Ragtime in Courthouse may be getting a huge break on rent thanks to the Arlington County Board.
On Saturday (May 15), the Board is expected to vote to amend the county’s lease with the long-time local restaurant that would reduce Ragtime’s rent during the on-going pandemic “to a level that it can afford to pay.”
Ragtime is located at 1345 N. Courthouse Road, on the ground floor of an office building purchased by the county in 2012. It leases the 5,000 square-foot space, now owned by the county but previously owned by a private landlord.
Ragtime’s business has declined “precipitously” during the pandemic, the county staff report details. In April 2020, sales were less than 10% of normal. Although business has increased in recent months, it remains 50% below normal, the report says.
Due to the drop in sales, Ragtime is unable to pay rent at the rate called for in the current lease, which was signed in 2013 and expires in 2026, according to the county.
“When sales decline substantially below normal, inflexible overhead like employee salaries and utility charges does not decline to the same degree, and accordingly absorbs a greater percentage of sales,” says the report. “This leaves a smaller percentage of sales that can be applied to rent.”
As a result, an agreement was struck that would reduce Ragtime’s rent to the equivalent of 9.5% of its gross sales (as long it doesn’t exceed its base rent rate, which is approximately $19,000 a month).
“As a rule of thumb, restaurants can afford to devote roughly 10% of sales to the payment of rent,” the report notes.
That rate would remain in effect until the restaurant has two consecutive months in which 9.5% of gross sales exceeds its base rent, or for one year after the lease amendment is signed, whichever happens first.
The reduced rate is being backdated to April 2020, and Ragtime is being allowed to hold off on paying back rent.
“Ragtime will begin paying the discounted back rent (based on 9.5% of gross sales) when their sales return to normal,” the staff report says. “This discounted back rent will be payable monthly over a one-year period. The actual revenue impact to the County in FY 2021 and FY 2022 is dependent upon Ragtime’s gross sales as well as the timing of when their sales return to normal.”
“The total estimated revenue shortfall compared to budgeted amounts in FY 2021 and FY 2022 is approximately $100,000,” the report adds.
ARLnow has reached out to Vintage Restaurants for comment, but has yet to hear back as of publication.
There’s also another tenant in the 2020 14th Street N. building that the county owns: Courthouse Deli.
When asked if the county is working on a similar arrangement with that business, a county spokesperson declined to comment specifically due to confidentiality.
“We have worked with all County tenants that have requested relief due to pandemic-related hardship,” wrote a county spokesperson.
Photo via Ragtime/Facebook
“The only thing more authentically Neapolitan than the pillow-like pizzas practically flying from the oven at Pupatella in Arlington is [owner] Enzo Algarme himself,” reads part of the story’s blurb.
Reached by phone while visiting their parents in Naples, Italy, owners Enzo Algarme and Anastasiya Laufenberg tell ARLnow that they are “incredibly grateful” and “honored” for the distinction. In fact, they were not aware of the story until ARLnow reached out.
The married couple opened their first restaurant in 2010 on Wilson Blvd in the Bluemont neighborhood — from which they nearly moved last year — after getting their start selling pizza from a food cart.
Expansion is continuing, the owners confirm, with additional locations in the Mosaic District and Springfield planned for the coming months.
Laufenberg says they owe their popularity and the ability to grow, even after a rough pandemic year, to their customers. While it was a challenge those first months, says Laufenberg, they’ve been able to gain nearly all of their business back recently and have rehired staff they had to let go.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the neighborhood,” says Laufenberg. “Our customers didn’t forget about us and have left huge tips for our staff.”
They’ve also recovered by focusing on delivery and take-out, but additionally realizing the need to shift to more outdoor seating.
“One of the biggest ways the pandemic changed us…is our commitment to building out nice, large patios,” says Laufenberg. “People are still scared to eat inside, so having big outdoor patios is a way to help with that.”
Both the locations on Wilson Blvd and S. Walter Reed Drive now have expansive outdoor seating.
Last year, 90% of Pupatella’s sales were from delivery and take-out, she says, but now that ratio is closer to 50/50 with more folks dining outside.
“Every region, city in Italy has their own pizza, but everyone knows that Neapolitan pizza is the original,” says Laufenberg about their style of pizza. And that has a lot to do with the wood-fired oven used to them.
All of the ovens used at Pupatella restaurants are certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, meaning they adhere to two-century-old Neapolitan techniques.
The oven bricks are even built using volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius, which last erupted in 1944.
The ash provides the bricks the ability to retain heat very well, explains Laufenberg, which allows the oven to heat up fast and cook the pizza very quickly.
“There’s still ash left… we don’t know when it’s going to run out,” says Laufenberg.
Back in 2010 when they first contemplated opening their own business, Laufenberg admits she and Algarme were scared. Building a Neapolitan pizza business is expensive and very labor intensive, after all.
Even training staff to use the ovens is difficult and requires a steep learning curve — hence, why a number of employees have been with them since nearly the beginning. But more than a decade later, even with a pandemic, it is paying off.
“You always wonder ‘is it worth it to go the extra mile? Will people know the difference?” she rhetorically asks. “Well, that extra work is worth it and people have noticed.”
Jail to Reopen to Visitors — “Sheriff Beth Arthur has announced a modified reopening of in-person visitation for those remanded to the Arlington County Detention Center. Relatives and friends will regain the ability to visit loved ones in person beginning May 1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person visitation at the Arlington County Detention Center has been suspended for more than a year.” [Arlington County]
HQ2 to Feature Small Local Businesses — “Amazon.com Inc. plans to prioritize leasing retail space at its D.C.-area offices to businesses owned by people from historically underrepresented groups, an official with the e-commerce and cloud computing giant said recently. ‘We’re still in the process of curating and finding those retailers, but our goal is small, local, minority- and women- owned,’ Joe Chapman, Amazon’s director of global real estate and facilities, said of the company’s retail leasing strategy during a meeting of Arlington’s long range planning committee April 19.” [Washington Business Journal]
New Police Chief Pick Coming Soon — “Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz says he hopes to have a permanent head of the Arlington County Police Department announced sooner rather than later. ‘My goal was to have a police chief in place this spring. That’s still my goal,’ Schwartz told County Board members on April 20.” [Sun Gazette]
Marymount Vaccinates Thousands — “Nearly 1,200 students, faculty, staff and members of the community received their first Pfizer COVID vaccinations on April 21 at Marymount University, part of a collaborative effort between the university and state and local officials. The university transformed one of its gyms into a mass-inoculation site, and turnout exceeded expectations.” [Sun Gazette]
Rotary Club Honors ‘Educator of the Year’ — “The Arlington Rotary Club has honored school counselor Laurie Dodson as Arlington Key Elementary School’s ‘Educator of the Year’ and presented two Arlington high school students scholarships totaling $18,000 at the club’s annual education awards event.” [Press Release]
Pink Moon Dazzles — “We’re entering the heart of spring and, in most temperate climates, buds are bursting and decorating the newly lush landscape. Fresh arrangements of pink flowers are emerging, and the April moon, which will become full Monday night, is named in their honor. The ‘Pink Moon’ will be officially full, or 100 percent illuminated, at 11:31 p.m. Eastern time Monday. It will be bold and bright but won’t actually appear pink in the night sky.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Big things are afoot at The Crossing Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd) — a stretch of interconnected stores, restaurants, offices and residential space formerly known as Market Common Clarendon — as the center starts to brush off the dust from the past year.
As an overview: The Crossing refers to a multi-block stretch of mixed-use development that includes the Whole Foods, the Cheesecake Factory and the Apple Store. With some recent rebranding, the collection of retail on the opposite side of Clarendon Blvd from the Whole Foods is now known as The Loop.
Also new is the recently expanded and upgraded office space in the center of the development, now dubbed The Loft Office at The Crossing Clarendon. Construction on the project wrapped up last year, bringing with it a floral public art installation.
Jason Yanushonis, manager of investments for The Crossing owner Regency Centers, said retail leasing interest for the shopping center is picking up again as the end of the pandemic seems hopefully in sight.
“The interest has been solid and picking up exponentially,” said Yanushonis. “Tenants are starting to seriously consider the next few years of their operation and what that’s going to look like.”
“We took the roof off and created a two-level space,” Yanushonis said. “We don’t have anything we’re ready to announce yet, but interest for that office and retail space has been going up.”
“As people are starting to have more visibility for when things open up, they’re getting more comfortable with signing deals,” he continued. “Recently, the retail has really picked up, because there’s more visibility for openings. We’ve been happy with the level of activity for both, but the retail is making us specifically excited.”
For The Loop, Regency Centers is aiming to turn the area near the Barnes and Noble into a pedestrian-friendly walking plaza, closing a portion of the existing loop road, Washington Business Journal reported.
“We’re planning to go in front of the [County] Board this summer and start construction in early 2022,” Yanushonis said.
Map via Regency Centers
A new print shop has taken over a building in Green Valley that has housed a revolving door of bar and lounge spots.
An employee confirmed that ABC Imaging opened at 2620 Shirlington Road two weeks ago on April 12. ABC Imaging is headquartered in nearby Fairfax County, and the new Arlington location joins a roster of nearly 30 outposts across the U.S., in addition to four global hubs.
The opening marks a hard restart for 2620 Shirlington Road, which is across the street from a concrete plant and a self-storage facility.
Over the last 10 years, folks have tried and failed to establish a local watering hole at the quirky building that would replace Champion Billiards. The billiards spot had a two-decade run but struggled to stay on top of taxes in its later years.
Since 2011, three variations on the theme of a bar and lounge have come and gone in quick succession.
Attempting to give the building a new reputation as a more family-friendly place, new owners opened Sydney’s Bar and Lounge in September 2019. Sydney’s had a brief run but the owners appear to have moved the restaurant to Delaware last year.
In the short time that Colony Grill has been in Clarendon, the pizza place has garnered a lot of love.
The spot opened last October at 2800 Clarendon Blvd in The Crossing Clarendon (formerly known as Market Common). Colony Grill, a small Connecticut-based chain, is known for its short menu featuring one innovation to pizza: the thin-crust, hot-oil bar pie. On weekends, it becomes a breakfast pizza best served with a mimosa or Bloody Mary.
Co-owner Ken Martin tells ARLnow that the company is as excited to be in Arlington now as it was a month before the opening.
“I think we’ve been well-received by local guests and the community, which has been great,” he said.
Small, out-of-town restaurant chains setting up shop in Arlington have not always found the county to be a fruitful place to pursue an expansion. What worked in one place often does not work here, for one reason or another.
But reviewers on Google and Yelp seem to agree with Martin that Colony Grill has found a good fit: “Finally a solid pizza place right in the heart of Clarendon! Place looks amazing on the inside,” said one.
A Stamford native who now lives in Arlington said she “had high expectations for this location,” given its Connecticut provenance, and was not disappointed, praising the service and the local addition of “a down-to-earth, inexpensive, quality pizza joint.”
But business could be better, Martin said. Back in the Constitution State, most sales are inside rather than take-out. In Clarendon, most sales are inside too, but Colony Grill is limited by booth spacing. Restrictions have been lifted faster in New York and Connecticut, allowing customers to be seated back-to-back in booths so long as a barrier is in place, he said.
“We certainly need more capacity,” Martin said.
Martin observed that people in Virginia seem more reluctant to dine out than those in Connecticut and New York, where the original restaurant and its four outposts are located.
“It seems like some of our guests in Virginia, they just want to be given permission to leave their house — they’ve tried to follow the rules and do their best,” he said. “We want to get through this. We’ve been fairly healthy because of the type of restaurant we are, but we’re so desperate to get more bodies into the restaurant.”
He said he hopes to see some additional restrictions lifted in the coming weeks and months, which Colony Grill will need “to remain healthy as a business.”
“Our dine-in business has been very strong but within a context that’s a bit limited,” he said. “Takeout has been okay, but typically, takeout business lags for a year or two until we establish ourselves.”
The pizza joint is still working to establish itself as a member of the community. A “Wall of Heroes” features photos of those who have served in uniform as first responders or members of the military. For Veteran’s Day, Colony Grill offered free pizza to current and former military members.
This year, Colony Grill is sponsoring the Armed Forces Cycling Classic, which was canceled last year. The races through Crystal City and Clarendon are set to take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6, respectively — pending final permit approval and an easing of restrictions on outdoor gatherings.
“We’ve tried to be a good partner for our size of business,” he said of the sponsorship.
Although uncertainty exists, Martin said his restaurant will continue its focus on its thin-crust pizza, hospitality and a wecoming atmosphere.
“That’s going to get us returning customers over the long haul,” he said.
Remember the Stamford native? She later updated her review to say she’s “been going consistently once a week.” Her one pro-tip: “Ask for your pizza on the well-done side, it’s my favorite.”
The recent spate of business burglaries in Arlington is continuing.
Early Saturday morning a group of three thieves broke into businesses in the Dominion Hills and Westover neighborhoods, stealing several cash registers and leaving behind piles of broken glass. At least five businesses were damaged by the burglars.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
BURGLARY, 2021-04170015/04170016, 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:23 a.m. on April 17, police were dispatched to the report of multiple audible security alarms. Upon arrival, it was determined that multiple businesses had their front doors damaged, with two of the businesses being burglarized and two of the businesses showing signs of attempted forced entry. A cash register with an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from one business, while no other items were reported stolen. Officers established a perimeter and the area was checked with negative results. The investigation revealed that the three suspects, who were wearing dark colored clothing and face masks, had fled the scene in a dark colored vehicle prior to the arrival of police. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2021-04170017, 5800 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 1:33 a.m. on April 17, police were dispatched to the report of a glass break alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined that employees were inside the closed business when they heard glass break, followed by footsteps and unknown individuals talking. The investigation determined that three unknown suspects forced entry into the business through a window, stole two cash registers containing and undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene on foot. Responding officers established a perimeter and the area was checked with negative results. No injuries were reported. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
The western portion of Wilson Blvd in Dominion Hills and Bluemont has been the scene of at least a half dozen prior burglaries this year, including three on the same block as Saturday’s incident.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said detectives are investigating these and other prior business break-ins, in Arlington and around the region, as potentially related given the method of theft.
“The burglaries… are being investigated as part of the commercial burglary series,” Savage tells ARLnow. “Detectives continue to follow up on investigative leads in the case and are working collaboratively with our regional law enforcement partners to identify and apprehend those responsible.”
“Investigators believe that some of these cases are linked but not all are committed by the same suspects,” she added.
In February, ACPD announced that is was “investigating an increase in overnight commercial burglaries targeting cash-based businesses.” At the time, there had been 21 reported business burglary incidents in Arlington since the start of the year. Since then that number has risen to 31, including 22 completed burglaries and 9 attempted burglaries, according to police.
The police department previously offered the following crime prevention tips for businesses.
- “Don’t store money overnight in your business. If you must keep cash or other valuables overnight, store them in a safe anchored to the floor”
- “Leave cash drawers open, indicating there’s nothing to steal”
- “Post signs in your store window that cash and valuables are removed from the premises overnight”
- “Ensure your property has adequate lighting, especially at points of entry”
- “Consider installing security cameras with alarms to capture suspects on video and notify police immediately if unauthorized individuals gain entry to your business”
The Freshman is the creation of Nick Freshman, owner of Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon. The restaurant, which offers an all-day breakfast menu as well as lunch and dinner options, advertises itself as one of the first to come into the area in the wake of the Amazon HQ2 announcement.
The Freshman — located in a 3,400 square foot space at 2011 Crystal Drive — is scheduled to open this Wednesday, April 21, after a soft opening last week for friends and family.
“We are really excited to open our doors and begin serving the neighborhood,” said Freshman. “We’ve created an all-day space so we can offer something thoughtful and housemade throughout their day, from a pastry and a great cup of coffee before work to a handcrafted cocktail with dinner.”
The website says the new restaurant will feature coffee and cocktails, along with a selection of beer and wine, in addition to a “locally-sourced and seasonally-driven menu.”
“The menu includes a range of small plates, tartines, flatbreads and salads, and, of course, breakfast (which is offered from open to close),” says a press release.
“Favorites include the Virginia Ham + Dried Fig + Goat Cheese tartine, the Grilled Broccoli + Brussels Caesar, and the Grilled Octopus Escabeche, which includes an apple-fennel pico de gallo, Chicken Fried Oysters and Spring Pea Hummus,” the release continues. “The Freshman‘s breakfast menu includes a vegan Tofu Scramble + ‘Cheese’ sandwich and a range of pastries, including Vanilla Cardamom Bread and a Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeno Scone.”
The restaurant will be open from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Freshman will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The press release said the restaurant will offer dine-in service with masks required, as well as patio service and takeout. There is season for 120 inside and 50 on the patio.
Freshman had originally planned to open the restaurant early last year, but the pandemic disrupted those plans. Instead, relief program Hook Hall Helps used The Freshman’s empty space as a hub for distributing care kits and family meals to hospitality workers and families in need. The press release noted that the program has since moved into the former Cosi space next door and will remain open.
A pie shop owner says an ongoing county construction project has cost her tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
About six weeks ago, Heather Sheire arrived to work at Livin’ the Pie Life at 2166 N. Glebe Road to find bulldozers tearing up the pavement in front of the shop.
“That’s how much notice I got from the county that there was going to be a disruption,” owner Sheire tells ARLnow, who opened the shop in 2016. She is now seeking financial compensation from county.
The construction was due to the ongoing Lee Highway and Glebe Road intersection improvement project which isn’t set to be substantially completed until the fall.
“Our parking was getting blocked and, then, 21st Road [N.] was getting blocked and, then, the sidewalk was getting blocked,” Sheire says, frustration rising in her voice. “Then, I started to notice our sales were down.”
The shop relies on walk-ups, she says, with about 90% of sales coming from walk-in orders.
Sheire even bought one of those feather-like flags as a way to catch people’s eyes from the road, but it was removed by construction crews.
March 3 was a tipping point. Again, Sheire saw a construction truck parked across the entrance of the shop’s driveway. So, she finally reached out to the county.
“[They] were sympathetic, but I need more than sympathy and friendlessness,” Sheire says. “This was having a very substantial economic impact on my business.”
She tells ARLnow, after comparing numbers from years past, that she believes the business has lost “tens of thousands of dollars” as a result of this construction project.
“I have a historical record from [March] last year to this year… we went from being down 10% to 46%,” she says.
Eric Balliet, spokesperson for Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services, confirms that Sheire did reach out.
“Once we were made aware of the pie shop owner’s concerns, the project team responded by making every effort possible to accommodate the business during streetscape construction along their store frontage,” he writes to ARLnow.
According to Balliet, this included scheduling construction mostly on Mondays and Tuesdays (when the shop is closed), upgrading bike racks, installing a curb along parking spaces to prevent vehicles from damaging the building, and relocating street signs to improve visibility of the storefront.
Also, as part of the project, the county has upgraded the pie shop’s front walkway to concrete and expanded access to the store’s parking spaces for those driving northbound along N. Glebe Road.
Sheire agrees, for the most part, that the county has either already done the things promised or she believes they will — except for improving access to parking.
“It is trickier to get into the parking now than before. They added a short wall along the sidewalk on Glebe that now must be navigated to get into and out of the parking from Glebe,” she says. “It’s become a maze, a puzzle to get in there.”
But even fixing all of that will not change the financial damage that has already occurred to her business.
“[We] deserve some kind of financial compensation because they were literally blocking access to our business,” Sheire says. “It’s wrong for the county to initiate a project like this without taking into account the economic impact it has on a small business.”
In March, she received her business license tax bill from the county, which set her off.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says. “I felt like Arlington County had not given me value for my business license.”
She contacted the Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava and other top local officials about waiving the tax, or offering some sort of compensation, but was told that could not be done.
The stalled plan to redevelop the site of Rappahannock Coffee on Columbia Pike is going back before the Arlington County Board.
Next week, the Board is set to consider a Use Permit Amendment for the already-approved redevelopment of 2400 Columbia Pike. The amendment “would result in the addition of 6,500 square feet of overall density and an increase of 15 residential units with preservation of existing building facades.”
The changes would also add 36 new parking spaces. The proposal is being made by a new developer, as Columbia Pike-based B.M. Smith is apparently no longer in the proverbial driver’s seat of the long-delayed project, which was first proposed in 2013 and approved in 2016.
“A new entity is now pursuing construction of the 2400 Columbia Pike development,” says a staff report to the County Board. “The new applicant believes the proposed enhancements to the development program are responsive to current market conditions and will facilitate swifter implementation of the project. The design changes, when considered individually may have triggered an administrative change or a minor use permit amendment, but when considered collectively, have been determined to be a major use permit amendment.”
With 15 units added on, the updated project would include 120 total residential units, in addition to 13,000 square feet ground floor space for retail and office, and two levels of underground parking.
The new developer appears to be a small local firm called YW Capital Development, based near Tysons.
“YW Capital Development is a minority-owned real estate development company based in the DC metro area,” the firm’s website says. “Our business focus is development of multifamily and mixed-use projects in urban settings. Our mission is to achieve the most efficient use of land and the best architectural design while maintaining the historic integrity of the neighborhood. Founded at the peak of the housing crisis in 2009, we have successfully completed a dozen projects in the DC metro area.”
The developer’s website touts 2400 Columbia Pike as being “minutes [from the] Pentagon and new Amazon HQ2.” A request for comment sent to an email address listed for the company bounced back as undeliverable.
Nearby residents have previously expressed concern about the proposed development’s displacement of local favorite Rappahannock Coffee, as well as other small businesses. The plan involves tearing down three low-slung commercial buildings, preserving the facades of two.
Another concern, according to the county staff report: noise and light.
“Several residents of the neighboring condominiums expressed concern about potential noise and light impacts from the proposed balconies, loading dock, surface parking area, and outdoor open space located in the southern portion of the site,” the staff report says.
Others are hoping the redevelopment could allow a new bicycle connection on the southern side of the Pike, with Arlington Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt recently calling it “a critical opportunity for a bike-able Pike.”
The County Board is set to consider the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, April 20.
Photos via YW Capital Development
Vihstadt Helps ‘Our Revolution’ Join CivFed — “One of the strongest voices supporting ORA’s membership was that of John Vihstadt, former County Board member and life-long Republican. Many Republicans today consider organizations such as Our Revolution to be, at the very least, card-carrying members of ‘Antifa’… Vihstadt pointed out that, ‘although he was one of the ‘non-Democrats’ that One Revolution did not support’ in his last political outing, ORA should be admitted to CivFed because it clearly ‘contributes to the civic dialogue.'” [Blue Virginia]
Ballston Business Slated to Go Public — “Privia Health Group, Inc., a technology-driven, national physician enablement company that collaborates with medical groups, health plans and health systems, announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock… Privia Health intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol ‘PRVA.'” [BusinessWire]
ACPD Raising Child Abuse Awareness — “April is recognized as both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. ACPD is sharing information on available resources and programs in our community to help raise public awareness about child abuse and sexual violence. In support of efforts to reduce the incidences and severity of child abuse and neglect, many members of ACPD are wearing blue ribbons, pins and bracelets during the month of April.” [ACPD, Twitter]
Animal Control Helps Lost Baby Fox — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “A local homeowner heard a tiny cry coming from their garden and discovered this baby fox, alone and crying for his mother… Knowing that his mom was very likely somewhere nearby, [animal control officers] placed him into a basket and placed him in a safe spot in the garden. The homeowner kept an eye on him the rest of the day, and we are happy to report that by the next morning, the mother had safely retrieved her baby!” [Facebook]
Goodbye, DCA Gate 35X — “Let’s get right to it: It was a bus station. A bus station in an airport. It was two places you’d rather not be, melded into one place… It was a funnel, a choke point, a cattle call. One gate, as many as 6,000 travelers per day. The ceilings were lower. The seats were all taken, as were the electrical outlets. There was no bathroom down there, no vending machine, no water fountain. Dante’s circles were over-invoked.” [Washington Post]
‘Arlington Superwoman’ Hailed — “She’s helped tons of local families get food on the table but her calling to give back goes way beyond food insecurity for those who are struggling during the pandemic. To some, this Arlington immigrant from El Salvador is a local hero. The struggle Mariflor Ventura has seen first hand brings her to tears.” [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley