by Anna Merod March 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

From The West Wing to The Pelican Brief, Arlington has been home to a number of film scenes over the years.

The county’s tourism promotion agency, StayArlington, listed several notable locations in a recent blog post, and ARLnow hit the pavement to find some of the more famous sites.

Few political junkies have forgotten the famous attempted assassination scene in The West Wing, which was filmed in Rosslyn’s Freedom Park.

Other memorable sites include scenes from Charlie Wilson’s War, which was filmed at Rosslyn’s The Weslie Condominiums, from The Next Karate Kid and Flags of Our Fathers, both of which shot scenes at the Marine Corps War Memorial, according to StayArlington.

The Ballston Common Mall — now Ballston Quarter — parking garage is said to have been the set for a scene in The Pelican Brief. The Russell Crowe thriller State of Play, meanwhile, included scenes at the Rosslyn Metro station and the Americana Hotel in Crystal City.

Any other famous scenes we missed on our tour? Let us know in the comments.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 22, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

(Updated 2:39 p.m.) A spring book festival is coming to Rosslyn this year for the first time.

The Rosslyn Reads! Spring Book Festival will take place at Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street) on Thursday, April 26, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m, and will feature readings from local writers, local food and beverages, and a used book sale.

Used books, DVDs, and CDs will be sold for $1-5, with all proceeds benefiting Turning the Page, an educational resources nonprofit.

Author talks will be held throughout the day, and a free concert by Virginia band Two Ton Twig will be held in the evening.

The event is hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in partnership with the Arlington Public Library and Washington’s Carpe Librum book store.

The full list of scheduled events at the festival is below.

  • 10 a.m. – Event opening
  • 10:15 a.m. – Preschool story time
  • 11 a.m. – Managing Up “Workout” Coffee Talk with Careerstone Group LLC president and The Washington Business Journal editor-at-large
  • 12 p.m. – Author Talk with Bayou Bakery owner David Guas on his cookbooks
  • 12:30 p.m. – Author Talk with John Pfordresher on his The Secret History of Jane Eyre: How Charlotte Brontë Wrote Her Masterpiece
  • 1 p.m. – Author Talk with Nicholas Reynolds on his Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961
  • 2 p.m. – Author Talk with Rebecca Czarniecki on her Manners & Tea with Mrs. B
  • 3 p.m. – Family storytelling & music
  • 4 p.m. – The Great Zucchini Show magic show
  • 5-7 p.m. – Author Talk and beer tasting with Mark Elliott Benbow on his Christian Heurich and His Brewery
  • 5:30 p.m. – Author Talk with Liza Mundy on her Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
  • 7-10 p.m. – Two Ton Twig performance alongside a pop-up wine and beer bar and food trucks

File photo

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 20, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

Signs are up at The Simple Greek, a new restaurant at the Colonial Village shopping plaza near Rosslyn.

Company representatives say they’re hoping to open the eatery, at 1731 Wilson Blvd, in late April.

The Simple Greek serves personalized Greek pitas or bowls, with several protein options and toppings like feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and cucumbers. Four different sauces, including hummus and garlic cream, will be available, and the restaurant has dessert options that includes a baklava cheesecake and Greek yogurt.

Greek beer and wine are also available at select locations, but The Simple Greek’s website did not list if this location was among those with libations. The chain replaces the former Virginia ABC Store, which closed in 2013 and left the storefront vacant ever since.

According to a website location map, The Simple Greek chain has at least nine new locations in the works nationwide, from Massachusetts to Texas. Hours for the Arlington store are not yet listed on the website.

The Simple Greek was featured on the CNBC show The Profit, an appearance that later led to a lawsuit against host Marcus Lemonis and the subsequent closure of a location in suburban Pittsburgh.

by ARLnow.com March 20, 2018 at 9:00 am 0

More on Hit-and-Run Suspect Arrest — A lobbyist known for his promotion of conspiracy theories, particularly theories about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, says he was the victim of an incident that led to the arrest of a man in Fairlington on Saturday. Jack Burkman says the suspect, Kevin Doherty, shot him twice and tried to run him over with an SUV in the parking garage of the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn. [Washington Post]

Isabella Sued for Sexual Harassment — “Celebrity chef Mike Isabella, the head of a $30 million culinary empire based in the nation’s capital, was sued Monday by a former top manager who claims that Isabella and his partners repeatedly sexually harassed her in the workplace… [The plaintiff] told The Post she joined Isabella’s company as a regional manager in 2015, helping to open his three Arlington, Va., properties.” [Washington Post]

Sprynt to Reopen for Season — Local free ride service Sprynt will be reopening for the season “in a few weeks,” according to founder Alex Villanueva. One of the company’s electric vehicles was seen parked in Clarendon last night with a “now hiring” sign on it. [Twitter]

Hotel Company Moving HQ to Crystal City — Interstate Hotels and Resorts is moving its headquarters from Ballston to Crystal City, per a press release. The company is leasing 35,000 square feet at 2011 Crystal Drive. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com March 19, 2018 at 10:55 am 0

(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) The normally quiet Fairlington community woke up to an alarming sight Saturday morning.

According to residents, heavily-armed police officers raided a home on the 2800 block of S. Buchanan Street, in north Fairlington, around 8 a.m. Saturday. On the Nextdoor social networking site, neighbors described a scene that seemed like it was out of a movie.

“It was 8:30 a.m. when I heard the agents who surrounded the place with assault rifles yelling everyone to stay inside, and with a bullhorn instructing the residents of the unit next door to go to the basement,” one wrote. “Steady stream of people going in and out now. Very scary way to start the day.”

Arlington police spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed that a man was arrested but did not initially detail the circumstances involved. Monday morning, after this article was published, police issued a press release (below) announcing that they had arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that happened last week in Rosslyn.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a suspect for his involvement in an assault in the 1400 block of Lee Highway. Kevin Doherty, 46, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and two counts of Malicious Wounding. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.

At approximately 6:43 p.m. on March 13, 2018, officers were dispatched to a hit and run collision in the 1400 block of Lee Highway. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male victim was traveling on foot when he was struck by an unknown vehicle. The male victim was transported to a local hospital. The striking vehicle did not remain on scene.

During the course of the investigation, Homicide/Robbery Unit detectives developed a possible suspect description based on evidence located at the scene and witness interviews. Members of the Emergency Response Team took the suspect into custody without incident at a residence in the Fairlington neighborhood on the morning of March 17, 2018.

This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective C. Riccio at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

There was no further explanation for the firearm charge or the second malicious wounding charge.

“This is an ongoing criminal investigation and, at this time, there are no additional details for release beyond the information in the press release,” Savage said in response to an ARLnow.com inquiry.

Separately, on Friday afternoon, a police tactical team arrested two people at the Inn of Rosslyn motel. Savage said that officers were executing a search warrant but was unable to provide additional details.

File photo (top)

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 9, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

The Rosslyn Farmers Market will kick off once again in a few months, but with a new feature: a weekly community supported agriculture program (CSA).

Like other CSA programs, FRESHFARM Share program staff pull together fruit, vegetables, and other goods from local farmers and producers that also sell at the farmers market.

Residents have the option of a regular share, which costs $30 a week and feeds two people or “one person who eats a lot of veggies,” or a large share that will feed two to four people for a week, according to the subscriber website.

A rotating market treat can be added on for $5 per week, and can be anything from pickles to pasta sauce to pastries (and other non-alliterative supplementary snacks).

Subscribers can pick up their share of the week’s crop at the farmers market, which is held weekly at 1800 N. Lynn Street at the Central Place Plaza from late spring through early autumn. The CSA is limited to 40 subscriptions, and members can skip up to two weeks per half season with three days notice.

More from a press release on some subscription logistics:

While the Rosslyn Farmers Market season will begin on May 9 and run through October, FRESHFARM Share will not begin until May 16. If you subscribe for the first half of the season (12 weeks) of FRESHFARM Share, your subscription will run through August 1.

If you subscribe for the second half of the season (12 weeks), your subscription will run from August 8 through October 24. Full season subscriptions are also available (May 16 – October 24). Share pick-ups will be available during the market’s afternoon operating hours.

The announcement of the program, in partnership with the Rosslyn BID, follows the results of a Rosslyn resident and worker survey which noted the neighborhood’s desire for more healthy food options.

Photo courtesy of the Rosslyn BID.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 8, 2018 at 1:30 pm 0

South African spicy chicken restaurant Nando’s is opening its newest location at Rosslyn’s Central Place on Monday (March 12), the company announced today.

A press release noted that players with a Washington sports team will make an appearance for a grand opening charity event to benefit “local underserved youth,” but a Nando’s representative declined to be more specific. A Ballston Nando’s opening in 2016 featured several Washington Capitals players flipping chickens.

The location is the newest of the chain’s now 41 U.S. restaurants. Decorations inside the new location include a portrait by South African artist Nqabutho Phakathi, colorful lighting and an undulating ceiling.

Beginning Monday, the restaurant at 1800 N. Lynn Street, with an entrance on N. Moore Street, will operate from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on weekdays, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Photos courtesy of Nando’s

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 6, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

The contentious I-66 toll rollout only began about three months ago, but it appears that some non-HOV commuters have already found a way around the tolls.

Videos sent to ARLnow.com from a Rosslyn resident show commuters idling along the I-66 shoulder. It’s unclear whether or not the drivers are waiting for the toll to lower or if they are waiting for the tolling period to end all together. The evening tolling period is from 3-7 p.m., and our tipster tells us that this happens frequently just before 7 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Virginia State Police, which is responsible for enforcement on the highway, told ARLnow.com that “this has been an ongoing issue on Interstate 395” as well.

“State police take this issue very seriously and continue to enforce the law, but we are limited due to an ongoing shortage of troopers,” said the spokeswoman. Emergency calls take priority over tolling enforcement, she added.

Virginia law states that drivers cannot stop on the highway except in case of an emergency, accident, or mechanical breakdown.

Tolls as high as $40-50 have been reported on I-66 inside the Beltway since the HOT lane launch, despite initial predictions  of tolls closer to the $7-9 range.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A 25-year-old D.C. man has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in Rosslyn last May.

The suspect is Richard Allen Lowe, who police say knocked on doors at an apartment building on the 1500 block of Key Boulevard pretending to be a maintenance worker. When a female victim opened her door, the suspect attacked her, sexually assaulting her before fleeing, according to police.

Lowe, charged with abduction with intent to defile and malicious wounding, is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

More from the press release:

Arlington County Police detectives conducted an intensive investigation including the review of crime scene evidence, witness interviews and laboratory results. The review resulted in additional information that led detectives to identify Richard Allen Lowe as a possible suspect. Forensic evidence and thorough investigative efforts linked the suspect to the incident. The suspect was arrested in Washington D.C. on February 22, 2018 with assistance by the Metropolitan Police Department and subsequently extradited to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident or concerning Richard Allen Lowe is asked to contact Detective P. Pena at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

After the attack last May, the Arlington County Police Department released a video of the suspect entering another residential building on the 1900 block of Wilson Boulevard. In that instance, the building’s concierge saw the man sneak in and denied him further access.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 28, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Board approved $1.4 million in additional funding for the N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway esplanade and safety enhancement project.

The Virginia Department of Transportation came to county officials with a cost estimate significantly higher than the initial $7.95 million price tag, which was approved by the Board in December 2016.

The increase is due to lengthened construction time, increased materials and labor costs since the 2016 estimate and design changes relating to traffic plans, according to the county manager’s report. Initially, the call for construction bids in March 2017 only received one bidder, which was rejected “due to previous established restriction on the bidder by VDOT,” according to the manager’s recommendation.

The project will bring pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, such as wider sidewalks and on-street bike lanes, as well as traffic management and street beautification to the N. Lynn Street and Custis Trail area. A public arts project, the long-delayed Corridor of Light project, will also be installed, but only at the four corners of the I-66 bridge.

Safety is a significant component of the project. The intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway, once dubbed the “Intersection of Doom,” has been the scene of numerous vehicle vs. pedestrian crashes over the past few years, though collisions are down since interim safety improvements have been installed

The Board unanimously approved the increase in budget at its Tuesday meeting. Project construction should wrap up by May 2020.

File photos

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a $7.9 million loan to redevelop Queens Court, an affordable housing building in North Rosslyn.

The Affordable Housing Investment Fund loan would help build 249 affordable units at what will be called Queens Court South, yielding “a net gain of 388 bedrooms over the existing 39-unit building,” according to a county press release.

The existing Queens Court structure, built in 1940, has studio and one bedroom apartments. Queens Court South will have those configurations as well as two and three bedroom units, with more room for families.

The project also dedicates 9,000 square feet for a northern leg of Rosslyn Highlands Park, with a planned playground and tot lot.

The redevelopment is part of a Western Rosslyn Area Plan adopted in 2015 that will add a new fire station and public secondary school. Current Queens Court households will be relocated, and the new building will be required to remain affordable for 75 years.

County Board Chair Katie Cristol said the Board was “delighted to help” the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, which is redeveloping the property.

Here’s more from the press release regarding the project’s financing:

APAH will apply to the Virginia Housing and Development Authority for competitive 9 percent low income housing tax credits for Queen’s Court South, which will contain 90 affordable units. If APAH is awarded the 9 percent low income housing tax credits by VHDA, the Board is expected to consider a second AHIF request of up to $11.8 million for the remaining 159 units this fall. Although Queen’s Court North and South will be separated into two land condominiums for financing purposes, the development will be built in one phase, with all 249 units in one building.

After the Board approved its Site Plan in February 2017, APAH submitted an AHIF application for $24 million as part of the County’s Fiscal Year 2018 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process for affordable housing funding, to redevelop the property. Staff selected the Queen’s Court project to move forward with AHIF negotiations and the public process.

During the negotiation process, APAH reduced the AHIF request for the entire development by $4.3 million. The AHIF reduction was a result of APAH working with VHDA to increase the amount of certain VHDA low interest loans that are being layered with the VHDA senior loan. APAH also agreed to contribute another $2 million in equity to the development resulting from the transfer of the property into the tax credit partnership.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Rosslyn residents are a bit happier with the neighborhood than they were last year, but they’d still like a new grocery store.

The results from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District survey, conducted in December 2017, were released earlier this month and point to a growing desire for healthy food options.

“Better grocery stores came up as the top desire for residents and the second for those who live in, work in, and/or visit Rosslyn,” the report said.

Currently, an aging Safeway and a newer Target Express are the main grocery options.

However, Rosslyn residents might be getting a new grocery store at some point in the near future, noted a Rosslyn BID rep, if an approved Monday Properties development at 1401 Wilson Boulevard moves forward. Plans are currently is on hold and a grocery tenant has not been announced for the location.

The survey also found that neighborhood negativity was down slightly, but there were areas with room for improvement.

Fewer residents expressed negative feelings about shopping options — down from 64 percent to 58 percent. Agreement that longer hours would get people to spend more time in Rosslyn dropped by three percent to 52 percent. Just over half of respondents noted that longer or later restaurant or shopping hours of operation would encourage them to linger in Rosslyn.

Survey takers said healthier food and more sit-down restaurants would be a welcome addition.

“Whether with food or retail, the overall consensus is a strong desire for more and better options, with local options playing an underlying theme,” said the survey results. “For dining, the public is unsatisfied with the limited sit-down dining options and desires more diverse and full-service restaurants. Additionally, a desire for healthy food options (including vegan, vegetarian, and organic) emerged in both dining and grocery options.”

Overall satisfaction with Rosslyn as a place to work went up from 87 percent to 91 percent.

“We see an overwhelmingly positive shift in perception from 2016 to 2017,” said Maureen Goldman, Rosslyn BID marketing and communications director. She said she was pleasantly surprised by the survey results and that the company would be capitalizing on the sentiment shift to make Rosslyn more of a destination.

“Perception change is a long game, it isn’t something that happens overnight,” she said.

Respondents were able to write-in the first words that came to mind when thinking about Rosslyn. The BID didn’t provide exact word count figures, but the group created a word bubble visualizing the word size corresponding with the frequency of the response.

The largest word on the chart was “convenient,” followed by “accessible,” “corporate,” and “clean.” Fewer respondents appeared to use words like “walkable,” “nice,” “food,” or “beautiful” to identify Rosslyn.

“Boring” was no longer within the top ten words used to describe the neighborhood.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com February 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A Falls Church man driving a stolen car ran a red light, ditched the car and then took off on foot as police gave chase, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The alleged incident happened early Monday morning near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.

More from the crime report:

ELUDING, 2018-02190017, Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 1:34 a.m. on February 19, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling without its headlights on and attempted a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The suspect continued driving through a red light, before coming to a stop and exiting the vehicle. The suspect disregarded police commands and attempted to flee the area on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody, with the assistance of a Virginia State Trooper arriving on scene. During the course of the investigation, the vehicle operated by the suspect was determined to be stolen out of Fairfax County. Kevin Hernandez Gomez, 22, of Falls Church, VA, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Obstruction of Justice/Resisting Arrest, Eluding Police, Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License/No Insurance, Failure to Dim Headlights and Failure to Obey Traffic Lights. He was held on no bond.

On Sunday and Monday, a man — or men — ran up to two women on Wilson Blvd and on the W&OD Trail and grabbed the backside of each.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190111, 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:35 p.m. on February 19, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:50 p.m. on February 18, the female victim was waiting at the bus stop when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and placed his hands on her back and buttocks. When the victim turned around, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect is described as a male with an average build, approximately 6’0″, wearing a black hoodie. The investigation is ongoing.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190119, Washington and Old Dominion Trail. At approximately 2:34 p.m. on February 19, police responded to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:15 p.m., while the female victim was running on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a male suspect ran up behind her, grabbed her buttocks and fled on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’6″ to 5’10”, between the ages of 14 and 18, with a slim build, medium length hair, wearing black sweatpants and a hoodie, with black and white shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

On Saturday, D.C. police arrested a man accused of throwing an object at a passing car in Rosslyn and shattering a back window.

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2018-02170116, Fort Myer Drive at Lee Highway. At approximately 9:41 a.m. on February 17, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was driving her vehicle in the area when an object was thrown through a rear window, causing it to break. No injuries were reported. Witnesses followed the suspect as he fled on foot into D.C., where he was apprehended with assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department. A warrant for Shooting/Throwing Missiles at Occupied Vehicle was obtained for David Turner, 41, of Washington, D.C.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.


by Anna Merod February 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm 0

Last week, a Post-it note conversation emerged between two office buildings in Rosslyn. Since then, the communication has become even more elaborate.

Occupants began moving in a few weeks ago at the new CEB office tower at Central Place, which is across the street from the office of Innovative Discovery, a legal services company.

Turner Richmond, an intern at Innovative Discovery, said his office’s first contact with the CEB building was on Feb. 2, when his office posted up a drawing of a monkey holding a bitcoin on a whiteboard. Later, employees in the CEB building responded with “hey” in Post-it notes, and the conversation was on.

Here’s a chronology:

  • Innovative Discovery put up a drawing of an alien on a whiteboard, in reference to the 1997 science fiction film Contact
  • Another office in Innovative Discovery’s building then wrote “5 o’ clock yet” in Post-it notes, prompting “sum where” from the opposite building. Innovative Discovery then wrote “over the” with a picture of a rainbow in Post-its.
  • When Valentine’s Day came around (on a Wednesday), Innovative Discovery wrote “Happy [Hump] Day,” with a camel in between “happy” and “day.” The opposite building replied “Yes, no?” with hearts, to which Innovative Discovery said in post-its, “Maybe? We just met…”
  • CEB wrote “Have a good weekend” and “TGIF.”
  • Later that same night CEB also wrote the flirty “U up?” message (seen above, to the right of the camel).
  • On Friday, in celebration of the Lunar New Year, Innovative Discovery also wrote “Happy New Year” with an image of a dog.
  • Innovative Discovery also posted a picture of an 8-bit Mario from Super Mario Brothers, using multiple Post-it note colors.

No word yet on how long the Post-it chat will continue.

Photos courtesy Turner Richmond

by Anna Merod February 15, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0


One smiley face made of Post-it notes turned into a conversation between the occupants of two Rosslyn office buildings in this week.

Allison Krumsiek, a government contractor, said her office has considered making contact with the office across the street — the new CEB office tower at Central Place — ever since people began moving into the space a few weeks ago.

Before the new office moved in, Krumsiek said she and her coworkers had a straight-on view of construction workers putting the building together. Then on Monday, people in the new office placed a Post-it smiley face on their window, and the intra-office communication was on.

“So we thought time was perfect to respond! We put up the ‘Hi!’ And when another floor of their building responded with ‘Hey’, we added ‘Welcome!'” wrote Krumsiek in an email.

After that Krumsiek said she heard another floor in her building put up “5 o’clock yet” to which the opposite building responded “sum where.”

“As you can tell from the picture, they had to use at least 3 colors of Post-it. Those things last forever when on your desk but go in a heartbeat when sending messages on windows,” Krumsiek added.

Photos courtesy of Allison Krumsiek


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