Arlington County paid its annual tribute to fallen law enforcement officers this morning.
The county’s observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day took place at 8 a.m., in the Arlington County Justice Center Plaza at 1425 N. Courthouse Road. The six Arlington County Police Department officers who have died in the line of duty were remembered during the ceremony, as was a seventh officer who died after suffering a heart attack and falling to his death in the 1920s.
Among those participating in the ceremony was the son of Officer George Pomraning, who was shot to death at the age of 26 while bringing a prisoner to jail on Sept. 2, 1973. Pomraning’s son, who was born around the time of his father’s death, wiped tears from his face after placing a rose in his honor next to the police memorial statue.
Other event participants included Police Chief Jay Farr, Sheriff Beth Arthur, County Board Chair Libby Garvey and County Manager Mark Schwartz. There were also representatives from the Alexandria Police Department, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies.
The memorial ceremony coincides with National Police Week, which brings law enforcement officers from around the country and around the world together in the D.C. area. Police motorcades running down local highways, as well as to and from the airport, are a common sight in Arlington before and during the week-long event, which officially starts on May 15.
Among the pre-Police Week activities, several Arlington County officers took part in a cross-state Law Enforcement United bike ride that arrived at the Iwo Jima memorial near Rosslyn yesterday afternoon.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 12, 2016
The former Wendy’s restaurant in Courthouse is no more.
A construction crew demolished the restaurant yesterday, reducing it to a pile of rubble. As of last night, only a couple of newspaper boxes and small brick wall that was in front of the restaurant’s drive-thru lane still stood.
Wendy’s closed in December, as did its next-door neighbor, the Wells Fargo bank. The bank is next in line for demolition.
The site is set to be redeveloped into a 12-story office building that will feature Wells Fargo as its marquee ground floor retail tenant.
There are now three remaining Wendy’s restaurants in Arlington: at 5066 Lee Highway, 3431 Columbia Pike and 5050 S. Chesterfield Road, which is just off of Route 7 on the Fairfax County border.
Palette 22, a new restaurant in Shirlington that fuses street cuisine with street art, is slated to open next Monday — appropriately, on 2/22.
The restaurant, in the former Extra Virgin space at 4053 Campbell Avenue, has been in the planning stages for some 18 months. Four months of construction are wrapping up this week and the restaurant was a hive of activity today with construction crews drilling and hammering, prospective employees interviewing for positions and artists working on murals and paintings.
Of the entire Extra Virgin restaurant, only a single sink remains. We’re told that the rest of the former Italian eatery, even the concrete floor, was in a poor enough condition to warrant replacement.
Palette 22 combines food, art and fun, focusing on modern street food small plate dishes with an international flavor. Local art and artists are integrated into the whole dining experience, with painters, mosaicists, photographers and others, working during operating hours in dedicated artist workstations. The restaurant features a seasonally driven menu of more than thirty small plate offerings inspired by street food, culinary traditions, key ingredients, and cultural international small plates.
Expect to see at least one of Palette 22’s “artists in residence” working while you dine. A number of artists from different backgrounds are chosen every three months to work at least two shifts a week, creating art amid diners and answering questions from guests. A committee and the restaurant’s full-time art director select the artists.
When dining at Palette 22, expect to order several small plates to share with friends, and to spend about $25 per person for dinner or $12 for lunch. Individual plates range from $5-11.
The dinner menu includes a number of international street food flavors, like Singapore chili-crab potstickers, Vietnamese sugar cane shrimp, Spanish grilled octopus, Argentine empanadas, Korean bulgogi beef and Chinese Peking duck. The menu also includes flatbreads, mussels and spareribs cooked in a locally-made brick oven, that features prominently in the floor plan.
The cocktail menu continues the theme of creativity, with $10-12 cocktails featuring custom-made syrups, creative garnishes, interesting spices and fresh fruit. There are two house-made sangrias on draft — yes, on draft — along with 12 draft beers, mostly local. Ten wines are offered by the glass, and plenty of other beer and wine is available by the bottle (or can).
Palette 22 is open from for lunch on weekdays, dinner all week and will remain open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. A weekend brunch service will debut next Saturday, Feb. 27. Happy hour runs from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays.
One day ago, Arlington was a frigid winter wonderland, with several inches of snow on the ground. There were dogs playing and kids sledding during the day, and a dangerous glaze of ice courtesy of freezing rain at night.
Today, as of Tuesday afternoon, the temperature was in the mid-40s, most of the snow and ice is gone or turned to slush, and some blue sky can even be seen outside.
In memory of the short-lived Presidents Day winter blast, here are some photos from our Flickr pool contributors, and some tweets from our Twitter followers.
— Russell Imrie (@tweedyBard) February 15, 2016
— Sarah Schoenfelder (@sarah_sojo) February 15, 2016
— Katie (@KatieKkb) February 16, 2016
— Andrea Wilkinson (@adubyailkinson) February 16, 2016
The 2016 Crystal Couture fashion show and boutique sale is underway in Crystal City.
This year, the show is taking place at the Crystal City Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive. It features models walking the runway, sporting cutting edge fashions from local designers. There’s also music from DJ Neekola, a bar with beer and wine, and pop-up shops from designers and retailers.
Above are some photos from Thursday night’s event.
Crystal Couture will be taking place Friday from 6-10 p.m., with television’s Paul Wharton hosting, and Saturday from 2-10 p.m., with 94.7 Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly hosting. Local media personality Sarah Fraser hosted on Thursday.
(Fraser will also be hosting ARLnow.com’s conversation with new County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey next week.)
Saturday’s event includes the option for indulging in a VIP experience.
Disclosure: Crystal Couture host Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
A week ago, the first flakes started falling as the “Snowzilla” blizzard of 2016 got underway.
Before, during and after the snowfall, contributors to our Flickr pool were documenting the historic storm. Above is a photographic look back at the winter storm that crippled the D.C. region and much of the Mid-Atlantic.
Flickr pool photos by Brian Allen, John Sonderman, John Williams, Mrs. Gemstone, The Belt Walk, Wolfpack WX, Eric, Bekah Richards, Jim Webster, Alan Kotok and Brian Irwin
The remnants of a recent car fire were still sitting on a busy road near Shirlington around lunchtime Monday.
A BMW 3-series sedan, with its front end burned out, is parked along 31st Street, a road that connects Shirlington and the Fairlington neighborhood.
The acrid stench of burned vehicle components was still fresh in the air for residents walking their dogs near past the car. There were no fire department vehicles or tow trucks in the vicinity when ARLnow.com walked by the wreck.
No word yet on when the vehicle will be removed.
Halloween is tomorrow and some houses in Arlington have been decked out for the spooky holiday.
Spider webs and spiders hanging from fences, windows and trees are popular choices. The more festive have skeletons or half-decomposed corpses trying to emerge from graves on the lawn.
We stopped by N. Jackson Street near Clarendon, 15th Street N. in Waycroft-Woodlawn, N. Harrison Street in Leeway Heights and S. Frederick Street in Columbia Forest to check out some of the ghoulish decorations.
If you spot any other houses decked out for Halloween, post a picture or two in the comments section.
There is no official trick-or-treating time in Arlington, but tradition says costumed children will start arriving around sunset, until around 8 p.m. or so.
A car fire blocked the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Lorcom Lane, near the Lee Heights Shops, Friday night.
The fire was reported around 8:45 p.m. A silver BMW M5 sports sedan caught fire near the intersection. What was a vehicle fire call was upgraded to a hazmat call after the car’s fuel tank ruptured.
The fire was extinguished and firefighters used absorbent material to help contain the fuel spill.
It was at least the second fully-involved vehicle fire in Arlington on Friday, after a car burst into flames in the Barcroft neighborhood earlier that morning.
Photos courtesy Andrew Pang/DC Metro Fire Photographers
Five photographers are inviting people to watch the evolution of Columbia Pike neighborhoods through the lens of a camera.
The photographers, who work as the Columbia Pike Documentary Group, have compiled photographs of Columbia Pike and the surrounding neighborhoods, taken over the last eight years, for a book, “Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project.” The group is also displaying 50 photos from the book as part of an exhibit at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street) next week.
“Photographers Lloyd Wolf, Aleksandra Lagkueva, Xang Mimi Ho, Paula Endo and Duy Tran (working as The Columbia Pike Documentary Project) us[ed] evocative images from their recently published book, ‘Living Diversity,’ to help the viewer experience the spirit of the Pike,” Arlington County said in a press release.
Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project will open as part of a pop-up art gallery at the community center on Saturday, Oct. 17. There will be a presentation to unveil the photographs at 3 p.m. The exhibit will run for a month.
The photographers will be joined by County Board members, chair of Arlington School Board Emma Violand-Sánchez and Del. Alfonso Lopez to unveil the new exhibit. After the presentation, the five photographers will be available for book signings.
The exhibit opening is free to attend, but guests are asked to register beforehand. Light refreshments will be served. Copies of the photography book can be found on Amazon for a little under $29 and will be available for purchase at the exhibit opening.
The exhibit will be open Monday through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday from 1-9 p.m.
Arlington No. 1 in Public Transit to D.C. — Among suburban D.C. counties, Arlington has the highest percentage of commuters who travel to the District via public transit. In Arlington, 53 percent of D.C. commuters take public transit, while 36 percent drive alone and 8 percent carpool. Montgomery County was second, with 43 precent of D.C. commuters taking public transit. [WTOP]
Vihstadt Campaign Website Hacked? — County Board member John Vihstadt’s campaign website has apparently been hacked by online porn purveyors and its homepage now displays a profane message. That message is also visible when you search for “John Vihstadt” on Google. Vihstadt was elected to a four year term last November and won’t be up for reelection until 2018. [Twitter – NOT SAFE FOR WORK]
County Ranked Top 50 Event Destination — Arlington County has been ranked No. 36 on a list of the top 50 U.S. localities for meetings and events. The District ranked No. 6 and National Harbor ranked No. 35 on the list, from event software provider Cvent. The ranking “reflects Arlington’s appeal as a vibrant urban destination in the heart of the nation’s capital – one that offers the convenience of downtown D.C. with hotel rates averaging up to 20 percent less,” a county official said. [Arlington County]
Columbia Pike Parking Mishap — A car ran partially over an embankment in a shopping center parking lot at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street on Sunday evening. [Twitter]
Pike Photography Book — “Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project,” has been published by the University of Virginia Press. The book “is the extraordinary result of a team of five insightful and highly skilled photographers and interviewers portraying the contemporary life of people and sites along the exceptionally ethnically-diverse and rapidly-changing Columbia Pike corridor.” The hardcover version is selling for $39.95 on Amazon. [Preservation Arlington]
(Updated at 6:25 p.m.) The distinctive “Blue Goose” building on the corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Glebe Road in Ballston is starting to be torn down.
The building, built in the 1960s, will be replaced by a nine-story office building and 15-story residential building. The redevelopment is a partnership between Shooshan Company and Marymount University. Shooshan has a ground lease for the land and is developing the new buildings, while MU owns the land and will occupy six of the nine floors of the new office building, with plans to fill the other three over time.
The demolition is expected to wrap up May, according to Shooshan Company Director of Leasing and Marketing Kevin Shooshan. The first step of construction will be excavation to create the three levels of underground parking. Shooshan expects the two buildings to be complete in summer 2017.
The entire property — the building and the parking lot in the rear — is fenced off as crews begin to tear out the building’s interior. This morning, workers were tossing pieces of the interior from the fourth floor window onto the ground below.
Panels from the building will be donated to local museums to preserve the building as a model of Modern Movement architecture. Some of the panels, as well as blue elements throughout the 7,600-square-foot public plaza also being built on the site, will be preserved as part of the new development.
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) Arlington County officials say more snow arrived than they expected this morning — 3 inches so far, according to the National Weather Service — leading to widespread traffic, transit delays and accidents.
The NWS declared a Winter Storm Warning just after 9:00 a.m., now predicting the region gets more than 4 inches of snow by 1:00 p.m. Several of the accidents this morning have involved school buses, and the Arlington County Police Department tweeted that they received 71 calls for traffic accidents between 6:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Arlington County sent out the following release at 9:45 this morning:
MEDIA ALERT: A shifting weather pattern coupled with freezing temperatures resulted this morning in unexpectedly heavy snowfall and dangerously slick roads. Drivers should avoid unnecessary travel while County crews plow roads throughotu the day. If you must drive, use extreme caution. Visit the County’s Snow and Ice Page for tips on how to cope with inclement weather.
The County has deployed 35 piece of snow-fighting equipment. Snow-fighting will continue non-stop through the day and overnight into tomorrow. Crews will work first on main roads, then residential side streets.
APS has issued the following update: This morning’s inclement weather has caused significant traffic delays and buses are experiencing significant delays, and some buses are having problems completing their routes. Because of these traffic and road conditions, we continue to experience transportation delays this morning. We are also experiencing some telephone outages with Verizon services at some APS locations. Any student arriving late will not be marked tardy. If you are driving your student to school, please be patient and safe.
ARLnow.com received a photo of a garbage truck that had slid onto the sidewalk while trying to make its delayed rounds. As of 10:30 a.m., all trash and recycling collection for the day has been suspended, and collection for the rest of the week is pushed back a day.
Snowfall has tapered off and most outlets are predicting that accumulation has all but ended. With sub-freezing temperatures predicted for the rest of the day today and tomorrow, the secondary roads the county has yet to plow could begin icing over.
This is the first snowfall since Arlington announced it would start treating its major trails as primary roads. Crews cleared the Custis Trail and W&OD Trail — which is owned and maintained by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority — to allow bike commuters to travel into work.
We had previously reported that at least seven roads had been closed due to accidents, and several more are experiencing multi-vehicle accidents. Scanner traffic indicates the intersection of Fort Scott Drive and S. Grant Street near Crystal City had a three-car accident, a multi-vehicle accident at N. Highland and 20th Streets and several cars getting stuck on a hill on N. Livingston Street.
Participants in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon were met with sunny, albeit breezy, conditions for Sunday’s race through parts of Arlington and the District.
Army Spc. Samuel Kosgei of Junction City, Kansas, finished first at 2:22:11. Two Arlington residents rounded out the top five finishers: Michael Wardian came in fourth with a time of 2:25:41 and Graham Tribble was close behind, finishing at 2:25:51.
Meghan Curran of Moorestown, New Jersey, led the women, with a time of 2:51:46. Lindsay Wilkins of Arlington was the second woman to cross the finish line, coming in at 2:52:19 and Arlington’s Erin Taylor came in fifth for women, at 2:52:53.
The Arlington County firefighters who participated in the race with full gear in honor of fellow firefighter Josh — who recently was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — were met with cheers and cowbells from bystanders.
When ARLnow.com caught up with Batallion Chief Dan Fitch during the race, he said he and the other team members were “pretty sore.” The firefighters spotted Josh at numerous points during the marathon, prompting Fitch to say, “He’s as much support for us as we are for him.”
Josh managed to meet a group of the firefighters toward the end of the course and finished the race with them. An email from one of the team members said, “This was something that will stay with us forever.”
The official MCM results page indicates more than 27,000 participants crossed the finish line for the marathon and 10K races.
It wouldn’t be October if there weren’t some creepy creations crawling onto lawns around Arlington.
We encountered residents who surrendered their yard to frightful grave-dwellers on N. Jackson Street, in Ashton Heights, and in two yards within a block of S. Joyce Street in Aurora Highlands.
Have you seen other ghoulish Halloween decorations around town? If so, snap a photo or two and post it in the comments section.
Halloween takes place on Friday, Oct. 31 this year. There is no official time for trick-or-treating in Arlington County.
A number of Halloween-themed events are taking place over the next two weekends, including the Howl-O-Ween dog walk, the Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror, a family-friendly Halloween party at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, and a Halloween bar crawl in Clarendon.