In case you forgot, Friday is Valentine’s Day. Wait, before you make a panicked purchase on Amazon and hit “next day shipping,” a market is scheduled this Friday in Crystal City to rescue last-minute shoppers.
The Valentine’s Market is scheduled to run from 4-8 p.m. at The Grounds (1102 S. Eads Street) with a variety of local vendors. If gift-giving isn’t really your style, an event listing said there will also be plenty of activities to turn it into a date night:
Leave your Valentine’s Day shopping to the last minute again, or just looking for a nice outing that doesn’t involve a quiet restaurant? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the Valentine’s Market at The Grounds!
Join us at The Grounds in Crystal City for wine & beer tastings and shopping from local crafts and treat vendors. There will also be a cash bar and food trucks, powered by Curbside Kitchen, so you can make an evening of it!
According to the website, vendors at the event include:
- Agents In Style
- Art by Marcia Furman
- Art by Roza
- Delighfully Modern
- K’Owino Batiks
- Lauren’s Southern Sweets
- Leila Faye Art
- Lenox Club
- London Chippy
- Natural Landing
- Pet Wants Chantilly
- Saffron Gourmet
- Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery
- The Global Local
- Vintage Dress Company
The website also says Arlington County’s Vision Zero program will be in attendance, in case your partner is a transportation policy wonk.
Photo via Agents in Style/Facebook
If state Sen. Scott Surovell’s (D-36) bill passes the Virginia legislature, businesses in Arlington could be on the line for recovering shopping carts people have taken but not returned.
Senate Bill 631 would make it so that the cost of removal, including disposal, of an abandoned shopping cart will be charged to the cart’s owner. The ordinance originally applied just to Fairfax County, but Surovell said Arlington and Alexandria asked to be included in the new legislation.
Surovell told the state Senate’s Local Government Committee that his frustration was borne out of years of personally pulling shopping carts out of a creek in Fairfax.
“These carts often end up in drainage ditches and when it rains they end up going in the creek,” Surovell said. “I’ve taken 230 shopping carts out of the creek myself.”
Abandoned shopping carts have been a plague on areas of Arlington, particularly the Pentagon City area, so prevalent they inspired Twitter accounts that have obsessively documented abandoned scooters around the area for the past several years.
— Ben D'Avanzo (@BenDAvanzo) November 25, 2019
The bill was reported from the Local Government Committee on a narrow 8-7 vote, where it faced pushback both on the dais and from public speakers. Parker Slaybaugh, executive director of the very newly formed nonprofit Virginia Food Industry Association, said the bill would make shopping carts the only stolen property where the victim of the theft is charged for its recovery.
That criticism was a recurring theme of opposition to the bill.
“If somebody steals your property, then abandon that, I don’t think you should be charged to have to go retrieve that property,” said State Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-82th District). “Businesses already paid to purchase it, [then] somebody stole it. The right thing to do would be to charge someone who stole it.”
DeSteph compared the proposal to requiring someone whose vehicle is stolen to retrieve the vehicle or pay for it to be recovered.
“It’s one of the points people raise every year and it’s totally wrong,” Surovell fired back. “To prove someone guilty of petty larceny [you] have to show intent to permanently deprive someone of something. The reason you don’t see these people charged with crimes is because it’s not a crime.”
Surovell said the legislation included a section that would allow localities to make it a civil infraction to take the carts from the business owner, though a police officer speaking at the meeting who claimed to have arrested someone for stealing a shopping cart disagreed with Surovell’s statement that it wasn’t a crime.
Sarah Taylor, Alexandria’s legislative director, said the city had asked to join the ordinance to give them another “tool in a toolbox” to encourage businesses to better manage their carts, such as geofencing.
Surovell also noted that at ALDI, customers put a quarter in to get the cart, get a quarter back when it is returned.
“It’s not about punishing the victim,” Surovell argued. “Retailers could take steps to keep this from happening, they just choose not to do it.”
Photo (top) via Scott Surovell/Twitter
This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.
The stuff we consume — from snacks to knick-knacks — are responsible for up to 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80 percent of total land, material and water use.
New Zealand recently started a Gen Less campaign and this touching video has all the feels. It is a campaign focused on less = more. Gen Less is a decision to start getting more out of life by using less energy. It’s the first generation anyone can join, regardless of age. Interesting food for thought this holiday season.
Buildings and transportation often get the most focus when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That said, 60-80 percent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption. If we change our consumption habits, this would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint as well.
As you swing into the holiday buying season, here are the Rethink Energy Team’s top shopping picks:
Massage or Spa Gift Certificates: Giving the gift of self-care is one of the most thoughtful. Consider a gift certificate for a massage, facial, manicure or other relaxing treatment. Particularly after the rush of the holiday season, any means of stress relief is likely to be a very welcome gift!
Yoga or Workout Classes/Membership: Help your loved ones explore a new class or buy them a month at a gym they already belong to. Buy a punch card to a yoga class, golf lessons or tennis lessons. Even better, sign up for classes together!
A Class to Learn Something New: Turning interests into skills feels good, and whether the person on your list is interested in cooking, knitting, writing, ballroom dancing or juggling, there’s probably a class available to learn more about it.
Go Homemade: Whether or not you consider yourself crafty, you can make a variety or relatively simple homemade items to give as gifts. Everyone appreciates a creative homemade gift, and the possibilities are endless.
The Gift of Time: The gift of time is not only one of the most meaningful gifts, but it can be one of the most helpful. Everyone could use additional help in some area of their life — whether it’s a house cleaning, organizing, cleaning up the lawn or a special project.
Movie or Restaurant Gift Certificates: If gift cards are on your shopping list, consider local restaurants and movies. Dinner and a movie will always be a timeless gift.
Arlington’s Secret Santa Program: You can make the holiday season a little happier for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable residents by taking part in the Department of Human Services’ Secret Santa Program.
Start a Savings Account: For anyone with children in your family, consider starting a savings account. Instead of spending money on gifts, put a few dollars into a savings account to give them when they graduate high school.
Up to three new businesses are set to replace the long-vacant Cardinal Bank building at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.
According to the shopping center’s developer A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, the bank’s demolition began earlier this week, and the new building will be “going up as quickly as possible.”
The company is early in its efforts to lease the 4,312 square feet of available space and “[does] not have any signed leases yet.”
“Depending on what deals come our way, we could have up to three new businesses,” said A.J. Dwoskin Marketing Director Lindsay Gilbert.
A county building permit submitted by A.J. Dwoskin at the bank’s current address (5335 Lee Hwy) details the building’s demolition, and adds that “the proposed building will be a 3,476 square foot restaurant space with a maximum of 125 seats.” The company would not comment on the permit or its mention of a restaurant.
Per signage at the construction site, the “retail pad building delivery” is expected in the first three months of 2020, but Gilbert said she does not expect any businesses operating in the spaces until later in the year.
“We’re particularly excited about the demolition, as that always creates a little neighborhood buzz,” Gilbert said.
In addition, the developer is also currently looking to lease two spaces in the lower levels of the busy shopping center, which houses a Harris Teeter store and restaurants like Peter Chang.
Arlington Loves Tito’s — The top-grossing liquor brand at Virginia ABC stores in Arlington, and most of Northern Virginia, is Tito’s Handmade Vodka. [Virginia Mercury]
More on Lee Highway Planning Process — “In the new year, the professional team will begin guiding the community in laying out a plan for the [Lee Highway] corridor’s next 30 years. Arlington is known for extensive and very slow community engagement, and the planning process will probably take at least two more years. The push for a more progressive, inclusive, sustainable US Route 29 must be perseverant.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Local ‘Passport’ for Small Biz Saturday — “One Page Books is partnering with thirteen other local businesses for Small Business Saturday. Pick up a Small Business Saturday Shopping ‘Passport‘ at any of the participating businesses, including Covet, Two the Moon, Lemon Lane and Trade Roots.” [WAMU]
Reminder: Mall Hours and Promotions — Arlington’s two malls have special Black Friday hours and promotions today. [ARLnow]
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Ballston Quarter and Pentagon City malls are shifting their hours and offering special activities.
At the Fashion Center at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes Street), the hours will vary by day, with the full holiday weekend schedule as follows:
- Thursday, Nov. 28: 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
- Friday, Nov. 29: 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 30: 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Dec. 1: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
On Black Friday (Nov. 29), shoppers can present their receipts at “Santa’s Grab Bag” for a chance to win prizes like retailer gift cards, American Express gift cards and more. In addition, there will be hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies.
In the meantime, Santa arrived earlier this month and is available for photos with children on the first level of the mall, near Nordstrom. And this weekend, the “Snow Sisters” will be joining Santa, according to the mall’s social media account.
Join Santa and the Snow Sisters this weekend on Saturday 3-5pm and Sunday 4-6pm for a truly magical meet-and-greet experience! After giving Santa that all-important list, meet our Snow Queen and Snow Princess for some autographs, photos, lots of warm hugs, and other surprises! pic.twitter.com/jICBdEdR7Y
— Pentagon City Mall (@FashionCtrPC) November 21, 2019
At Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd), the mall will be closed all day on Thursday (Thanksgiving), except for Onelife Fitness, Regal Cinema, and Macy’s.
On Black Friday, the entire mall is expected to be open by 10 a.m., with the exception of Macy’s at 6 a.m. and Scout & Molly’s at 7 a.m. Stores, restaurants, and more across the mall will be offering exclusive specials:
- True Food Kitchen, buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $40 bonus card
- Sloppy Mama’s BBQ is offering a $20 gift card with the purchase of a $100 certificate.
- Scout & Molly’s will have staggered discounts throughout the day — from 7-9 a.m., 40% off an entire purchase, then 30% off from 9-1 p.m., and from 1-9 p.m., 25% off.
- Steadfast Supply will have 15% off the entire shop, with special gifts offered at tier purchases.
- Gossip will have 40% the entire store all day
- Special Cookology classes, with a $10 voucher towards a bottle of wine.
Arlington’s 17th annual “Artful Weekend” art show and sale starts today and continues through this weekend.
Presented by the Arlington Artists Alliance, the fair highlights over 35 local artists and their wares across a variety of media including ceramics, jewelry, glasswork, and more.
The opening reception kicks off tonight, Friday, at the historic Hendry House at Fort C.F. Smith Park (2411 24th Street N.), from 6-8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and the artists will be present.
The free event, described as “great for holiday shopping,” will continue Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m.
The Arlington Artists Alliance works to create and promote local art in the county, with full membership options for Arlington artists. The alliance currently has two art galleries, the Gallery Underground in Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive), and Gallery Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd).
Photo via Arlington County
This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By Alex Held, Small Business Manager, BizLaunch
While in its 10th year, Small Business Saturday, held on November 30, continues to be incorporated into many families’ holiday shopping traditions. In fact, in 2018 U.S. consumers reported spending an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.
Additionally, 59% of small business owners report that Small Business Saturday contributes significantly to their holiday sales each year. With those numbers Small Business Saturday is BIG business for many of our small and independent retailers across the country and here in Arlington.
In Arlington, small business patrons can #shopsmall while entering for a chance to win prizes, find deals and discover unique local shops by participating in the shopping passport program coordinated by One More Page Books & More.
Shoppers can participate in the program by picking up a passport at any participating retailer; many of the retailers are also running deals and promotions on Small Business Saturday. In Arlington, the following retailers are participating in the passport program:
In addition to the passport program, shoppers looking to support small businesses in Arlington this holiday season and year round can leverage American Express’s Small Business finder. There shoppers can find any small business that accepts American Express right within their neighborhood.
Locally, BizLaunch offers numerous resources to support small businesses, but one that helps shoppers find small businesses while serving as an opportunity for businesses to receive FREE promotion is the BizLaunch Small Business Directory. Every small business in Arlington is welcome to upload their business listing with links to their website and logo to the directory, easily and most importantly for FREE. Additional resources for Small Business Saturday, including quick branding kits can be found online at American Express.
Programs like Small Business Saturday among others help keep local dollars within Arlington, representing the community’s character, while contributing to a vibrant business community making Arlington an ideal place to live, work and play.
Celebrando y apoyando negocios locales para más información visite BizLaunch en Español.
For more information about how BizLaunch supports small businesses visit www.bizlaunch.org.
The one-woman clothing company based in Cherrydale is planning to shut down by July after the rest of the inventory is sold off.
Lisa McLaughlin, the store’s founder, said as the store passed its five year anniversary in April, she discovered that she’d lost her enthusiasm for the business.
“That surprised me,” McLaughlin told ARLnow. “I looked at stuff coming up, like we were going to need to rebrand or rename, so it was kind of a combination of things but mainly I just realized on a business level that it’s a lot of work to continue growing a brand. You have to have a passion to do that, and I just felt like I wasn’t the right person to do that.”
McLaughlin said one of the early mistakes was not trademarking the company’s name, so she was in conflict with similarly named companies and often received reviews meant for the other companies.
“I loved doing business in Arlington,” McLaughlin said. “When I started this company we made about four shirts and did one event. I didn’t know if anyone was going to get this concept. But people loved their neighborhoods. The Arlington community was very supportive.”
In retrospect, McLaughlin said she would have hired someone to help manage the company.
“I would set it up differently,” McLaughlin said. “I’d have hired at least one person, even if it’s part time, to help with day to day. I’d have spent time on a business plan and think through how will I actually use my hours on what things.”
District Line Co. is currently working on selling off its inventory in a farewell sale. McLaughlin said anyone using the code “farewell25” on the website will receive a 25 percent discount on merchandise.
Image via District Line Co.
Apartment Fire on Carlin Springs Road — Firefighters are braving bitter cold conditions this morning to fight an apartment fire on the 3400 block of Carlin Springs Road, in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County, just over the Arlington border. Eight people were rescued from the burning apartment building. [Twitter, Twitter]
Garvey Presses for Civility — “One member of the Arlington County Board is making a concerted effort to remind residents of the need for civility in public discourse… [Libby] Garvey said she has noted that, on contentious issues, those with an opinion frequently are digging in their heels.” [InsideNova]
Lowering Child Care Costs in Arlington — “Arlington County has the highest child care costs in the Washington region, largely because we have high land values, tighter regulations, and affluent households. To start to bring down the price and make licensed child care more accessible for more residents, Arlington has embarked on a Child Care Initiative to address local zoning ordinances and child care codes that impact cost.” [Greater Greater Washington]
AWLA Alum in Us Weekly — Olympian Gus Kenworthy was pictured in a recent issue of Us Weekly magazine with Birdie, the dog he adopted from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington this past summer. [Instagram]
Startup Leaves Crystal City — “A notary startup that has called Arlington home since 2015 appears to have moved much of its local operation to Boston as part of a restructuring.” [Washington Business Journal]
Vacancy Increasing at Crystal City Shops? — “Of the 88 storefronts underneath 1750 Crystal Drive, 42 were vacant this week when Bisnow walked the corridors.” [Bisnow]
Crystal House Plan ‘Could Set a Precedent’ — “Plans to double the number units at the Crystal House Apartments will be a litmus test for future development in Crystal City, as Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters ushers in 25,000 jobs to the area over 12 years.” [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
It’s a challenge to find courtesy and civility these days. Why navigate congested lots for contested parking spots and crowded stores with harried service at the mall?
Lee Heights Shops in North Arlington, where Old Dominion Drive and Lee Highway meet, features independent shops, restaurants and cafes that specialize in individual attention and personal service – with staff that truly know their merchandise and customers – and want to help you find just the right thing.
Plus, here’s always plenty of free parking in front and rear.
In fact, the readers of Arlington Magazine just made it a top vote getter for best shopping area in their Best Of edition.
Just opened: Everyone gets great cuts and brilliant color by Jon David Salon’s highly trained hair stylists. The look is sophisticated – yet the vibe is friendly.
Bring your four-footed friends to Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming. While your pup’s getting beautiful, you can shop for dog products and healthy, delicious treats.
Entertaining at home? Get expert guidance then stock up on wine, premium beer and artisanal cheese at Arrowine. Pick up a Peruvian-style chicken at the perfectly named Crisp and Juicy. And treat your guests to a sweet finish with treats baked in-house at Pastries by Randolph.
Make sure you stop by in late December to get to know The Old Dominion Pizza Company. These pros promise to deliver the iconic neighborhood pizza place with awesome pies.
And, for your gift-giving, the merchants at Lee Heights can help you pick out the perfect sparkly bauble at Facets Jewelers, unique stylish lady’s and children’s clothing and accessories at Lemoncello, or find the ‘this season’s ‘must-have-it-toy’ at Barston’s Childs Play.
Join us at Lee Heights Shops — the Mall Alternative.