An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Arlington the Slim? Fairfax the slimmer?

According to a new study by Money Magazine, Arlington is the 22nd skinniest County in the U.S. Sounds pretty good, right? - but then there is this piece of news from the Sun Gazette:

But 22nd pales in comparison to neighboring Fairfax County (ranked 15th) and Alexandria (ranked 10th). And, according to federal guidelines, all three communities' residents fall, on average, into the overweight category.

We're loosing to Fairfax and Alexandria?! What's up with that? I don't like losing! And I especially don't like losing to Fairfax and Alexandria. I think it's time to jump on this FitArlington band wagon.

So, what are you going to do about it? I want to win next year! Discuss below

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Arlington the Beautiful?

MSNBC just listed Arlington as the 8th most beautiful place in America.

I love Arlington, but 8th - really? What do you think? Does Arlington really rank that high ... and by the way, what's ahead of us - this MSNBC website stinks for navigation.

Leave your thoughts in the comnments.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Saturday: Ballston Beaver Pond Cleanup

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors on a summer evening, stop by the Ballston Beaver Pond this Saturday July 28th from 5-7pm! Volunteers from Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Arlington County’s Community Role Models program will be cleaning the pond not just from the shore, but also from the pond itself.

ACE has arranged for two boats to be at the cleanup so some of the more intrepid volunteers can get out on the water and remove some of the ordinarily-inaccessible trash polluting the pond. Once the cleanup is finished, volunteers will celebrate a job well done at Bailey’s in the Ballston Common Mall, which is generously providing free food.

Meet at the Beaver Pond on Saturday at 5pm. It's adjacent to the end of the Fairfax Drive I-66 on-ramp. We'll gather at the observation deck overlooking the pond.

Sign up here! And if you're wondering if there are really beavers in the pond, the answer is here.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

State of the County

Arlington County Board Chair Paul Ferguson recently delivered his State of the County address. From the Arlington Connection:

Arlington County has been a national leader on environmental issues in the last decade while keeping its tax rate lower than most of its neighbors. However, it still has several chronic problems, such as a lack of affordable housing and lagging capital improvement projects.

This was the message from County Board Chair Paul Ferguson (D) in his State of the County speech last week."It will come as no surprise to you that I say that the state of the county is excellent," Ferguson said to a group of business leaders at a meeting of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. "But the statistics back me up on that."

Ferguson, who is not seeking reelection to the Board and instead is running for the Clerk of Courts position, cited Arlington’s solid financial footing as one reason that the county is in good shape.

So what do you think of the state of Arlington? Is the county doing enough to address affordable housing? Transportation? Global warming?

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Potter Fans Pack Olsson's ... Worth the Wait?

Dozens of Harry Potter fans (including The Green Girlfriend) packed Olsson's in Courthouse on Friday night, counting down the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We heard it was even worse in Clarendon at the Barnes & Noble. Rumor had it that around 10pm the line there was already hundreds of people long.

Were you up late buying the book on Friday night? Have you finished it yet? Was it worth the wait?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Paper Towels or Electric Dryer?

Is it better for the environment to use paper towels or the electric hand dryer to dry your hands after washing them?

Someone asked me this recently, and while I assumed the hand dryer, I didn't really know the answer. So, I went to the expert.

So put your guess in now (feel free to leave it in a comment), and then read the answer straight from the Green Miles.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

5 Ways to Get Outside when it's Hot, Hot, Hot!

In the words of the great Buster Poindexter, it's hot, hot, hot. I mean, it's brutally hot. And then that chance of afternoon thunderstorms come rollling in it seems like every night.

Man, I love summer! Seriously, I do.

I was just out in Southern California for a friend's wedding. Perfect weather, right? Yeah, it's like 70-80 degrees year around and (supposedly) sunny. But it's summer. It should be hot. 70 to 80 - that's not hot. Plus, L.A. has all that nasty smog - I know our air is not perfect, but geez that smog is nasty.

That being said, I know there are times when it's just too hot to be outside - but that doesn't mean you can't/ shouldn't - there is still a lot to do outside.

  1. Check out the new pool at Upton Hill Regional Park

  2. Play tennis - under the lights when it's cooler. Click here for a list of Arlington tennis courts.

  3. Take a hike at Potomac Overlook Regional Park

  4. Check out an evening concert at Lubber Run Amphitheatre

  5. Take a "cool" walk, like one around Clarendon or checking out Arlington's history.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer Ice Skating and New Caps Jersey

So, since the Capitals are now headquartered and practicing in Arlington, does that make commenting on the CAPS fair game to this blog? I'm going to say yes.

Let's start with the new jersey. Do you like it? I don't. Everyone seems to love it, but I for one liked the previous one. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Speaking of the CAPS in Arlington, there are plenty of chances to cool of in the summer with ice skating at the Kettler Capitals Ice Plex. I got this email from the folks over at the Iceplex.

Ice Skating for Adults!

Every Wednesday night this Summer from 7:45pm – 9pm is an Adult Skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex – Arlington’s new twin-sheet ice arena and practice facility of the Washington Capitals. The cost is just $7 per person, plus $3 if you need to rent skates. Get a group of 10 or more together and the cost drops to a mere $6 per person, which includes the rental skates.

A great way to beat the heat - Adult learn to skate session starts the first week of August.

The Iceplex also has party rooms available for an hourly charge should anyone want to continue their party off-ice.

Sounds like fun to me!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Arlington News You Care About

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

Eating Around: New Pizza Options in D.C., Va.

Washington Post’s Express hails the new pizza ovens at Roberto Donna’s Bebo Trattoria in Crystal City. The ovens took a week to heat up!

More Flights at National?

I think normally I wouldn't find this that interesting, but I just schlepped out to Dulles for my last flight - what a pain! Of course, I understand the reasons for not wanting more flights at National, I'll never call it Reagan, as well.

Great Dates/Great Art

This exhibit seems to be getting a lot of buzz, and I thing it sounds pretty cool as well.

Here's a video clip from WETA and a nice article in the Post

Environmental Cabs?

I've heard there was this movement for more hybrid cabs, but I don't realize there was this whole environmental cab company. Interesting.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

7 Reasons to get involved with CRM

About 30 people gathered last night to celebrate CRM's 3rd anniversary and it's 1,000 registrant -- who attended the celebration and received a gift --- didn't you always want to be that person ... the 1-millionth customer with balloons coming down, etc?. OK, so this wasn't quite as dramatic, but kind of cool to recognize all the same.

Oh, what is CRM you ask? Well, CRM is an Arlington based group dedicated to getting "young adults" (read 20s and 30 somethings) involved in their communities and connected with each other.

So, in honor of the 3rd anniversary of CRM and the 1,000th registrant, here are my top reasons to be involved with CRM.

  1. Meet cool new people

  2. Hang out with cool people

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2

  4. Give back to your community

  5. Feel good about it

  6. Learn more about your community

  7. Hang out with cool people after giving back to your community and feeling good about it

Now, you ask, how do you get involved? A couple of possibilities, 1)go to the CRM website and sign-up for an activity that sounds good to you or just something that sounds interesting 2)Sign up for the What's Up Arlington! e-newsletter. You won't officially be on the CRM list, but the newsletter includes a regular listing of CRM events.

Hope to see you at an event soon.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yes we like to volunteer, but how do I do it?

The Post just ran an interesting story about volunteering in the D.C. area. According to the writer, we, Washingtonians, Arlingtonians, etc, have a high sense of civic responsibility and people who are passionate about causes that lead them to lend a helping hand. And, of course, as the article points out we also have a lot of type A personalities so we like to DO things.

I found the article very interesting and encouraging that people are engaged in their communities and looking to participate, not isolate. According to the Post:

Locally, however, it [a study by the Corporation for National and Community
] belied the notion that Washington area residents are becoming more
isolated and cut off from civic life as they spend more time in their cars,
struggling through the second-longest commutes in the country.

This is a great article, but I think for a lot of us, we want to volunteer, but don't always know how. There are a lot of great ways to volunteer in Arlington. But let me tell you
about one - and for regular blog readers, you probably know this already -- CRM.
CRM is a group of "young adults" (read 20s and 30 somethings) in Arlington who
are committed to volunteering, having fun, and connecting with others. Each
month they sponsor at least one volunteer activity, generally followed by some
sort of social outing. There are lots of different types of activities, so there
is bound to be something to peak your interest.

If you ask me why I like CRM, though, truth is, it's the people. It's a fun
group to hang out with and the bonus is you are helping out your community.

To get involved with CRM, visit their homepage. To read more about CRM activities on this blog, click here. And of course, as you will see from the post Miles just put up (sorry I missed it
before I started writing, you can also check out CRM tonight at the annual
summer celebration). See you there.


Tonight: CRM Celebration in Clarendon

The annual CRM Celebration will take place tonight (Wednesday July 11th) at 7:30pm at Eleventh in Clarendon! It's a chance to thank people who've volunteered with Community Role Models over the last year, as well as a welcoming party for people thinking about joining.

This year CRM has special reason to celebrate. The organization just registered its 1,000th member! Considering the group has only been around for three years, that's quite an accomplishment.

If you've heard about CRM and have wanted to learn more, this is your chance to meet the people involved before you make any commitment. It's important to make sure any group you volunteer with is a good fit socially. Because really, there are plenty of volunteer options out there, so why would you give your time an organization if you don't like the people involved?

There will also be information available on upcoming volunteer activities like the Ballston Beaver Pond Cleanup on July 28th, AHC Family Fun Day on August 18th, and the 9/11 5K on September 8th.

Eleventh is on N. Highland St near the corner with Washington Blvd (across the street from Mister Days), about a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

If you plan on stopping by, please RSVP here!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Next Week: "Deathly Hallows" Arrives in Courthouse

Another great find from Night Out in Arlington:

Friday, Jul. 20
Calling All Muggles!

Join Olsson's for a Harry Potter Pre-Release Party! Doors open at 9 pm and the final book in the series, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows will go on sale at midnight. Come in costume and treat yourself to refreshments, prizes, and all things magical!

Olsson's Arlington/Courthouse, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA, (703) 525-4227

The Green Girlfriend is a gigantic Harry Potter fan and is currently re-reading all six previous books in anticipation of the seventh and final edition. We'll be heading over to check out this party and apparently I will be in costume as one of the characters, likely Harry if I can find some round glasses.

And to tie in the Potter fun with your community, Olsson's is one of the last locally-owned bookstores in the entire DC area. As you can see on the Olsson's events page, it's an Arlington hub for visiting authors.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Live Earth Comes to Arlington

UPDATE: My review of Live Earth at Giants Stadium is up at The Green Miles

The Green Miles will be packing up the Purple Car tomorrow and driving up to New Jersey for the Live Earth climate change awareness concert at Giants Stadium.

But it turns out you don't have to leave Arlington to get the Live Earth experience! The venerable Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse will be hosting a live broadcast of the concert. You can buy tickets at the Drafthouse's website.

Here are all the details:

5PM to 11PM
Watch the World Wide Broadcast of the Live Earth Concert at the Drafthouse

Get your Earth on Arlington! Join community members for a free “sustainability fest” and “concert streaming” of the history making LiveEarth concerts. LiveEarth ( is 24 hour, 7-continent series of 9 concerts taking place on 7-7-07 that will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to “answer the call” and combat the climate crisis.

USA concert artists include The Police, AFI, Dave Mathews, Foo Fighters, Alesia Keyes, John Mayer, Ludicris, Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Etheridge, and many more. “Rock the Earth” will also feature the best of green businesses and organizations displaying and demonstrating how easy it is to go green.

This event, sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife is envisioned to help create a sustainable future for the Washington DC Area with dazzling visuals, rockin’ music, sustainability resources and eco-displays.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Free and Fun: Shirlington's Movies Under the Stars

Next week Shirlington's 4th Annual "Movies Under the Stars" kicks off on Campbell Avenue (formerly known as 28th St S)! They'll set up the big screen in front of Guapo's. Here's the schedule:

July 11 -- Happy Feet
July 18 -- Dreamgirls
July 25 -- The Devil Wears Prada
August 1 -- Night at the Museum

There's plenty of free parking after 5pm in Shirlington, or you can always bike or take the bus.

To find out more about what's going on in and around Shirlington, check out the Village at Shirlington's website.

How did I find out about all of the above? Through Arlington's most underrated website, Night Out in Arlington!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Where Are You Watching the Fireworks on the 4th?

This will be my seventh Fourth of July here in the DC area -- I've lived in Arlington for six of them and came to visit a friend once during college. It's given me a chance to experience the Fourth from many different locations, so here are a few tips for a successful celebration:

- Have friends in high places. Since Arlington isn't bound by DC's height restrictions, its buildings offer many of the best views of the fireworks. If you know someone who's hosting a party in Rosslyn or Crystal City, go. You'll get the full fireworks experience with none of the crowd-fighting.

- Develop an exit strategy. If you're Metroing, know what station you'll walk to (Smithsonian is closed on the Fourth). Once the fireworks end, everyone tries to go home at the exact same time, and if you can delay getting on Metro or on the road by even an hour, you'll save yourself a big headache. Pack an extra lemonade in the cooler and take your time.

- If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. Baz Luhrmann was right: The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I'd also add that, no matter where you go, what you do, or who you do it with, drinking lots of water will indisputably improve your holiday experience.

Arlington viewing locations, street closures, and tons of key info are at the county website. has a thorough page of information and options.

If you choose to go into the District, has a cool
map of prime viewing areas.

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