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After operating a new hair salon in Courthouse for two months, owner Carissa Lawlor says she is ready to do more than cut and color hair.

Lawlor, who opened hŌm Salon at 2020 Wilson Blvd on May 19, aims to use her 1,500-square-foot space to foster community and encourage wellness with courses and pop-up shops.

“The idea to open the salon was to elevate the salon experience, for our guests to connect with our community, encourage staff to grow, monthly specialty classes, yoga classes, life coaching,” said Lawlor. “Being your real self isn’t just beauty — it’s all encompassing…That’s why we’re here, really.”

hŌm’s first personal wellness course is scheduled for Friday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. For $25, stylists will teach attendees tips and tricks for curling and blow-drying their hair as well as styling skills.

Starting Saturday, Aug. 7, the salon will host pop-up markets on the first Saturday of every month. Vendors will have booths inside and along the sidewalk. With hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the market is timed to line up with the neighborhood farmer’s market.

For Lawlor, promoting wellness also has an ecological component. Her salon recycles around 95% of its waste, including foil and hair color packaging, which is converted into asphalt filler, car and bicycle parts and clean energy products.

“We have maybe two pounds of trash a week, not even,” said Lawlor.

The salon, which offers more than 40 services, specializes in brow styling and blonde coloring. Prices start at $51 for a hair cut and $166 for highlights. From 3-5 p.m. on weekdays, the salon offers blowouts for $25.

hŌm is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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K9 Bo and his handler Cpl. Williams (via ACPD)

The Arlington County Police Department welcomed a new member to the team on July 1.

K-9 Bo, a two-and-a-half-year-old pure-bred Doberman Pinscher, is joining the force to help detect explosives. He will patrol the county alongside his handler, Corporal Williams.

Bo makes a timely addition to the department as the Arlington County police and fire departments work to improve their response to explosives threats.

Bo has spent the last two years training for the job at Penn Vet Working Dog Center, a national research and development center for detection dogs. At the facility, Bo learned odor recognition, search skills and worked on acclimating to an urban environment. He can now detect more than 26 specific odors including explosives and materials used in homemade explosive mixtures, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

She says various breeds are used for different law enforcement work. Dobermans’ temperament and drive make them especially good for detection.

“Doberman Pinschers are known to be loyal, athletic and intelligent, making them a great choice for use in law enforcement work,” said Savage.

Bo will be ACPD’s fifth K-9 trained in explosives detection. Cpl. Williams said he is eager to start working with Bo, following the untimely death of his last partner, K-9 George, in April. George, a Labrador Retriever mix, also trained in explosives detection, and served Arlington for six years. He was eight years old.

“I am excited to begin working with my new partner and to increase the explosives detection capability of the agency,” said Williams.

Bo’s full name is Sunny Boy. He was named after a search and rescue dog who responded to search efforts at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Savage said the name is fitting, as the county is always working to carry on the legacy of those who served in New York and Arlington on that day.

“Arlington is committed to honoring those that lost their lives in the terrorist attacks, and expressing gratitude to all those who responded that day,” said Savage.

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Arlingtonians may not know Peter Golkin by name, but many have likely seen his tweets.

Golkin is a spokesman for the Arlington Department of Environmental Services, or, as he considers himself, “a 21st century town crier, but without the bell.”

Among other duties, Golkin has run the department’s social media accounts for the last four years. Under his watch, DES’s Twitter account has amassed more than 7,000 followers, which is a lot of followers for a department that focuses mostly on public works and transportation — topics Golkin admits can seem dry.

The social media savant has found that a little humor goes a long way toward people internalizing his announcements, and his wit has even caught the attention of some celebrities, on whom he sometimes relies to spread his messages.

“A lot of government stuff can be real technical or just downright boring,” Golkin said. “If we can make it even slightly entertaining, or if we can just make people pause for two-tenths of a second before scrolling down and absorb some county information, then that’s a good thing.”

Whether it is a timely joke or a goofy graphic, Golkin manages to add humor to even the simplest announcements about COVID-19 guidelines or recycling rules:

Normally upbeat in his social interactions, Golkin does have a nemesis: FOG.

He regularly warns about putting fats, oils and grease down the drain, a big no-no in the world of wastewater management. Such common kitchen waste can turn into a gelatinous solid and clog the pipes, endangering the plumbing of a resident’s home or even their whole neighborhood.

“I think that photo should be the next county logo,” said Golkin of the famous fat-filled pipe image he frequently tweets. “I think all of Arlington could be united by it if we make it official, [putting] it on stationery [and] all the county vehicles: ‘No fats, oils and grease in Arlington.'”

One of the account’s most dedicated fans is none other than Star Trek’s William Shatner. Shatner’s fandom began when Golkin got wind that the Captain Kirk actor was interested in electric bikes. He invited him to come to Arlington to ride the streets.

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(updated at 1:10 p.m.) Gateway Park in Rosslyn will be transformed into a concert venue for three musical performances this month.

Rosslyn LIVE!, a new neighborhood event hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, will feature Broadway, pop and drag performances. The D.C.-based American Pops Orchestra will play all concerts alongside different featured performers every Thursday night this month outdoors at the 1300 Lee Highway park.

For the first concert, Broadway performers Mary Michael Patterson and Vishal Vaidya will sing show tunes, accompanied by the orchestra. The show will be next Thursday. Tickets are available now online.

The following Thursday, July 22, the orchestra will accompany singers Rayshun LaMarr, Hilary Morrow and Kevin Rose, who will be performing ’90s music. Tickets went on sale yesterday (Tuesday).

The last concert will be a drag performance on Thursday, July 29 with tickets available next Tuesday (July 13). The BID has yet to decide who the featured performers will be for this show.

Gateway Park will open each Thursday for concert-goers at 6:30 p.m. and performances will begin at 8 p.m.

Wine, beer and sangria will be available for purchase at $6 a glass. Kona Ice trucks will also be at the event to pick up frozen treats from, said a spokeswoman for the Rosslyn BID.

General admission standing room tickets cost $5. For $20, concert-goers can purchase a bundle that includes a spot on the lawn and a picnic blanket for two people. $20 can also buy a balcony seat.

A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the high school choir programs at Arlington Public Schools, according to the event page. Some of the proceeds will also go towards improvements at Gateway Park.

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By the end of the year, dog owners will have a new place to drop off their dogs for the day or for vacation.

Playful Pack, a Northern Virginia-based dog daycare and board center, aims to open a new location in Rosslyn this winter. The business will replace the boutique gym LavaBarre at 1528 Clarendon Blvd, which closed last year.

Brothers Scott and Tyler Parker and Tyler’s wife Alyssa opened their first location in Fairfax Station in 2019. The forthcoming Rosslyn location is part of a plan to add four locations by the end of 2021, Tyler said.

The Parkers opened their second location in May in the Chesterbrook Shopping Center along Old Dominion Drive in McLean, and the other two sites in Leesburg and Alexandria are in the works.

Scott — who’s known locally for his nightlife, restaurant, grooming and fitness ventures — said they chose Rosslyn because there were not enough similar services in the neighborhood.

“We really wanted to put a boarding service on the [Metro’s] Orange Line,” said Scott. “There are many in Arlington that are over capacity, so we thought this area was underserved.”

The new 3,600-square-foot, cage-free daycare will have different activities daily to keep the dogs mentally and physically stimulated, said Scott.

“There’s bubble day, photo day — that kind of stuff,” he said. “Fun ideas we’ve tried over time [that] the dogs have enjoyed.”

Staff will evaluate the dogs’ temperaments and group them by size and energy levels. Dog owners can observe how their furry friends are faring via webcams streaming onto the Playful Pack website.

“We just try to be the safest and best place for dogs to have fun while their owners are away,” said Scott.

Playful Pack will also help to foster dogs through partnerships with Home Animals Rescue Team and Mutt Love Rescue.

Scott said prices will be similar to those at existing locations, where daycare for one pooch starts at $30 a day and overnight boarding at $65 a night.

Playful Pack will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., seven days a week.

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Removery, a tattoo removal company based out of Austin, Texas, is planning to open a location at Ballston Quarter in early August.

The studio at 4238 Wilson Blvd, in the open-air portion of the shopping center, will offer services related to removing or changing tattoos. It will remove tattoos of all sizes and colors and change or cover up old ink jobs with the help of local tattoo artists, according to the company’s website.

“Relationship status changes, changes in their lifestyle, because someone thought it was cool in college and now they have a family,” Removery’s Director of Marketing Trent Lootens said. “People are transitioning in their lives and we play a large role in that.”

The expansion into Arlington this summer is part of the company’s plan to open over 200 new locations across North America and Australia in large, metropolitan areas over the next five years, said Caitlin Wolf, Removery’s Public Relations Director.

The company was formed in 2019 through the merger of the nation’s four biggest tattoo removal companies. Removery’s founders, originally from Australia, saw an opportunity to establish sites in the U.S. that exclusively offer tattoo removal services, Lootens said.

“A lot of plastic surgeons and dermatologists do this but no one specializes in this and makes it the focal point like we do,” he said.

A small tattoo costs about $990 to remove while a larger tattoo costs around $3,990. Price depends on the quantity of ink the customer wants removed. A medium-sized tattoo takes about ten treatments to fully remove spaced out over sessions six to eight weeks apart. Each session takes about 15 minutes.

The company last year made national headlines because of its INK-nitiative, a program that offers free tattoo removals to formerly or currently incarcerated people, gang members, survivors of human trafficking or people who have hateful tattoos. For every paying customer the company will provide a removal for someone in any of those categories.

The new Arlington shop will make the program accessible to D.C. area residents who meet the qualifications and wish to have such tattoos removed. So far, around 90 people have had tattoos removed through INK-nitative, said Lootens.

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Outdoor movies are returning to Columbia Pike.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization will be screening summer cinema from the Arlington Career Center parking lot starting this Saturday.

The group’s annual movie series, now in its 11th year, was held under the stars until the pandemic struck. Last summer, it decided to offer a drive-in movie theater experience instead, a format that the CPRO will be repeating this year.

Admission requires a donation to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization and registration in advance. Both can be done through forthcoming links in the neighborhood’s newsletter, which is sent out every Thursday. The event is being funded in part by Amazon and the Washington Forrest Foundation.

Showtime begins at sunset, between 8 and 8:30 p.m. depending on the evening. The movies are rated between G and PG-13 and the lineup ranges from dramas to animated films, and musicals to action flicks:

  • July 3, 8:30 p.m.: La Misma Luna
  • July 10, 8:30 p.m.: The Addams Family
  • July 17, 8:30 p.m.: The Farewell
  • July 24, 8:30 p.m.: Just Mercy
  • July 31, 8:30 p.m.: Hairspray
  • Aug. 7, 8:15 p.m.: Gojira
  • Aug. 17, 8 p.m.: A League of Their Own
  • Aug. 28, 8 p.m.: Raya and the Last Dragon

Each movie will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles.

The Arlington Career Center Parking lot can be accessed by entering on S. Walter Reed Drive, according to the event page. There will be no public bathrooms available at the facility while the film is shown.

Moviegoers can arrive up to one hour early to secure a spot for their vehicles, the event page said. A Kona Ice truck will be making shaved ice treats before the movie.

Photos courtesy of CPRO

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A stretch of Wilson Blvd in Ballston will be shut down and transformed into an open-air pub and stage next month for a new event: Bands & Brews on the Boulevard.

The Ballston Business Improvement District will turn the thoroughfare between N. Stuart Street and N. Randolph Street, near Ballston Quarter, into an event space serving drinks and featuring live music from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 24.

Bands & Brews on the Boulevard is hosted by BallstonGives, the charitable arm of the BID. The event is free to attend but people will need to buy drink tickets, the proceeds of which will benefit BallstonGives’ Bartenders Relief Fund.

“We want to generate funding to support our local restaurants and their bartenders, who made sacrifices to serve our community in challenging times,” a BID spokeswoman said. “In addition to our efforts throughout the pandemic, this relief fund will allow us to create future programs and events that feature our neighborhood’s restaurants.”

Drink tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount. Discount prices are $7 for one beer or glass of wine, $10 for a craft cocktail and $30 for five beers or glasses of wine. For $5o, people can buy a “bar bundle” with eight beers or glasses of wine and two cocktails, which can be shared.

Drink tickets purchased at the event will not be discounted.

Participants will have two stages of live performances to choose from. The main stage will host a DJ as well as bands whose styles range from rock and pop to oldies and funk:

Attendees can request songs for Bobby McKey’s Dueling Pianos to play in the last hour by messaging the Ballston BID’s Instagram page.

A smaller stage in Welburn Square — where the Ballston farmers market is held — will host a performance by Arlington-based Avant Bard Theatre from 2-3:30 p.m. and singer-songwriter Lucia Valentine from 4-5:30 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Ballston BID

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A new event in the Virginia Square area, Cars & Coffee, will kick off on Saturday with live music, classic cars and free doughnuts and coffee.

This weekend, Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe will provide the treats and drinks while blues performer and Ballston local Memphis Gold will provide the entertainment.

Cars & Coffee will take place in the parking lot of 3901 Fairfax Drive and is being co-hosted by the Ballston Business Improvement District and Skanska Commercial Development. The free event will take place every other Saturday from 8-11 a.m. through Aug. 7.

Local car enthusiasts can register online to display their cars for the show.

Skanska purchased the Fairfax Drive parking lot space in 2019 to convert it into a public plaza and office building. Although the project near Arlington Central Library has been plagued with delays, the company plans to break ground there in the near future.

“At Skanska, we create spaces built to serve communities,” said Mark Carroll, Executive Vice President for Skanska USA Commercial Development’s local office. “We’re looking forward to starting that journey even before we put shovels in the ground here in Ballston.”

Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone shared Carroll’s sentiment, saying she hopes the event will bring people out into the community and allow them to get to know their neighbors.

“It’s encouraging and exciting to see people coming out, supporting local music, local businesses and just generally being a community again,” Leone said. “We have a strong network here in Ballston and we support each other immensely. It’s amazing to see it happening in real-time with events like Cars & Coffee.”

Photos courtesy of Ballston BID

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After suffering a career-ending injury playing college football, Graham Kelley stepped off the field for a while and spent several years working in software sales.

Last year, he decided to return to sports — this time turning his attention to helping young athletes and former athletes like him working desk jobs.

At Capital City Sports Academy, his new gym just over the Arlington County border in Bailey’s Crossroads, Kelley is helping young athletes train safely and encouraging adults to get back into shape. The 4,500-square-foot facility at 3431 Carlin Springs Road had its grand opening on Saturday after a soft opening for a handful of new members last month.

“[The gym] is designed for young athletes in two focuses: speed and agility to develop athleticism, and strength and conditioning to develop core stability and muscle mass necessary for younger athletes as they grow,” he said.

Kelley said his location, close to several high schools in Arlington and Fairfax counties, as well as Alexandria, will benefit a large number of athletes who are requiring more intense, specialized training at younger ages.

“I wish I had a facility like Capital City when I was in high school,” Kelley said. “Thinking back to when I was 10, 11 years old and developing my athleticism, a place like Capital City to learn the fundamentals would have been instrumental in my development. I think the opportunity could have helped me avoid the injury I incurred.”

Training will be overseen by Head Coach and General Manager Chad Ward, who Kelley described as “the most positive person I’ve ever met.”

“Our athletes have responded well, parents are extremely happy with him. It’s been really exciting to see,” he said. “We want to build something special and help local kids shine.”

The facility also offers boot camp-style and circuit-based classes to help former athletes get active again.

“Getting the adult to move again like they’re the athlete they were in the past has shown tons of positive health benefits to counteract the sedentary lifestyle of sitting at a computer for eight hours a day and staring at our phones,” said Kelley.

These classes are open to adults who have never played a sport as well.

“We don’t discriminate,” said Kelley.

The gym offers team training packages for high schools or organizations and also has monthly membership options. Kelley said costs vary by sport and school, so those interested in getting an estimate can email Capital City through its website.

It will be open Monday and Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Park and Langley Photography 

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(Updated at 10:25 a.m. on 6/18/21) Brioche Cinnamon Rolls and Dark Chocolate Explosion Cookies are coming to Crystal City this weekend with the arrival of a brand new Mah-Ze-Dahr location.

The popular New York-based bakery founded in 2013 takes its name from an Urdu expression meaning a taste you can’t quite describe but want to experience again and again — it is a representation of what the restaurant hopes to offer with its sweet treats.

This time the bakery isn’t limiting itself to pastries. The Crystal City location, which opens Saturday at 1550 Crystal Drive, will be the company’s biggest shop to date — bigger than others in New York City and D.C.’s Navy Yard. It will also have the broadest menu.

The company is expanding into breakfast and lunch foods adding salmon and cream cheese-filled croissants and sandwich flights exclusively to the Arlington menu.

“We always think its fun to have things you can only have in one place,” said Mah-Ze-Dahr founder Umber Ahmad. “It helps the community feel wanted and special in that way.”

Customers will be able to sit inside or outside the 2,600 square foot bakery, which has exterior seating for 36 and interior seating for 55.

This Mah-Ze-Dahr will also have an extra large kitchen to serve not only its local customers but to also provide pastries to other D.C. area retailers.

Ahmad says the bakery will soon announce its partnerships with several local D.C. coffee chains and hotels. In the meantime, it will be doling out delectable goods from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.

Mah-Ze-Dahr will be next to the new CVS store in the emerging Central District Retail center. The shopping and dining strip will also one day include NYC-based taco restaurant Tacombi, fitness studio Solidcore and, nearby, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

For first time customers trying out Mah-Ze-Dahr this weekend, Ahmad recommends the croissants.

“I humbly think they are the best outside of France,” she said.

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