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by ARLnow.com — February 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm 0

Wilson Blvd is closed between Rosslyn and Courthouse due to a water main break.

The closure is between N. Quinn and Rhodes streets, in front of the Colonial Village Shopping Center. Traffic is being diverted onto N. Quinn Street.

As of 3:15 p.m., water was still flowing from 2-3 areas where the roadway had buckled and cracked from the pressure of the burst water main.

The closure is expected to remain in effect throughout the evening rush hour, according to Arlington County. Drivers are being encouraged to seek alternate routes.

by Buzz McClain — February 2, 2016 at 6:00 am 0

Virginia Center for Orthodontics
1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste. 810
Tel: 703-774-3070
Email: [email protected]

Rarely have the words “orthodontist” and “fun” been used side by side, but the newest orthodontist in Arlington specializes in more than just fixing smiles, she creates them.

Which explains the monkeys in the office suite.

“We have a really fun atmosphere,” said Dr. Crissy Markova from her office at Virginia Center for Orthodontics at 1600 Wilson Blvd., near both Courthouse and Rosslyn Metro stations. “Our patients travel to us from all over the United States and the world–they’re always coming and going–so we give them our office mascot, a stuffed monkey named Bob, that they can take to travel with them.”

Don’t think the monkeys are just to keep kids smiling: Grownup patients getting Invisalign have been known to adopt them as well.

You would think monkeys and lively music in the waiting room would be enough to set a business apart, but Dr. Markova, who opened the practice just last June, said “the biggest differentiating factor from other practices is that we are really convenient. We’re here up until 7 o’clock at night to be really accommodating. When a practice closes at 4:30 or 5, you have to take off work or school, and we want to help avoid that.”

After completing her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Markova, a Michigan native, relocated to Northern Virginia when she was a resident at Washington Hospital Center and, as a resident team leader, at Children’s National Medical Center Cleft Lip and Palate Craniofacial Clinic.

“I discovered I really loved the area,” she said, and that’s when she decided to hang her shingle in Arlington, with high-rise views of the city and Georgetown across the river. It took a year-and-a-half to build a state-of-the-art the office from the ground up–“with all the bells and whistles,” she said. “There is nothing in the field of orthodontics that we don’t have in the office.”

Her favorite new gadget, if you can even call something this high-tech a gadget, is a 3D scanner that eliminates the need to make uncomfortable impressions or molds of teeth. “We can do 3D modeling of anybody’s teeth,” she said. “And I get to geek out on the 3D scanner.” And this comes from someone who owns two patents for orthodontic bracket designs.

Besides stuffed monkeys and cutting-edge technology, Markova prides her practice on community involvement. “It’s a really big focus for us,” she said. The Arlington Soccer Association, Discovery Elementary, Gunston Career Day, Girls on the Run, and Arlington Little League are some of the events and organizations she’s supported.

The practice accommodates an expanded list of insurance carriers as well as a zero-percent financing plan for braces and Invisalign. Find Dr. Crissy Markova’s Virginia Center for Orthodontics on Facebook, on the web or by calling 703-774-3070.

The preceding was a sponsored local business profile written by Buzz McClain for ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — February 1, 2016 at 4:55 pm 0

An aging low-rise apartment complex in Rosslyn will be replaced with a new condominium development.

The Arlington County Board on Thursday approved the condo project from Reston-based developer NVR, Inc., the parent company of homebuilder Ryan Homes. The Board approved NVR’s plan for a six-story building with a total of 63 units, which will replace a four-story, 33-unit apartment complex built in 1955, along with a two story house.

The new building, at the corner of Key Blvd and N. Nash Street, is across from a planned — but stalled — redevelopment that was to include a 28-story residential building and ground floor grocery store.

“Washington Vista,” as the condo development is referred to in public documents, will include four affordable two-bedroom units that will be offered to qualified moderate-income buyers. Other community benefits include a contribution of more than $100,000 to Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund and $75,000 worth of public art.

Residents of the Metro Rosslyn apartment building, which is being torn down to make way for the condos, initially complained that the developer had not offered relocation assistance after notices to vacate were posted on the property. A relocation plan was subsequently approved by Arlington’s Tenant-Landlord Commission on Dec. 16.

After the jump: the county press release about the development’s approval.

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by ARLnow.com — January 29, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Rosslyn and the frozen Potomac River (Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore)

ARLnow Celebrates Sixth Anniversary — Six years ago today, ARLnow.com launched with a brief post about an upcoming snow storm and an early mission statement.

In Rosslyn: WJLA Stays, Politico Implodes — In Rosslyn yesterday, there were two big pieces of local media news in the same building, on the same day. First, it was announced that Sinclair Broadcast Group signed a five-year, 100,000 square foot lease that will keep WJLA and NewsChannel 8 in the 1000/1100 Wilson Blvd twin towers. Later, it was revealed that Politico — which renewed its lease in the same complex in 2014 — would soon be losing CEO Jim VandeHei, chief political reporter Mike Allen and three senior executives. [Washington Business Journal, Huffington Post]

Arlington OKs Gondola Study Contribution — Arlington County will kick in $35,000 to study the feasibility of a gondola running from Rosslyn to Georgetown. Some County Board members expressed skepticism of the plan, though the county’s economic development director said it would at minimum give local hotels and tourism a boost. [Washington Post]

Apartment Complex Deemed Historic District — The Arlington County Board yesterday voted to designate Cambridge Courts — “a garden apartment complex built from rationed materials to house defense workers during World War II” — a local historic district. The apartment complex along Route 50 will now be protected from redevelopment. [Arlington County]

New Rules for Bus-Only Lanes — New rules have been approved for the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway. After it opens this spring, the transitway’s lanes in Crystal City will be designated bus-only during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Police will issue warning to drivers who violate the rules during the first 30 days, then will issue $200 fines to lane violators after that. [WTOP, Arlington County]

EatBar Returns… On Capitol Hill — EatBar, which closed in 2014 in Lyon Park, will be coming back as a new bar/restaurant on Capitol Hill’s Barracks Row in D.C. [Barred in DC]

County Board Approves ‘Complete Streets’ Guidelines — The Arlington County Board has approved a set of guidelines intended to “help transform busy neighborhood streets into ‘Complete Streets’ – ones that will be safe for users of all ages and abilities whether they are walking, driving, cycling or using transit.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore

by ARLnow.com — January 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

Rendering of Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola (image via Georgetown BID)The Arlington County Board on Thursday will consider joining a partnership to study the feasibility of a gondola running from Rosslyn to Georgetown.

County Manager Mark Schwartz is recommending approval of the multi-party partnership, which calls for Arlington County to contribute $40,000 to the study’s expected $250,000 cost.

Among the parties to the proposed Memorandum of Understanding are the Georgetown Business Improvement District, which first floated the gondola idea, along with the District of Columbia Dept. of Transportation, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, Georgetown University and property owners JBG, Gould Properties and Vornado.

The Georgetown BID would be the biggest contributor to the study, with $75,000 pledged. The other parties, besides Arlington, are slated to contribute between $35,000 and $5,000.

County staff said that an aerial gondola system running above the Potomac could draw more visitors to Rosslyn and could help ease vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the congested Key Bridge. Georgetown is the largest employment center in the District without a Metro system — more than 22,000 people work there, including 10,000 at the university — and the walk from the Rosslyn Metro station across the bridge is about a kilometer, a chilly and windy 0.6 miles in the winter.

“A more efficient and reliable transit connection between Rosslyn and Georgetown would benefit both communities socially and economically,” county staff wrote.

The county’s Transportation Commission voted 6-3-2 in favor of the study. Opponents worried that “the primary purpose of a gondola would be for tourism rather than for transport.”

“The Commission is of multiple minds on this proposal,” wrote Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt in a letter to County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “There is a fear that the gondola proposal does not solve a real transportation need, and many commissioners fear that even contributing to a study will provide substantive fodder for transit-naysayers.”

The gondola study is expected to take seven months to complete and could be complete by October 2016.

Rendering via Georgetown BID

by ARLnow.com — January 6, 2016 at 12:50 pm 0

District Taco opened the doors at its new Rosslyn restaurant today, at 1500 Wilson Blvd, serving large lunchtime crowds two days before its official opening date.

Just after noon today, diners who heard of the early opening via word of mouth formed a long line inside the restaurant.

This is the seventh brick-and-mortar location for founder Osiris Hoil, who started District Taco as a tiny food cart after being laid off from a construction job during the recession. Rosslyn was one of the original cart’s most frequent destinations.

“We wanted to go back to Rosslyn because this place means a lot to us,” Hoil said last month. “This is where DT evolved — with our customers there… We stopped going to Rosslyn with the taco cart because we wanted to focus on our [brick and mortar] locations, but now we have come back and we’re here to stay for a long time!”

by ARLnow.com — January 6, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

I-395 near the Pentagon at dawn

W-L Defeats Yorktown, Twice — The Washington-Lee girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball teams both defeated their Yorktown counterparts yesterday, in cross-county rivalry games. The girls won 54-45, while the boys won 65-59.

Branson-Backed Startup Coming to Rosslyn — OneWeb, a startup that’s aiming to launch a constellation of low-orbit satellites that will provide affordable Internet access across the globe, is coming to Rosslyn. The company, backed by Virgin Group tycoon Richard Branson, will occupy a 6,000-square-foot space in Monday Properties’ 1400 Key Blvd building. The building, which is also home to ARLnow.com, is slated to replaced with an apartment tower and grocery store at some point, though it’s unclear when the redevelopment will move forward. [Washington Business Journal]

Reminder: Get Rid of Dry Christmas Trees — The Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents that dry Christmas trees are a big fire hazard. The county is currently in the midst of its annual Christmas tree collection. [Twitter]

A-SPAN Kudos for Paisano’s — Paisano’s Pizza saved the day for the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, after A-SPAN’s planned hot dinner for its homeless clients fell through at the last minute. Paisano’s delivered pasta, salad and garlic bread on a cold night and on short notice. [Facebook]

Levine Proposes LGBT Rights Bills — Yesterday we reported on three LGBT rights bills proposed by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D). Delegate-elect Mark Levine (D), who represents part of South Arlington and Alexandria, has proposed several such bills of his own. Among them are bills prohibiting employment, housing and other discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Levine was formerly legislative counsel to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). [Washington Blade]

TransportationCamp DC Coming to GMU — George Mason University’s Arlington campus will host the 5th annual TransportationCamp DC gathering on Saturday. The “un-conference” will discuss various transportation, technology and mobility issues. More than 400 “thought leaders, young professionals, and students from around the country” are expected to attend. [TransportationCamp]

Thank You to Crystal City Rotary Club — Thank you to the Crystal City-Pentagon Rotary Club for a hearty breakfast this morning. ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck spoke to the group about his experience running a small business that happens to be Arlington’s most-read local news outlet. ARLnow.com will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Jan. 29.

by ARLnow.com — December 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm 0

(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of an attempted bank robbery in Rosslyn.

The incident happened around 4:45 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Bank on the 1300 block of Wilson Blvd.

Initial reports suggest a man came into the bank and passed a note to the teller, but then panicked and ran off. No weapon was seen.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s or 30s, wearing a surgical mask and a beard, along with a blue cap, construction boots and a small backpack.

by ARLnow.com — December 30, 2015 at 9:00 am 0

Fog on the Potomac near Roosevelt Island and Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Family: We’re Being Evicted Because Our Disabled Son Is Too Loud — A family of a disabled boy says they’re being evicted from the Oakland Apartments on Columbia Pike because the 10-year-old boy makes too much noise. Local tenant advocates Bravo and Bu-Gata have taken up the cause of the Diaz family and held a press conference yesterday. [Washington Post, NBC Washington]

Arlington County Ready for Winter Weather — While there’s been little evidence of winter so far, given the procession of record warm temperatures, Arlington County says it’s ready to do battle with snow and ice when the time comes. The county says it has reviewed its operations, reinforced its training and acquired an additional 1,200 tons of salt compared to last year. [Arlington County]

View of Rosslyn Skyline in 1964 — The Key Bridge looked pretty much the same, but downtown Rosslyn looked a lot different in 1964. A historical photo shows only a handful of mid-rise office buildings and at least one of the River Place co-op buildings — but none of the towering buildings that characterize the modern Rosslyn skyline. [Twitter]

Webb Books Clinton’s Spiritual Advisor — Mike Webb, the Republican who hopes to challenge Rep. Don Beyer in next year’s election, says he’s booked Bill Clinton’s former spiritual advisor to speak at a campaign-sponsored prayer breakfast next month. The press release also pokes fun at Beyer’s Taylor Swift ticket fundraiser and notes that “earlier press releases from Webb published in ARL Now were met with derision.” [PDF]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — December 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm 0

District Taco, which started out as a humble food cart serving Rosslyn, Crystal City and other Arlington locales, plans to open its much-awaited brick-and-mortar restaurant in Rosslyn in early January.

The growing local Mexican food chain says its Rosslyn grand opening will be held starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 8. The restaurant will offer a complimentary meal for all active duty military personnel from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on that day.

“District Taco expects a positive turnout so it is best to arrive prior to the opening time,” the company said. A percentage of sales made that day will also be donated to the Association of the United States Army.

The Rosslyn District Taco is located at 1500 Wilson Blvd, below the new Target store. The company did not say whether the restaurant will open its doors for a “soft opening” before Jan. 8.

In a press release, District Taco notes that by the time the Rosslyn restaurant opens, the company will employ more than 300 workers. It’s a true American success story for co-owner Osiris Hoil, an immigrant who started the District Taco cart after being laid off from a construction job during the recession.

The seventh brick-and-mortar restaurant brings nostalgia to Co-Owner, Osiris Hoil, as he was the only employee running the food cart when it launched six years ago. After Rosslyn opens, more than 300 workers will be employed at District Taco.

Hoil says, “We wanted to go back to Rosslyn because this place means a lot to us. The first day I took the cart out, I went to Rosslyn. This is where DT evolved — with our customers there. I was able to test new recipes and start a social media following. We stopped going to Rosslyn with the taco cart because we wanted to focus on our [brick and mortar] locations, but now we have come back and we’re here to stay for a long time!” Construction has begun for restaurants in Tenleytown and Bailey’s Crossroads. Leases for three more locations, including an expansion to Maryland, are in process.

by ARLnow.com — December 28, 2015 at 11:15 am 0

ATV and dirt bike riders in D.C. (screen shot via PoPville)A large group of ATV and dirt bike riders rode through parts of D.C. and Arlington Sunday night.

PoPville posted a video of the riders in the District’s NoMa neighborhood around 5 p.m. yesterday. It’s illegal to ride ATVs and dirt bikes on public streets in D.C. Adding to the lawlessness, the riders travel in large groups, producing a deafening roar of engines, and sometimes intentionally run red lights and block traffic.

In the PoPville comments, readers said they saw similar groups of riders crossing the Key Bridge and riding past Pentagon Row, in Pentagon City, last night.

An ARLnow reader said he saw 5-10 ATV and motorcycle riders in the area of Key Blvd and N. Nash Street, near the Rosslyn Gold’s Gym.

“Most of them appeared to be ATVs; several were driving without any lights,” said David Mitchell. “I observed them driving in circles in the streets, in and out of nearby apartment parking lots, and on and off the sidewalks.”

“At one point, the motorcyclists moved in and out of cars driving south on N. Nash and interfered with traffic to the point that motorists had to stop and wait for their departure,” Mitchell continued. “Frankly, it felt like a scene from the ‘The Wild One’ with Marlon Brando. I called 911 to report this activity and was told they had already received multiple calls and that officers had been dispatched. The motorcyclist left the area not too long after I made my call to 911.”

“It it did not feel good to know that these motorcyclists might be allowed to escape unpunished,” Mitchell said.

Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed that the department received reports of ATVs and dirt bikes in the Rosslyn and Key Bridge areas last night. No traffic stops or arrests were made by Arlington officers.

In addition, ACPD received a report of a dirt bike rider who skidded into a light pole and utility box on the 2100 block of Washington Blvd, near Route 50. A Fort Myer firefighter who witnessed the crash told police that an ATV rider picked up the injured dirt bike rider and together they fled the scene.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, Sternbeck said.

Screen shot via PoPville

by ARLnow.com — December 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Once one of Arlington’s top 5 intersections for collisions — particularly those involving pedestrians and cyclists — the “Intersection of Doom” in Rosslyn now isn’t even in the top 25.

Safety improvements at the intersection have dramatically reduced accidents at the intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway, said Larry Marcus, the county’s head of transportation engineering, in a new county-produced video.

Illustration of bicycle-vehicle accident at Lee Highway and N. Lynn Street, as provided by the cyclistThe county faced a challenge with the intersection: how to design quick and relatively inexpensive improvements at an intersection where 1,700 bicyclists per day try to cross a street also being crossed by 600 vehicles per hour exiting I-66.

“The obvious thing to do is separate these movements,” Marcus said.

Bicyclists and pedestrians now get a 10 second head start to start crossing Lynn Street while the traffic exiting I-66 waits at a red light with an illuminated no right turn signal. Pedestrians and cyclists then get a don’t cross signal while traffic turning right onto Lynn Street clears out.

Those relatively simple “operational improvements,” along with traffic enforcement and a public education campaign by Arlington County police, have dropped the intersection out of the county’s top 25 most crash-prone, Marcus says.

Despite the improvement, Marcus said the county is getting ready to begin a planning process for a more permanent solution to pedestrian-car conflicts at the intersection.

“There’s certainly an opportunity to build something,” he said.

by Jennifer Currier — December 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm 0

National Chamber Holiday Concert 2014 (by Robert W. Jansen)The annual National Chamber Ensemble Holiday Concert will return to the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre this Saturday for a tradition almost as old as the musical group itself.

This year’s concert is scheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are available online and cost $17 for students, $33 for adults.

The ensemble was founded nine years ago by Leo Sushansky, who is also the group’s artistic director. The holiday concert has been a part of the performance schedule for eight of those nine years.

“I think it’s one of the most fun events of the season in Rosslyn,” Sushansky said. “It brings together classical masterpieces and holiday favorites in one program, for kids, for families, for everyone.”

This year’s program includes classical music from Beethoven and Chopin, as well as a piece from the overture of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a special performance of “Oh, Holy Night,” a Hanukkah medley and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”

Per tradition, the concert will end with a sing-a-long, led by performer and Washington Life Magazine performing arts columnist Patrick D. McCoy.

During the show, the chamber will also present the first ever Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award to Avery Gagliano, a 13-year-old pianist and violinist from the metro area. She’ll be featured in a solo and will also play one song with the entire ensemble.

“She’s a prodigy and the winner of many competitions around the world,” Sushansky said about the young artist. “She’s very deserving of this award.”

Sushansky also said audiences can prepare themselves for more engaging experience than they might expect from a holiday concert.

“All our concerts are very interactive,” he said. “Musicians tell stories, jokes, and talk about personal experiences. Yes, you’ll get to hear some great music, but you’ll also get to know the artists.”

Audience members will have another opportunity to interact with the artists after the concert, as they’ll join a reception with wine, cheese and snacks following the show.

“We’re a society of internationally acclaimed musicians from the capital area, and we come together for chamber music,” Sushansky added. “We’re very excited to share this with the Arlington community again this year.”

Photo by Robert W. Jansen

by ARLnow.com — December 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

On Monday, a woman was allegedly assaulted with a mug and a butter knife in Rosslyn.

From this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 151130008, 1300 block of N. Lee Highway. At approximately 7:35 a.m. on November 30, a 51 year-old homeless male subject assaulted a homeless female victim with a mug and stabbed her several times with a butter knife. The victim was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Gary Lynn Champagne, 51, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.

The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.

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by Jennifer Currier — December 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

A contemporary Chinese restaurant is open in Rosslyn after construction and permit issues delayed its original opening date more than a year and then kept the new date something of a secret.

Secret Chopsticks is now open at 1850 N. Fort Myer Drive on the ground level of the Turnberry Tower condo building. The 120-seat white tablecloth restaurant is open for dinner services seven days a week, focusing on authentic, healthy Chinese food.

“We’re trying to change what people think of when they think Chinese food,” general manager Jonathan Theriault said today. “This is fine dining, and everything we do has a strong Asian influence with a twist. You won’t find the large portions of take-out food but a very authentic experience instead.”

This authenticity comes from the restaurant’s executive chef, Robin Li, who is a native of mainland China and began his culinary career there. He came back to the United States — after studying here, serving in the Navy and spending more time in China — in 2014 with plans to open Secret Chopsticks.

“There are a lot of differences between this and other Chinese restaurants,” Li said previously. “Whatever they are cooking in China now, we are going to cook.”

The focus, he explained, is contemporary, modern takes on these dishes.

The menu has two meal options for diners. First, an a la carte menu offers individual portions to mix and match. Prices for these items range from $6 to $32.

For a more traditional fine dining experience, guests can choose from one of the restaurant’s fixed-price tasting menus. There are four options: dim sum, protein, tofu and vegetarian. Each one is nine courses, and prices range from around $60 to $90.

Theriault recommended the tasting menus for four or five people who are willing to share and try new foods.

The restaurant also has a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails. Guests are allowed to bring their own wine in, so long as it isn’t available on the existing wine list.

Secret Chopsticks is currently only open for dinner from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Starting next week, Theriault said, lunch will also be served from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. with happy hour from 4-7 p.m. These are the restaurant’s winter hours, which are likely to change in the warmer months. Additional outdoor seating will also be available during that time.

Despite the setbacks and ongoing work to improve its offerings, Theriault was hopeful about the outlook for the restaurant.

“We’re really excited to be here in Rosslyn and to have finally made this happen,” he said. “I hope it’s a place people know has great food and a great ambience to make all these authentic elements feel like the real thing.”

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