The weekend is shaping up to be warm and pleasant — despite high pollen counts — which is good news for those celebrating Easter on Sunday. That’s also the final day of spring break for Arlington Public Schools students.
There are plenty of special Easter happenings including church services, egg hunts and brunches.
Although county community centers are closed on Sunday, parks will remain open to visitors who may want to hike, picnic or use playground equipment.
Other spring activities include taking advantage of newly-opened farmers markets.
What are you planning to do this weekend?
Spring Break Activities — Today is the last day of school for Arlington Public Schools students before spring break. The county’s parks and recreation department has some suggested activities to keep kids of all ages occupied next week. [Arlington County]
Casual Adventure Property’s Familiar New Owners — The owners of long-time Virginia Square outdoor retailer Casual Adventure announced this week that it’s closing, and the property sale reportedly already has taken place. The new owner is 1404 Hancock Street Investment LLC, a company registered to Brian Normile of BCN Enterprises. He’s partnering with Stephen and Mark Fedorchak, who own Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social. [Washington Business Journal]
CEB Acquisition Complete — IT consulting and research firm Gartner has completed its acquisition of Arlington-based technology and insights firm CEB in a $3.3 billion deal. Gartner plans to expand CEB’s consulting services into new markets and develop a line of new research and advisory products. [StamfordAdvocate]
Solid-Waste Plant Upgrade Raises Flaring Gas Concerns — Arlington County is encountering some pushback over the $100 million upgrade to the Water Pollution Control Plant. Concerns have been raised over a proposed new process that might cause flaring gas. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Rob Laybourn
Despite a bit of a cool start today, spring has definitely sprung in Arlington.
For some, however, spring is nice but not the nicest of the local seasons. What’s you favorite? Let’s find out.
After one last blast of cold weather this week, it appears that old man winter has taken his last bow for the season, according to our friends at the Capital Weather Gang.
Also bowing out: the Republican effort to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. A number of local lawmakers and Democratic political candidates have issued statements on the bill’s failure this afternoon, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) statement on the GOP healthcare bill being pulled pic.twitter.com/DqdX0AhQuY
— Arlington News (@ARLnowDOTcom) March 24, 2017
Also this afternoon, a grinning Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, was spotted taking a flight out of Reagan National Airport in Arlington.
— Marky Mark (@DCCelebrity) March 24, 2017
Feel free to discuss the return of spring-like weather, the healthcare brouhaha on Capitol Hill or any other topic of local interest in the comments.
Florida Men Arrested for Credit Card Skimming — Three men from Miami, Florida were arrested earlier this month on the 5600 block of Columbia Pike, in Fairfax County. They’re suspected of using Bluetooth-enabled credit card skimming devices to steal credit card numbers from gas station customers. [Falls Church News-Press]
School Board to Consider Wakefield Modifications — The Arlington School Board is expected to approve a $4 million internal modification project at Wakefield High School that will increase its student capacity to 2,300 from 1,900. [InsideNova]
School Board Members Can Now Get Raises — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a state bill that removes a cap of $25,000 on the salaries of Arlington School Board members. Arlington was the only jurisdiction in the state the salary cap applied to; school board members will now have the ability to approve a salary increase in 2021. [InsideNova]
Northern Virginia Restaurant Week Kicks Off — Nineteen Arlington restaurants are participating in Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, which starts today and runs through Monday, March 27. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Top 10 Shirlington Area Restaurants — Eater has compiled a list of the top 10 restaurants to try in and around Shirlington. And yes, the Weenie Beenie is on the list. [Eater]
It’s the First Day of Spring — “While warm spring days will be tough to come by in the short term, the equinox is a reminder that the sounds of chirping birds and humming lawn mowers aren’t too far off.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
It’s February on the calendar but the weather forecast for the next three days looks more like May.
Arlington — and indeed much of the country — is experiencing what could be described as an early spring, despite what the groundhog said. Blooms are forming on trees, outdoor restaurant patios are open and it’s not uncommon to see shorts and short sleeves being worn outdoors.
It’s unclear whether winter will try to make a comeback next month, but how would you feel if the weather stayed springlike until… the actual calendar start of spring?
On Tuesday, April 5, the Crystal City FRESHFARM Market will open for the season. The farmers market is held from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday, along Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th Streets S.
“Shop from nearly 20 local farmers and producers with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, container plants and herbs, farm-raised eggs, all-natural meats, artisan baked goods, specialty foods and much more,” organizer Crystal City BID said in a press release. “Stop by early and pick-up a free Crystal City banner bag from the market’s information table (while supplies last).”
Two days later, the BID will hold its first Food Truck Thursday of the season. The lunchtime event is held on Thursdays from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and features a flotilla of food trucks in two locations: the corner of 18th Street and Crystal Drive and at 12th Street and Long Bridge Drive.
Also coming soon to Crystal City: the first 5K Friday race of April, this coming Friday (April 1), and the neighborhood’s weekly Mobile Bike Repair Station will open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the corner of 18th and Crystal.
Crystal City isn’t the only local community with seasonal events and amenities that have opened or are opening soon. Among the others:
- Ballston: FRESHFARM farmers market returns on Thursdays starting in May; Taste of Arlington 2016 scheduled for May 15
- Clarendon: Farmers market near the Metro station is typically held on Wednesdays starting in April
- Fairlington: Farmers market returns Sunday, May 1
- Rosslyn: The Rosslyn sandbox has already reopened; a Cinco de Mayo Beer Garden is scheduled for May 5
A number of other farmers markets around Arlington are held year-round.
The Rosslyn sandbox is back open for the season, after it debuted last year.
The children’s sand play area is located in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), in what used to be a fountain. The former fountain is now filled with white sand, painted with colorful designs by local artists and decorated with small stone figures of woodland creatures.
“Staff from Arlington Parks and Recreation recently cleaned and opened the largest sandbox in Arlington County for the spring and summer,” the Rosslyn BID said on its website. “It’s a terrific option for anyone looking for a fun and safe place for kids to play.”
The sandbox has been stocked with plastic pails, shovels and other communal toys. There are also adirondack chairs around the play area for parents and caregivers.
Metro Delays This Morning — Metro is experiencing big delays on the Blue and Orange lines after reports that a teenage girl intentionally jumped onto the tracks at the Eastern Market station. The Blue and Orange line is single-tracking between Eastern Market and Federal Center, while the Silver Line is only operating between Wiehle-Reston and Ballston. [Hill Now, Twitter, Twitter]
Gondola Feasibility Study Gets Eight Responses — Eight firms have responded to a Request for Proposals to conduct a feasibility study of a Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola system. The team for the study is expected to be chosen in about a month. The study is expected to be complete by the end of the year. [UrbanTurf]
Fire Danger Today — There’s an enhanced threat of brush fires today, even in Arlington. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area as low humidity and gusty winds combine for a significant fire danger. “Any fires will have the potential to spread very rapidly,” NWS says. [National Weather Service]
Parking Lots Crowded at DCA — Spring break and the Easter weekend are combining for a busy week and crowded parking lots at Reagan National Airport. As of this morning, the airport’s 2,613-space economy lot is full and there are only a few hundred spaces left in the 5,223-space Terminal B/C garages. [Twitter, Fly Reagan]
AYD Date Auction Next Week — The Arlington Young Democrats will hold their 15th annual charity date auction this coming Tuesday. Eligible bachelors and bachelorettes — along with face time with prominent elected officials — will be auctioned off to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center. [Arlington Young Dems]
Shirlington’s spring beer festival is returning for its third year.
Hosted by Capitol City Brewing, the third annual Mid-Atlantic Spring Beer Festival will take place Saturday, April 30 from noon to 7 p.m., rain or shine.
“The springtime beer-tasting event will include a line-up of 35 regional breweries,” according to a press release. “Admission for beer drinkers is $30 (one general admission pass per person), which includes a wristband, official tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional drink tickets can be purchased for $1 each with a five-ticket minimum. The event is free for non-drinkers and children.”
Participating breweries include:
- DC Brau
- Pleasure House Brewing
- Starr Hill
- Flying Dog
- Adroit Theory
- Fair Winds
- Bold Rock
A number of Shirlington restaurants will be participating, offering springtime fare to festival-goers, including Busboys & Poets, Café Pizzaiolo and Luna. Music will be provided by DJ Julius Talvik.
Ticket sales will begin at 11:30 a.m. the day of the event.
This Sunday, Daylight Saving Time begins. Next Sunday is the start of spring. And the Sunday after that is Easter.
To celebrate the season, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall is bringing the Easter bunny himself (or is it herself?) to the mall for photos with children.
The Easter bunny’s first official day on the job at the mall is Friday. The photo sessions will run though Saturday, March 26.
Look for the bunny and his photographer on the ground floor of the mall (not to be confused with the lower, “Metro” level), near Nordstrom. From the mall’s website, here are the dates and times for bunny photos.
- 3/11- 11am-8pm
- 3/12- 10am-8pm
- 3/13- 11am-6pm
- 3/14- 12pm-8pm
- 3/15- 12pm-8pm
- 3/16- 12pm-8pm
- 3/17- 12pm-8pm
- 3/18- 11am-8pm
- 3/19- 10am-8pm
- 3/20- 11am-6pm
- 3/21- 11am-8pm
- 3/22- 11am-8pm
- 3/23- 11am-8pm
- 3/24- 11am-8pm
- 3/25- 10am-8pm
- 3/26- 9am-8pm
As of noon today, there was no one skating at the Pentagon City Row ice skating rink, as the sun shone and temperatures reached into the 70s.
With above-average temperatures in the forecast for the foreseeable future, the skating rink may soon look as much like a swimming pool as a winter wonderland.
Nonetheless, the rink is slated to stay open until Easter Sunday, March 27, according to a press release sent last week.
‘Sound of Music’ Star Recalls Arlington Upbringing — Showbiz star Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich von Trapp in the “Sound of Music” 50 years ago, recently recounted his childhood in Arlington. “I loved growing up there, in a much simpler time,” he told Charlie Clark. “My brother and I had paper routes. Your parents thought nothing of kids going off on their bikes pre-dawn and throwing papers onto front-door steps. We’d play ball, or go on our bikes or explore the woods. It all seemed very safe.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Local Masseuse Working Out Trump Stress — Locals are stressing out about the idea of Donald Trump becoming the next president of the United States. Reports the Post: “Amanda Long, an Arlington, Va., massage therapist… has grown accustomed in recent weeks to clients laying down on her table and bellowing, ‘Can you believe this guy?’ Long allows her clients to vent for a few minutes before she tries to quiet them, if only so they can relax and she can attend to their aches.” [Washington Post]
Comcast Outage in Crystal City — Comcast customers in parts of Crystal City and South Arlington were without their TV, voice and internet service for most of the day yesterday. Service has since been restored, we hear.
Garvey: Use Garages During Snowstorms — To speed up snow plowing on local streets, county leaders want to try to reduce the number of cars parked on the side of the road during snowstorms. To facilitate that, County Board Chair Libby Garvey has asked county staff to look into the idea of opening up Arlington’s parking garages as emergency snow parking areas. [InsideNova]
Winter Is Over — The groundhog was right: an early spring is here. It may still be officially winter, but all computer models are pointing to warmer-than-average weather through April. [Capital Weather Gang]
It’s March 1 — Not only is today the first day of March, with spring (March 20) and Daylight Saving Time (March 13) around the corner, but it’s also the Super Tuesday presidential primary day here in Virginia. Arlington’s 52 polling places opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. [Arlington County]
Committee of 100 to Discuss Racial Tensions — On Wednesday, March 9, the Arlington Committee of 100 will hold a discussion entitled “Are Arlington’s Police and Justice Systems Prepared to Respond to Community and Racial Tensions?” Among the speakers are Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and Police Chief Jay Farr. [InsideNova]
It’s a Good Time to Lease an Office in Arlington — D.C.-based commercial real estate firm West, Lane & Schlager is advising companies to consider leasing office space in Arlington in the near future. The firm says the D.C. area is definitely a tenant’s market at the moment, but the tide will eventually turn. With vacancy rates stabilizing, companies can take advantage of lease concessions now, before the market turns in favor of landlords, the firm says. [Patch]
Four Courts Four Miler Coming Up — The popular annual Four Courts Four Miler race will take place Saturday morning, March 12. Registration is currently $40 and will, in part, benefit the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund. As in previous years, those who beat the runner dressed up as a leprechaun — Ireland’s Four Courts manager Dave Cahill, a 3:10 marathon runner — will get a special gift from the pub. [Pacers Running]
Expect Early Spring, Says Groundhogs — Updated at 9:40 a.m. — Punxsutawney Phil and Potomac Phil both did not see their shadow this morning and thus have predicted an early spring. Unfortunately, the former Phil is wrong more often than he is right. [CNN, Borderstan]
New County Manager Inks Contract — The Arlington County Board last week ratified a contract with Mark Schwartz, the county’s newly-appointed county manager. (Schwartz served as interim county manager for six months before his appointment.) Under the contract, Schwartz will earn $245,000 in his first year, which is less than the $270,000 annual salary of his predecessor and former boss, Barbara Donnellan. [InsideNova]
WeWork Now Open in Crystal City — The WeWork co-working space in Crystal City officially opened yesterday. The office space is decorated with plush couches, hardwood floors and oversized light fixtures, among other design elements. [Twitter]
Online Plan Review System Up and Running — Arlington County launched its Electronic Plan Review system yesterday, allowing plans for building permits and land use to be submitted, reviewed and approved online. The system is expected to save time and money compared to the previous, in-person submissions, though those submitting plans still have to go to the county offices to pay the permit fees in person. [Arlington County]
Praise for Texas Jack’s — A food critic finds a lot to like at Texas Jack’s, the new barbecue restaurant in the former EatBar space in Lyon Park. Writes Tim Carman: “[Chef Matt Lang’s] moist brisket is A-lister stuff, thick, succulent slices with a pink smoke ring lingering just below a dark outer bark of salt, pepper, smoke and fat, all fused together in a Southern Pride smoker set low and slow.” [Washington Post]
Photo via Twitter/Scott Kelly