What are your New Year’s resolutions for Arlington? Feel free to discuss in the comments.
Free Late Night Metro Rides Tonight — Metrorail will run through 3 a.m. tonight, to accommodate New Year’s Eve revelers. Rides from midnight to 3 a.m. will be free, courtesy of Miller Lite. Tomorrow, on New Year’s Day, Metro will operate on a Sunday schedule, with service starting at 7 a.m. [Twitter, Twitter]
Last Minute NYE Options — Procrastinated on your New Year’s Eve plans? Our event calendar has some good suggestions, with events along the Orange Line and Columbia Pike. Some NYE events at popular Orange Line bars have already sold out of advance tickets. [ARLnow]
New Year’s Closures in Arlington — All Arlington County offices will be closed tomorrow (Friday) in observance of New Year’s Day, with the exception of the County Board offices, where the Board will hold its annual organizational meeting (see below.) Parking meters and zones will not be enforced Friday. Public libraries will close at 5 p.m. today and will reopen Jan. 2. [ARLnow, Arlington County]
Board to Hold New Year’s Day Meeting — The County Board will hold its annual Jan. 1 organization meeting tomorrow. It will be the first day of work for new Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey. A new County Board Chair and Vice-Chair will be chosen, but it’s unclear at this point who will be selected. [Arlington County]
Violand-Sanchez Won’t Seek Third Term — Arlington School Board Chair Emma Violand-Sanchez says she will not seek a third term on the School Board in 2016. Previously a school administrator, Sanchez has had a 40-year career with Arlington Public Schools. [InsideNova]
Median Home Sales Price Rises — The median sales price for a home in Arlington rose 5.75 percent to $560,000 in 2015, faster than the rate of increase in Fairfax, Loudoun or Alexandria. [Washington Post]
Arlingtonian Surprised to Be Named 50 Millionth Passenger at SFO — Arlington resident Katheryn Castagna was getting ready to fly from San Francisco back to Reagan National Airport when she was surprised by airport officials and news crews, who told her she was the airport’s 50,000,000th passenger of 2015. Castagna, who works at CEB in Rosslyn, received two round trip tickets to Hawaii. [SFGate, CBS San Francisco]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Where are those plans taking you? Many, no doubt, will stay in Arlington — either at home or at a bar, although Virginia ABC laws preventing establishments from offering an open bar puts a damper on the kind of parties one can attend at bars and clubs.
Many will also likely head into the District to take advantage of the myriad NYE parties, although transportation back is always a challenge. Wait for Metro, try to get one of the few available cabs, pay Uber’s top surge price, or designate a driver and try to find parking — the decision isn’t always ideal.
Others may be headed out of town, or headed to other suburban D.C. locales. Which one describes your plans?
ACPD says it will be upping patrols and setting up DUI checkpoints from Dec. 18 to Jan. 3. Nationwide, there’s an increase in drunk driving deaths around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
From an ACPD press release:
Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers from December 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016. In December 2013 alone, there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day.
If you plan on drinking at the holiday party or at a restaurant, hand the keys over to someone else – a sober friend, a taxi or public transportation. Or, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a taxi or a friend by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available at http://ow.ly/RWs3S for Android and http://ow.ly/RWs8h for iPhone users.
As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period, police will be increasing the number of patrols, setting up roadblocks and using local media to reach out to all drivers. If you’re drinking and driving, Arlington County Police Department will stop you.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, call the police right away. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely.
Please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
- Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk–or worse, the risk of having a crash.
- If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or call SoberRide at 1-800-200-TAXI.
Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Green Party, VOICE at Odds on Affordable Housing — Two groups that both support more affordable housing in Arlington, the Arlington Green Party and Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), are seemingly at odds over the means to that end. VOICE didn’t support the Green Party’s housing authority referendum, and now the Green Party is blasting VOICE because the group “prefers, apparently, to work closely with the Democratic ruling party behind closed doors and support a dysfunctional housing-assistance program.” [Sun Gazette]
New Year’s Eve Events — If you’re still trying to decide where to celebrate the arrival of 2014 in Arlington, our New Year’s Eve guide has 10 ideas for you.
New Year’s Day Closures — Most Arlington County facilities and services will be closed tomorrow, Jan. 1. The Arlington County Board, however, will hold its traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting at 11:00 a.m.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) — The Drafthouse is hosting a 1980s-themed party with a DJ. For $15 tickets, bought in advance or at the door (cash only), guests will receive party favors with admission. The Times Square ball drop will be shown on the Drafthouse screen. Patrons must pay for food and drink at their tables. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Those under age 21 must be accompanied by a parent between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. Only 21 and over permitted after 9:00 p.m.
Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) — Starting at 8:00 p.m., Clarendon Ballroom is hosting a prepaid-only party with music from Lost in Paris and DJ Bobby. Tickets are $75 and cover four drink tickets, a champagne toast, a dinner buffet, party favors and a balloon drop at midnight. The dress code is listed as “dress to impress.” Ticket prices may increase or tickets may sell out in advance.
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street) — With live music from Gonzo’s Nose and DJ Tymez Square, Clarendon Grill’s New Year’s Eve celebration will begin at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $65, but may increase or sell out. Admission includes three drink tickets, a champagne toast at midnight, hors d’oeuvres and party favors. Clarendon Grill’s outdoor patio will be open and heated for the night.
The Melting Pot (1110 N. Glebe Road) — The Melting Post is offering a four-course dinner for the holiday. For $68, customers will get a starting course of crab cheese fondue, a salad, and main course offerings including lobster tails, jumbo shrimp and two different types of sirloin steak. A champagne toast is included with the dessert course. Make a reservation in advance with OpenTable.
Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Ave.) — Signature Theatre is hosting a New Year’s Eve bash to go along with its currently running musical, Gypsy. For those who want to see Gypsy and stay after midnight, tickets start at $120 for subscribers and $164 for non-subscribers. The show begins at 8:00 p.m. After the show, starting at 10:30, there will be unlimited beer and wine, appetizers, desserts, a champagne toasts and Signature cocktails available for $8. Tickets for just the after party are $50 for subscribers and $75 for non-subscribers. Tickets for either can be bought at the theater’s box office or by calling 703-820-9771.
Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.) — An all-inclusive appetizer and dinner buffet with live music awaits guests on New Year’s Eve in Crystal City Sports Pub. For $49.99, appetizers begin at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner buffet is from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. The Jeff Miller Band will provide the live music, and there will be a champagne toast for those over 21 years old. Guests can also purchase a night in the Crystal City Radisson with their dinner for an extra $100. For reservations call 703-521-8215.
Whitlow’s on Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd) — Local band Back to Zero will play on the main stage during Whitlow’s New Year’s Eve bash. For $40, guests 21 and over will receive a champagne toast at midnight, coat check, and heavy appetizer buffet. Tickets must be purchased in advance for the event, starting at 9:00 p.m..
The Comedy Spot (Ballston Common Mall, 4238 Wilson Blvd) — A family-friendly comedy show gets started at 8:00 p.m. in The Comedy Spot. Presented by Comedy Sportz, tickets are $15 for this “PG-rated” comedy show and include party hats.
Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill (2424 Wilson Blvd) — For $35, revelers will be given one drink ticket, party favors, hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at the Arlington Rooftop. There will be a balloon drop at midnight. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Doors open for the party at 9:00 p.m. and the bar will stay open until 2:00 a.m.
Jaleo Crystal City (2250 Crystal Drive) — Starting at 8:00 p.m. José Andrés’ Jaleo will be offering unlimited tasting of their Spanish tapas. A live band will perform starting at 10:00 p.m. and, at midnight, guests will be given a glass of cava and a dozen grapes, a Spanish New Year’s tradition. Guests can call 703-413-8181 or go online to make a reservation for the dinner, which costs $85.
Flickr photo by Dave Hunt
ACPD reminds drivers to use seat belts, drive safely and pay attention to the roads. In addition to an increase in drunk drivers and distracted drivers around the holidays, police report 32 percent of drivers are more likely to drive more aggressively during this time.
Police had noticed an uptick in drunk driving incidents last month, just before Thanksgiving. During the Thanksgiving weekend alone, Virginia had 11 traffic fatalities. The ACPD hopes drivers will heed its safety message in order to avoid a similar scenario around the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays.
Here are the safety tips offered by ACPD:
- Buckle up — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than half of the people killed nationwide in traffic collisions were not wearing seatbelts.
- Protect Child Passengers — The safest place for child passengers is in the back seat. Be sure they have a child safety seat and that it is used the correct way.
- Don’t Drink & Drive — Every 45 minutes in the U.S., someone dies from an alcohol-related crash. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you do drink, designate a sober driver or take a cab or public transportation. The Arlington County Police Department is participating in the annual “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” enforcement initiative that continues through the New Year’s holiday.
- Avoid Distractions — 10% of fatal crashes and 18% of injuries caused by crashes were distraction related in 2012. Distractions to avoid while driving include, but aren’t limited to, cell phone use, texting, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies or portable electronic devices.
- Prepare for Inclement Weather — Last year, 4% of car crash fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend were weather related. Be sure your car is weather ready and fully serviced. Should the weather be bad, avoid driving. If you are driving, be sure to drive slowly and know your vehicle.
The department added the following greeting: “From our family to yours, the Arlington County Police Department wishes you a safe, happy, and accident free holiday season.”
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
New Year’s Eve is traditionally a celebration associated with Champagne and other sparkling wines, and while there will be a fair amount of that going around at my house this year there are many alternatives available for beer fans. Broad-appeal Lagers and Pale Ales are always welcome when there’s a crowd, so pick your favorite and stock up. When the clock strikes midnight, though, you may want something special for the occasion. Here are some suggestions:
Deus Brut des Flandres: One of the more unique beers on the planet, this Belgian Ale is fermented twice at the brewery before being sent to France to be treated in the Method Champenoise. The result is an Ale that is as close to Champagne in character as you’re going to find. With a cider-like note and fine carbonation, Deus is the beer to ring in the New Year with in lieu of Champagne. Deus is pricey and not always readily available, but worth splurging on this time of year to experience it for yourself.
Gueuze and other Sour Ales: With their bracing acidity, Gueuze and Sour Ales in general make for nice celebration beverages. Knowing your crowd is important here, as Sour Ales are certainly not for everyone. I’d recommend Tilquin’s outstanding Oude Gueuze as it is both less funky than other Sours but also more balanced and elegant in its acidity.
Large formats: When you can find them, big bottles always work for a group. If you can still find them, there should be some Anchor Christmas 1.5-liter magnum bottles available along with magnums of Gulden Draak, Duvel, maybe even Chimay if you get lucky. Recently I’ve even seen 3L and 6L bottles of Allagash Tripel, which is a lot of beer but great for a party.
Whatever you do, have a great New Year’s Eve, and please be safe: it’s amateur hour out there unlike any holiday save for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy your friends and your celebrations and we’ll see you back here next week to start 2013.
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
A number of venues still have space available for their celebrations, but some will increase ticket prices at the door. Options also exist for those in search of family friendly activities. Here are some of the celebrations around Arlington:
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse — (2903 Columbia Pike) Watch New York City’s celebration in Times Square on the movie screen and take in music during the 1980s themed party. The $15 admission price covers entertainment and party favors. Food and drinks can be purchased from tableside waitstaff. Guests must be at least 21 years old.
Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill — (2424 Wilson Blvd) The $50 admission price ($70 at the door) includes a dinner and dessert buffet, live entertainment, a coffee bar, a midnight champagne toast and party favors. The event runs from 9:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. and guests must be 21 or older. There will be drink specials all night.
Artisphere — (1101 Wilson Blvd) Starting at 8:30 p.m., three DJs and a live video show will be highlighted at the art venue’s celebration. Tickets are currently $95 and include entertainment, a two hour premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and party favors.
Capitol City Brewing Company — (4001 Campbell Avenue) The event begins at 9:00 p.m. with an appetizer buffet that runs through midnight. Admission is $30, with a $10 cover charge for guests arriving after 10:00 p.m. Music, party favors and a champagne toast are included.
Clarendon Ballroom — (3185 Wilson Blvd) Doors open at 8:00 p.m. for the party, featuring Liquid A with DJ Squirrel in the lower lounge. Tickets are currently $105 and include entertainment, a dinner buffet, party favors, four drink tickets, a champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight. Tickets can be be purchased online or by calling 1-888-695-0888.
The Comedy Spot — (Ballston Common Mall) The whole family can enjoy the PG comedy performance. Tickets for the 8:00 p.m. show are $15 and party hats will be provided. At the end of the show, performers will welcome Rio de Janeiro’s new year for those who can’t stay up until midnight local time.
Extra Virgin Modern Italian Cuisine — (4053 Campbell Avenue) The first of the restaurant’s two dinner seatings costs $55 and runs from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The second seating runs from 7:30-9:30 p.m., with party favors, a champagne toast and live music included in the $85 cost. Starting at 10:00 p.m., walk-ins can pay $20, which includes party favors and access to the band.
Iota Club and Cafe — (2832 Wilson Blvd) The music venue presents the bands The Beanstalk Library, Ugly Purple Sweater and Alex Vans & the Hideaway. Tickets are $18 and include music, party favors and a midnight toast. Bands are scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m.
Signature Theatre — (4200 Campbell Avenue) Take in a special performance of Dreamgirls at 8:00 p.m. and then stay for heavy hors d’oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast and music from a DJ. Tickets to the musical start at $40; tickets for the after party are $75 for subscribers and $100 for non-subscribers. Tickets for the party can be purchased by calling 703-820-9771.
Union Jack’s — (Ballston Common Mall) The annual Little Black Dress Ball includes a dinner buffet from 8:00-10:00 p.m., live entertainment, a midnight toast, party favors and a late night continental breakfast. Tickets are currently $20 but will increase, and can be purchased online or by calling 703-778-3568.
Around the world, revelers will be staying up until the wee hours, boozing and partying. Then again, there are those who aren’t as festive — who might not even bother staying up late enough to see the clock hit midnight and the year change to 2012.
Where do you fall on the revelry spectrum? Which of the following best describes how late you’re planning on staying up?
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on a Saturday and a Sunday, as does New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Obviously, most people already get weekends off as a matter of course. Most Arlington County workers, however, will get an extra day off on the Monday following both holiday weekends.
Arlington County administrative offices, libraries, schools, courts, human services offices and nature centers will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26 and Monday, Jan. 2, in addition to being closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The courts, which are usually closed on weekends, will be closed on Friday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 30 in addition to the Monday closures. The Arlington Public Schools winter break will keep students out of classrooms from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.
Several Arlington community centers will be open on Dec. 26, though most — with the exception of Barcroft — will be closed on Jan. 2.
Trash and recycling collections will proceed as usual on Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.
See more details on the holiday closures on the Arlington County website.
It’s getting to be that time when some people look past Christmas and start firming up plans for New Year’s Eve. A number of venues will be raising ticket prices after this week, so it’s a good time to take action.
Here are some of the larger or unique New Year’s Eve events happening around Arlington. This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides some interesting options from places that have already announced their celebrations.
1. Hyatt Regency Crystal City — Professionals in the City is hosting its annual “Passport to the World Gala” at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy). In addition to food, drinks and a DJ, the event has entertainment featuring various cultures around the world. Some highlights include the Japanese karaoke room, Red Light District adult-content comedians, Caribbean steel drums and Bollywood Hills Underground Club.
The $99 ticket option allows entry at 10:30 p.m. and includes six drink tickets. The $139 ticket option allows entry at 9:00 p.m. and includes eight drink tickets. Prices will increase after Friday, December 9.
2. Signature Theatre — Guests can take in the 8:00 p.m. performance of “Hairspray” at the Signature Theater (4200 Campbell Ave) and then stay for a countdown to the new year with the cast of the musical.
Tickets are $100 ($75 for Signature Theatre members) and include two drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast and dancing to music from a DJ.
3. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse — Ring in the new year at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) with a 1980s themed bash. Watch New York City’s Times Square celebration live on the big screen while dancing to ’80s tunes from a DJ.
Tickets are $15 and include admission and party favors.
4. Northside Social — The folks at Northside Social (3211 Wilson Blvd) are doing things a little differently for New Year’s Eve. According to their Facebook page, they’re auctioning off the use of the facilities to the highest bidder. The winner gets to throw their own party, fully customized by Northside Social.
Contact Sean Lowder at 804-305-0402 or email [email protected] for more information or to place a bid.
Via YouTube user NovaPJ comes the following video, which purports to show the aftermath of some sort of New Year’s Eve incident at Mister Days in Clarendon.
Officers in the video are shown talking with two young, cigarette-smoking men who seem upset about something that happened in the bar.
The cops apparently weren’t giving the men whatever resolution they were seeking. Instead, one officer encouraged them to “go home and sober up.” That led to the following exchange at 1:40 in the video.
Smoking Guys (starting to walk away): F— you. You did a hell of a job, D.C.’s finest. F—ing cops.
Female Officer: Have a good night.
Smoking Guys: Go to hell. F— you. Go f— yourself. C–t! You stupid bitches!
It’s at that point that one of the pair threw his lit cigarette at the officers. Needless to say, the dynamic duo walked about half a block before having the cuffs slapped on ’em.
See a longer version of the video here. Obviously, you won’t want to play it at work with the sound up.
Area Bars Ring In New Year’s With Ringing Cash Registers — Initial reports from the field suggest Arlington bars and restaurants did big business on New Year’s Eve. In particular, two Irish bars brought in plenty of green. Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse was crowded, he hear. Another tipster tells us that the cavernous Columbia Pike watering hole P. Brennan’s — which charged a $5 cover for an evening that included a champagne toast and live music — was so busy that it apparently ran out of glasses. Said our Pike partier: “Congrats to them… higher cover next year?”
HGTV Couple Moves to South Arlington — A recent episode of HGTV’s House Hunters featured a couple who ended up moving from a condo in the District to a house in the Shirlington Crest development, reports Shirlington Village Blog.
Arlington Man Arrested in N.C. Over Hair Gel Purchase — A 23-year-old Arlington man has been arrested in Burlington, N.C. and accused of trying to buy goods with counterfeit $100 bills. The man bought hair gel and conditioner at one store and was attempting to buy hand lotion at another store when he was arrested, police said. A local newspaper that reported the arrest listed an Arlington address for the man that, as far as we can tell, does not exist. More from the Greensboro News-Record.
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White