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Neighborhood Spotlight: Infiltrate Evil Corporations and Decipher Ancient Mysteries at 5 Wits in Ballston

5 Wits in Arlington: Ballston Neighborhood Spotlight

The Keri Shull Team takes you inside 5 Wits’s new location in Ballston Quarter in Arlington! 5 Wits offers hands-on adventures full of cool special effects, compelling cinematic stories, and unlockable secrets. Along the way you’ll solve puzzles, discover secret passages, and receive a score for your group’s performance. Stop by 5 Wits in Ballston Quarter — adventures begin every 15 minutes. 🏃‍♂️🔍🤖👾🚀

Posted by Keri Shull Team on Thursday, January 31, 2019

This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

In this video, Libby Bish from the Keri Shull Team takes us inside 5 Wits for a sneak peek at its realistic, hands-on adventures!

Like Walking Into a Movie

Walking into a 5 Wits adventure is like walking into a movie: The door closes behind you, and all outside noise falls silent. Atmospheric lights flicker, pulse and glow.

A compelling cinematic story unfolds, complete with special effects. The adventure’s outcome depends on your actions. When the door shuts behind you, you’re transported to another world.

5 Wits is NOT an escape room — each adventure progresses through a series of rooms and passageways, with a goal of earning a high score and unlocking secrets. Escape rooms didn’t begin to take root in the U.S. until 2012 — but 5 Wits was founded in 2004, before the escape room trend hit the U.S. It’s an entirely different approach.

At 5 Wits’s Ballston location, three adventures await you: Espionage, Drago’s Castle and Tomb.

  • In Espionage, you’ll infiltrate an evil corporation by sneaking through the laser security system like a mastery spy and hacking the computer system to unravel their plot.
  • In Drago’s Castle you’ll find your way out of a dungeon and through secret passages. Can you stop the dragon?
  • In Tomb, you’ll explore and decipher an ancient tomb. Can you learn the secret name of the Pharaoh?

More Realistic Than VR

On each adventure you’ll use teamwork to solve puzzles, overcome challenges and dig deeper into the adventure’s secrets. The actions of your group will change both the difficulty and the ending of the story. If you’re struggling, you’ll get clues. If you’re making fast progress, the games will escalate.

At the end of each adventure your group will receive a score from 1-100.

Each adventure has lots of replay value — if you solved the chess puzzle in Espionage last time, your next run-through is going to require a completely different solution to solve. In the second room of Tomb, not only will the solution to the jar puzzle be different each time but Pharaoh will adjust the complexity and the speed of the puzzle to match your group’s skill.

Manager Dawn Charbonneau says that everybody can go to 5 Wits, but “people seven years old and up” are best — because although the games aren’t designed to be scary, kids under seven might still find the noise a little frightening.

Adventures begin every 15 minutes, and take about 30-60 minutes to complete.

5 Wits opens on February 1, 2019 as part of Ballston Quarter in Arlington.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to watch for our upcoming features as we explore the best entertainment venues Arlington has to offer! If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the DMV areaThe Keri Shull Team is here to help.

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Espresso, Nutella Pop Tarts and Wine — Welcome to Northside Social

Watch our spotlight of Northside Social hosted by Drew Carpenter!

Posted by Keri Shull Team on Thursday, January 17, 2019

This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

At Northside Social in Clarendon, you can work from a laptop and sip lattes on the ground floor — then, when it’s finally time, close your laptop and head upstairs for a glass of wine.

In this video, Drew Carpenter of The Keri Shull Team takes us inside Northside Social.

“It’s a very tight-knit group of people; you see people at the store and walking down the street, at the bank and you see them in Northside. That always makes you feel good — that you know everyone’s name,” says Randi Milton, Northside Social’s general manager.

“People hang out here in the wine bar for a date night, but they’re also here for their morning coffee on their way to work.”

Northside by Day: Coffee, Baked Goods, Sandwiches and More

The first-floor coffeehouse offers freshly-made pastries and light café fare: salads, quiches and sandwiches. Northside by day is a great place to work or study.

Randi’s favorite drink is that famous, simple classic: the cappuccino, with its two shots of espresso, equal parts steamed milk and milk foam. It’s simple, delicious and Northside’s baristas prepare it well.

Northside’s café baked goods include gluten-free treats (like the No Gluten Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Scone). The Nutella Pop Tart is one of Northside’s signature baked goods — try it if you want something especially sweet. Those who like savory pastries might be tempted by Northside’s Ham and Cheese Croissant.

Randi’s favorite food item is the bacon and egg sandwich. Their bacon is actually house-smoked by Liberty Tavern across the street.

Northside Social’s wine bar also hosts full-service brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Try the House-Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartine, and choose from a variety of single origin manual brew coffees.

Northside by Night: Wine, Wine Cocktails and Beer

Northside Social’s wine bar opens after 5 p.m. every day of the week, and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The bar serves wine, wine cocktails like the Elderflower Fizz, draft beer and a huge selection of bottled beer. Northside sells wine by the bottle, half bottle and glass.

If you enjoy Northside Social in Arlington, you may also want to stop by their second location in Falls Church when you’re in the area.

What’s your vote?

Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to watch for our upcoming articles as we explore the best entertainment venues Arlington has to offer. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the DMV area, The Keri Shull Team is here to help.

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Potomac Yard

This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

Update, January 7 at 5:20 p.m.

Although Potomac Yard overlaps Arlington, it is mostly located in Alexandria. We’re revising the video accordingly.

Potomac Yard is full of beautiful new condo buildings and homes. Along with neighborhoods Crystal City and Pentagon City, Potomac Yard is poised to become a site of rapid development and economic growth as part of the National Landing area for Amazon’s HQ2.

Where to Eat in Potomac Yard

Looking for a place to eat? Try Souvlaki Festive Greek for delicious grilled pita wraps, rice bowls and other Mediterranean fare. Rustico serves wood-fired pizza with over 30 beers on tap and a truly massive bottled beer list organized by flavor type. Try Hebir Exotic for tasty Ethiopian food and stop in at Hops Grill for craft beers, burgers, lobster tails and more.

Things to do in Potomac Yard

Potomac Yard Shopping Center is home to shops such as staple retail chains as, Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Staples, Barnes & Noble, Petsmart and many more.

Speaking of pets, Potomac Yard is home to Simpson Stadium Dog Park, one of Alexandria’s dog parks where your pet can run and socialize.

Near Target you’ll also find Potomac Yard Park with its playgrounds for toddlers and older children, and a splash park for cooling off on the hottest days of the year.

You can catch a movie at Potomac Yard’s Regal Cinemas or work out at Trident CrossFit.

Daingerfield Island park was the first permanent settlement of the city of Alexandria, and is now a marina where you can watch herons and kingfishers.

Commute

Potomac Yard is currently accessible via the blue and yellow D.C. Metro train lines from the Crystal City and Braddock Road stations. A Potomac Yard Station is in progress, and should open between Ronald Reagan National Airport Station and Braddock Road Station by 2021.

Housing

Potomac Yard is full of new development and newly built homes. Single family homes stay on the market for an average of 44 days with an average sales price of $945,238. Condos stay on the market for an average of 47 days and sell for an average of $491,273.

Potomac Greens is a community of 3 and 4-story townhouses within easy reach of the Potomac River waterfront.

Notch 8 is a luxury apartment building with units ranging from studios to 2-bedrooms. The amenities here include a swimming pool, outdoor living room with fire pit and a fitness center with a personal trainer and group classes.

Verdict

Potomac Yard is already full of new development and great entertainment — and there’s much more on the way with Amazon’s HQ2 location. Potomac Yard might just be your new favorite neighborhood!

If you know anyone who needs help buying or selling a home, contact The Keri Shull Team.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Potomac Yard? Let us know in the comments.

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Eat Creative, Authentic Southern Revival at Tupelo Honey Café

Tupelo Honey Cafe: Best Southern Comfort Food

Welcome to our neighborhood spotlight series where we highlight our favorite places in the Arlington area! In our third episode, we bring you along with us to Tupelo Honey, a restaurant that has an all-day menu of Southern comfort food with a creative twist. Check it out at 1616 N Troy St, Arlington, VA 22201!

Posted by Keri Shull Team on Friday, August 3, 2018

Stepping inside this Courthouse neighborhood restaurant, you’ll first notice the striking warm tone interior, with its American Flag in a nook and artfully spaced rows of honey in mason jars. Weathered window panes suspend from the ceiling, crisscrossing pulleys and cables connect three two-blade ceiling fans. It’s a rustic and comfortable atmosphere. This is Tupelo Honey.

Tupelo Honey Café is a North Carolina-centered chain that specializes in Southern Revival dishes made from scratch. Tupelo Honey pride themselves on cooking with sustainably-sourced seafood, pasture-raised beef, chicken raised without the use of antibiotics and fruits and vegetables grown responsibly. In the video above, see Drew Carpenter of the Keri Shull Team take us inside Tupelo Honey.

Southern dishes have their roots in American history, as the south was the farming center of the nation in its infancy. Simple dishes depend on the quality of their ingredients, so early southern cooking was focused on grains and vegetables that flourished in pre-industrial farming days. Southern Revival cooking explores the heritage of southern cooking and then builds on that history.

Tupelo Honey’s creations will appeal to those open to a new take on Southern food. Here you can order grits with goat cheese and chorizo; or sweet potato pancakes with pickled blueberries, apple cider bacon and grilled fruit. For brunch you can get avocado toast points with a sriracha honey drizzle.

Tupelo Honey’s general manager Ryan Daly recommends the honey-dusted fried chicken, a half bird brined for 24 hours, flavored with 19 different spices, and sprinkled with the house’s signature “honeybee dust.”

Handmade Cocktails

Stepping up to the bar you’ll see the bar front is reclaimed wood. Above the bar you’ll see a row of plants behind hexagonal-patterned chicken wire. Behind the bar, liquor bottles nestle inside metal honeycomb shelves.

At the bar you can get cocktails shaken, muddled and mixed using handmade syrups and house-made liqueurs. The Tupelo Bloody Mary is made with Dixie black pepper vodka, and comes garnished with pickled okra, pimento cheese-stuffed olives, shrimp and more. Ryan also recommends the Tupelo margarita — made with El Jimador tequila, house-made honey liqueur, lemon, lime, mint and chili-salt on the rocks.

If you prefer a pint, Tupelo carries 20 draft beers, including DMV-made favorites like Right Proper’s “Raised by Wolves,” Center of the Universe’s “Chin Music” lager, Port City “Optimal Wit,” Triple Crossing’s “Paranoid Aledroid” American pale wheat ale. and “Suns Out Hops Out” Session IPA by Solace brewing.

Your Turn

Southern Revival has been increasingly popular for years now in the DMV. What’s your favorite spot for delicious Southern Revival in Arlington?

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Neighborhood Spotlight: The Top 3 Dog Parks in Arlington

Top 3 Dog Parks Of Arlington, VA

Arlington’s neighborhoods are packed with condos and high-rise apartments, but dogs without backyards have an abundance of dog parks nearby. We researched Arlington dog parks to bring you the top 3 where dogs and owners alike can socialize! Watch for our article coming soon to ARLnow.

Posted by Keri Shull Team on Friday, October 26, 2018

Like most of us, dogs love fresh air, sunshine and room to stretch out.

Arlington’s neighborhoods are packed with condos and high-rise apartments, but dogs without backyards still have three excellent dog parks nearby. These are all places where you can let your dog run off leash and play with other dogs while you get to know your neighbors.

Taking your dog to the dog park might even help reduce the costs of veterinary care — like us, dogs are healthier when they’re well-exercised and have time to socialize. Young dogs need an outlet for their abundant energy, while older dogs can be taken to the park and motivated to play with younger dogs.

In the video above, Keri Shull and Drew Carpenter of the Keri Shull Team break down the top three dog parks in Arlington. All of these dog parks stand within easy reach of popular Arlington residential and business areas.

3. Shirlington Park — Shirlington

Location: 2754-2798 S Oakland Street, alongside the Four Mile Run Trail. Parking is easy to find here.

Shirlington park is natural and grassy, with many areas to run. One advantage of Shirlington dog park is that the smaller dogs and larger dogs have separate play areas, so your pug won’t have to dodge the massive mitts of a Newfoundland.

2. Glencarlyn Dog Park — Glencarlyn

Location: 301 S Harrison Street, northwest of Shirlington Dog Park, also located along theFour Mile Run Trail.

Glencarlyn dog park offers free parking.

Glencarlyn is the best of these dog parks to visit if you also have children who want to run and play. It’s a beautiful park with picnic tables, a playground, an off-leash dog park area and a stream. Glencarlyn is strung with trails for biking and jogging. There’s even a “learning loop” where wobbly young bicyclists can practice their skills.

1. James Hunter Park — Clarendon

Location: 1299 North Herndon Street, this is right in the heart of downtown Arlington.

Clarendon’s James Hunter Park features a solar-powered stone waterfall pool for dogs to cool off in during the dog days of Arlington summers. This fountain runs about three seasons of the year, then closes in the wintertime.

This park is completely enclosed by a fence, so dogs can run off-leash without escaping. Unique sound paneling muffles the dog noise so nearby high-rise neighbors aren’t disturbed by raucous dogs.

This dog park is locally a bit infamous for costing $1.8 million to construct.

Parking can be a little more difficult to find here than at the Shirlington or Glencarlyn dog parks, but if James Hunter Park is within a 30-minute walk of your house or condo in Arlington, this is a park your dog will love, especially during the summer.

Dog’s Choice

What’s your dog’s favorite dog park in Arlington? How can you tell? Let us know in the comments!

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Wilson Hardware Nails It With Their Drinks and Dining

This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

During the 1960’s this unassuming storefront was a spot to buy adjustable wrenches. Now it’s a place where you can order and drink an “Adjustable Wrench” — or a “Blueprint,” a “Nailed It” or a “Tongue and Groove.”

Wilson Hardware’s been open since September 2017. One year after opening, this eclectic spot has become a favorite spot for drinking, dining and weekend unwinding.

In our Arlington Restaurant Spotlight video above, Drew of the Keri Shull Team talks to Faris Ghareeb, co owner of the Wilson Hardware Kitchen & Bar along with partners Jad Bouchebel, Alex Haje and Walid Zeytoun.

Wilson Hardware Kitchen & Bar looks unassuming on the outside, but on stepping across the threshold you’ll find a surprisingly deep, airy layout opening into five rooms and three bars.

Pull up to the 27-foot-long main bar’s quartz top, eat dinner on the mezzanine, enjoy warm weather on the outdoor patio lounge or grab a drink with a view at the rooftop bar.

Wilson Hardware has used their uniquely designed Clarendon space to host a variety of events: serving happy hour drinks, providing full dinner service, dishing up bottomless brunches on the weekends (they now open at 10:00am on weekends) and enlisting a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights for the weekend play-hards.

zWilson Hardware is also popular for private events, from small bridal showers to full venue buyouts hosting up to 300 people.

Faris’ Favorites

Wilson Hardware’s kitchen now serves meals for vegans and meat lovers, and everyone in between. Faris’ favorite meal? Their pan-seared Diver Scallops on a bed of cauliflower risotto.

Asked to highlight his favorite and most popular drinks, Faris names the “Screw Him:” a purple drink made with vodka, lychee, champagne, lemon and hibiscus.

Faris also mentions the tequila-based “Bright Idea,” a spectacular glowing drink for two. The “Bright Idea” comes in a light-bulb shaped glass plunged into a shimmering LED-illuminated ice bucket. Aperol, lime, grapefruit, strawberry and sparkling wine are among its insights.

After his trip to Wilson Hardware we asked Drew what stood out to him about the place. He said: “I frequent Wilson Hardware because I can bring all different types of clientele there and there’s something for everyone, from an intimate sit down dinner to an upbeat happy hour on the rooftop. They also offer a lot of unique cocktails that will impress your guests and your taste buds.”

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Arlington Residents React to Dockless, Electric Scooters

This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

The Bird scooter and other similar electric scooters have been a fun, handy, commuting option for people in the D.C. metro area over the last couple of months, but now it’s led to a tragic death.

Arlington residents can now choose to hop on an electric scooter to commute around town. Bird — one of the startup companies participating in D.C.’s dockless pilot program — has deployed a brand new fleet of small, efficient scooters throughout Arlington, despite not having any official arrangement with the county.

Our very own Keri Shull took to the streets to find out what locals think about the new arrivals.

Many residents expressed excitement when asked their opinion about the Bird scooters, hoping that they will help eliminate some of the traffic congestion at rush hour. One resident specifically said that he looks forward to riding one on a hot day, so he can zoom around town with a breeze in his face.

However, some local Arlington residents are concerned about safety. Many Bird scooter riders do not wear helmets, and there have already been two serious accidents to date. In Dupont Circle, one man tragically lost his life riding a similar style e-scooter, rented from a company called Lime.

His name was Carlos Sanchez-Martin and he was only 20 years old. He was hit by an SUV while riding his electric scooter and died at the hospital from his injuries. This tragic accident is the first of its kind in our area. Since there are no firm regulations in place to police these dockless e-scooters, Sanchez-Martin’s death has been ruled a pedestrian crash and no charges have been filed against the SUV driver.

Another man — an Arlington resident — suffered serious injuries after crashing on a Bird scooter a few weeks ago. Daniel Birkeland was walking along in the Clarendon neighborhood on a hot day when he decided to ride an e-scooter home and get some relief from the heat. One minute he was riding his Bird scooter down a street, and the next he was waking up in an ambulance.

Daniel bumped his head and has no recollection of the accident. Witnesses say he lost control of the scooter going over a speed-hump, validating people’s fears that the scooters may not be safe enough yet for the streets. Now he’s warning other potential riders of the risks.

“The wheels are very tiny, you’re very low to the ground, and you have zero protection,” he told Keri when discussing his experience. He considers himself lucky to have escaped his crash without any further harm, and I think it’s safe to say that he won’t be getting back on a Bird scooter in Arlington again!

Riders certainly must practice caution when riding these e-scooters, and watch out not only for cars but pedestrians too. A few locals that Keri spoke with are worried that the scooters will just become a new nuisance for pedestrians on the sidewalks. One resident suggested that they should only be used down by the waterfront where there is more room for riding.

Let us know in the comments, what do you think of the dockless electric scooters?

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