Arlington, VA

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Arlington County has kicked off the renovation project for Gunston Park‘s “bubble.”

Officials have started the design phase of the Gunston Bubble Renovation Project, with the goal of eventually having a more “energy efficient and reliable” facility. The project is expected to start construction in the second quarter of 2020 and be completed by the third quarter, in time for next winter season.

The bubble is an all-weather, heated and covered athletic field that Arlington County describes as “a unique indoor turf facility available to rent for sports training and parties.”

“A lot has changed in building technology since the old bubble was completed,” said project architect Aaron Wohler. “The existing bubble structure is air-supported and needs to be constantly monitored and inflated. It gets hot during the summer, so much so that we limit summer hours.”

The new structure will be frame-supported, according to Wohler, with LED lighting and ceiling fans, windows, vents, and doors available to keep it cool during the hotter months.

Funding for the $1.3 million project was included in the county’s most recent Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). About $1 million will come from bonds.

The county will host an open house at the Gunston Community Center for community members to learn more about the project on Thursday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Dorsey Declares Bankruptcy — “Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey, who was penalized Thursday for failing to disclose a campaign contribution to the Metro board in a timely manner, filed for bankruptcy last month after falling behind on his mortgage and accruing tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt… he attributed his personal financial troubles to a drop in income since he was elected to the five-member Arlington board four years ago.” [Washington Post]

Metro Delays During AM Rush — “Blue/Yellow Line Delay: Single tracking btwn Braddock Rd & National Airport due to a signal problem outside Braddock Rd.” [Twitter]

Arlington Among Best Cities for Frugal Dating — Arlington is No. 17 on a new list of “the best cities in the country for budget-friendly dating.” [SmartAsset]

County Aiming for More Budget Feedback — “This week marks the beginning of the FY 2021 budget season, Arlington County’s process to decide how it will spend County dollars. From now through July 2020, you will have multiple opportunities to provide input and inform decisions about the County’s operating budget and capital budget.” [Arlington County]

County Football Teams May All Make Playoffs — “Depending on the outcome of final regular-season games on Nov. 8, there is a possibility that the Wakefield Warriors, Washington-Liberty Generals and Yorktown Patriots could all end up as district football champions. Wakefield (5-4, 4-0) and Yorktown (8-1, 4-0) are in sole possession of first place currently in the National and Liberty districts, respectively, and are guaranteed at least co-championships if they lose Nov. 8.” [InsideNova]

Yorktown Field Hockey in State Tourney — “It took a while, but when the stakes became the highest, that’s when the Yorktown Patriots started playing their best field hockey of the 2019 campaign, in what has become an historic season for the girls team… By reaching the region final for the first time in program history, Yorktown also earned a Virginia High School League Class 6 state-tournament berth, also for the first time.” [InsideNova]

DJO Runners Win State Title — “After not winning the state championship the past two seasons, the Bishop O’Connell Knights have returned to that throne this fall. The girls high-school cross country team won the 2019 Division I state private-school crown Nov. 7 in Mechanicsville by dominating the field with 46 points.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Potomac Yard Plan Takes Shape — “Just a few days after submitting plans for the Virginia Tech site near the North Potomac Yard Metro station, JBG Smith has submitted early concept designs for the development that will replace Target and the other Potomac Yard stores.” [ALXnow, Washington Business Journal]

0 Comments

An Arlington man looks so much like Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer that he had to be escorted by the police during the team’s World Series parade on Saturday.

Kevin Kramer, who’s lived in Arlington for the last 20 years, had his first fan interaction four years ago in an ALDI grocery store.

“They were shouting ‘Max, Max,’ and asked me to throw the first pitch for their charity baseball team,” Kramer said. “That’s when I realized, oh my god, this person really thinks I’m Max Scherzer.”

Over the next few years, people at Nationals Park would approach him for the occasional selfie or ask him why he wasn’t out on the dugout during games.

Then this year, the Nationals entered the National League Championship Series and “things started to get really crazy.”

Kramer, who’s never met Scherzer in person, attended Game 3 of the NCLS, where he says he was mobbed by fans. Once the team made it to the World Series, he took things one step further with a single blue contact lens to match Scherzer’s distinctively-hued eyes.

“This is all for fun,” said Kramer, who runs an Instagram account, @notmaxscherzer. “I don’t set out to look like him, I’m not an impersonator. I think because the Nats have become so popular, people really want to believe that I am him.”

A videographer accompanied Kramer to Saturday’s parade to capture the scene. As expected, dozens of fans quickly mobbed Kramer, wondering why he wasn’t up on a parade bus celebrating with the team. As a result, D.C. police had to escort them through the streets.

Someday soon, he said, he hopes to transform all of this into a documentary.

“There’s a fascinating psychology behind this,” Kramer said. “For example, a lot more women will ask me for an ID or ask personal questions only Scherzer could answer. Men, on the other hand, just want to take a photo and go.”

For now, he’s hoping to capitalize on the coincidence by booking appearances, including “ad campaigns, parties, or whatever.”

Photos via Timur Tugberk/Designing the District

0 Comments

The restaurant business has notoriously thin profit margins. Which makes a new promotion from Clarendon sports bar Bracket Room (1210 N. Garfield Street) seem extra risky.

The restaurant, which opened in 2013 and is co-owned by Chris Bukowski of Bachelor fame, says it will refund the checks of every guest for the entire year if the Washington Nationals go back-to-back and win another World Series in 2020.

There’s a catch, however — you have to keep the receipts. From a Facebook post:

We are launching a promotion to celebrate the Washington Nationals winning the #WorldSeries! If the Nats win the 2020 World Series we will refund every check for the entire year! Hold on to your receipts bc if the Nats go #back2back you will receive a full refund on all food, beverages and taxes (excludes tips) from Nov 2, 2019 to when the 2020 champion is crowned!

As unlikely as everything about the offer sounds — but still, go Nats — perhaps an even greater stretch of credulity is the challenge issued by Bracket Room to the entire D.C. area.

“The owners of {Bracket Room}… challenge everyone in the DMV to eat and drink with them 7 days a week over the next year,” the company said in a press release. That might be difficult to achieve: at last check, Bracket Room had a seating capacity of 100 inside and 36 on the outdoor patio.

Congrats to the Washington Nationals! We are launching a promotion to celebrate the Washington Nationals winning the…

Posted by Bracket Room on Saturday, November 2, 2019

Photo (top) via Facebook

0 Comments

Champagne was spraying, people were jumping around and the whole room filled with deafening shouts.

That was the scene at the Washington Capitals’ annual Halloween party last night, as the Stanley Cup-winning hockey team celebrated D.C.’s newest champions, the World Series-winning Nationals.

The Caps held the team Halloween party at The G.O.A.T. in Clarendon, but the event turned into a World Series watch party. Alexander Ovechkin was among the players partying as the last strike was called in the bottom of the 9th.

The event for the team and spouses was held in a private event space at the sports bar, located across the street from the Clarendon Metro. Video from the celebration was posted online and quickly reposted by the Washington Post, Barstool Sports and local sports blogs.

0 Comments

A new Arlington Public Schools policy now requires adults to chaperone younger students at high school games.

The new policy was announced in an email to parents last week, and applies to students in 8th Grade or below looking to attending after-school sporting events. It also requires students to show their school IDs to staff at the games.

“We are asking that any students in 8th grade or younger be accompanied by an adult for admission to any Arlington high school sporting event,” APS spokesman Frank Bellavia told ARLnow.

From the APS email to families:

Based on growing attendance at our games as student enrollment has increased, APS is taking precautions to ensure that all spectators have a safe, enjoyable experience at all high school athletic events. Moving forward, any students in 8th grade or younger must be accompanied by an adult for admission to any Arlington high school sporting event. The adult accompanying the student or a group of students needs to be in attendance as a point of contact for the duration of the event. This allows APS staff to respond appropriately if issues arise among younger students who are unfamiliar to high school staff, and can help ensure a safe environment for students and families who are there to enjoy the game.

Families with questions are asked to reach out to their Director of Student Activities at Wakefield, Washington-Liberty or Yorktown high schools.

“As a school division, we take great pride in our school spirit and encourage student and fan participation,” the APS email shared with ARLnow reads. “We also expect our students and fans to use sound judgement and demonstrate appropriate behavior that presents a positive viewing experience for all.”

The new policy comes about a month after the school began requiring all visitors to show identification and log their visit in a database.

Photo via @WakeAthletics/Twitter

0 Comments

(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) A day removed from winning the National League Championship Series in spectacular fashion, Washington Nationals star Anthony Rendon enjoyed a quiet meal with his family at Silver Diner in Clarendon.

The local diner chain posted a photo of Rendon last night, showing him posing with his daughter and a server at the restaurant.

The Clarendon Silver Diner was a favorite of another Nats All-Star: Bryce Harper, who now plays for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rendon and the Nats will face the winner of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees in the World Series, starting next week. It’s the first World Series for the Nats since 1933.

Flickr (top) photo by Stephen Yates

0 Comments

Bryce Harper saw his postseason prospects go up in smoke yesterday at the hands of his long-time former team, but the strikeout-prone Phillies slugger was gracious enough to pose with some Arlington firefighters afterward.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton hotel around 12:30 a.m. today (Wednesday) to assist with a stuck elevator, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli. After freeing those in the elevator, they happened upon Philadelphia stars Bryce Harper and Jake Arrieta in the lobby and asked for a photo with the former Nat and one-time Rosslyn resident.

Harper obliged, taking a photo with two firefighters outside the Ritz, where visiting pro sports teams often stay when in town.

“In Arlington, you’ll never know who you will run into on the street,” ACFD said in a tweet this morning. “Firefighters from A-shift handled a stuck elevator call and happened to recognize @bryceharper3, who happily posed for a pic. Bryce — Sorry about the loss, but thanks for being a good sport!”

Harper and the 79-78 Phillies are set to face the now-playoff-bound Nationals again in D.C. tonight at 7:05 p.m.

0 Comments

The Arlington County Board will consider amending its 2o09 agreement with Marymount University to extend its support for MU athletic facilities.

At its Saturday meeting, the County Board will discuss adding 100 hours of MU field use at Long Bridge Park plus additional access of county parks for MU athletic teams including tennis, baseball, and — potentially — softball.

In 2009, the County Board and MU signed a 15-year agreement detailing the shared cost and maintenance term of at Long Bridge Park. In exchange for regular use, Marymount pays half the construction costs and makes regular contributions to maintain the field.

If granted, the new amendment would expand the contract (originally slated to expire in 2024) through July 30, 2034.

Within the new contract, the county would grant MU access to Long Bridge Park for up to a total of 540 hours per academic year.

Additional terms include:

  • MU athletic teams will be able to play on the tennis courts at Virginia Highlands Park beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year for 850 hours per academic year.
  • MU will work with the county to find a diamond field facility to use when/if MU establishes a softball program.
  • The MU baseball program will be able to use Tucker Field at Barcroft Park after the field space has been allocated to George Washington University and county baseball programs.
  • In Long Bridge Park, the county would provide a synthetic turf on the field, permanent field lines, spectator benches, access to a scoreboard, storage space for team equipment, and a Marymount logo in season, among other improvements.

Marymount will continue to make annual contributions for the maintenance of Long Bridge Park, including the cost of replacing/repairing the synthetic turf. They will also pay the current rental rates for all hours used at other county facilities.

The agreement comes at a time of heated competition for local athletic fields among sports and community groups.

Flickr pool photo by Eric

0 Comments

Being a grown up means summer doesn’t come with a 2-month vacation anymore, but DC Fray still wants you to get out and play!

Leagues are happening all around Arlington this season and warm weather events are going down all summer long. What makes summer better than it was when you were a kid? The silver lining: happy hours!

Catch a buzz on and off the field with bar specials during or after your games! ​Sports happening in Arlington​ this summer include bocce, cornhole, flag football, hockey, kickball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. It’s the best way to get outside, stay active and make friends.

There’s also a​ full calendar of events​ like DC Field Day, River Tubing, Speed Dating, Glow Yoga and Nationals Game Happy Hours. Soak up the fun-shine!

Sign up for a league​ // ​See the summer events

0 Comments

Oliver Freeman’s goal is to have at least one Arlingtonian on a World Cup-winning team by 2030.

Freeman’s soccer program, Love the Ball, is launching its first Arlington camp this summer in a partnership with the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

The four-day camp is planned to run from July 22-26 at Kenmore Middle School (202 S. Carlin Springs Road).

“Most of the time, we are doing soccer, but one thing that really interests me when we came to this country is soccer is not number one,” said Freeman. “It’s not the most important sport. Looking outside, I don’t see kids playing that. Back home in England, that’s all kids do.”

Every day is themed around a different country and technique, like a Brazil-themed day focused on dribbling or a Germany-themed day focused on passing. Freeman said kids are encouraged to wear clothing or colors from that country on those days.

The camp is aimed at kids ages 4-12 and costs $250 for full-day classes.

According to the program’s website, Freeman coached with the famous Chelsea Football Club in the U.K., coaching players in community sessions, holiday camps and advanced centers.

The Love the Ball program started in Britain in 2012 and came to the U.S. in 2016. Freeman said over the last few years they’ve seen growth and currently have 10 coaches working in about 20 schools throughout the region, but this is the first year the program has operated in Arlington.

Freeman said being chosen as a partner by the parks department is a strenuous process, but he’s hoping if this year goes well the program can expand with more camps. The partnership promotes Love the Ball through Arlington’s summer camp catalog and gives them access to the Kenmore Middle School field.

“I really hope to instill a love for the game,” Freeman said. “It’s not just a camp. Hopefully, they go home and start kicking the ball around. They have to do stuff on their own time if they’re going to be good at it.”

For the most part, Freeman said he’s also yielded to the American terminology of “soccer” rather than “football.”

“You have to choose your battles,” said Freeman. “Unfortunately, kids get too confused. If you say football, they’ll start trying to grab the ball. Sometimes I have kids from South America or Europe, and I call it football to them and their parents.”

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list