An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Monday, December 31, 2007

Spend New Year's Day with the County Board

While it may not sound terribly exciting, the Arlington County Board's traditional New Year's Day meeting is actually the best meeting of the year. The County Board officially selects its chair, which will be Walter Tejada this year. Each member then lays out his or her priorities for the year, keeping the speeches fairly short (sort of a thank you to the crowd for coming out on a holiday). It's over in an hour or so and you've learned a ton about your community. Plus, free coffee and donuts, which is nice.

If you're interested in learning more, check out the Arlington County website or the Facebook event page!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Year's Eve: Party with a Purpose

Here's a cool way to celebrate New Year's Eve and help some great nonprofits:
Join the "Party with a Purpose" on New Year's Eve to help the Environment

Mexicali Blues will host the second annual New Year's Eve "Party with a Purpose" to raise funds for two long-established environmental organizations, EarthEcho International and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and are co-sponsoring the party, which begins at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 31 at the Clarendon restaurant, 2933 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.

This event will offer a great opportunity to bring in the New Year and benefit the environment. is the country's leading carbon reduction and offset organization. Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that they are responsible for in their everyday lives by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects where they are most cost effective.

EarthEcho International, founded by Alexandria and Phillipe Cousteau, grandchildren of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, uses media, experiences, and storytelling to empower people to use information that can restore and protect the ocean and freshwater systems that sustain life on Earth.

Tickets for the event are $100. For information about the event, to purchase tickets or to make a donation, please contact Sona Virdi.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

January 3: Civic Engagement Among the 'DotNet' Generation

Just heard about this event from the Arlington League of Women Voters:
Please join us as three recipients of the League of Women Voters Torill B. Floyd Memorial Public Service Scholarship lead a panel discussion on "Civic Engagement Among the 'DotNet' Generation." The event will take place on Thursday, January 3, from 7-9 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library in the Youth Services Program Room.

The three panelists are:

Gwendolyn Nixon-Carter, a 2000 graduate of Yorktown who attended Mary Washington University and now works in the children's division at the Arlington County Library;

Claire Reifsnyder, a 2005 graduate of Yorktown who is attending the University of Virginia and distinguishing herself as a historian; and

Nour Bouadis, a 2006 graduate of Washington-Lee who is attending the George Washington University and is active in the Muslim Students' Association.

These engaged young women will discuss the ways that their generation takes part in public life, as well as describing the challenges and opportunities involved in mobilizing more of their peers toward civic ends.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Democracy in Action - Naming North Tract

Arlington is building this super cool, super huge park, fitness facility, and aquatics center over near Crystal City. It's going to rock!

And now the County is in the process of naming this park the park and they really want feedback.

Personally, I say if it's got a corny name, but great stuff, I'll still go. If it's got a great name, and lousy stuff, I'm not so enthused.

That beings said, I know there are a lot of people out there who are more creative than I am, so maybe you have some thoughts?

Tell Arlington what you think. Click here to let your voice be heard.

Personally, of the options, I like Crysalis Park or Connexus Point. They're memorable, and ripe for good nicknames. What do you think?


Monday, December 03, 2007

Tuesday: CRM Monthly Meetup Featuring FitArlington

How do we create a culture of fitness in Arlington? That’s the question we’ll tackle at the CRM December Monthly Meetup. Join us at Bailey’s in the Ballston Common Mall from 7-9pm for this relaxed night as we discuss the new FitArlington initiative. Arlington County Board Member Walter Tejada may stop by to give a personal pitch for FitArlington.

We'll also have our normal volunteer updates and plenty of time to meet and socialize with new and old friends alike. You can RSVP through the CRM website or the Facebook event page! We already have over 40 people RSVPed "yes" or "maybe" through Facebook, so it should be a good crowd. Hope to see you there!

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Where Do Kids Love to Eat? Bars.

Recently I was at Whitlow's early in the evening waiting for a friend to arrive when I noticed that of the scattered groups seated for dinner, most were families. They stuck out a bit more because it was too early for the young professionals to be out for dinner and drinks, but it's a pattern I've noticed at other places as well. Go to Clarendon Grill for brunch on a weekend and there's almost always at least one family there. The kids love dancing on the stage where a band had been playing a few hours before.

My theory is that the same characteristics that make bars inviting to the drinking crowd make bars more attractive to young couples with kids. One of my best friends has a 6-month-old and an 18-month-old and says when they're going out to dinner, they have a choice to make:
* Go someplace nice and hope the kids are good but be ready to bail
* Go to a family-style place like Red Robin where the food sucks but at least you can let the kids be kids
Bars are already loud, so they don't care if the kids make a little noise. They have cement floors, so it's not a big deal if the kids spill. The dishes are made to be broken. And the parents not only get to eat much better food than they would at Applebee's, they can revisit some of their favorite places from their single days.

It's not ideal for parents to be taking kids to places where smoking is allowed, but it's not like they're showing up at 11pm when the smokiness is at its peak. You can get a list of smoke-free bars and restaurants at the Arlington Civic Federation website.

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