination for the former Artisphere space in Rosslyn. While there has been some talk of a tech-related use for the massive, airy space — which costs $1 million per year just for heating, cooling and utilities — it’s as yet unclear what, if anything, will actually replace Artisphere. [DCist]
Arlington Loses Large Potential Tenant — Despite a push from Arlington County and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, The Advisory Board Co. will be staying in D.C. Local and state officials had hoped to woo the publicly traded company to the vacant 1812 N. Moore Street tower in Rosslyn, but in the end a $60 million incentive package offered by D.C. convinced the company to move to a New York Ave NW address near the convention center. [Washington Business Journal]
Tonight: E.T. Showing at the Planetarium — The Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium will kick off their fall fundraising festival this weekend with a movie screening tonight. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial will be showing at the planetarium starting at 7 p.m. tonight. Other events are planned for Saturday and Sunday. [Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium]
Fall Festival at Bluemont Park — On Saturday, Bluemont Park will host its free Fall Festival, featuring activities for all ages, including cornhole, bocce, a moon bounce, relay races and face painting. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Howze Endorsed By Teachers PAC — Democratic County Board candidate Alan Howze has been endorsed by the Arlington Education Association’s political action committee. The teachers group said Howze “has clearly and consistently talked about the need to support our educators and address the overcrowding challenges we face.” [InsideNova]
Young Republicans: Don Beyer Is Old — The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans used today’s “Throwback Thursday” as an opportunity to remind voters that Democratic congressional candidate Don Beyer was first elected to office as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor in 1989. “Roxette’s ‘Listen to Your Heart’ was the number one song, Seinfeld premiered, a gallon of gas was $1.12, Taylor Swift was born, and the Soviet Union was still intact,” said Matthew Hurtt, AFCYR Chairman. “Don Beyer is campaigning on the same failed policies Michael Dukakis espoused in 1988.” [AFCYR]
‘Historic Home’ Is ‘A Labor of Love’ — Aurora Hills resident Patrick Johnson loves his “historic home,” a Sears catalog house built in 1931. Originally home to Arlington’s first paid fire marshal, the house is now “a labor of love and dedication” to maintain. [Preservation Arlington]
Pumpkin Decorating This Weekend — Families will be able to decorate pumpkins together this Saturday, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Arlington Mill Community Center. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by John Williams
Planners Consider Rosslyn Skyline — The Realize Rosslyn plan is primarily intended to make Rosslyn a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly place. However, it will also have an impact on Rosslyn’s skyline. Arlington County planners will be working with the community this fall to come up with recommendations related to the skyline. [Greater Greater Washington]
Fmr. NAACP President Dies — Dr. Talmadge Williams, a former president of the Arlington NAACP, died on Saturday. He was 79. Williams was also a champion for the proposed Arlington Black Heritage Museum, which is still searching for a permanent home. [InsideNova]
County Board Candidates Debate, Again — The two candidates for Arlington County Board again debated the merits of the county’s planned streetcar system. Incumbent John Vihstadt and Democratic challenger Alan Howze debated before an audience of 125 at George Mason University’s Arlington campus Monday night. [Washington Post]
It’s October — Today is Oct. 1, the first day of the last quarter of the year. If you’re looking to take advantage of October’s crisp fall weather, there’s a full slate of activities and events in around Arlington on our event calendar.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
A teen boy has been severely injured in a two-story story fall at the Arlington Mill Community Center.
A witness said the teenager had climbed on the other side of a railing two stories off the ground to do “pull-ups showing off for his girlfriend” when he lost his grip and “fell hard on his back.”
He was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another witness at the scene, who did not see the fall but saw the aftermath, said the teen was conscious but “in shock” after the fall.
Police are investigating the incident. One of the teen’s friends caught the fall on video and accompanied him to the hospital, police told ARLnow.com at the scene.
The incident happened around noon. According to witnesses, the man might have suffered a seizure before falling half-way down the escalator near the Haagen Dazs store. He suffered what appeared to be a broken leg and was quickly tended to by security personnel and paramedics.
Mall maintenance workers could be seen cleaning blood off the escalator after the man was transported to the hospital. Witnesses say the man was part of a large group of pro-life activists that were shopping and eating at the mall.
Arlington County’s leaf bag collection will start on Monday (Nov. 4), with vacuum leaf collection starting a week later.
A new video produced by the county (above) explains how the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services handles the logistics of leaf collection and how officials set the leaf collections schedule based on a scientific analysis of when leaves will begin falling.
Leaves collected in Arlington are taken to the county’s earth products recycling yard, then ground into mulch, stored and eventually distributed back to Arlington residents who want the mulch for their yards and gardens.
A vacuum leaf collection schedule has been posted on the Arlington County website.
The fall happened just after 2:20 p.m. at 3446 Fairfax Drive, near the intersection with N. Lincoln Street. According to scanner traffic, the victim was conscious, but not moving.
Firefighters and medics had unimpeded access to the victim, so a technical rescue was not necessary, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Bill Shelton. The victim was transported via ambulance to the trauma at George Washington University Hospital. So far, there’s no word on his condition.
Arlington County police and Virginia occupational safety officials are investigating the incident.
From 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Gulf Branch Nature Center (3608 N. Military Road), visitors are invited to participate in some old-fashioned games and crafts, including building a scarecrow.
The family-friendly event is “a celebration of our nation’s heritage,” according to the county website, and visitors will gather at the Walker Log Cabin at the nature center for the festivities.
The event is $5 at the door and parking will be along N. Military Road and 36th Road while the parking lot is closed for the event. Those who wish to build scarecrows should bring old clothing for the scarecrows to wear.
Photo by Maryva2
“If it didn’t sell, no one would be making it because I wouldn’t be buying it,” Anderson wrote in an email.
Crystal City Wine Shop General Manager Christina Simms has experienced the same high demand despite the unseasonably early release.
“We have turned over larger orders of beers such as Southern Tier Pumking and Schlafly Pumpkin Ale a couple of times, and have swiftly sold through other seasonal brews such as Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Shipyard Pumpkin Ale, Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, and more,” she wrote in an email. “We just received Heavy Seas Greater Pumpkin (a bourbon-barrel aged pumpkin ale), and that’s not going to last.”
While some craft beer drinkers lament how early the fall beers have arrived, others — including those brewing said beer — say it’s never too early for what is the most popular of the seasonal brews. Anderson explained the origin of “seasonal creep” in his column last week:
As annoying as seasonal creep is, the bottom line truth is that it pays to be first: people tend to buy the first seasonal offering they come across, and then stick with it. Another reason is that the growing demand for Pumpkin Ales is forcing larger brewing commitments, with producers starting earlier to make more in an effort to sate market demand.
In years past, many pumpkin beers would be off the shelves before the leaves changed, especially frustrating drinkers who prefer to wait until the appropriate time to drink the seasonal beers. Simms says consumer habits have driven the season creep.
“I have heard on more than one occasion, even from our staff, that people are buying the pumpkin and seasonal beers because they are limited or sometimes hard to find,” she said. “But, even for the more widely-available brews, the demand is still there and the message has been pretty much the same: ‘It’s August (or September), and I’m not going to drink this now, but I need to have it for October.'”
This year, Anderson said, breweries are making enough so storing in advance won’t be necessary.
“The good news is with the ramped up production, there will be runs that arrive when people are actually looking for them: Schlafly should be back by the end of next week, with one more run at the beginning of October; Southern Tier is sending a last run of Pumking for Oct. 1,” Anderson said. “Ten percent of Schlafly’s total output for this year will be Pumpkin Ale. That’s insane, but it’s what breweries are going to have to do to meet demand AND have enough to put out in late September/early October.”