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
Starting this week, four 5K races will be held on consecutive Fridays — April 3, 10, 17 and 24. The races kick off from 2121 Crystal Drive at 6:30 p.m. each Friday, with a course that runs up and down Crystal Drive and Long Bridge Drive.
Registration for a single race is $20. Registration for all four races is $60. Runners can register online.
Drivers should expect road closures in the area during the race.
After each race there will be a post-race party at a local watering hole, with special deals for participants.
More information about the race is available on the Pacers website.
Disclosure: The Crystal City Business Improvement District is an ARLnow.com advertiser
On Saturday, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., the ice rink at 1201 S. Joyce Street will host a “Decades Night on Ice” party, in which participants are encouraged to dress according to their favorite decade.
“A DJ will be spinning the best tunes of each decade starting with the 60s at 6 pm, then the 70s at 7 pm, the 80s at 8 pm, and the 90s at 9 pm, through 10 pm,” according to a PR rep.
Admission for adults is $9, for children 12 and under and seniors 55 and up it’s $8. Skate rental, for those who don’t have their own, is $3.
Just don’t expect a throwback to this winter’s cold for the party. While snow is expected on Friday, the first day of spring, on Saturday the high temperature is expected to reach the upper 50s.
False Alarm at Arlington National Cemetery — The Arlington County Fire Department responded to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday afternoon for a fire alarm. Once on scene, firefighters determined that the alarm was set off by the tomb guards steam pressing their uniforms. [Twitter]
Arlington Real Estate Market Profiled — CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program profiled the real estate market in Arlington last week. The program took a look at three properties in the county, from a $364,900 condo in Ballston to a $1,275,000 luxury townhouse in Rosslyn. [CNBC]
Arlington Dems Have Plenty of Beads — Arlington Democrats are trying to figure out what to do with more than 200 pounds of Mardi Gras beads. The party purchased the beads for the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade, which was rescheduled and then canceled due to snow this year. [InsideNoVa]
Doorways Fundraiser Planned — Rocklands Barbeque (3471 Washington Blvd) will open its patio for the season on Thursday, April 17, with its annual “Shed Your Coat” fundraiser. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will benefit Doorways for Women and Families. [Doorways]
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber
Old man winter is losing his grip on the area as spring-like temperatures have finally arrived.
Aside from the sunny, blue skies, the arrival of spring can perhaps best evident by looking at the remains of a formerly two-story snow fort.
The snow fort, built by a 19-year-old Leeway-Overlee resident, once stood 12 feet high. Now, it’s a small pile of “snow rubble,” surrounded by an area of brown grass about the size of the fort’s 11-foot-by-11-foot base.
Photo courtesy @StuNagurka
The Arlington Farmers Market, in Courthouse, will begin its “prime season” on Saturday, April 20.
The prime season hours run from 8:00 p.m. to noon. The expanded hours will be in effect at the market, which is run by Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation, through December.
“The market showcases 30 vendors with a good balance of seasonally available, locally produced, top quality products,” the parks department said in a press release. “Fruit, jams, sauces, veggies, soups, eggs, beef, lamb, bison, pasta, seafood, honey, milk, cheese, yogurt, mushrooms, bread, pastries, plants, flowers — it is hard to think of a locavore item we don’t offer!”
There are some new vendors at the market this year, the press release said, including Shells Yes! Crab Cake Company, Number 1 Sons’ pickles and kimchi, Goin’ Good Eats’ sweet bakery items, and Upper Crust Bakery’s artisanal breads.
The farmers market, billed as “the oldest market in the County and one of the oldest in the region,” was founded in 1980.
“The market was established in response to residents’ requests for a weekly local market, since at that time only Bethesda and D.C. hosted weekly markets,” the parks department said. “From then to now, it has supported local farmers and producers by selecting vendors within a 125 mile radius, cutting down on ‘food miles’ traveled to reach Arlington.”