Long since out of college, and done with the bar and party scene, Northern Virginia resident Brittany Goetz discovered she was struggling to make friends her age.
When the pandemic struck and thriving office spaces were exchanged for living rooms, it became nearly impossible.
She realized she was not the only one. Two of her friends, Alexandra Zamalloa and Rebekkah Johnson, noticed they and other acquaintances were likewise having a hard time forming connections with women, even with the ubiquity of social media and networking events. So they decided to take action.
Goetz came up with the idea for Neighborly NOVA, a social group for women that hosts events in Arlington, back in June. She recruited Zamalloa and Johnson, who both work in marketing and communications, to help create a website, organize in-person events and develop an outreach strategy.
“It’s really heartbreaking how disconnected we can all be, so we really wanted to be that platform,” said Johnson.
Their first four events have brought dozens of women from all around the region to Arlington, which they chose for its walkability and central location for attendees and themselves. Zamalloa lives in the county while Goetz lives in Alexandria and Johnson in McLean.
They’re targeting women in their 20s and 30s who are ready for adult friendships, but not yet ensconced in domestic life with partners and kids.
“Less and less, people are getting married at 25,” said Johnson. “I got tired of going to bars years ago, so I’ll just be home now. I have a dog and he’s great, but he’s not a person.”
The three said they hope to turn the organization into a certified nonprofit that provides women with mental health counseling, legal advice and other services. But for now, they’re focused on helping socially starved adult women make friends.
“Our thing is to leave politics, religion at the door,” Goetz said. “Because, despite our difference, I feel like as women we should find commonality and come together. We hope it becomes something really beautiful.”
Neighborly NOVA has hosted a variety of events, from a “Friends” trivia night to a dance fitness event at Quincy Park. In one event, women who spoke different languages taught the basics of their native tongues to their new friends. Last weekend, the group hosted a flower arranging competition in the Virginia Square Plaza apartment building. The event was sponsored by Clarendon flower shop Full Bloom, which provided the flowers and equipment.
As for the rest of the costs, like renting out the room, providing snacks, drinks, prizes and a chocolate fountain, Goetz, Johnson and Zamalloa have taken that onus upon themselves in the name of creating a space with no barriers to entry. The women say they’re happy to do it.
“This is our passion,” said Goetz. “For the most part, our lives have been blessed that we’ve been able to provide this.”
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly outdoor adventure, parks and rec employees just left 17 winter-themed chalk obstacle courses at parks around Arlington.
The Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation’s “Super Squad” has been leaving chalk obstacles for kids throughout the pandemic. They should last for a week if the weather holds, according to department spokesperson Susan Kalish, though some rain is in the forecast for Sunday.
“These festive obstacle courses are specifically designed to provide fun physical activity and important sensory input that aids in self-regulation,” Kalish told ARLnow. “By placing chalk obstacle courses in a variety of locations we will be providing a self-facilitated fun physical activity that can be accessed at any time.”
Clues for obstacle locations can be found on one of the department’s Facebook pages.
Below is a video from the Super Squad in action in October.
Screenshot via Arlington County
With a mission to create educational, yet fun games, Arlington-based Semper Smart Games has a hit on its hands: a board game called Election Night!
Jim Moran, the creator of Semper Smart Games, is a retired Coast Guard officer and SAT and ACT tutor (no, he’s not the former local Congressman of the same name). Moran turned his passion for helping students learn math into games.
Election Night! was created to give students a better geographical, mathematical and mechanical understanding of the Electoral College. The game, launched as a result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, has recently seen its sales ranking rise on Amazon, as the presidential election nears.
In 2019, after it debuted, the Parents’ Choice Foundation awarded Election Night! a Parents’ Choice Gold Award.
The company has even attracted the attention of Shark Tank star and FUBU founder Daymond John, who recently interviewed Moran live on Instagram.
Moran told John that the game was made for “age groups eight and nine, but college students are loving it.”
Thanks Daymond John for the great interview! Other than my phone cutting out and then messing up the amount of Electoral Votes California has (If you play the game you will know why I said 48 instead of 55!) you can see the whole interview @thesharkdaymond in his IGTV https://www.instagram.com/p/CEmnF2FHL-l/
Posted by Semper Smart Games on Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Election Night! and Moran’s other games — including PlaySmart Dice and Blobby’s Pizza, his newest — can be purchased on the company’s website.
Photo via Semper Smart Games
Last week, a Post-it note conversation emerged between two office buildings in Rosslyn. Since then, the communication has become even more elaborate.
Occupants began moving in a few weeks ago at the new CEB office tower at Central Place, which is across the street from the office of Innovative Discovery, a legal services company.
Turner Richmond, an intern at Innovative Discovery, said his office’s first contact with the CEB building was on Feb. 2, when his office posted up a drawing of a monkey holding a bitcoin on a whiteboard. Later, employees in the CEB building responded with “hey” in Post-it notes, and the conversation was on.
Here’s a chronology:
- Innovative Discovery put up a drawing of an alien on a whiteboard, in reference to the 1997 science fiction film Contact
- Another office in Innovative Discovery’s building then wrote “5 o’ clock yet” in Post-it notes, prompting “sum where” from the opposite building. Innovative Discovery then wrote “over the” with a picture of a rainbow in Post-its.
- When Valentine’s Day came around (on a Wednesday), Innovative Discovery wrote “Happy [Hump] Day,” with a camel in between “happy” and “day.” The opposite building replied “Yes, no?” with hearts, to which Innovative Discovery said in post-its, “Maybe? We just met…”
- CEB wrote “Have a good weekend” and “TGIF.”
- Later that same night CEB also wrote the flirty “U up?” message (seen above, to the right of the camel).
- On Friday, in celebration of the Lunar New Year, Innovative Discovery also wrote “Happy New Year” with an image of a dog.
- Innovative Discovery also posted a picture of an 8-bit Mario from Super Mario Brothers, using multiple Post-it note colors.
No word yet on how long the Post-it chat will continue.
Photos courtesy Turner Richmond
One smiley face made of Post-it notes turned into a conversation between the occupants of two Rosslyn office buildings in this week.
Allison Krumsiek, a government contractor, said her office has considered making contact with the office across the street — the new CEB office tower at Central Place — ever since people began moving into the space a few weeks ago.
Before the new office moved in, Krumsiek said she and her coworkers had a straight-on view of construction workers putting the building together. Then on Monday, people in the new office placed a Post-it smiley face on their window, and the intra-office communication was on.
“So we thought time was perfect to respond! We put up the ‘Hi!’ And when another floor of their building responded with ‘Hey’, we added ‘Welcome!'” wrote Krumsiek in an email.
After that Krumsiek said she heard another floor in her building put up “5 o’clock yet” to which the opposite building responded “sum where.”
“As you can tell from the picture, they had to use at least 3 colors of Post-it. Those things last forever when on your desk but go in a heartbeat when sending messages on windows,” Krumsiek added.
Down here in #Rosslyn it started small enough, with just a smile, one building to another. By day 2 we’re asking is it 5 o’clock yet? @ARLnowDOTcom #b2b #communications #officelife pic.twitter.com/z4YQvCVIZM
— Somebody Writing (@aliekrum) February 13, 2018
Photos courtesy of Allison Krumsiek
The annual Feel The Heritage Festival, a black history month tradition now in its 26th year, is scheduled for Saturday, February 24.
The county-sponsored festival, held at the Charles Drew Community Center in Nauck, will host its first-ever soul food cook-off, with prizes for category winners. That’s in addition to dozens of vendors, music and dance acts, and fun for the kids.
Emceed by former WPGC 95.5 FM radio host Dr. Justine Love, a range of dance and musical groups will perform throughout the day, including a Joy of Motion dance center youth hip-hop group, and Elijah Jamal Balbed’s Chuck Brown-inspired The Jogo Project. Motown, hip-hop, gospel, and traditional African performers will also take the stage.
Festival organizers are touting dozens of artisan vendors selling jewelry, clothing, and more. Local African-American citizen associations and organizations, such as the Black Heritage Museum, will bring historical artifacts and photos for display in a “hall of history.”
Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company’s food truck will be parked outside of the community center, and the Nauck Youth Enterprise will sell hot dogs, half smokes, and more.
There will be plenty for kids to do, from creating a traditional African art inspired animal mask to face painting, balloon art, and oversize games of checkers and Connect Four. Colgate, the toothpaste company, will also be on-site from 2-6 p.m. to conduct free dental screenings and treatment referral for children up to 12 years old.
Photo via Arlington County
Can’t wait until April to get your Washington Nationals first home game fix? You’re in luck, sort of, because the Nationals’ racing presidents are coming to Clarendon.
The Nats mascots will be racing around The Loop at Market Common this Sunday, Feb. 18. Celebrating President’s Day a little early, George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy will race at 3 p.m.
The event starts at 12:30 p.m. with a presidential photo booth, complimentary hot cocoa from Nicecream, and a prize wheel for children to spin to win a paper president ($5 bill).
This fall the mascots came to Arlington to pay tribute to Abingdon Elementary students who donned elaborate “little presidents” costumes for the Fairlington Halloween parade.
Despite heavy snowfall and gusty winds, lots of locals managed to leave the house and have fun today.
From urban skiing to makeshift luges, here’s how some Arlington residents found a way to play:
Spread eagle in Rosslyn! #blizzard2016 #Snowzilla @ARLnowDOTcom @nbcwashington @capitalweather pic.twitter.com/mQdGhSj5Jg
— Joel Holland (@joelkentholland) January 23, 2016
@ARLnowDOTcom @washingtonpost ice luge run in #Arlington opening Sunday #snowmaggedon2016 #Snowzilla pic.twitter.com/Kd2LWVbRdA
— iFirebrand (@iFirebrand) January 23, 2016
Some X-Country Skiers passing by, almost can see pavement on Wash Blvd @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/XnSv0Qrq6W
— Andrea Wilkinson (@adubyailkinson) January 23, 2016
@ARLnowDOTcom Sledding near Courthouse! pic.twitter.com/aJlGYgwf7a
— Arlingwoman (@Arlingwoman) January 23, 2016
#Breaking: A T-Rex spotted clearing snow from hydrant. Have you? #Snowzilla #Blizzard2016 pic.twitter.com/Qt5hUIV88N
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) January 23, 2016
Dog sledding in Arlington!! @ilovearlingtonv @ArlingtonVA @ARLnowDOTcom @ArlingtonVANews @ArlingtonVALert pic.twitter.com/YdySxLXTfZ
— David Margison (@david2uall) January 22, 2016
Hope that's not a Bikeshare! pic.twitter.com/CJPI80MnTe
— Tim Regan (@MrTimRegan) January 23, 2016
Snowball fight at 1p in Lyon Park @meggers1818 @aapike @ARLnowDOTcom #Snowzilla
— Mark Blacknell (@Blacknell) January 23, 2016
"Sledding" in South Arlington. #Snowzilla @capitalweather pic.twitter.com/ILRp0fNjLJ
— Jason Rodriguez (@JayRodriguez) January 23, 2016
Do anything fun today? What do you see out there? We want to hear from you. Tweet at us or send us an e-mail. We will provide live updates as the storm progresses today.
(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) The snow has started falling and the schools are closed, which means it’s time for winter frolicking.
For some, that means staying in, drinking hot cocoa and catching up on Netflix. For others around Arlington, that means throwing on some snow pants and boots, grabbing a sled and taking to a nearby hill for sledding.
We compiled a list of favorite sledding destinations around Arlington, asking Twitter followers for recommendations and compiling some others from memory and from around the web.
Here is a list of spots around Arlington, both north and south, for everyone who loves sliding down hills on plastic projectiles.
- H-B Woodlawn — 4100 Vacation Lane, always a popular spot and lends itself to some hangtime in the air (pictured above)
- Reeves Farmhouse — 400 N. Manchester Street, the hill leading down to Bluemont Park has been popular for years
- RiverHouse Apartments — Corner of Army Navy Drive and S. Lynn Street, the hill leading down to the pool
- Jamestown Elementary — 3700 N. Delaware Street, “around back by the tennis courts of Jamestown ES, around front by the staff parking lot for younger ones” (@zippychance)
- Virginia Hospital Center Urgent Care — 601 S. Carlin Springs Road, in the back (@John_Wallll)
- Dept. of Human Services headquarters — 2100 Washington Blvd, near Route 50 (@ingrid28)
- Southgate Road — “By the Air Force Memorial” (@matthewhurtt)
- U.S. Marine Corps Memorial — Near Rosslyn (Reddit)
- Tuckahoe Elementary — 6550 26th Street N., the field next to the school (@dmgalvao)
- Columbia Commons — 5100 8th Road S., “in the back of building 5100” (Reddit)
- Lubber Run Community Center — 300 N. Park Drive, “the hill behind the playground … Very steep!” (Reddit)
- McKinley Elementary School — 1030 N. McKinley Road (@sophiepyle)
- Reed School — 1644 N. McKinley Road (All Around Arlington)
- S. Hayes Street — from Fort Scott Drive to 25th Street S., “if the snow was especially fast — all the way to 24th Street. An absolutely amazing hill without exaggeration.” (Reddit)
- Nottingham Elementary — 5900 Little Falls Road (Reddit)
- Ashlawn Elementary — 5980 8th Road N., the park behind the school (All Around Arlington)
Did your favorite spot get left off the list? Any recommendations on the best of the best? Tell us in the comments about your favorite sledding hills in the county.
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin
Another weekend, another long list of things to do in Arlington.
“The Shat Ball” with The Raspberry Brothers — NYC comedy duo The Raspberry Brothers is back at Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) to rip on another classic cheeseball movie. This time, they aim their barbs at William Shatner’s performance in Star Trek V. From 9:30 to midnight.
Edward Scissorhands Under the Stars — Speaking of cheeseball movies, the latest installment of Rosslyn’s I Love the ’90s outdoor film festival brings us Johnny Depp’s 1990 classic Edward Scissorhands. The flick starts around 7:30 at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway).
Fifth Annual Arlington Youth Film Festival Premiere — Arlington Independent Media will screen the finalists for the 2010 Arlington Youth Film Festival. The festival was created to showcase the talents of our local middle and high school students. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. at The Comedy Spot in Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Boulevard).
Classic Rock Concert At Potomac Overlook Regional Park — Local classic rock band Second Wind will headline the first outdoor concert of the season at Potomac Overlook Park amphitheater (2845 N. Marcey Road). The family and picnic-friendly concert will start around 7:00 p.m.
Bike DC Community Bike Ride — See more info from our earlier post.
Virginia’s Fastest Bartender Contest Finals — Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street South) will host the final round of the Virginia’s Fastest Bartender Contest, starting at 8:30 p.m. The proceeds will go to the Tender Hearts Foundation, which helps children with congenital heart defects.
There’s a lot more on the agenda for Sunday — browse our events calendar for a full list.