Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Arlington Man Dies in Pa. Ski Accident — “A skiing accident at an eastern Pennsylvania resort claimed the life of a Virginia man, authorities said. Matthew Rosenstein, 23, of Arlington, Virginia died Monday of multiple blunt force injuries, the Lehigh County coroner’s office said Wednesday.” [NBC 4]

Fairlington Among Most Competitive for Homebuyers — “Two locales in Greater Washington have cracked Redfin’s list of the most competitive neighborhoods for homebuyers in 2019 — one in Arlington and one in the District.” [Washington Business Journal, Redfin]

Free Drinks Today at a Local Starbucks — The Starbucks store at Market Common Clarendon (2690 Clarendon Blvd) will be giving away free tall espresso drinks from 1-2 p.m. today. [WUSA 9]

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With Christmas just around the corner, the Ballston Business Improvement District has gotten into the spirit with festive a “Gnome for the Holidays” campaign.

This week, if you spot a gnome across Ballston’s 25-block neighborhood, don’t run away: each day, the gnome will be giving away bags of gift cards to more than 30 of Ballston’s shops and restaurants.

Every day until Friday, the gnome — an actual person wearing a pointy hat, not a cherubic holiday decoration — will hide in two different areas, switching off in the morning and afternoon.

The BID’s Instagram stories will be posting clues on the gnome’s whereabouts — for example, this morning, the gnome was spotted poking around the Ballston Metro station. The BID encourages those who interact with the gnome to share their experience using the hashtag #BallstonIsGnomeForTheHolidays.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year to activate our ‘life is full’ brand mantra in the form of ‘joy-full’ acts across the neighborhood,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone.

“We envisioned this campaign in the spirit of giving as a grassroots way to engage the community and celebrate our home here in Ballston because there is truly no place like home for the holidays.”

Photo via Hope Wheeler/Ballston BID 

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A state organization aimed at helping Virginians identify unclaimed property will set up a booth next week to help locals find previously unknown money.

On Thursday (Oct. 3) from noon to 5 p.m. and on Friday (Oct. 4) from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., the Virginia Department of the Treasury’s program VA Money Search is scheduled to set up in the lobby of the county government building at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

With a name like “vamoneysearch.org” and a mascot of a man in a trench coat, the program would seem a little suspicious, but Stephanie Shea, a spokesperson for the Arlington County Treasurer’s office, said the program is operated by the state government.

“The Treasury is mandated to try to find the rightful owners of money that is unclaimed,” Shea said. “There is no fee for this service, it’s totally free.  We invite everyone to stop by the team’s table in the lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd to find money.”

Last year, Shea said the organization found $68,026.68 in one day.

“Last year one County employee found over $3,000,” Shea said. “Money is found from closed bank accounts, insurance policies, wages from an old job, etc.”

A press release from the program said that overall it returned $79 million to Virginia citizens in 2018. According to the release:

Unclaimed Property can be generated in nearly every financial transaction with any company. Property becomes unclaimed when the holder company has not had contact with the owner of the property or funds for a specified time, then the account is considered dormant. Dormant accounts by law must be turned over to the state… Unclaimed Property stays in our database until the rightful owner or heir files a claim.

Photo via VA Money Search/Facebook

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Arlington residents can now register to receive a free tree for their homes, thanks to Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s annual giveaway of 400 native trees.

The available trees are termed “whips” and come in two-gallon containers ranging from 2-4 feet in size, according to the organizer’s website. Registration for the annual program opened Tuesday.

“This annual program is very popular and has yielded many beautiful trees and benefited our community,” organizers wrote.

There will be two tree distribution days this year, led by county landscaping staff and members of the Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards organization.

The first tree pickup will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Barcroft Baseball Field parking lot (4208 S. Four Mile Run Drive).

The second pickup will be on Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 4-6 p.m. at the Reed-Westover Baseball Field parking lot (5829 18th Street N.)

One tree is allowed per residential property. Those who live in a multi-family property, like an apartment complex, are asked to email the Tree Stewards for more information on obtaining trees.

Photo via TreeStewards/Facebook

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CorePower Yoga and VIDA Fitness aren’t open yet, but they’re offering free classes for anyone looking to get a little more limber in Ballston.

Today (Thursday), VIDA Fitness is offering a “Glow Up! Power Yoga Class” from 6-7 p.m. at the Ballston Freshfarm Market (901 N. Taylor Street). The VIDA Ballston website describes the class as an outdoor yoga class aimed at improving flexibility and reducing stress.

VIDA has been holding free fitness classes the first Thursday of every month since May, with rotating themes and topics. The next fitness event — Pinot and Pilates — is planned for Sept. 5. The free classes are scheduled to run through November.

VIDA is planning to open its new Ballston location in the still-under-construction 4040 Wilson Blvd tower The opening date has not been announced, but staff said VIDA is eyeing an early 2020 opening.

CorePower Yoga, meanwhile, is scheduled to open at Ballston Exchange on Thursday, August 22, and has also been holding a series of free yoga events ahead of its launch.

Next Friday, August 9, the yoga studio will host a sunset yoga event from 5:30-6:30 p.m at 4201 Wilson Blvd. The event is free and open to the public, though attendees are encouraged to bring their own mat and water. Another free yoga class is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 30.

Photo 1 via Facebook/Ballston Exchange

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Maizal is planning to open tomorrow (Thursday) with a free food giveaway.

The new restaurant serves South American street food, like arepas, yuca fries, plantains and street corn.

For its Aug. 1 grand opening in the Quarter Market food hall in Ballston Quarter mall, Maizal will be offering a free arepa and a side — with the purchase of a drink — from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and again from 5:30-8:30 p.m., according to a PR rep for the mall.

Employees could be seen preparing fresh ingredients in the restaurant’s open kitchen this morning, but a manager said it would not be serving customers today.

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District Doughnut is promoting its new location in Quarter Market — the Ballston Quarter mall’s new food hall — in the most popular way possible: free donuts.

The confectionary establishment is planning the donut party for tomorrow (Thursday) around 2 p.m. on the second level of the mall, across from Scout and Molly’s. The event is scheduled to last as long as there are still donuts to give out.

The eatery offers a range of donuts, from chocolate to various fruit flavors, though the website says the company does not offer gluten-free or vegan options.

District Doughnut is planning to open the Ballston Quarter location sometime within the next week, according to staff at another District Doughnut location.

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District Taco began as a stand-alone food cart and expanded into the burgeoning regional restaurant chain it is today.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of District Taco, which was co-founded by Marc Wallace and Osiris Hoil. The company is marking the occasion with an event in Rosslyn tomorrow (Thursday).

“ATTN, amigos!” the company said in a social media post. “Join us back where it all started for our 10 year anniversary… from 12-1 p.m. we will be on the corner of Lynn St & Wilson Blvd, in Rosslyn, handing out tacos and giveaways! Come celebrate with us and pose for a photo with our original taco cart.”

Hoil said he also plans on celebrating by taking a trip down to Mexico in August to visit family and reminisce about his mother’s cooking — the inspiration for many District Taco recipes.

Hoil’s entrepreneurial story began when he came to the United States as an immigrant and was laid off from a construction company during in 2007, around the time of the economic crisis. He said despite his dismay at the time, he still thinks highly of the firm and hired them to build several District Taco locations.

The District Taco cart launched in 2009, but was retired in 2014. Since then, two bricks-and-mortar District Taco locations have opened in Arlington: at 5723 Lee Highway — its very first storefront — in 2010 and in Rosslyn (1500 Wilson Blvd) in 2016.

District Taco now has 14 locations, according to its website, and plans to add at least three more in 2020, according to Hoil. They also want to double their office space by 2021.

“Everything we have done is by scratch,” said Hoil. “We have learned so much from other people and big companies.”

Photo 1 via Twitter

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The Village at Shirlington will be kicking off its summer concert series tomorrow (Wednesday), starting with the Dan Haas Band.

The concerts run every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in front of Shirlington Library (4200 Campbell Avenue).

The theme of the concert series is “decades of summer,” with local bands performing music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, as well as original songs.

Attendees 21-and-over are invited to try $5 wine samplings from Cheesetique. Proceeds will go to Arlington Thrive — a nonprofit providing emergency funds to locals in need — and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue — a nonprofit that brings dogs and cats from low-income, rural shelters to the D.C. region.

The full schedule

Any rain cancellations will be announced by 4 p.m. the day of the concert, organizers say.

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If you get to work on Arlington Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, you could earn tickets to a Nationals game and other prizes.

The summer reading program challenges children, teens and adults to read for 25 days between June 1 and Sept. 1. Readers can keep track of their progress either on a printed calendar, a library app, or online.

Once they’ve read for 25 days, readers can come into the library and show staff how much they’ve read. They’ll receive a prize and an entry into a grand prize that varies based on their age group.

According to the library website:

Adults, teens and kids in kindergarten and above who complete [the Summer Reading Challenge] will each receive a voucher for two tickets to see the Washington Nationals play at Nationals Stadium.

Seating is in the scoreboard pavilion, upper gallery or right field terrace.

The grand prize for adults is a chance to enjoy a Washington Nationals game from a private suite.

A press release noted that books, newspapers, magazines and audiobooks all qualify.

Several events are planned along with the Summer Reading Challenge, including a visit from Nationals pitcher Aníbal Sánchez to Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The event description notes that there will be opportunities to take photos and get memorabilia signed.

For each person that completes the Summer Reading Challenge, the press release also notes that the Friends of the Arlington Public Library will donate $1 to provide books for the Arlington County Child Advocacy Center.

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Morning Notes

Crystal City Apartment Building Sold — “A Crystal City residential property within blocks of Amazon’s planned HQ2 campus has sold for $228 million, more than double what it last sold for a decade prior, according to Arlington County property records.” [Washington Business Journal]

It’s National Police Week — Law enforcement officers from around the country and the world are in the D.C. area for National Police Week. The annual series of events is held to honor officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. As in years past, Arlington County Police motorcycle officers are assisting with the numerous motorcades associated with Police Week. [Twitter]

Free Cone Day Today — Häagen-Dazs is holding its annual Free Cone Day today (Tuesday) from 4-8 p.m. Among other nearby locations, a locally-owned Häagen-Dazs franchise store is located in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [Häagen-Dazs]

Crashes During Monday’s Rain — A number of crashes were reported Monday morning, amid persistant rain. Among them were a crash with entrapment at Military Road and Lorcom Lane, and a reported car vs. tree collision at Route 50 and S. Columbus Street. [Twitter]

School Board Member Donating Kidney — “Arlington School Board Vice Chairman Tannia Talento will be out of commission for several weeks, as she is donating a kidney to a sister. Speaking at the May 9 School Board meeting, Talento said preparing for, undergoing and recuperating from surgery will cause her to miss some end-of-school-year events, but ‘I hope it is amazing and wonderful,’ she said of the last weeks of the 2018-19 year.” [InsideNova]

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