County government offices, courts, libraries, schools, recreation centers and other facilities will be closed both days. Parking meters will not be enforced.
Among the things that will be open and running on Thanksgiving and Black Friday:
- Trash, recycling and vacuum leaf collection, on its normal schedule
- ART buses, on a Saturday schedule
- The county jail’s visiting hours, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Athleisure retailer Lululemon has quietly opened a “seasonal” store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The Canadian yoga pants purveyor’s new, apparently temporary location is on the second level of the mall, above the food court. The store will be holding a grand opening celebration this weekend.
“The window wraps are down and we are thrilled to be joining the Pentagon City community for the holidays,” says a Facebook page for the grand opening. “Whether you need advice on the best wear to support your winter adventures and sweaty pursuits, or simply need to take a few deep breathes during your holiday shopping, our doors are O P E N.”
Lululemon has an existing, permanent location in Clarendon.
Hat tip to @AlexWestEndRes
Thanksgiving Travel in D.C. Area — More than 1 million D.C. area residents are expected to leave town for Thanksgiving, and 9 out of 10 of them will be traveling by car. The worst day and time for traffic in the region is expected to be next Tuesday afternoon. [Washington Post]
Arlingtonians Spend Big for the Holidays — The average Arlington household is expected to spend $1,741 celebrating the holidays, according to a new survey. That’s the highest expected holiday spending in the region and the 13th highest in the U.S. [InsideNova]
GMU Renames Building in Arlington — George Mason University’s Metropolitan Building in Virginia Square has been renamed for one of the school’s Nobel Prize laureates. The building will be renamed Vernon Smith Hall in a ceremony tomorrow (Friday). The university-owned building, at 3434 Washington Blvd, also houses the new Virginia DMV office. [George Mason University]
Beer Coming to Donut Shop — It’s a combination that would make Homer Simpson drool. Sugar Shack Donuts on Columbia Pike has applied for a Virginia ABC permit to serve beer. The application was filed Nov. 7. No word yet on how soon the store may be offering cold brews to pair with its donuts.
Good Stuff Eatery Opening at DCA — Burger restaurant Good Stuff Eatery is opening a new location today in Arlington: specifically, at Terminal B of Reagan National Airport. [Good Stuff Eatery]
Students Win Video Contest — “A team of students from the Arlington Career Center has won the fifth annual student video challenge sponsored by the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA), taking home the top prize for the fourth year in a row.” [Arlington Public Schools]
County Offices Open for Columbus Day — Arlington County offices are open today during the Columbus Day holiday, but parking meters will not be enforced, according to the county’s holiday schedule. Courts, DMV locations and schools will be closed, while ART buses will run on a modified holiday schedule. [Arlington County]
Cyclist Cited for Eluding — There was a brief police pursuit of sorts Friday afternoon, involving a cyclist in the Courthouse neighborhood. “An officer activated his lights and sirens after witnessing the cyclist run a red light,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. ‘When the cyclist refused to stop, the officer rode beside him and attempted to make verbal contact with the cyclist. The cyclist eventually stopped and was released on two citations, one for the red light violation and one for eluding.”
Public Art Initiative Coming to Courthouse — On Saturday, Oct. 15, the “Reimagine Civic” public art initiative will bring “C_vic,” an interactive sculpture, to Courthouse Square near the county government headquarters. The sculpture has a space between the first “C” and “V” where members of the community can stand, in place of the “I,” and take a photo. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Metered parking will not be enforced, according to county officials, but trash and recycling will operate on a normal schedule.
Arlington County Police will also close several roads, including some major arteries, throughout the area to facilitate festive Fourth of July crowds. From ACPD:
6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Memorial Bridge / Memorial Circle
1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
- N. Meade St. from 14th St. to Marshall Dr.
3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood will be from the Rhodes Street bridge)
- Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
- Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
- Long Bridge Dr. from Boundary Channel Dr. to 10th Street S.
8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Eastbound Route 50 at Washington Blvd. All traffic diverted from Rt. 50 on ramps to East and West Washington Blvd.
- Eastbound 10th St. N. ramp to eastbound Rt. 50 will be closed, all traffic diverted to westbound Rt. 50
- Courthouse Rd. ramp to eastbound Rt. 50 will be closed, all traffic diverted to westbound Rt. 50 or 10th St. N.
- Pershing Dr. at Rt. 50 will only be allowed westbound
- Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
- Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce St.
- Joyce Street between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike
Police have also warned that street parking around the Iwo Jima Memorial, Long Bridge Park and the Air Force Memorial will be restricted for the holiday.
Residents planning on skipping town for the holiday should take note: A record-breaking 1 million D.C. area residents will leave for the long weekend, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic, with most of them driving. Reagan National Airport should also be busy; about 77,000 residents are expected to leave town on a plane.
The lowest fuel prices in a decade and the holiday falling on a Monday are driving those record-breaking numbers, the AAA said in a press release.
For those staying in Arlington, we’ve published a list of local fireworks viewing spots.
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
Officially called “George Washington Day” in Virginia, or “Washington’s Birthday” on the federal level, the holiday celebrates the birth of our first president, who was born on Feb. 22, 1732. Today, Feb. 12, is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which is often mashed up with Washington’s birthday for the colloquial Presidents Day.
All county government offices, courts, libraries and facilities will be closed Monday for the holiday. Parking meters and zoned parking will not be enforced. Trash and recycling collection, however, will continue as normal.
Other county-level closures or service modifications are noted on Arlington’s holiday schedule page.
ARLnow.com will not be publishing on Monday, except in the event of breaking news.
All public schools, libraries, courts, human services offices and the Department of Parks and Recreation will be closed this Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of the federal holiday.
Some state offices including the courts and DMV are also closed today for Lee-Jackson Day, a state holiday. Metered and permit parking restrictions will not be enforced today or Monday for the holidays.
Trash and recycling services will operate on a normal schedule, including on Monday. The county jail will have visiting hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.
Arlington’s 47th Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held this Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School auditorium.
Dec. 24 and 25 Closures
County government offices will be closed this Thursday and Friday for Christmas. That includes the courts, the DMV and public libraries.
While the Parks and Recreation office will also be closed, park grounds will remain open on those days. The Sheriff’s Office will also hold detention center visiting hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days.
Trash pick up and recycling will run normal operations on Thursday, but there will be no collection on Friday. Regularly-scheduled Friday pick up will occur on Saturday, Dec. 26 instead.
As for getting around, Metrorail and Metrobus will operate on holiday schedules both days. On Thursday, ART will offer regular service, with the 43 and 84 routes starting at 12:30 p.m on Christmas Eve to accommodate the federal government’s early release.
Only ART routes 41, 45, 51, 55 and 87 will operate Christmas day, and those routes will operate on a Sunday schedule. All other routes will be closed.
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 Closures
The County will experience the same closures for New Year’s Day next Friday with a few minor differences.
Public libraries will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 and remain closed on New Year’s Day.
There will be no trash collection on Friday. Pick up will occur on Saturday, Jan. 2 instead.
For transportation on New Year’s Day, the Metro will operate on a holiday schedule again. The same select ART routes — 41, 45, 51, 55 and 87 — will operate on Sunday schedules, and all other routes will be closed.
Other Holiday Notes
On Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, parking in meters and residential zone restrictions will not be enforced.
All public schools will remain closed, on holiday break, until Monday, Jan. 4.
More details on this holiday schedule and other closures are available on the County website.
Four Arlington residents with intellectual disabilities are back home in the county, thanks to a new group home just off Arlington Ridge Road.
The house is being operated by Good Neighbor Community Services, an organization that specializes in helping those with behavioral health issues and intellectual disabilities achieve “a life of opportunity, independence, and growth.”
From a county press release:
It will be a special Christmas for four Arlington residents who for years have missed celebrating at home in the County.
The four adults, all with intellectual disabilities, require constant care. Until this past fall, they were living outside Arlington in one of five large state institutions known as training centers.
This Christmas, they will celebrate with family and staff in their new group home, opened by the County last month off Arlington Ridge Road.
The County chose contractor Good Neighbor Homes to operate the house, which has a private bedroom for each resident.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring these residents back to Arlington, and to give them the care they need in homes in our neighborhoods,” said Anita Friedman, director of Human Services for the County. “We believe this solution is better for them, for their families and for our community.”
Long-time Arlington resident Nancy Tishman’s son David, 38, who is severely autistic, is one of the new residents of the Arlington group home. He lived with his family until a severe medical crisis sent him to the regional Northern Virginia Training Center in Fairfax, where he stayed for 10 years.
Tishman credits Arlington County “for bringing him back home. His brother and sister and his dad and I are so grateful and filled with joy.”
The long path to opening the group home began in 2012. That was when the Commonwealth reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department requiring Virginia to move people with disabilities out of the regional centers and back into their own communities.
The settlement provided Arlington with $1.5 million to ensure the transitions.
The Justice Department case was based on a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said “confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals.”
A fifth and last member of the household near Arlington Ridge will move in next month. Another group residence for five, specifically built with funds from the settlement, will open in January near Clarendon.
The holiday homecoming is the “perfect” ending to a long process aimed at creating a familiar environment of care and dignity, marvels La Voyce Reid of the County’s Developmental Disability Services Bureau.
“This is the kind of true gift we hope for this time of year,” she said.
Photo via Arlington County. Video via Good Neighbor Community Services.
For those who wait until the last minute to finish their holiday shopping, NBC’s Today Show has compiled a list of 40 gift ideas. This year, a local author’s book is included on that list.
Arlington resident Liz Lord’s first self-published book Oscar Takes Off! The Eco-Adventures of “Oscocopter” is an illustrated story written for readers ages 3-8 but has a message for all ages about protecting the environment.
On Today’s list — which had its own segment on the show Thursday morning — the story is described as follows:
A kids book that even adults will love. This teaches kids about climate change and the environment in a fun way. Kids will love Oscar and parents will love the lesson he imparts.
A synopsis of the story sent to ARLnow describes the main character as Oscar, an octopus who discovers he can fly like like a helicopter and uses that skill to go on “the first of many global eco-advenutres” after unwelcome debris settles in his ocean home. The story is meant to encourage readers to become environmentally conscious and friendly.
A Kickstarter campaign launched in March successfully funded the book, including illustrations, design and publishing. Oscar Takes Off! was put on Amazon about a month ago, and more than 150 copies have been sold.
The story’s message isn’t the only way the book tries to help the environment. All royalties the book earns are donated to Oceana, an organization working to protect oceans around the world.
As a last-minute holiday gift or otherwise, the book is available online for $6.99.
DHS Communications Manager Kurt Larrick has organized the program since 2007. He was called to the front desk after he was told a gentleman had questions about the program.
“I was a little worried at first, but he only had three simple questions for me,” Larrick recalled.
First, the man wanted to know who, specifically, donations assist to ensure money donated stays in the community. Larrick confirmed the donations are strictly for Arlington residents, including low-income families, children in foster care, seniors and people with disabilities.
Next, he asked if any overhead or administrative costs would be taken from the total donation amount. Larrick said he again seemed to give a satisfactory answer, explaining that all donations that come in “go right back out.”
Finally, the man asked if there was a donation limit. Upon hearing there wasn’t, he said he wanted to write a check for $10,000.
“I told him that would be incredible,” Larrick said. “He was a really nice, kind gentleman.”
That $10,000 will be used to purchase hundreds of gift cards for local grocery, clothing, convenience and department stores.
Though the soft deadline for the collection has passed, Larrick said interested residents are still encouraged to contribute to the cause by mailing or hand-delivering donations to DHS.
Last year, the Secret Santa program raised $54,000 in gift cards and donations, and Larrick expects this year’s final count to be about the same. He added the program is mostly supported by small donations from community members of all ages — which are important no matter the amount.
“This donation was obviously huge and very generous,” he said. “But for every donation, big or small, there’s always a great story behind it.”
File photo via Macy’s
The annual National Chamber Ensemble Holiday Concert will return to the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre this Saturday for a tradition almost as old as the musical group itself.
This year’s concert is scheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are available online and cost $17 for students, $33 for adults.
The ensemble was founded nine years ago by Leo Sushansky, who is also the group’s artistic director. The holiday concert has been a part of the performance schedule for eight of those nine years.
“I think it’s one of the most fun events of the season in Rosslyn,” Sushansky said. “It brings together classical masterpieces and holiday favorites in one program, for kids, for families, for everyone.”
This year’s program includes classical music from Beethoven and Chopin, as well as a piece from the overture of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a special performance of “Oh, Holy Night,” a Hanukkah medley and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”
Per tradition, the concert will end with a sing-a-long, led by performer and Washington Life Magazine performing arts columnist Patrick D. McCoy.
During the show, the chamber will also present the first ever Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award to Avery Gagliano, a 13-year-old pianist and violinist from the metro area. She’ll be featured in a solo and will also play one song with the entire ensemble.
“She’s a prodigy and the winner of many competitions around the world,” Sushansky said about the young artist. “She’s very deserving of this award.”
Sushansky also said audiences can prepare themselves for more engaging experience than they might expect from a holiday concert.
“All our concerts are very interactive,” he said. “Musicians tell stories, jokes, and talk about personal experiences. Yes, you’ll get to hear some great music, but you’ll also get to know the artists.”
Audience members will have another opportunity to interact with the artists after the concert, as they’ll join a reception with wine, cheese and snacks following the show.
“We’re a society of internationally acclaimed musicians from the capital area, and we come together for chamber music,” Sushansky added. “We’re very excited to share this with the Arlington community again this year.”
Photo by Robert W. Jansen
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering its Holiday SoberRide program starting this Friday, Dec. 11 through New Year’s Day. Every evening on these days, free cab rides will be available for fares up to $30 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Residents who have been drinking and need a safe ride home can get their free ride by calling 1-800-200-TAXI toll-free. Those who have AT&T cellular service can also dial #WRAP to get the service.
“Last December, nearly 1,200 Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” said WRAP President Kurt Gregory Erickson in a statement. “For SoberRide’s hours of operation during just last New Year’s Eve, such ridership (420) translated into the removal of a would-be drunk driver from our shared roadways every 68 seconds.”
This year’s participating cab companies include Red Top Cab of Arlington.
A short, plastic visitor with blue eyes, a red suit and a long white beard has been popping up on porches around the county.
The Arlington, VA Traveling Santa began his journey shortly after Thanksgiving. Since then, he’s been visiting families throughout the county, showing up on their doorsteps unannounced. Similar to a holiday chain letter, Santa is trying to make as many stops as he can before Christmas Day.
There are rules when Santa visits, but they’re simple: he can only stay at a house one night before he must move on to visit someone else. His next destination is chosen by whomever hosted him the previous night.
Santa’s hosts are encouraged to take photos of his visit before posting them to the Facebook page where his travels are being tracked.
However, Traveling Santa isn’t just something fun for the holidays. The coordinators of the campaign — who couldn’t be reached for comment — are also asking those who interact with Santa to donate to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
A representative for AFAC confirmed the organizers created a personal fundraising page for the cause. On Facebook, they’ve pledged to donate $1 for every “like” the page gets by Christmas — the count was nearing 200 Wednesday morning — and have agreed to match all donations made via the page.
The Arlington County Police Department is holding a toy drive and The Salvation Army is running its Angel Tree Program for residents to sponsor a child in need.
The ACPD’s Holiday Toy Drive started yesterday and will run through next Friday, Dec. 11.
The department is seeking donations of new, unwrapped toys suitable for children ages 1-17. They’ll also oversee the collection and distribution of the toys.
There are two scheduled collection events for the drive, both called Operation: Fill The Cruiser. Residents can stop by during designated hours to drop off donations and meet Santa.
The locations, dates and times for these events are:
- Our Lady of Lourdes Parking Lot (830 23rd Street S.) on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5:30-7 p.m.
- Lyon Village Park (1800 N. Highland Street) on Friday, Dec. 11, 4-6 p.m.
For those who can’t make the collection events but still want to contribute, there’s Operation: Stocking Stuffer. The department has also set up donation boxes at businesses and organizations around the county.
Donation boxes can be found at the following locations:
- Arlington County Police Department (1425 N. Courthouse Road)
- Bracket Room (121o N. Garfield Street)
- Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd)
- Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant (555 23rd Street S.)
- The Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd)
- Mister Days (3100 Clarendon Blvd)
- Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd)
Residents who would prefer to donate gifts to a specific child can do so through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. It’s a regional holiday assistance program that pairs individuals or groups with children in need.
Those interested can register for the program online. In doing so, they agree to sponsor a child or family in Arlington by purchasing toys, clothing, bikes, games and other gifts for them.
The program also needs volunteers later this month to help move, sort and distribute the gifts.