An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Films in the Forest

This past Saturday night, I attended the inaugural "Films in the Forest" event at Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington.

First, if you've never been to the nature center, I strongly recommend it as truly one of those "best keep secrets"in Arlington. You're driving along in the middle of good, urban Arlington, you turn off the road and think you're turning in to an apartment complex, go like 1/4 mile and all of a sudden you're in another world. It's absolutely beautiful - very wooded, with the stream going by. It's a great, great place!

And the amphitheatre is very cool too - just up the hill a bit and very enclosed in the trees. Great setting.

The movie for this week was Whale Rider - a personal favorite. I love this movie. No, really I love this movie! I'm not a big movie person at all. In fact, I would say I go to the theatre maybe 2ce a year, but this is a great movie. I think I've seen it 3 times now, and each time I pick up more and it gets better. So, if you haven't seen this movie, I highly highly recommend it (are you picking up on my enthusiasm?)

As for the Films in the Forest, series, I give it an A+. There is another one coming up - Being Caribou. More documentary than Whale Rider, but sounds like a really good move, especially if you're in to that type of thing (I am)

Friday, September 8, Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Rd. If you can make it, I recommend it. I'll be there.

Night Out in Arlington (Good Resource)

I just found another good resource for finding things to do in Arlington. This page highlights somethign to do each night of the week.

It's called Night Out, and you can check it out by following the link.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Arts Al Fresco in the Post

Check out what the Washington Post had to say about one of my favorite summer time activities in Arlington - outdoor concerts at Lubber Run Amphitheatre.

"One could be forgiven for driving right past Lubber Run Amphitheatre. The venue is tucked off a quiet street in a residential Arlington neighborhood that wouldn't otherwise see much traffic.
But if you open your car windows and listen for music, you'll find the spot. Arlington County has more than 100 free, outdoor performances scheduled as part of its Arts al Fresco series, with most of the nighttime performances here, in a concrete amphitheater enveloped by towering trees and meandering bike trails.'

Unfortunately, the Post caught on a bit late to this great summer time activity and the season is almost over. But go to the Arlington Arts website and sign-up for their newsletter to get the full schedule in the future. Or just stay tuned to the What's Up Arlington! newsletter for the highlights.

Why Don't We Bike More?

I just returned from vacation, where I spent part of my time (about a week) in Malmo on the Southern tip of Sweden, just across the Oresund Bridge from Copenhagen.

There was on thing that really stands out when you spend any time in either of these two cities. People ride their bikes EVERYWHERE! I don't know how to write that strongly enough, I mean everywhere - to the grocery store, out to dinner, out to party, to work. Little old ladies and men ride their bikes, young children, young adults, everybody. People ride their bikes in cashual clothes, in work clothes, and in going out clothes. And, while the weather was very nice when we were there, I'm told that even when it's cold, people ride just as much.

So, I started wondering - why can't we be more like that? OK, there are some factors that we have less control of. Malmo and Copenhagen are both very flat. Arlington's not a mountain town, but it's not totally flat either. I'll concede that one. Some would say that urban planning has a lot to do with it. And I agree, both cities had a town of "bike roads". But Arlington has really good bike trails and routes too - maybe not quite as good, but still very good. There is also a cultural shift. Bicylists have the right away everywhere there and car drivers are very accomodating. Good luck getting that here!

All the same, I think there is definitely something for us to learn and emulate. There are so many benefits to bike riding. Bike riding is great for the environment, your health, and your general well-being. If you're not already familar with the many trails that Arlington offers, check out the BikeArlington website. They have maps and lots of great ride ideas.

See you on the trail!