An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Youth Basketball Coaches Needed

Just to this and it sounded like fun, so I thought I would pass it along

Would you like to help coach youth basketball?

Several boys and girls teams (grades 3-8) would love to have an assistant coach to help at games and practices through the winter. If you’ve played or coached basketball, know some basics about skills, and enjoy working with kids, this could be a fun way to get involved.

For more info, contact Marta Cahill at or 703-228-1818.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fresh AIRE Documentary Debuts

Arlington hosted a Green Living Gala in the County Board meeting room Monday night, featuring the debut of a documentary on the county's Fresh AIRE program. I was impressed that over a hundred people turned out on the Monday night after Thanksgiving when most people are usually still in holiday hangover mode.

If you're really looking to stay locked in on the Procrastination Flowchart today, you can watch the full documentary (about 30 minutes) on the Arlington Virginia Network website. However, if you have to pretend to actually do stuff today, you can watch this quick and timely tip to save money on your winter energy bills from Professor Robert Farr:

You can see more of Professor Farr's tips at the Arlington Virginia Network YouTube page!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Staying in Arlington for Thanksgiving?

Your options are better than you might think. The night before Thanksgiving is actually one of the biggest going-out nights of the year, because really, if you're not heading out of town, tonight is the start of a four-day weekend (four-and-a-half if your boss is nice).

On Wednesday nights, Arlington's most happening neighborhood is Ballston, where Rock Bottom offers dollar drafts and Front Page serves half-price burgers and $2 Miller Lite bottles. Rock Bottom Wednesdays are typically too loud/crowded for The Green Miles' tastes, but if you get to Front Page before 8pm, you can usually have dinner and a couple of drinks for about $10 before things get too crazy.

Then on Thanksgiving morning, the Christ Church of Arlington is hosting its annual Turkey Trot, which apparently is more popular than ever this year. They already have 780 registered participants, up from 300 last year! It's run through Lyon Park/Ashton Heights.

As for Thanksgiving Day, Arlington County's website offers a tip -- don't cook your turkey in a turkey fryer. I didn't realize this, but Underwriters Laboratories, which rates product safety, doesn't certify any turkey fryers, considering them all dangerous. You can get more details and watch cool fire video on YouTube.

You can find more weekend events through's Local Guide and get more details on what's open and what's not at Arlington's Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review: CRM November Monthly Meetup at Dr. Dremo's

Not sure if it was the lure of the Election Night theme or nostalgia for the soon-to-be-moving Dr. Dremo's, but November's Community Role Models Monthly Meetup was the best-attended yet by far! Nearly 30 people packed Dremo's front lounge.

The crowd was about evenly split between people who'd been to CRM events before and people who hadn't. That's probably the ideal mix. On the one hand, you don't want the new people to feel like the only ones in the room who don't know anyone. But then again, you don't want a room full of people who can't find anyone who actually knows what CRM is.

We try to keep the formal blabbing short at Monthly Meetups, so we just talked about some upcoming volunteer activities like Holiday Elves at Ballston Mall on December 1st and Project Christmas Angel on Lorcom Lane coming up on December 11th. The biggest question we got was how to get one of the cool new CRM tshirts (answer: come to a volunteer event).

Our previous record high for attendance was 20 people at October's Monthly Meetup at Sine in Pentagon City. This event shattered the record with 28 people. But I'm pretty confident the Dremo's event won't hold the title belt for long. Fellow blogger What's Up Eric has lined up an awesome December Monthly Meetup featuring Fit Arlington at Bailey's in Ballston. You can learn more RSVP at the CRM website or at the Facebook event page (or if you just can't respondez vous enough, you can do both).

I'm sure Eric will have more details of the event as it gets closer, so bookmark this page and check back later. Speaking of Eric, that's him in the gray shirt. What did you think of the November Monthly Meetup?

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rosetta Stone Found at Arlington Library

You know those Rosetta Stone language learning stands you see in the mall? I think those look so cool. Estoy muy mal with languages, but I think it would be very cool to learn.

Anyways, I always thought it was be nice to find those at the library, but figured they were too "hip" and pricey to be at the library.

Well, no more. You can now access Rosetta Stone online through Arlington library.

Here's the scoop:

What is it?
A tool for learning languages, the Rosetta Stone provides tutorials to practice reading, listening, speaking and writing skills--all done on the computer!
What Will I find?
Choose from 5 languages for self-paced, individual language instruction: Practice in the Library for reading, listening, and writing skills.
Chinese (Mandarin)
English (US)
Spanish (Latin American)

Find out more info and get started here.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Parking Meter Roulette

Different parking meters in different areas have different rules. But in looking for parking in Clarendon recently, I've noticed how wildly different parking rules can be, not just from one block to another, but from one space to the next.

On Clarendon Day I was trying to find a spot that I could stay in for the two-hour shift I was working at the CRM booth. I ended up pulling into three different spots -- all with different rules. The most egregious spread came on the meters to the right -- one a 1-hour meter in effect from Monday-Saturday, the other a 12-hour meter in effect from Monday-Friday. Driving around in traffic, of all that was impossible to know until you pulled into the spot.

The next week I hit the Clarendon post office to get my first-ever passport. The meter on the left is 8am-6pm while the meter on the right is 8am-5pm.

Why is The Green Miles so sensitive to these subjects? Because he got nailed with a parking ticket in Rosslyn a couple of years back at a spot where the parking meters had been changed but the parking street signs hadn't. The signs still said "metered parking Mon-Fri" but on the meters the "Fri" had been covered with a "Sat" sticker. Weak.

So how can you know what you're getting into before pulling in? While the
Arlington County Parking Meter Guide has plenty of information, it doesn't make things much simpler. It's six printed pages long. You could try to memorize the parking meter color codes, but there are five of those.

I know the parking planners are just trying to keep cars turning over fast in high traffic areas while letting workers and residents park longer in less-busy spots. But it can certainly make parking a pain.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cafe Scientifique Takes on Global Warming

I went to one of these last year on electric cars and I have to say it was very cool. Cafe Scientifique is simply a discussion about something interesting in the science world. I'm not a science person at all, but I thought it was interesting and fun.

Here are the details about the upcoming event:

Cafe Scientifique Arlington
WHAT: "Where Energy and Global Warming Meet"

WHEN: November 6, 6:30-8:00 PM

WHERE: The Front Page Restaurant, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA

WHO: Dennis Dimick, Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine

HOW: 6:30-8:00 Short presentation, followed by Q&A (Come early to purchase
a drink or a meal if you so desire)

No science background required!
Free and open to the public

ABOUT THE TOPIC: A slide show and discussion on the reasons why we are
seeing warming (our use of coal, oil, and gas), an extensive range of
on-ground examples of change we are seeing as temperatures rise and a
range of potential solutions we need to begin implementing to reduce our
carbon pollution, and hence the damage from human-induced climate warming.
ABOUT THE CONCEPT: Cafe Scientifque flourished first in the U.K. (see as a way for the public and scientists to
mingle and discuss science issues in an informal setting. At least 35 café
now exist in the U.S.

ABOUT THIS CAFE: The National Science Foundation initiated Café
Scientifique (Arlington) and its occasional cousin in Washington D.C. in
April 2006 to make science more accessible and accountable by featuring
speakers whose expertise spans the sciences and who can talk in plain
English. Generally held on first Tuesdays at the Front Page in Arlington.
This month's event is co-sponsored with the Smithsonian Institution.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Arlington County Police: It's the Little Things

I have a first-Sunday-of-the-month routine. Walk to the bank to deposit my roommate's half of the rent, walk to the grocery store to pick up some organic produce (OK, and maybe some Moose Tracks too) in my reusable grocery bag, walk home. We'll see how well the routine holds up when the weather gets colder, but on a nice fall day, it works out pretty well.

I was crossing Fairfax Drive on my way to the bank when I noticed an SUV pulled over with a police car behind it. Looked like a broken down car, didn't think much of it. Then when I was walking back, I saw the Arlington County police officer kneeling beside the car helping the driver change her flat tire. (Sorry I don't have a better picture, but my cell phone camera isn't the best.)

How cool is that? I once had a flat as a result of a minor accident in Morristown, NJ and the police officers who responded couldn't have cared less. Police officers tend to get attention only when things go wrong, so it was nice to see one going out of his way to do something right.

Quick reminder: Don't forget to vote on Tuesday! You can also check out the CRM Election Night Non-Partisan Party.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rock Climbing Wall in Shirlington

This Sunday (11/4) from 1 PM to 5 PM Shirlington is celebrating it's "Phase Two Grand Opening" - which, btw, includes some great additions, Busboys & Poets, Bear Rock Cafe, Cakelove, and Harris Teeter.

Anyways, here's the rundown of events from the web page:

Free gift to the first 500 people that visit the Village at Shirlington Tent.
Enjoy pumpkin decorating, face painting, balloon art, caricatures, children's arts & crafts, special store discounts and more!
Register to win a gift basket valued at over $500.
Enjoy music and entertainment in front of Bear Rock Café & Caribou Coffee.

And while it's not on the web, the poster I saw in Shirlington advertises a rock climbing well.

Rock climbing wall ... now we're talking. Sounds like fun.

For more great events like this, get the What's Up Arlington! e-newsletter delivered straight to your email inbox. Four great events, every two weeks. Read and Subscribe here!

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