Arlington, VA

Over 8,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records will be on sale this Saturday (Sept. 26) at the annual Rosslyn Reads Book Festival.

The festival is an annual fundraiser for Turning the Page, a non-profit that aids underserved students in the community. Carpe Librum, a non-profit used bookstore, will be partnering with Rosslyn BID this year to contribute to the fundraiser.

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, attendees can buy “gently used” items at a price range of $2 to $6 in Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street).

Several procedures will be in place to promote social-distancing:

  • Attendees must pre-register for a one-hour time slot to shop and provide confirmation of registering upon arrival
  • Review Rosslyn BID’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols before registering
  • Those who do not pre-register must sign a waiver before entering
  • A maximum of 50 people will be allowed inside the plaza to shop at a time
  • Masks will be required for all attendees
  • Hand-sanitizer stations will be available at the entrance
  • Attendees will be required to follow a one-way flow of foot traffic

Photo via Rosslyn BID/Facebook 

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Arlington County has undergone drastic changes over the last 100 years to become what it is today.

In celebrating the county’s history and the 2020 census, County Manager Mark Schwartz will compare a snapshot of the area from 100 years ago and today’s Arlington during a virtual discussion.

The two-hour program will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. and can be viewed on the county’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, or on Arlington TV (Comcast 1085/Verizon 40).

An interactive storybook and map will be paired with the discussion. The session will also feature a “conversation with the members of the Complete Count Committee appointed in 2019 on their experiences with working on the 2020 census,” according to Schwartz.

“Viewers can expect a summary of how Arlington of today compares with the Arlington of 100 years ago on a number of measures, including population, family size, demographic makeup (race, age, gender, languages spoken, housing types),” Schwartz wrote in an email.

Schwartz added that the discussion will include “a history lesson on what Arlington looked like and some stories from 100 years ago that shed some light on the Arlington of today.”

The broadcast will explore the county’s transformation since its naming as a nod to the Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery — an association that is now under scrutiny. The name was officially changed from Alexandria County in 1920 to avoid being confused with the city of Alexandria.

Arlington County grew from a primarily rural area of farms — the last of which closed in 1955 — as its population steadily increased and new developments were established.

Farms gave way to housing developments, new businesses and modernized infrastructure over the years. The population followed suit as an increase of federal workers spilled into the area during the 1930s, as National Airport opened in 1941, as World War II saw the construction of the Pentagon, and as the Metrorail corridors were introduced in the 1970s.

The county’s population has grown exponentially from the 16,040 residents counted in the 1920 census, which included sections of Del Ray and the City of Alexandria that were part of the county then, according to Arlington’s website.

Arlington County has grown every decade since 1920, except in the 1970s when the area’s population dropped by 12.4%. However, the population rebounded and steadily grew to 207,627 in 2010, according to census data.

The latest estimates peg the county’s population at 228,400, a 10% increase from 2010. A forecast by the county shows the population growing to 301,200 in 2045.

“Today, Arlington is a diverse and inclusive world-class urban community with a population that continues to grow at approximately 1% per year,” the county website says.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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An Arlington-based organization wants people to join them for a peaceful protest on wheels.

Arlington for Justice, is asking community members to “Ride for Black Lives” on Saturday, Sept. 26, as they pedal about 14 miles in the name of justice.

The ride will begin at 3 p.m., starting at Drew Elementary School (3500 23rd St. S.) and is expected to end around 5 p.m. in front of the county courthouse (1425 N. Courthouse Road).

The route will take riders by sites in Arlington that are of Black historical significance, organization member Yolande Kwinana said.

Arlington for Justice wants the ride to:

  • Call attention to racial injustice and the need for criminal justice reform in Arlington.
  • Celebrate Black resilience and history in Arlington.
  • Advocate for the elimination of School Resource Officers.
  • Advocate for the community’s involvement in selecting a new police chief who is committed to justice system transformation.
  • Advocate for ending police intervention in mental health crises.

Kwinana said there will be a rally at the end of the ride, upon arrival at the Courthouse.

“We ride together with our partners, MOMS Demand Action, Black Parents of Arlington, VA Coalition for Transforming the police, WofA, APS Reform and many more. There will be multiple speakers at the rally including elected delegates who have recently submitted bills,” Kwinana said.

County police will escort the cyclists and close some streets along the route, according to Kwinana.

There will also be a shorter ride for those with kids.

“We will have a FAMILY RIDE at the tail end of the protest,” says the event’s Facebook page. “Families can meet at 4:00 PM at the parking deck at Washington-Liberty High School… The family ride will process out towards Courthouse around 4:15-4:30 PM, joining the main ride. The ride will be about 2 miles with gentle hills. MASKS ARE REQUIRED.”

All participants are asked to bring face masks, portable bike-repair tools, and water. Water will also be handed out, and there will be first-aid volunteers along the way.

Photo via Asya Vee/Unsplash

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Update at 11:15 on 9/25 — The flyover has been postponed due to weather, according to the event’s livestream. The flyover is being rescheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Well, we tried, but we never got the weather visibility we needed for the #ww2flyover so today’s flight is off. The…

Posted by Arsenal of Democracy Flyover on Friday, September 25, 2020

Earlier: This coming Friday, the sound of freedom will roar over the Potomac River, as the skies are filled with dozens of vintage World War II aircraft.

The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover is scheduled to happen around 11:30 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 25. The aircraft will fly down the Potomac from the north, over the Key, Roosevelt and Memorial bridges, and down the National Mall.

“Approximately 70 World War II aircraft will take to the skies over Washington D.C.,” the event’s website says. “These historically sequenced warbird formations will fly over the Washington Mall in two minute intervals. The formations will represent the War’s major battles concluding with a missing man formation.”

“The first formation is estimated to be over the Lincoln Memorial
 at 11:30 a.m.,” the website says. “The Arsenal of Democracy aircraft will proceed to a holding point about 10 miles west of Leesburg where they will begin the flight down the Potomac River towards D.C. As they approach the Lincoln Memorial, they will turn East and proceed down Independence Avenue. At the completion of the flyover of the WWII Memorial, the aircraft will turn south and begin their flight down the Potomac River and back to their original airports.”

This year’s flyover commemorates the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day, on May 8, 1945. A similar flyover took place in 2015, in honor of the 70th anniversary.

Aircraft participating in this year’s flyover include P-40 Warhawks, F4U Corsairs, P-51 Mustangs, B-25 Mitchells, B-29 Superfortresses and C-47 Skytrains.

We're in the home stretch for the #WW2Flyover! Planes will start arriving in the DC area next week, and you'll start…

Posted by Arsenal of Democracy Flyover on Saturday, September 19, 2020

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The annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest is not being held as the usual large public event this year. But it is returning in a different form next week.

Now called the Jazz Supper Club, it has been transformed into a virtual and socially-distant event. On Wednesday, Sept. 23 and 30, there will be outdoor jazz in Rosslyn — albeit in smaller settings. Groups will play at two outdoor dining venues around dinner time, with the performances live-streamed online.

The scheduled artists, locations and times are:

Reservations for the first night are now available online.

More from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, which organizes the annual jazz festival:

Mark your calendars for the first ever Rosslyn Jazz Supper Clubs! With these curated experiences at Rosslyn restaurants, we’re reinventing our usual Jazz Festival format to one that supports virtual streaming and limits in-person attendance. To promote the safety of all attendees, guests are asked to wear masks when not seated and to practice physical distancing in accordance with Arlington County’s and Virginia’s guidelines.

Please review the Rosslyn BID’s and each restaurant’s individual COVID-19 policies and expectations before making a reservation. By making a reservation, you are agreeing to abide by the COVID-19 policies and expectations of the Rosslyn BID and each individual restaurant.

If you’re uncomfortable attending the Supper Clubs, we’ll be livestreaming each experience so you can enjoy the evening from home.

Photo via Jens Thekkeveettil/Unsplash

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(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Phoenix Bikes, a bike shop and nonprofit located inside the Arlington Mill Community Center, will hold a scavenger hunt across Arlington between October 16-19.

Meant to be a pandemic-conscious alternative to Phoenix Bikes’ annual Arlington Fun Ride, the hunt will take bike riders to little-known sites around the county as they follow a trail of clues.

“We’re inviting people to discover the new, quirky and fun things that have always existed in Arlington, but maybe residents who have even lived here for many years just don’t know exist or have never had a reason to go find them,” Emily Gage,  executive director of Phoenix Bikes, said.

The hunt’s full route will be about 20 miles long, but an option to complete half and a family-friendly route will also be included. Riders can win prizes from Phoenix Bikes as they solve clues at each stop that lead to the next location.

Gage said Phoenix Bikes looked for locations that are visually interesting and not widely known when choosing stops along the route.

While a full list is yet to be announced, Gage said there will be a mix of artistic sites and places with more historical meaning, a number of which will relate to Black history in Arlington.

Donors to the hunt include Lyft, the National Landing Business Improvement District and D.C-based Game Genius.

Riders can complete the route at any time over the event’s four days. Gage said this will decrease traffic and help maintain social distancing at each stop.

Locations can also be reached by scooter, car or walking, but Phoenix Bikes hopes participants will take advantage of the county’s bikeability.

“We want people to understand all of the places in Arlington that they can access by bike,” Gage said. “There’s a lot that’s hard in the world right now, and I think that there are some wonderful things to just enjoy and appreciate about this community.”

Registration for the event is open through October 15.

File photo

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The National Landing BID (née Crystal City BID) is hosting a series of drive-in movies, starting Thursday and running weekly in September.

Retro drive-ins have become a popular alternative to traditional theaters, which can be a COVID-19 hazard. In Alexandria, a similar drive-in series has already sold out all of its tickets.

For the National Landing film series — dubbed “Ride in Reels” — the venue is the empty lot at 33rd Street S. and Crystal Drive. Gates will open for moviegoers at 7 p.m.

Films scheduled for the drive-in are:

Prior registration is required to attend. Would-be attendees are encouraged to sign up for the National Landing BID newsletter; a link will appear in the Monday newsletter for Thursday’s movie. When registering, participants select their vehicle type or choose one of the non-vehicle spaces for those walking or biking to the movies.

“Please note, once you make your selection, you should complete your registration quickly because Eventbrite does not reserve ‘tickets’ that are in your cart,” the BID cautioned.

Registration for this Thursday’s showing of Little Women is currently open.

Attendees should remain in their vehicles, or in designated non-vehicle spaces, throughout the movie, the BID said. Public restrooms will not be available.

Outside food and drink is allowed, but alcohol and smoking is prohibited. Face masks are required when entering and exiting but can be taken off during the movie.

The series is co-sponsored by grocery store chain Lidl, which has its U.S. headquarters in Crystal City.

Image via Disney

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A month into Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse’s (2903 Columbia Pike) reopening “test drive,” the venue is moving forward with more programming, but also adapting for some of the bumps in the roads.

“We’re coming into the fourth weekend,” said owner Tim Clark. “We have kept capacity right around 25% and that seems to be working pretty well. I’m really happy with how we opened. Staff has been great in keeping things sanitized and clean, and making sure people have been adhering to policy.”

While Clark highlighted safety measures like cleaning and distancing, the truth remains that going to theaters amid a pandemic remains a risk. Despite the successful reopening, Clark said it hasn’t been easy maintaining business as customers have stayed away from the indoor venue.

“Everything is quite a bit down,” Clark said. We’ve seen a stronger attendance for the comedy shows. Movies have been hit or miss. Some have done really well, like Back to the Future. Our largest attended show was 20 people.”

Other movies, like 40 Year Old Virgin, didn’t do nearly as well as Clark was hoping, and some reliable blockbusters have also had a disappointing showing.

“Empire Strikes Back didn’t do as well as I thought last week,” Clark said. “It’s more of the cult classics that are doing well.”

The new schedule of upcoming shows highlights the shift towards 80s and 90s classics, mixed in with the Drafthouse’s bread-and-butter live comedy shows and occasional special event.

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The Arlington Festival of the Arts will make an outdoor return over Labor Day weekend, despite the pandemic.

The annual festival, which was postponed in April after statewide bans on public gatherings, features fine art from local and national artists in forms like glass, paintings and jewelry.

The festival is taking place near the intersection of N. Highland Street and Washington Blvd in Clarendon. Exhibits will be open to the public between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 6.

Now in its 8th year, the festival typically packs Washington Blvd with visitors walking through rows of white display tents. This year, though, the event will have safety measures meant to prevent COVID-19’s spread.

All attendees above the age of 2 are asked to wear a mask, and social distancing is required between visitor groups and artists. Limits will also be set on how many visitors can attend at one time.

“This has been a trying time for artists around the world, and their appreciators, because nothing beats being able to see the creation in person,” festival producer Howard Alan said in a press release. “We have been able to craft creative solutions to bring art back to the people, without compromising safety.”

Artwork at the festival has been selected from hundreds of applications by an independent panel of expert judges, according to the press release.

Artists include Loretta Scott, a painter in Reston, and Carolyn Copper, a photographer in D.C.

The festival is free to attend and visitors are encouraged to reserve a time slot to avoid lines.

Picture courtesy Arlington Festival of the Arts 

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Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) is hoping to help locals shed their Quarantine 15, keep Arlington as the fittest “city” in the U.S., and provided some timely assistance to local businesses.

BallstonMOVES Fitness Week is a new initiative running this week from the BID that provides free access or certain discounts to the many gyms and fitness centers around Ballston — like the newly opened VIDA Fitness. The program started on Saturday, Aug. 1, and is scheduled to run until Sunday, Aug. 9.

“The health and well-being of the community is the Ballston BID’s highest priority,” stated Tina Leone, CEO, Ballston BID. “Many gyms are currently offering virtual class options, and all are ensuring proper distancing through reduced class sizes, in addition to maintaining enhanced hygiene practices for in-person classes and visits.”

Many local gyms have been taking health precautions as they start to reopen, but going to a gym — or anywhere indoors where people are congregating — still remains a fairly risky pandemic activity. Those who are feeling unwell or uneasy are encouraged to take advantage of some of the virtual training programs offered, the BID said.

Free classes are available at:

  • Ballston CrossFit (1110 N. Glebe Road): Free trial classes are scheduled today (Monday) at 6:45 p.m. and Saturday, Aug 8 at 12 p.m. Online registration is required. The gym is also offering six beginning classes for $99.
  • F45 Training (3865 Wilson Blvd): One free class to anyone who signs up with the code BALLSTONBID, with three more classes available for $10 per class and a 45% discount on the first two months of membership. The first 25 who sign up are also eligible for a free F45 water bottle and sweat towel.
  • Studio Body Logic (4600 N. Fairfax Drive): the pilates studio is offering free virtual classes on Thursday, Aug. 6, from 7-7:50 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 7, from 12-12:50 p.m. with 24-hour advance registration required. In-person, masked tours are also available this week by contacting [email protected]
  • Praxi Pilates (4141 N. Henderson Road): a pilates program in a condo building is offering 30-minute free sessions this week, featuring an orientation to equipment-based pilates. Sessions are held Monday, Aug. 3, at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7 at 12 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 8 at 11:30 p.m. Sessions are limited to one per person, but special discounts on future classes are offered.
  • Onelife Fitness (4238 Wilson Blvd): the Ballston Quarter gym is offering free Zone4 classes from Aug. 1 to Aug. 8. Class sizes are limited to eight people.
  • Orange Theory Fitness (4201 Wilson Blvd): the training program is offering a free first class, available to be scheduled by contacting 571-257-0050 or emailing [email protected]
  • VIDA Fitness (4040 Wilson Blvd): a complementary SweatBox class at the newly-opened gym, the first of its kind outside of D.C.

Other programs are offering discounts, but not free first classes to the general public.

  • BASH Boxing (700 N. Randolph Street): the boxing workout program is offering free first classes, but only to those who sign up for a discounted ten-class pack during their first class.
  • Gold’s Gym Ballston (3910 Wilson Blvd): the popular Ballston Gold’s Gym is offering discounted monthly dues of $29.99 per month for those who sign up this week.

Photo via VIDA Fitness/Facebook

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This Friday, a Columbia Pike pie shop is planning to turn its back parking lot into a one-night benefit event not for themselves, but for one of their neighbors.

Acme Pie Co. (2803 Columbia Pike) is hosting the socially-distanced event for Papillon Cycles (2805 Columbia Pike), Arlington’s oldest bicycle shop.

“COVID-19 has been hard on small business and although there is a demand for bikes, Papillon can’t get stock or parts, putting them in a tight spot,” Acme Pie Co. said on the page. “So let’s help them out while having a great time with music, friends and neighbors — and plenty of space between you.”

Many bike stores are struggling to keep up with the demand as coronavirus has thrown a wrench into the supply chain.

The event is scheduled for this Friday, July 31, from 6:30-11 p.m. Live music is planned, along with pizza from nearby Sicilian Pizza and pie from Acme Pie Co. Entry is $10 at the entrance or paid in advance via Venmo to @sol-schott. All proceeds will go towards supporting Papillon Cycles.

“In order to keep everyone safe, strict social distancing guidelines will be followed and masks are a must!” Acme Pie Co. said on the event page. “[Bring your own] lawn or camping chair.”

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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