Bridget Reed Morawski joined ARLnow as our new assistant managing editor earlier this month.
Morawski and ARLnow editor-in-chief Scott Brodbeck had a freewheeling discussion about Arlington, the website and what’s next for both.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
“I’ve never really been happy with the existing podcast apps,” he said.
That’s where the idea for Playapod, a cross-platform syncing podcast app, came in. The app, created by Moore through the Crystal City-based TMSOFT, best known for its white noise app, is compatible with all Android and iOS devices and is available to download from the Google Play Store, Apple App Store and the Amazon App store. The app launched last week.
One podcast-playing problem that bothered Moore was the inability to sync podcasts across different devices from different platforms. Another issue was the difficulty of relocating where someone left off listening to a podcast.
“Something that frustrates me with all audio playback app, like even Amazon’s audio books, they never show you what you’ve listened to,” he said.
That made it easy to lose place in a podcast if, for example, the user accidentally touch the wrong button. On Playapod, users can see exactly where they left off if they lose their place through the precision progress bar. Users can also bookmark the most-recently played portion of a podcast for future playback, said Moore.
Playapod is free and has no advertisements. Another feature includes the ability to download podcasts so users can listen offline.
“I think the interface of Playapod is very simple, and it’s intuitive and it’s easy to navigate,” Moore said. “So I think it’s going to be a real hit based on the initial feedback I’m seeing.”
Playapod may have some big shoes to fill against its competitors at Apple and Amazon, but Moore said he’s not concerned.
“I think if people try Playapod, they’re going to see a better feature set. I think they’re going to enjoy this type of listening experience, and I’ve spent a year on this, so I’m a little biased,” he said.
The company announced last week that Northern Virginia — including Arlington alongside Alexandria, Loudoun and Fairfax Counties — has made its short-list of 20 finalists from 238 separate proposals from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
And while the county is keeping details of its bid close to the vest — like many others in the running — there have been rumblings that both Crystal City and Rosslyn have been floated as good locations for Amazon’s so-called “HQ2.”
Arlington County Board chair Katie Cristol promised to release details of the county’s bid, win or lose, once the process is over.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we discussed the county’s bid for Amazon as well as other topics like the office vacancy rate, the shrinking influence of the federal government and also the future of arts in the county, with Arlington Economic Development director Victor Hoskins.
Rosslyn has undergone a transformation in recent years as it continues to add new businesses, residential units and retail space in arguably Arlington County’s densest neighborhood.
It made national news last year as food giant Nestle chose to relocate its U.S. corporate headquarters there from Southern California. Nestle joined other corporate giants like Grant Thornton in moving to Rosslyn in recent years.
And at the forefront has been the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, which works to bring in new businesses and make the neighborhood a fun and vibrant place to be.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we spoke to Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick about Nestle’s move, the ongoing construction at Central Place and its soon-to-open observation deck, as well as other development projects in the works.
Burick also discussed the ambitious Western Rosslyn Area Plan, events hosted by the BID and the future of Rosslyn, including a possible second Metrorail station and the long-discussed boathouse by the Potomac River.
Local Dels. Rip Sullivan and Alfonso Lopez (D) were at the forefront of last November’s wave of Democratic victories, from the governor’s race to the Virginia House of Delegates, where the party is near parity with the Republicans.
Sullivan served as House Democratic Caucus Campaign Chair, while Lopez is Chief Democratic Whip, and both represent sections of Arlington County in the House of Delegates.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, Sullivan and Lopez reflected on a momentous 2017 for Virginia Democrats, and looked ahead to the new year.
They discussed the role of outside progressive groups in helping shape 2017’s results, and the Democratic gains in the House of Delegates that have brought near-parity with Republicans and the promise of more bipartisan legislating.
And the pair looked ahead to policy they would like to work on, like a reliable funding source for Metro, Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, environmental issues, gun control and more.
And having presided over his last meeting earlier this week (Tuesday, December 19), Fisette was in a reflective mood as he looked back at his tenure, but said he is excited for the future of the county.
Fisette won re-election four times after first winning a seat on the Board in 1997, and rotated in as chair in 2001, 2005, 2010, 2014 and this year. He also briefly flirted with a run for Congress in 2003.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Fisette about his memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon, Base Realignment and Closure, Metro, development and the nixed Columbia Pike streetcar, among other subjects. He also had some advice for his colleagues remaining on the County Board.
Arts organizations in Arlington need additional support from Arlington residents, says Janet Kopenhaver, founder and chair of Embracing Arlington Arts.
The group was founded earlier this year and counts Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) and County Board vice chair Katie Cristol among its supporters.
Embracing Arlington Arts describes itself as “an independent citizens group comprised of Arlington arts supporters whose mission is to inform others about the importance and diversity of the arts, artists and arts organizations in our community.” It also helps to “spread the word about the extremely diverse performance and cultural events held in Arlington.”
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Kopenhaver about her organization, her recent radio interview with Second Lady Karen Pence, the economic impact of the arts in Arlington, the mistakes made with Artisphere, why the number of arts groups in Arlington are dwindling, and how local residents and organizations can support the arts.
For the latest 26 Square Miles podcast, we spoke with County Board member John Vihstadt about last week’s elections in Virginia, his reelection bid next year and various issues facing Arlington County, including budget pressures and development.
We also asked Vihstadt about the possibility of Arlington landing Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.
Joel McHale is coming to Arlington.
The actor and comedian, best known for hosting The Soup on E! and for his starring role on Community, is performing four stand-up comedy shows at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) this coming Friday and Saturday.
McHale, who also recently starred on CBS’s The Great Indoors and Fox’s The X-Files reboot, spoke with ARLnow.com for our 26 Square Miles podcast on Wednesday. He talked about hosting the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, told us what we can expect at his upcoming stand-up shows, and gave a candid answer about why The Soup was cancelled and whether it is in line for a revival.
We asked Alex about his startup and its business model, and how he got his start. This podcast was recorded live at 1776 in Crystal City. Thank you to the Chamber and our podcast sponsor, Crystal City.
Last week the Arlington Committee of 100 hosted a debate at Marymount University among those running for local office.
At the debate, the six candidates for County Board and School Board in the 2017 general election clashed on a range of issues, from how to engage more millennials in county government to closing the achievement gap in Arlington Public Schools.
Alex Villanueva launched Sprynt in June, offering free rides in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Within five days, the new app had been downloaded more than 700 times, and today Sprynt vehicles are a familiar sight in the corridor, going up and down Wilson and Clarendon Blvds all day long.
The event will take place on Tuesday, October 24 in front of an audience at 1776 in Crystal City. Villanueva will discuss his personal story and how he turned his business idea into a reality. Registration is $25.
ARLnow founder Scott Brodbeck will be the program’s moderator and will lead the discussion with Villanueva. Audience members will be able to ask questions during a Q&A segment that will not be recorded.
The event also features networking opportunities and food served from Ruth’s Chris Steak House. And for those unable to attend, the interview will later be published online via ARLnow’s podcast, 26 Square Miles.
The evening’s agenda is as follows:
- 5-5:30 p.m.: Registration and open networking
- 5:30-6:15 p.m.: Live recorded podcast
- 6:15-6:30 p.m.: Q&A (not recorded)
- 6:30-7 p.m.: Networking reception
Scott Parker is part of a group of partners who together have built something of a nightlife empire in Arlington.
A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac have all been hits along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. And now Scott and his partners are getting ready to open (in the next couple of weeks) The G.O.A.T., a new sports bar right across from the Clarendon Metro station in the former Hard Times Cafe space.
Scott has helped to build this empire based on Sunday Fundays and happy hour drink specials all while having a somewhat unique personal background for a bar impresario: he does not drink.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we sat down with Scott to discuss how he achieved success after success in the notoriously difficult restaurant industry, what to expect with the G.O.A.T., what comes next, and what he thinks of the current state of the Arlington bar and restaurant scene.
A local blogging legend, Dan has been tirelessly chronicling community news, happenings and minutia in D.C. for more than a decade.
We asked him about how he started the site, his approach to PoPville’s coverage and about the parallels (and partnership) between PoP and ARLnow.
Photo by Hugh Clarke
Founded in February of this year, Indivisible Arlington describes itself as being part of a “grassroots movement… to resist the Trump agenda by pressuring Republican members of Congress to vote against that agenda and discouraging Democrats from going along with it.”
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with two of its members, Gayle Fleming and Clara Bridges. Among the topics covered: the organization and its activities, the events in Charlottesville this past weekend, the words and actions of President Trump, the need to resist violence amid growing divisions in the country, and where the movement goes from here.