Press Club

A driver in an SUV struck a juvenile riding a bike along Langston Blvd this afternoon.

The crash happened around 4:20 p.m., in or near the crosswalk at the intersection with John Marshall Drive. Police received numerous calls reporting a cyclist struck, with some callers saying the victim was unconscious while others said he was alert but not moving, according to initial reports.

“At approximately 4:19 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a crash involving a bicyclist at Langston Blvd and John Marshall Drive,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The bicyclist, a juvenile, has been transported to an area hospital with injuries that are not believed to be serious.”

“The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene,” Savage added. “Police remain on scene investigating.”

Westbound rush hour traffic initially backed up to near N. George Mason Drive as a result of the emergency response blocking 1-2 lanes.

The crash happened on Bike to Work Day, an annual event in Arlington and the D.C. region that celebrates bicycling as a means for commuting.

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Compass Coffee is planning to open a drive-thru location along Langston Blvd in Arlington this summer.

The D.C.-based coffee shop chain is currently in the midst of construction of its first ever drive-thru location at 4710 Langston Blvd, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood, a company spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.

The hope is to open late this summer.

The nearly 2,700-square-foot space formerly housed a SunTrust Bank, which closed in 2020. A building permit was applied for in February that called for a new build-out and interior demolition.

In addition to the drive-thru, which was first reported by the Washington Business Journal, the space will also have an indoor cafe, similar to other Compass Coffee locations.

This will be the company’s third Arlington store, joining existing cafes in Rosslyn and Ballston. Compass also just opened a location in Fairfax back in March, furthering its reach into Northern Virginia.

Overall, Compass Coffee currently has 14 open locations.

In terms of coffee drive-thrus, there’s some buzzy competition just down the road. A mile away from the new Compass Coffee, Starbucks has its own drive-thru — also a repurposed bank. The Starbucks has attracted long drive-thru lines, sometimes extending out to Langston Blvd, particularly at the height of the pandemic.

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Arlington Pride Festival 2022 poster (image via Polished Kreative)

Arlington is getting its own pride festival in two months.

The inaugural Arlington Pride Festival is being planned for Saturday, June 25 at Rosslyn’s Gateway Park at 1300 Langston Blvd.

The event is free and for all ages and will run from noon to 7 p.m., according to a press release It’s set to feature games, live entertainment, DJs and “surprise guests.” There will also be a dog park area and kids play section, notes the release.

The festival’s theme is “Moving Forward Together.”

“The Arlington Pride Festival will inspire our community to collaborate in new ways, ensuring all LGBTQIA+ individuals and their families and friends feel empowered, and supported,” organizers wrote.

The announcement of the festival was first posted on Instagram earlier this month. More details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, a website for the event notes.

An Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation official confirmed to ARLnow that event organizers have completed all the needed paperwork to hold the festival at Gateway Park.

“At this time, the Special Event application is pending, which is common this far out of the process,” parks department spokesperson Martha Holland wrote. “The County will be working with the organizers, as we do with all organizers, to assist in its approval.”

Due to the pandemic, it’s been several years since most pride events were last held. Back in 2019, a number of smaller events were held around Arlington in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

D.C.’s big Capital Pride festival and parade is being held on June 11 and 12 this year, the first time in three years.

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The westbound lanes of Spout Run Parkway are blocked approaching Langston Blvd due to a crash involving a police vehicle.

Initial reports suggest an unmarked police vehicle and another vehicle collided near the intersection. The exact circumstances around the crash are unclear, but no serious injuries were reported.

Traffic heading from the GW Parkway toward Langston Blvd is backing up well before Lorcom Lane as a result of the closure. There also appear to be some minor delays on westbound Langston Blvd as a result of at least one lane being blocked by the police response.

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Langston Blvd (Route 29) down to one lane at N. Kirkwood Road due to water main repair work

Two eastbound lanes of Langston Blvd (Route 29) are blocked as a result of an extended, emergency water main repair in the Lyon Village area.

The work has been taking place just east of the intersection with N. Kirkwood Road/Spout Run Parkway since at least 8:30 p.m. last night. Inbound traffic on Langston Blvd experienced minor delays as a result of the lane closures during this morning’s rush hour.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services said around 200 water customers are affected by the break in the 6-inch water main. Crews are now hoping to wrap up repairs by 3 p.m. today.

“Pipe and vault required extensive reconstruction at break point,” DES said in a tweet this morning.

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Morning Notes

Blossoms in bloom along Long Bridge Park in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Giant Spiders May Drop In — “An invasive species of spider the size of a child’s hand is expected to ‘colonize’ the entire East Coast this spring by parachuting down from the sky, researchers at the University of Georgia announced last week… Andy Davis, author of the study and a researcher at Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology, tells Axios that it isn’t certain how far north the spiders will travel, but they may make it as far north as D.C. or even Delaware.” [Axios, Fox 5, NPR]

Anti-Growth Group Decries Route 29 Planning — “On March 6, ASF wrote to the Arlington County Board expressing concerns that significant new land use and zoning plans will cause seismic shifts for the communities now lining Langston Blvd. We believe the process — which will soon produce a new Preliminary Concept Plan that likely will be fast-tracked like other county planning processes — will neglect or defer costs of critically-needed new infrastructure, will displace those earning 60% or less than the Area Median Income, and will make it difficult for local entrepreneurs to stay in business.” [Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future]

Polish Pike Pierogi Purveyor Praised — “‘Oh my god, it smells so good it’s driving me crazy!’ my husband reported after picking up a pierogi order from chef Ewa Fraszczyk, who shares kitchen space with La Cocina VA, selling her pan-fried Polish dumplings from the nonprofit’s Columbia Pike café every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Arlington chef’s pierogi, all delicate and delicious, come six to an order ($10-$12) in four varieties.” [Arlington Magazine]

Apartment Child Care Bill Advances — “House members voted unanimously on March 8 in support of a measure by state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington-Fairfax-Loudoun) to amend the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and permit child-care facilities in apartment units. That followed earlier, also unanimous, support in the state Senate.” [Sun Gazette]

Teen Stabbed in Va. Square Area — “At approximately 6:28 p.m. on March 8, police were dispatched to the report of a fight involving a group of approximately 6 – 10 juveniles. Upon arrival, the juveniles were no longer on scene and officers canvassed the area and located evidence of an injury in the 500 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 7:14 p.m., the juvenile male victim arrived at Virginia Hospital Center for treatment of stab wounds suffered during the fight. The victim’s injuries are considered serious but non-life threatening.” [ACPD]

Bus Driver Nearly Causes Wreck on I-395 — From public safety watchdog Dave Statter: “Watch: A ‘professional’ driver does no better trying to quickly get across 4 lanes of interstate highway. This one almost takes out a car–twice!! Must have been a fun bus ride.” [Twitter]

Takeout for a Cause at Four Courts — From Ireland’s Four Courts: “Stop in or order takeout on Thursday for dinner. We are donating 20 percent of our food sales to @PathForwardVA help #endhomelessness in Arlington.” [Twitter]

It’s Thursday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 52 and low of 35. Sunrise at 6:28 am and sunset at 6:12 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Cover of “From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard” (photo courtesy of Nadia A. Conyers)

As a fifth generation Arlingtonian and longtime Halls Hill resident, Nadia A. Conyers was thrilled when Lee Highway was renamed Langston Blvd last summer.

Sharing that joy with her daughter Arrington, the 6-year-old was understandably curious. Together, they went looking on Amazon for a kid-friendly book that could help explain why this was a big deal and the accomplishments of the road’s namesake, John M. Langston.

But there was no such book.

“There was a void,” Nadia tells ARLnow. “So, we decided to fill it.”

Arrington’s voice pipes in, explaining what needs to be done when something you need isn’t available.

“You just gotta make it,” she cheerily says.

That’s the genesis of “From Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard,” the new book authored by the mother-daughter team.

The 26-page picture book aimed at young elementary school kids tells the story of John M. Langston, why the road is now named after him, and why that matters.

“It’s a very local book. For kids who live in Arlington, [the dialogue] will resonate with them because they’ll understand the places that are talked about in the book,” Nadia says. “It gives them a good context of how they are part of Black history and how Black history is right here in your neighborhood.”

Arrington and Nadia Conyers (photo courtesy of Nadia A. Conyers)

Halls Hill, where Nadia (and, now, Arrington) grew up, is a historically Black neighborhood in the northern section of the county. For a long time, it was one of the only places in Arlington where African Americans could buy homes, along with Green Valley in South Arlington. In the 1930s, a “segregation wall” was built to separate the Black neighborhood from the surrounding white neighborhoods. A portion of that wall still stands today.

And, for years, a road named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee cut through it.

“As you were walking or driving down Lee Highway, you would start thinking about who Robert E. Lee was and became perplexed about why the road here is named after him,” Nadia says, pausing for a moment. “Angry, even. There are a lot of emotions.”

With the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that were held across the country in the summer of 2020, it became clear to many that it was time for the road’s name to change.

The renaming effort was led by many Halls Hill residents, including by Nadia’s mother and Arrington’s grandmother Saundra Green. In December 2020, a working group proposed “Loving Avenue” as the new name with the state Senate passing a bill two months later to allow for the change. But the Lovings’ descendants nixed the idea and the group went with one of its alternatives: Langston Blvd.

John M. Langston was an attorney, abolitionist, and one of the most prominent African Americans during the Civil War period. Described once as “Obama before Obama,” Langston was the first Black man to represent Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“He was an activist. He was a teacher. He was a good person. He was Black,” Arrington says about Langston.

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A burger restaurant and a hookah lounge are expected to open on Langston Blvd later this year.

All About Burger is gearing up for a new location at 5009 Langston Blvd, owner Mohammad Esfahani tells ARLnow, with the hope it will start serving by May or June of this year. This will be the local chain’s eighth location and third in Arlington, including restaurants in Virginia Square and Ballston.

This will be All About Burger’s largest location yet and will include a 5,000-square-foot rooftop cafe and deck.

Additionally, a hookah lounge is also planned in the back of the building. That should open closer to the end of the year, Esfahani says.

Back in 2019, ARLnow reported that the businesses were set to come to a vacant building on what was then called Lee Highway. However, that project seemingly stalled until early last year, when a new permit revealed that a build out was finally on the verge of happening.

Last month another permit was applied for to finish the work, which is about 70% done. Esfahani says the three year delay has been due to permitting and construction delays.

All About Burger’s menu consists of burgers, cajun fries, onion rings, milk shakes and a “secret menu” with chicken wings, grilled cheese and turkey burgers.

Esfahani cited a lack of higher-quality burger options in North Arlington as why Langston Blvd is a perfect spot for All About Burger’s next location, though there are two fast food spots nearby.

“There’s no burger place like us around here,” Esfahani says. “McDonald’s and Wendy’s are different. We have fresh burgers, fresh buns, fresh french fries. We wash and cut potatoes ourselves. Everything is fresh.”

The burger spot will be situated a half a block from relatively new Bob and Edith’s Diner and just west of Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe, about a three minute walk.

All About Burger originated as a result of a split with another burger joint, Z-Burger. Esfahani and his brother Ebrahim were once partners in that business, but a legal settlement handed branding and naming to his former partner Peter Tabibian. Esfahani was able to retain four locations of Z-Burger, including the one on Wilson Blvd near Clarendon, but he had to rebrand. Hence, the name change from Z-Burger to All About Burger.

Esfahani tells ARLnow that his brother is no longer a partner in the business.

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In Cherrydale, there’s a little stretch of road called “Old Lee Highway” where a few signs bearing the Lee name have yet to fall.

But that’s about to change.

Last week, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved Arlington County’s request to change the name of “Old Lee Highway,” or State Route 309, to Cherry Hill Road. The motion put an end to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s proverbial last stand here.

In July, the Arlington County Board voted to change the name for Route 29 from Lee Highway to Langston Blvd. While all the local road signs along Route 29 have been changed, it took some extra time — and a separate, smaller community engagement process — to find a suitable name for “Old Lee Highway” and send it to the state transportation board for approval.

Old Lee Highway begins where Old Dominion Drive intersects with Langston Blvd. It ends with a fork in the road, where drivers can turn onto N. Quincy Street or continue east on Langston Blvd.

The stretch of ‘Old Lee Highway’ being renamed (via Langston Blvd Alliance)

The County Board tasked the Langston Blvd Alliance — which suggested Langston Blvd as the new monicker for Route 29 — with conducting an abbreviated process for Old Lee Highway. It came up with three suggestions: front-runner Cherry Hill Road, and two alternatives, Waverly Way and Cherry Hill Lane.

The LBA says Cherry Hill Road fits for a number of reasons.

“Cherry Hill Road is the historic name of the area just up the hill from Cherrydale,” said the LBA working group in a letter to the county. “Cherry Hill can also be seen as a blending of the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills neighborhoods. Dorsey Donaldson originally named this area Cherrydale because of the many cherry trees in the area, some of which are still here today.”

Meanwhile, “road” is a happy medium between “drive” and “lane” that “indicates a smaller, more walkable street but one that supports an important North Arlington bus route,” the group said.

All this came about because the alliance raised concerns with the County Board about staff’s initial suggestion to rename Old Lee Highway as “Old Dominion Drive.”

“LBA and those living on Old Lee Highway expressed concerns that the name ‘Old Dominion Drive’ would cause further confusion for drivers and emergency vehicles,” according to the organization’s webpage.

The Board unanimously approved Cherry Hill Road during its Oct. 19, 2021 meeting, when then-Board Vice-Chair Katie Cristol said the name was “the winner by a fair mile.”

The other names in the top 10, pared down from 92 recommendations, were:

  1. Cardinal/Cardinal View
  2. Cherrydale
  3. District View
  4. Dogwood
  5. Monument View
  6. Union
  7. Waverly Heights

As of this week, the county says operational changes to Cherry Hill Road “are yet to be scheduled” and a schedule for switching the signs is pending.

Meanwhile, the county issued internal guidance to all departments to wrap up all associated renaming by March 14.

And for the curious, the county says residents can’t ask for an old sign. The county has, however, added some to the Center for Local History surplus and given several to the Arlington County Historical Society.

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It’s less than a week before Christmas and Moore’s Barbershop is bustling.

Mask-wearing barbers are clipping, trimming, and shaving hair, while several customers wait for their chance in the chair at the small shop on Langston Blvd. There’s an echo of chatter, conversations ranging from politics to football to a mutual friend who got a new job.

By the window stands Jim Moore Jr., the owner, cutting and chatting at the same time. It was in 1960, when his father — Jim Moore Sr. — opened this shop in the Halls Hill neighborhood to cater to Arlington’s Black community, who were often not welcome in white barbers’ chairs.

For more than six decades, the shop has thrived as a focal point for the community, a place where all were welcome and lifelong friendships have formed.

But on Nov. 7, its patriarch Jim Moore Sr. died at the age of 88.

Now, several weeks since his death, memories are fluttering down much like hair trimmings from a fresh cut.

“Always jovial,”  says Keaton Hopkins describing the elder Moore. Hopkins has been getting his haircut here for more than thirty years, since he was five years old. “Always smiling… We always had a great conversation.”

“He never seemed to have a bad day,” says Clay Pinson, a barber at the shop for about twenty years. “He was always in a good mood.”

His son, Jim, notes that these are common refrains, that his father was kind, a good conversationalist, and knew how to make people feel special.

“People have kept coming to me since his passing to tell me stories of the things he’s done for them and the lessons they learned from him,” Moore Jr. tells ARLnow, emotion coming through his voice. “That’s just who he was. He made a difference for a lot of people.”

Moore Sr. was born in North Carolina, served in the Korean War, and went to barber school before finding his way to Arlington, after getting a tip that the Halls Hill neighborhood was in need of a barber’s services. While there were Black barbers in the county and nearby in D.C., white clients would only go to them if the clippers and scissors had not been used on a Black client.

“They refused to cut Black people’s hair,” says Moore Jr.

So, Moore Sr. opened his own shop with a partner, Rudolf Becton, and ingrained himself in the community. In addition to being a barber, he was also a volunteer firefighter at the nearby, historic Fire Station #8.  In 1962, Jim Moore Jr., was born and it didn’t take long before the young son went to work at the family business.

“I started when I was seven [years old] and my job was cleaning it up for him, sweeping hair,” he says. “I didn’t start cutting hair until I was a teenager.”

He also followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming an Arlington firefighter, serving the county for more than thirty years before retiring in 2020. On his off-days from the department, though, he would stand by his father’s side.

Moore Jr. learned that being a barber is about so much more than just knowing how to handle scissors. The profession requires listening, building relationships, and making people feel comfortable.

“Cutting hair is an intimate activity,” says the younger Moore. “You are close to somebody, you touch them, you smell them. You can see the sweat and tension when they are talking about certain subjects. You need to know how to read a person.”

And there was no one better at those skills than the elder Moore.

“I called it his superpower. The ability to… allow people the space to be their authentic self,” Moore Jr. says.

Throughout its history, Moore’s Barbershop has continued to be a place for everyone. In fact, it’s often cited as the first integrated barber shop in Arlington. Moore Jr. says his father never believed in segregation, knowing that a good haircut and great conversation were universal desires.

Moore Jr. has continued this tradition of providing for the community, including giving away books to kids, free back-to-school haircuts, and simply by taking the load off of beleaguered spouses.

“What my dad taught me is that you can be successful in many ways. It doesn’t have to be a great big billion dollar house or a great big million dollar company,” says Moore Jr. “The smallest things can make a huge difference. That’s what he always put out there.”

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Emergency response (seen near the top of the screen) to kid struck by driver along Langston Blvd

Arlington County police are investigating a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a kid who was riding a bike.

The crash happened around 8 a.m. at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Langston Blvd, formerly known as Lee Highway.

“The driver of the striking vehicle fled the scene following the crash and responding officers located the unoccupied vehicle on Lee Highway,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The bicyclist, a juvenile, was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.”

The crash and the emergency response shut down multiple lanes at the intersection for about an hour during the rainy morning rush hour.

Police are continuing to search for the driver.

“The investigation is ongoing,” said Savage.

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