An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Celebrate Fan Appreciate Week at Kettler Capitals IcePlex

What makes a true hockey fan?

The following from Canadian Hockey Humor:

It's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and a man makes his way to his seat right at center ice. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbor if someone will be sitting there."No," says the neighbor. "The seat is empty." "This is incredible", said the man."Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs and not use it?" The neighbor says "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Stanley Cup we haven't been to together since we got married in 1967." "Oh ... I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?" The man shakes his head "No. They're all at the funeral."
And this week, you can be a true hockey fan and celebrate Fan Appreciate Week at the Kettler Capitals IcePlex, conveniently located right on top of the Ballston Mall.

Public Skate and Viewing Party
April 4, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Fans will be able to watch the Capitals face off against the Atlanta Thrashers on a giant video screen while taking part in an open skate at the new practice facility in Arlington, Va. The event will also feature a visit by a current player and an “Enter to Win” on-site contest for a pair of tickets to the Capitals season finale on April 7.

Capitals Alumni Game
April 6, 7:05 PM
Friday, April 6, will feature an exciting Capitals Alumni “Black & White” game that will also held at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Participating alumni will include Rod Langway, Sylvain Cote, Craig Laughlin, Bobby Gould, Pat Peake, Pat Ribble, Lou Franceschetti and Alan May. Current Caps Tomas Fleischmann and Mike Green will be on hand to sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. The alumni will take the ice at 7:05 p.m.

See below for the greatest goal ever scored, by the one and only Alex Ovechkin.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Favorite Arlington Restaurants?

Where do you like to eat?

Recently, the Arlington Insider asked people for their favorite Cheap Eats. You can click here for those responses. There's some good info there.

So, I thought I would ask you - what are you favorite places to eat in Arlington? Cheap? Expensive? Best brunch? Best place to hang out?

Feel free to comment, or if you want a full post, we can do that too.

Update: I just got this list of places to brunch in Clarendon. So, if you're looking for ideas, here's some great ideas in Clarendon:

Clarendon Grill (Sun. 11 am)
Galaxy Hut (Saturday + Sunday) 11 - 3
Java Shack (open daily 7 am)
La Tasca (Sat./Sun. 10:30 - 3)
Mexicali Blues (Sat./Sun. 11am-2)
Mister Days (Sat./Sun. 11am-1)
Molly Malone's (Sat.10:30-2/Sun. 10-2:30)
Robek's (7am daily, 8am Sat. + Sun.)
Sette Bello (Sun. 10 am to 3 pm)
Tallula (Sat./Sun. 11am-2:30pm)
Whitlow's (Sat./Sun. 9am - 3 pm)
Boulevard Woodgrill (Sat. 11am/Sun. 10am)
Earl's (Saturday 10:30 -7 pm/Sunday 10 am - 3 pm)
Kitty O'Shea's (Sat./Sun. 9 to 3)

Photo by Flickr user Luna

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Upcoming: Saturday's Potomac Watershed Cleanup

Just wanted to pass this along quickly, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment will be hosting a Potomac Watershed cleanup event tomorrow, March 31st! All the details are over at my other not-so-secret identity, The Green Miles.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Upcoming: Kathie Lee (Where's Regis?) at Signature (FREE)

Kathie Lee Gifford? Huh? She has a life after Regis? Who knew? Do you think she has a burning dislike for Kelly Ripa?

Anyways, if you're a theatre fan, and particularly if you're a fan of Signature Theatre, these two upcoming events sound like great opportunities to get behind the scenes info.

Event #1: From Page to Stage: The Making of a Musical with Eric Schaefer

Learn more about the upcoming premier of Saving Aimee, The American Musical Voices Project, and other works in development with Eric Schaeffer of Signature Theatre.

Monday, April 2

7:00 - 8:00pm
NEW Shirlington Library
2800 S. Stafford Street

Event #2:
The Making of a Musical with Kathie Lee Gifford

Apparently, Kathie Lee is the writer and lyricist for the upcoming production at Signature - Saving Aimee. Who knew? Anyway, come chat with Kathie Lee and learn more about the upcoming musical. Kathie Lee even has a blog about the show - although I find it rather amusing that she refers to herself as a "starving" playwright.

Thursday, April 5,
1:00 - 2:00 pm
Signature Theatre
The Mead Lobby
2800 S. Stafford St.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Review: Homeownership Fair - Good and Bad

The Green Girlfriend and I went to the Arlington County Homeownership Fair on Saturday March 24th at Patrick Henry Elementary School, organized by the county and Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier (AHOME). In the interest of balance, I'm going with lists on this review.


    1. It was really cool to learn about all the programs Arlington and the state offer for low-to-moderate income people to buy homes, especially for first-time home buyers. Thinking of trying to come up with six figures to buy a house or condo is daunting, but knowing that it's possible to get a low-interest loan for up to 104% of the value makes it seem much more within reach.

    2. It was great to see that there are so many friendly people working to make sure low-income and first-time homebuyers understand and can navigate the process. As someone without much in savings and who grew up in rented apartments, the home buying process seems cold and daunting. Just knowing there's a support system makes things seem doable.

    3. They had a nice door prize of $500 toward down payment and closing costs.


    1. Events like this should have a giant disclaimer on any of the publicity that says, "IF YOU'RE INTERNET SAVVY, NO NEED TO COME TO THIS. YOU CAN LEARN ALL THIS AT HOME IN YOUR PJS WHILE DRINKING COFFEE. THANKS!"

    2. The event website just said the event ran from 9:30am to 1pm, so we weren't sure if it was "stop by anytime between 9:30 and 1" or "we have seminars running the whole time that start at 9:30." So we went at 9:30 just to be on the safe side. Bad idea. The only seminar didn't start until 10:30am and the door prize raffle wasn't until 12:30pm, and you had to be there to win it. So we wandered around for 10 minutes and were back in our car by 9:40am.

    3. When we left, there were still exhibitors coming in to get set up. I talked to one who'd come all the way from Richmond, so it was understandable. But especially when the seminar doesn't start until 10:30am, why force exhibitors to try to get there at 9:30am? Why not just start it at 10am?

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Monday, March 26, 2007

R2D2 in Arlington?

Anybody seen one of these in Arlington?

Picture by Flikr User: Pringle's Picks

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Review: Preview Teases: I Want the Whole Thing!

I'm a big fan of all the films that Central Library show. I find them enjoyable, good films, that stimulate my brain. I've said it before, going to those films is one of my favorite things to do in Arlington, and I'm not even a movie person.

Recently, I checked out the preview of Through Deaf Eyes - a new film by PBS that debuted on PBS this past week. The preview included some talking heads thanking people and then 57 minutes of selected features.

The film seems very good. I really enjoyed what I saw and learned a lot just from those sections. But it really just left me wanting more. Now, the obvious answer would have been to watch the full thing on PBS the following week, but honestly, I had seen almost half of it, it was hard to motivate myself to watch much of it again. I meant to record it (yes, I still have a VCR, no TIVO for me) to watch later, but that kind of slipped my mind.

There was a discussion afterwards, which, I confess, I skipped out on - maybe that would have made the evening worth while.

But for my two cents, I'm going to stick to going to the full length films and skip out on any more of these previews. It only left me wanting more.

Photo credit: National Archives

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Upcoming: Why Wait for the Nats to Come North?

You can catch a live baseball game right here in Arlington this weekend! The George Washington Colonials' season is well underway, and they're hosting Fordham this weekend in a three-game homestand.

You can see the full schedule here. The Colonials play at Barcroft Park on Four Mile Run Drive in South Arlington.

I'm embarrassed to say I've lived in Arlington for five years and have never gone to a GW game. It's one of those things that I always say I want to do, but unless I sit down and plan it, the season slips away before I've even realized I've missed it. Hopefully, I can change that this year.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

All the Arlington News You Care About - Week of 3/16

Kristen Armstrong (Sun Gazette) featured Arlington women who are avid participants in a new roller derby league. “My favorite part of the sport is hitting people,” acknowledged Arlingtonian Melissa Cannarozzi. Read more.

The Sun-Gazette granted a rare thumbs-up to a County program – this time, to FitArlington. Read more.

Blogging It – Read about Paul Ferguson’s experience signing up for green power. Plus, can an alarm clock really run just on water? And what’s a “Juice Bag?” Visit the AIRE Blog to find answers!

Michael J. Toscano (Washington Post) praised “37 Stones” as a “skillfully acted production from Charter Theatre” in a review today in the Alexandria-Arlington Extra. Read more.

David Schultz (Arlington Connection) reported that The Curious Grape, a Shirlington wine shop, is teaming up with Arlington’s Department of Cultural Affairs to host a champagne-tasting event next week. The featured champagnes will be from Reims, Arlington’s "sister city" in France. The event is a Planet Arlington offering. Read more.

Kirstin Downey (Washington Post) reported that the County Board’s approved a plan to save 300 units of affordable housing in Buckingham Villages during Tuesday night’s meeting. The $32 million the board is prepared to spend “is thought to be one of the largest such expenditures to protect moderate-income housing in the region,” Downey wrote. Read more.

Scott McCaffrey (Sun Gazette) posted a web story on the options laid out by County Manager Ron Carlee for parks and recreation facilities fee increases in his proposed budget. Read more.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Review: CRM Blogging with Beers ... or something like that

What's better than hanging out with friends, meeting new friends, watching sports, and talking about blogging and volunteering?

OK, I can think of a few things, but that's not the point.

Last night, several of us got together - a combination of CRM-ers and bloggers and spent a good 2 1/2 hours hanging out and talking at CarPool.

We talked about blogging, sports, the Weird Al movie UHF, affordable housing, the Michael Jackson song Beat It!, the fact that Weird Al is still putting out songs, and more. We were generally all over the map.

A great time was had by all, and I'm going to put my two cents in and say I hope CRM sponsors more events like this.

Special thanks to:

The Green Miles for organizing

DCSports Chick and Sour and Sweet for coming and hanging out, and to Steve from the Buckingham Herald Triblog for hanging out and livening up the conversation.

Also thanks to the several others (I believe there were 13 of us) who came just to hang out.

I hope to see you again.

P.S. - I'm the dweeb who was supposed to take pictures and forgot. Too busy enjoying myself. Sorry! So instead, I'll give you the new Weird Al video.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Review: 7 Reasons the new Shirlington Library Makes Me Happy

The new Shirlington library finally opened this past weekend. For those of who live or work nearby, we rejoice. Here's why it makes me happy:

  1. It's so close to my office. When I want a book or CD, I just go online, put a hold on it, have it delivered to the Shirlington branch and then just walk over and pick it up when it's ready.

  2. The space is so bright and colorful and open. It just makes you happy.

  3. Lots of new computers - honestly, with my office so close, I don't need them, but there' s just something about seeing lots of nice computers that makes for good space.

  4. Wireless high speed Internet.

  5. It's a lot bigger than the old Shirlington library - 3 X the size to be exact.

  6. Java friendly - you can relax in the space, read, and have your coffee too.

  7. It's "green-ish" - the new building incorporates several green elements and the County is in the process of applying for Leed Certification. (BTW - if you are interested in Green issues, I highly recommend The Green Miles [shameless plug for fellow WUA writer)

So that's why the new Shirlington Library makes me happy. What about you?

Photo by Flikr user SDuffy.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Upcoming: CRM's Beers with the Bloggers

A while back, I came up with an idea for Arlington County's Community Role Models program. An idea so simple, so lazy, so low-maintenance, it could only be compared to the "Jump to Conclusions" mat in Office Space for its sheer unremarkableness.

"I'm the board chair. I like to drink beer. I'll go to a bar, invite people to come have a beer with me, and we'll call it 'Beers with the Board Chair'!"

I know, you can practically hear Samir in your head now. "Yes, this is horrible, this idea." And yes, Comedy Central was running Office Space 8 times a day this weekend.

But here's the crazy thing -- it worked. We had seven people come out to January's "Beers with the Board Chair" at Jay's in Clarendon, and we had a great time talking about Arlington, volunteering, the presidential race, basketball, whatever.

So for March, we're kicking it up a notch. I've invited every Arlington blogger I know to come to
Carpool in Ballston this Wednesday (3/21) at 7pm for an event we're calling "Beers with the Bloggers." Eric was actually the first person I invited (this was before we joined forces to become Team WUA), and Steve from the Buckingham Herald TribBlog will also be there.

So why come?

  1. Learn how Community Role Models can make volunteering easy & fun
  2. Meet people who blog about your community
  3. Drink beer (or soda or whatever is your bag baby)
We'll be in the front room (closest to Fairfax Drive). Please sign up today at CRM's website so we know you're coming.

If you have a blog about Arlington, please join us! I'm trying to get some business cards made up with info on
The Green Miles to pass out, but my experience at FedEx/Kinko's was a lot like the training video sketch on Chappelle's Show ...

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Review: Packed House at "Living Green in Arlington"

Nearly 200 people came out to last night's Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment annual meeting, "Living Green in Arlington"! I was amazed we got such a great turnout on such a cold, wet, windy night.

County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson talked about Arlington's Fresh AIRE initiative, and detailed his efforts to meet the criteria of ACE's Green Living Challenge. Little-known fact: Having grown up in Georgetown and now a Fairlington resident, Paul has never needed to mow a lawn in his life. I've never had a lawn of my own to mow either, but having taken up the task for several relatives, I can assure Paul he hasn't missed much.

We also heard how NBC4's Wendy Rieger had to spend months pitching her bosses on doing an environmental segment before she was finally able to launch her Going Green series. But today, the environmental movement has caught on so strongly, every NBC owned and operated station is required to do an environmental series! Wendy's biggest environmental pet peeve: Plastic water bottles.

If you missed the meeting, you can still get involved through ACE's Green Living Challenge. Sign up today!

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All the Arlington News You Care About - 3/16

Marvelous news: Marvelous Market is expanding via franchising in Arlington, VA. Alex and Traci Topchy, a husband-wife duo who are 10-year residents of Ballston, will develop three stores in the Clarendon, Ballston and Virginia Square. The couple expects to open their first Marvelous Market store by the fall. Read more.

Scott McCaffrey (Sun Gazette) reported on the County’s kick-off of FitArlington. He quoted Board Vice Chairman Walter Tejada. Read more.

March 18 is the scheduled grand opening of Shirlington Library. Read more.

Matthew Barakat (Associated Press) reported on Crystal City getting a facelift. The area, Barakat wrote, is “defying expectations with an aggressive plan for redevelopment that is already drawing new employers and includes renovations to its streetscape.”
The Washington Times, DC Examiner, and WJLA picked up the story.

Karen Vasquez’s (AED) letter-to-the-editor, setting the record straight on the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and steps Arlington is taking to make it ADA-compliant, ran in the DC Examiner. Read more.

Scott McCabe (DC Examiner) picked up a press release on the opening of trout fishing season in Arlington. Read more.

If you were on Crystal Drive today, you’ll likely see a RV parked out in front of Caribou Coffee. It’s from the PBS program Road Trip Nation. If you haven’t seen the program, visit the website.

Kelly DiNardo (Washington Post) wrote a front-page Food section story today on a taste-test she sponsored of on-line vs. storefront cupcakes. One of the featured chefs was Krishna Brown, owner of, a Silver Spring-based online bakery. Brown got her start selling her baked goods at the Arlington Farmers Market last May. She was so successful that she quit her full-time to open ShoeBox Oven in November. Read more.

Matthew Barakat’s (AP) feature on Crystal City and the people who love it as it is was picked up by the Washington Post. It ran today in the Alexandria-Arlington section. Read more.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Upcoming: Tonight! - Funkumentary

Sorry, this is late, but I just ran across this and it sounds like a great event. Here's the 411:

What: World Premiere: Chasing the Groove: A New Orleans Funkumentary Starring: Galactic, Bonerama, Papa Grows Funk, and many more funkin' musicians!

Where: Clarendon Ballroom, 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA

More Details: WARNING: Watching this film will funk you up!! Please bring your dancing shoes; no sitting allowed.

For those not too funked up by the movie, be prepared to get totally funked up by a rare performance of MOFOFUNKA.

Funkraiser All proceeds benefit the following charities: The Tipitina's Foundation The New Orleans Musicians' ClinicMusiCares

How much? Suggested Donation: "Whatever you can funkin' afford"

Review: ACE/OneBrick Four Mile Run Cleanup

Sriram, a project manager for OneBrick, a volunteer organization geared at young professionals in the DC area, submitted this review of Saturday's stream cleanup at Four Mile Run in Barcroft Park:

We got our start working on a stream cleanup with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment in July 2006, so I had an idea as to how the cleanup worked. That said, we had a lot of new volunteers, and so I was curious both as to how the work would go and to how they enjoyed it.

One of the incredible strokes of luck we had was that the first certifiably gorgeous day in quite a while emerged while we were stalking the river banks for trash. So, after shivering a bit at the outset, it became just a great day to be outside sloshing about Four Mile Run.

What never fails to amaze me at these cleanups is the rather non-standard varieties of garbage that can be found in the stream. We found a bicycle, a diesel motor (or at least the top of one) and a transmission. Sadly, our modest team of volunteers lacked the engineering muscle to assemble a speedy superbike!

In addition some of the volunteers managed to find evidence of a dumping issue behind the Jiffy Lube up on Four Mile Run Drive (covered in the The Green Miles blog quite nicely). So in addition to merely generating picturesque piles of trash, we found something which raises legitimate concerns about how a firm like Jiffy Lube is doing its business. That type of tangible evidence of "making a difference" is rewarding.

Overall, the stream cleanups have been very fun and rewarding both for me personally and for OneBrick as an organization. The stream cleanup is a great way to spend a morning, especially in the spring/summer in a lovely neighborhood like Shirlington. I'll definitely do it again.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Upcoming (Today!) - Film: Through Deaf Eyes

Here's the excerpt straight from the Planet Arlington website. These films never disappoint me. I know it's going to be a beautiful day, so get outside early and then head over to catch the film as the sun starts to set.

Through Deaf Eyes Special Pre-Broadcast Screening Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 6:30 p.m. A two hour documentary exploring nearly 200 years of deaf life in America. It presents the shared experiences of American history -- family life, education, work and community connections -- from the perspective of deaf citizens. The film will be broadcast nationally on PBS, and locally on WETA TV 26 on Wednesday, March 21 at 9 p.m. It is a production of WETA, Washington, DC and Florentine Films/Hott Productions, in association with Gallaudet University. A selection of clips will be screened, and representatives from the film project will be on hand to answer questions.

This special showing takes places at Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street. There is plenty of parking and it's also only a short walk from the Virginia Square Metro.

Pictured at right: Children at St. Rita's School for the Deaf, Cincinnati, OH, sign "The Star Spangled Banner". Photographed by J.B. Schmidt, 1918.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Review: Fit Arlington Kick-Off -- I Had a Blast!

What a beautiful day to be outside Saturday! Wow. The weather was supposed to be fairly nice - mid to upper 50s, but it turned out to be absolutely wonderful.

I had a blast at the recent Fit Arlington kick-off celebration. I ran the tennis station and we had a steady stream of kids and we played a lot of games and just generally had a lot of fun on a beautiful day.

The event was much more kid and family focused, so I'm not sure I would really recommend it unless you have kids. There were some free exercise classes, but they were indoors, and tended to be mostly parents.

That being said, if not this particularly event, I do highly recommend the concept behind Fit Arlington - promoting fitness. I'll spare you some boring scientific explanation of why being fit is good - what I will say is it's fun and you feel better.

So, look for more Fit Arlington activities. But more than that, look for any chance to be active.


Friday, March 09, 2007

We Don't Love You so Much Anyway!

Despite recently joining Team WUA and the What's Up! Blog, the Green Miles just reported on that other blog he does, that he'll "always love you best".

What's that about? I mean, I understand there's a place for both, but come on, how about sharing some love here? Move over Hatfield and McCoys, I sense a feud in Team WUA land.

With that being said, I grudgingly admit that he's got a good post up on an upcoming event - the ACE Four Mile Run Clean Up. You can read it by linking here. So if you're up for a little green activity before Fit Arlington tomorrow, I recommend it. Stream clean ups are a lot fun, and you really can see the difference you make.

But if you see the Green Miles, give him a dirty look or something.

All the Arlington News You Care About 3/9

We're going to try a new feature here in the What's Up blog - a weekly roundup of Arlington news you care about. Let us know what you think. The following is in no particular order.

DCist wrote a piece on the ongoing possibility of the demise of Dr. Dremos. Read it here.

The City Paper reported on the upcoming Art-O-Matic in Crystal City.

Peter Marks (Washington Post) wrote a front-page Style Section piece today on Signature Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company, both of whom are “substantially increasing the number of productions they offer next season -- at a time when theater attendance in the region is dropping off.” Read more

DCist reviewed the recent Planet Arlington production of Kaidan Suite.

David Francis (DC Examiner) reported that Metro will be Metro will begin running longer trains when the transit agency adds 24 new railcars to its fleet in the next few weeks. . Read more.

Kristen Armstrong (Sun Gazette) reported that Arlington libraries are bracing for the July release of the latest in the Harry Potter series. Read more.

Ted Merwin (Washington Post) reported that Signature Theatre will be staging an Israeli version – in Hebrew – of Hamlet this month. Read more.

In Monday’s Washington Post (front page Metro), David Fahrenthold focused on individual homeowners who are “living lightly on the grid” – saving electricity and sometimes even selling it back to the power companies. The story focuses on a Tacoma Park resident, and Arlington’s Scott Sklar’s home efforts are described. Read it online.

Tara Bahrampour (Washington Post) wrote a moving Extra cover story today on Arlington’s screening of the documentary "Intipucá: 40 Años de Emigration," at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, as part of the ongoing events of Planet Arlington. The film is about the strong connections that Arlington immigrants have maintained with the Pacific Coast town. ed. Read it online.

DCMetblogs doesn't sound too excited about the upcoming Fit Arlington kick-off.

Michael J. Toscano, (Washington Post) reported on the Washington Area Community Theatre Honors. He noted that the Arlington Players “walked away with five awards for three shows.” Read more.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Upcoming: Living Green in Arlington, Plus Why I Feel Like the Lorax

In my volunteer work, I often end up feeling like the Lorax. But instead of speaking for the trees, I'm asked to speak for every Arlingtonian under 40.

At Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment events, there's a huge disparity in demographics between different types of gatherings. When I'm helping out at a service project like Saturday's Four Mile Run Watershed Cleanup, the crowd will be evenly spread between kids, young adults, and older folks.

But when it comes to anything that even vaguely involves the word "meeting," the demographic immediately skews older. It's a shame because it's at those events, be they committees, panels, or group discussions, that decisions are made for all ages. Once at a planning meeting for Neighborhood Day, an entire room full of people turned to me and say, "So what would get you people to the parade?"

Things end up being more kids-and-family-friendly than young-and-active-friendly -- face-painting instead of pint-raising.

That's why I'm making a special pitch here on What's Up for readers to attend ACE's upcoming event, "Living Green in Arlington: Renewable Energy, Clean Water, and Buying Responsibly." It will take place on Thursday March 15th from 6:30 to 9:30pm at the NRECA Building (4301 Wilson Blvd. near Ballston Metro).

This year we have two big special guests: Arlington County Board Chair Paul Ferguson and NBC4's Wendy Rieger. Paul has made headlines this year for spearheading Arlington's Fresh AIRE program, and Wendy hosts a series of reports called "Going Green" as well as The Green Room blog.

After remarks from Paul, Wendy, ACE Executive Director Elenor Hodges, and ACE Board Chair Me, Paul will moderate a panel discussion featuring Scott Sklar (The Stella Group), Don Waye (U.S. EPA) and Monique Tilford (
Center for a New American Dream).

We'll also have a special offer for people who become ACE members at the meeting and have lots of information about ACE's Green Living Challenge (which actually gives special credit to apartment and condo dwellers).

Oh, and as I always follow the advice of Eric "You'll Get More People If You Say Punch & Pie!" Cartman, we'll also have refreshments thanks to a generous donation from Whole Foods. Hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Review: Cafe Scientifque & Electric Cars

I embraced my inner geek and it was so much fun!

Sometimes events greatly exceed your expectations. And, although I confess to being a little nervous about this event, it was fantastic.

Some background: Cafe Scientifique is a monthly event sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The events generally take place at Front Page, so you can eat/drink, listen to quick chat and then ask some questions. This month's topic was electric cars. It's supposed to be low key and not super scientific.

So, last night had several highlights

1) They had several electric cars on display including a solar powered one - kind of cool

2) The two main presenters were hilarious, they were like Penn and Teller, OK, maybe not that funny, but really for two guys giving a science lecture they were a riot. They were interesting and made the subject interesting.

3) There was a ton of people there, which was just kind of fun.

4) You can order drinks and food from Front Page during the presentation.

5) There's some basic free appetizers.

The one drawback was that the sound was absolutely horrific in that space. There was a huge echo that made it difficult to hear everything the speakers said. I'm hoping that's something they can fix next time and not something totally part of the space.

I haven't said this in a while, but really, sometimes you've just got to get out and do things you're not so sure about. You may get a lemon once in a while, but more often than not I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

As for Cafe Scientifique, if there's another topic that I find remotely interesting, I will definitely go again.

FYI - Sorry about the lousy picture. I didn't think to take a camera and this one is from my phone.

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Upcoming: Fit Arlington Kick-Off and Fit Fest

What: Fit Arlington Kick-Off and Fit Fest

When: Saturday, March 10, Noon to 3 PM

Where: Gunston Park , 1401 28th St South

Spring is coming and it's time to get excited about fitness! This year is the beginning of the "Fit Arlington" initiative. What does that mean? Well, like many County initiatives it's a little unclear. Basically, it means we're going to stir up a lot of excitement around fitness and encourage people to be a healthy active community ... "Promoting a Culture of Fitness" is the tag line which kind of sums it up.

This Saturday is the kick-off event. We'll have multi-sport game stations, tennis fun and games, inflatables, Talon, drumming, exercise classes, inflatables, and lots of fun games. Noon to 3 PM at Gunston Park, 1401 28th St South, off the Glebe Rd Exit. (Note: Google Maps shows the park as "James W Haley Park" - not sure what that is about.)

I think it will be a fun event. I would say it's probably a little more family and kid friendly than "singles seeking singles", but if the weather is OK, and it looks like it will be, I think it will still be fun to get out and get moving. Despite what today looks like, spring is coming!

Disclaimer: I am involved in planning this so writing this is kind of like an ABC news story about Mickey Mouse, but I think it will be fun, and hey, you can come hang out with me. I'll be on the tennis courts.


Review: Planet Arlington Kaidan Suite

Staff from DCist reviewed the recent Planet Arlington concert - Kaidan Suite by Kitsune Ensemble. The concert sounds as fascinating as I thought it would be, and received a standing ovation.

You can read the full review at DCist.

And keep checking the What's Up Arlington! newsletter for future Planet Arlington events.

Illustration by Dave Wallin from

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Review: We (Really) Like the Pike

Quick review for a quick stop by.

Last week I stopped by the "We Like the Pike" event at Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. The event was billed as a celebration of the Columbia Pike community, complete with live music, free buffet, and free tickets to a future movie at the Drafthouse.

And holy cow! Rarely does an event under bill itself. When I heard "free buffet", I expected chips -- not sandwiches and pizza - free tickets to the Drafthouse, yes! The only thing I'm not sure about was the live music - I only had about 15 minutes (nice free dinner, wasn't expecting that) and I got there during the "talking heads", (not these Talking Heads) part.

And there were a ton of people there. People must really like the Pike. I like the Pike too - there's some cool "hidden" restaurants there, Towers Park, and I think lots of things are up and coming -- trolley system anyone?

Note: Photo by Jess J


Monday, March 05, 2007

Review: CRM's Wake Up from Winter

One volunteer sent in a review of Wednesday's "Wake Up from Winter" event, organized by Arlington County's Community Role Models program at Bailey's in the Ballston Mall:

CRM hosted a happy hour on Wednesday night at Bailey's which turned out to be a great event that brought a number of young people out to meet each other and find out more about the group. The 20 or so people who made it to the event took part in free pool and appetizers (provided by Bailey's) while learning more from current members. Several other Bailey's customers were interested in the event which provided a great opportunity to spread the word.

I think my experience at the happy hour was typical in that I am a casual member of CRM and I found out which CRM events were coming up. I also invited some volunteer-oriented friends who did not know that the group even existed. They were particularly interested in CRM's youth-mentorship activities such as their July Jam basketball tournament last year. This type of warm-up event is great for introducing your friends to CRM for people who don't already know someone who volunteers with CRM as this is a casual way to meet other members before the actual volunteer events.

If you attend an event you saw on What's Up Arlington, please send us a review and we may post it here!

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Linking Arlington (Or: Allow Myself to Introduce ... Myself)

Hey, this is Miles, making my first post as part of Team WUA! As my idol Troy McClure would say, you may remember me from such blogs as The Green Miles.

I thought I'd start out with my favorite Arlington links. New Arlington residents seem to see themselves as DC people who happen to sleep in Arlington, or even people from (insert hometown here) who happen to sleep in Arlington.

But you pay taxes in Arlington, you vote in Arlington, and Arlington issues will pop up on your radar screen quickly. In my five years in the county, I've needed the police (my sweet ride was vandalized), the Planning Commission (asking them to keep Dr. Dremo's open in Courthouse), and the Virginia Employment Commission (when I was unemployed last summer).

On to the links, a mix of fun and functional:

* Arlington Alert: Sign up to get email or text message alerts on everything from traffic jams to water main breaks. When I was in Boston last weekend, I found out it was snowing heavily in DC thanks to Arlington Alert, so I wasn't surprised when my flight back was delayed.

* Arlington Connection and Sun Gazette: Arlington's local newspapers, great sources for news on local businesses, county government, and statewide issues impacting Northern Virginia.

* Buckingham Herald TribBlog: I wish every neighborhood had a blog like this. It's what online citizen journalism is supposed to be -- hyper-local reporting,
down to the block level.

* CommuterPageBlog: A great resource no matter how you get to work -- Metroing, busing, driving, walking, or biking.

* Night Out in Arlington: Most nightlife directories are several pages long and in tiny type. If I ever do manage to spot a cool event, I feel like I've found Waldo. But Night Out narrows the list down to just the most interesting events happening here in Arlington.

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