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by ARLnow.com July 6, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Following a long period of growth, the restaurant industry is hurting nationwide, with an overabundance of restaurant options and competition from grocery stores and delivery services like BlueApron.

There is local evidence of the industry’s woes: a steady stream of closings, a slower pace of openings.

On the other hand, turnover in the restaurant business is normal and to be expected, and a walk through neighborhoods like Clarendon and Shirlington reveals plenty of crowded eateries on most nights.

One factor influencing how local restaurants fare is how often local residents go out to eat. So today we’re asking: are you going out to eat more or less often than you were two years ago?

by ARLnow.com July 3, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

In 2013 we polled readers on your favorite fireworks-viewing spots.

The top 3, from first to third, excluding “other:” the Iwo Jima memorial, an apartment or house rooftop, and the Air Force Memorial.

This year we have another question: are you watching the fireworks? And if so, how do you plan on watching?

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com June 23, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

Earlier this week the Arlington County Board approved a resolution expressing the county’s commitment to fighting climate change and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.

One could argue that fighting climate change starts with local action and that, at the very least, there is positive symbolic value in the county’s resolution.

One could also argue that despite passage of its Community Energy Plan in 2013, there’s little Arlington County can legally do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, beyond providing incentives for greater energy efficiency in buildings.

What do you think? Should the County Board be taking the time to address the issue of climate change?

Photo by Tyler Zarfoss

by Katie Pyzyk April 14, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

The weekend is shaping up to be warm and pleasant — despite high pollen counts — which is good news for those celebrating Easter on Sunday. That’s also the final day of spring break for Arlington Public Schools students.

There are plenty of special Easter happenings including church services, egg hunts and brunches.

Although county community centers are closed on Sunday, parks will remain open to visitors who may want to hike, picnic or use playground equipment.

Other spring activities include taking advantage of newly-opened farmers markets.

What are you planning to do this weekend?

by ARLnow.com April 6, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

This week brought the sad news that long-time local outdoor retailer Casual Adventure is closing up shop.

The owners wrote that it’s “no secret that the old retail model no longer works” at a time when online retailers keep gaining market share.

There is a reason why Amazon’s market value is now almost twice that of Walmart.

You know things are topsy-turvy when Bethesda residents are petitioning against the closure of a large chain bookstore — which 20 years ago would have been criticized for running independent bookstores out of business.

Shop local” has been a popular rallying cry recently for those who value the community-enhancing power of local businesses, but it’s hard to deny that there are a ton of empty Amazon boxes sitting curbside on recycling day. “Shop local” is nice in theory, but the convenience and low prices online often win out when it’s time to actually make a purchase.

In today’s poll, we wanted to find out where Arlingtonians stand on this.

Think of a category of something you want to buy — outdoor goods, books, pet supplies, etc. What are you most likely to do: specifically seek out a local bricks-and-mortar retail store to buy the product, or just buy it online from Amazon or another site?

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Despite a bit of a cool start today, spring has definitely sprung in Arlington.

Seasonal allergies aside, there’s a lot of like about spring here: rising (but not sweltering) temperature, cherry blossoms and the return of many farmers markets and other outdoor activities.

For some, however, spring is nice but not the nicest of the local seasons. What’s you favorite? Let’s find out.

by ARLnow.com March 28, 2017 at 9:55 am 0

In Monday’s Morning Notes, we linked to a Washington Business Journal article that noted that there is more domestic migration out of the D.C. region than into the area last year.

Slower job growth and a high cost of living were blamed as possible reasons for the outflow.

We have previously predicted that Arlington will struggle to retain millennial residents as they start having families due to the high cost of housing and childcare. Those millennials may seek greener pastures outside the region, particularly in the kinds of cities that saw a net influx of domestic migration: Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle and Houston.

Would this prediction bear out in a poll of our readership? Let’s find out.

Photo courtesy James Mahony

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Crowds gather in Courthouse for same-sex marriage press conference on 10/6/14With a few exceptions — like breaking news — ARLnow does not publish on weekends.

We also only sparingly cover things like high school sports or do long human interest feature stories, things which readers have told us — in surveys and in their actions — are a lesser priority than news about core topics like crime, fire, local government, local businesses, weather and traffic. At the same time, readers frequently ask for us to “investigate” various topics, but true investigative journalism is time-consuming and expensive and hard to do while on the daily local news grind.

So what’s the solution to this for those readers who have emailed us and asked for more weekend coverage, more in-depth features and more investigative stories?

One possibility is for ARLnow to launch a membership program as part of a larger community journalism project.

Services like Patreon allow fans to support, with a small monthly contribution, the creators who are making content they’re passionate about. Similarly, we’re wondering if Arlingtonians would be interested in supporting local content that goes above and beyond ARLnow’s core news mission.

Those who sign up as members would get to weigh in on what kind of content their contribution should be funding — features, investigative pieces, coverage of local arts and nonprofits, etc. The new content would run as an ARLnow “weekend edition” — so as to not overwhelm readers who follow our weekday news coverage.

At the same time, members could get other benefits. We’re considering exclusive discounts from local businesses, access to exclusive ARLnow member events, access to a members-only online forum and perhaps the occasional ARLnow schwag (if NPR has totebags, we can have totebags).

That all said, maybe a $6 a month for local news isn’t something that people want to pay, or you’d rather we just stick with our core mission. Tell us what you think in the poll below and in the comments.

by ARLnow.com March 15, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Snow plow 3/3/14 (file photo)The first significant snowstorm of the season was the first big test for Arlington’s new snow removal policy.

Approved this past summer, the new policy had snow crews clearing major roads and neighborhood streets concurrently, a change from the previous practice of only tackling neighborhood streets after arterial streets were totally clear.

The old policy led to complaints (and snow vigilantism) from residents that by the time crews got to their neighborhood, the snow had become so compacted or icy that it was hard for the plows to fully remove.

So how did the snow crews do? Let us know below. (As of 8 a.m., the snow clearing effort was still underway, with crews in the fourth and final phase, cleaning up remaining trouble spots.)

For reference, check out the previous grades for the snow removal effort after winter storms in 2015 and 2016.

by ARLnow.com March 8, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Aerial view of Arlington residential neighborhood (screen capture via Arlington TV)(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) It’s hard to dispute that Arlington is a great place, which is why it winds up near the top of a lot of lists of various place rankings.

For instance, Arlington was crowned the Best City to Live in America last year by the website Niche.com.

Just a week later, however, Arlington was only No. 7 on the list of Best Suburbs to Live in America, behind No. 4 ranked Merrifield. And that’s not to mention the fact that Niche also ranked Arlington the No. 11 “Best Place to Live in America” last year.

Mashing together U.S. Census data sets and other info to rank places on various dimensions is a popular activity among publicity-seeking companies, since news outlets often pick up such stories and readers, in turn, love reading and sharing ranking articles. But the rankings — ARLnow.com is sent dozens of such lists each year — are often contradictory, nonsensical or, at least, highly questionable.

In the spirit of ranking things, today we’re letting our users arbitrarily rank “the most questionable rankings involving Arlington.” Here are the contenders and the organizations that compiled each respective list:

  • Arlington is the No. 3 “super cool U.S. city” (Expedia)
  • Arlington Heights and Yorktown are the No. 2 and No. 3 “hottest neighborhoods” in the D.C. area (Redfin)
  • Arlington is the No. 5 “Worst City to Own a Car” (SmartAsset)
  • Arlington is the No. 33 mid-sized city for “cultural diversity” (WalletHub)
  • Arlington is the No. 985 “Most Liberal Place in U.S. (Crowdpac)
  • Arlington is the No. 1 “Hardest Working City in America” (SmartAsset)
  • Arlington is the No. 1 “Best City to Retire” (Bankrate)
  • Arlington is the No. 162 “Best City to Retire” (Niche)
  • Arlington is No. 4 for “Best U.S. City Parks” (Trust for Public Lands)
  • Arlington is No. 64 for “Best Cities for Outdoor Activities” (Niche)
  • Arlington is the No. 8 “Best City to Train for a Marathon” (Competitor)
  • Arlington is the No. 1 “Best City to Live in America” (Niche)
  • Arlington is the No. 7 “Best Suburb to Live in America” (Niche)
  • Arlington is the No. 11 “Best Place to Live in America” (Niche)

Feel free to vote for as many entries as you like, because why not.

by ARLnow.com February 22, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Blossoms on a tree in Arlington 2/22/17

It’s February on the calendar but the weather forecast for the next three days looks more like May.

Arlington — and indeed much of the country — is experiencing what could be described as an early spring, despite what the groundhog said. Blooms are forming on trees, outdoor restaurant patios are open and it’s not uncommon to see shorts and short sleeves being worn outdoors.

It’s unclear whether winter will try to make a comeback next month, but how would you feel if the weather stayed springlike until… the actual calendar start of spring?

by ARLnow.com February 1, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Valentine's Day heart candy by Chris RiefValentine’s Day is only two weeks away.

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, V-Day is a day to plan.

For those in relationships, do you stay home and plan a romantic dinner, or go out and pay a premium at a nice restaurant?

For those who are single, do you stay in or join your single friends for a night on the town?

Which are you planning to do on Feb. 14?

Flickr pool photo courtesy Chris Rief

by ARLnow.com January 19, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Cloudy sunrise behind the Capitol on 9/18/16 (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Inauguration Day is almost here, and a new administration will soon be establishing itself in Washington’s halls of power.

How will Arlingtonians be marking the occasion? Let’s find out.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com January 11, 2017 at 10:10 am 0

Question markWe’re in the second full week of 2017 and it’s already shaping up to be quite the year.

While it’s impossible to know how the year will end, we do know a bunch of the milestones — including local events and openings — that will be taking place along the way.

Which of the following 20 things are you most looking forward to this year?

Wondering about one of the items? Here are some links to help: Drafthouse, Artomatic, G.O.A.T. Sports Bar, District Taco, Continental.

by ARLnow.com December 28, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

Clarendon Grill New Year's 2017New Year’s Eve is only three days away.

While one might think of New Year’s as a time to get dressed up and head into the city — or, if you’re a parent, stay home and go to sleep at 12:05 a.m. — it seems that going out here in Arlington is also a popular choice.

Already, NYE parties at Don Tito and A-Town are completely sold out, according to their respective Eventbrite pages. Another big local NYE event at Sehkraft Brewing is nearly sold out, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday.

(There are more Arlington options, as detailed in our previous NYE article and on our event calendar.)

So do more Arlingtonians stay home, go out in Arlington or go out elsewhere in D.C.? Or are most people heading out of town? Let’s find out.

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