News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Flashback Monday: A Requiem for One of Reston's First Businesses

Today's the day that Lakeside Pharmacy closes for good, after its new owner and its long-time operator were unable to find another pharmacist willing to take on the business.

With it goes the last of Reston's very first businesses, as seen in this fancy map we've written about at length before:

Here's a 1964 article celebrating the arrival of the pharmacy.

Now Lakeside Pharmacy joins the ranks of Meenehans Hardware, the Quay Club, whatever that was, the Safeway, and a whole host of other Lake Anne businesses that have closed their doors in more recent years. And Larry Cohn, who has owned the pharmacy for 44 of its 49 years, gets a well-deserved break.

Good luck, Larry. You'll be missed.

Update: Twitter person "Reston" shared this Twitter photo of the now-closed post office at the back of the pharmacy.

No more mail
Fun fact: When the pharmacy first opened, a first-class stamp would set you back five cents.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Two Restons, Still Chafing Under the Yoke

While our BFFs in Reston's doppelganger across the pond failed to throw off the yoke of British oppression a strong currency and universal healthcare at the polls last night, we're sure they can find some solace that we fellow Restonians continue to chafe under the yoke of oppressive county masters with their master plans and "transit-oriented development" and oppressively bleak "downtown" and good schools, and... um.... give us a minute.

Our favorite correspondent, the always-practical Peasant From Less Sought-After South Reston, posed an important question:

Will this referendum inspire those Restonians living on Scotch Bonnet Court to likewise secede so that they are no longer associated with those who llive on Olde English Drive?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yet Another Consequence of the Silver Line: Bloody Fistfights, Or At Least Altercations

Reston North ParkingNow that the Silver Line has been up and running for some time, we've had some exciting things to see and do while we wait for our home to double in value (just checked; any day now!). We've gotten to see traffic not move, dogs and cats living together a near-biblical influx of rodents and hipsters, and, if one reporter is right, rampant fistfights in the formerly docile surface parking lots of our fair community. Wait, what?

In an article with the completely non-sensational headline "Battleground Reston," we are treated to this harrowing first-person account:

Mary Czernowski takes the 599 to the Pentagon.

"The parking lot is full and there are altercations between people. I've seen it a few times already," Czernowski says.

The showdowns happen at the Reston North Park and Ride, where 338 free parking spots are just a short walking distance from the Wiehle-Reston East station.

Silver Line riders who don't want to pay $4.85 to park at the 2,300-space garage at the Wiehle station will park at the Park and Ride, then cross over to the station.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says that before the Silver Line, the lot was usually between 70 percent to 80 percent full. Now, it's full before 7 a.m.
Okay, so maybe these "showdowns," in true Northern Virginia fashion, aren't knock-down, drag-out fights. We're guessing they're more along the lines of carefully timed glares, along with mental notes to write a STRONGLY WORDED LETTER to county transportation officials, with a goldenrod copy sent off to various elected officials. But still! See how the Silver Line cut-through Loudoun commuters are ripping the fabric of our community apart?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like The DRB

Sting like the drb
Please to be enjoying this Twitter photo from Confidential Restonian Operative "Kim." All we know is that we're going to make sure we pay our annual assessment on time next year. In fact, we may send it in now, the end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The RA Gets Our Goats, Literally and Figuratively (Updated)

GoatsThere's apparently a new foot soldier in the Reston Association's eternal battle against the scourge of humanity our earth-toned community: invasive plants and vegetation.

Because apparently Weed Warriors and nuking lily pads and Hunger Games-like challenges haven't rid Reston of these noxious plants, the RA is apparently considering renting goats to graze on spots with the hardiest threats to our earth-toned way of life. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

Hunters Woods/Dogwood Director Lucinda Shannon approached RA CEO Cate Fulkerson and RA Environmental Resources Manager Claudia Thompson-Deahl earlier this summer, pointing out that Tree Pittsburgh, an environmental nonprofit, recently used goats from Eco-Goats, a company in Maryland, to restore vegetation on a hill in the city. Goats were also used last year to manage invasive plants at Congressional Cemetery in D.C.

Here is how it works: Eco-Goats trucks in several dozen goats to the site. A temporary fence is installed, and goats graze for a few days on the offending plants. Meanwhile, goat droppings make great fertilizer for the return of the native plants, Eco-Goats says.
Goats are able to eat plants that are poisonous to other animals and their mouth structure destroys the seeds of the invasives.
BOOOYAH! Take that, garlic mustard! Your days of crowding out other, non-invasive mustard, are OVER!

But there is, as they say in the movies, a snag. The RA's grand scheme could be hoisted by the very petard that is so often hoisted on us:
Meanwhile, there is an item in the Reston deed that prohibits livestock, but the board and the Design Review Board may be able to get around it with the idea that the goats will be temporary.
Hahahahahaha. The RV in our driveway and the neon fuchsia paint on our window trim? "Temporary."

The RA apparently will discuss the idea this week. We can't wait until we get to cheer on the cheerful, friendly goats from the safe vantage point of the other side of "portable electric net fencing."

And that's just the beginning! In a RESTONIAN WORLD EXCLUSIVE, we have learned that along with improving the physical landscape, the goats may make equal contributions to Reston's cultural landscape. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the opening event of the 2015 Center Stage Season:

We've seen worse.

Update: Very, very sad news -- our BFFs at Reston Now tell us that the RA has nixed the goat idea. Score one for the invasive English ivy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Flashback Monday: Reston: The Teevee Commercial

In past Flashbacks, we've looked at some of the sweeeeet advertising Reston placed in various publications of record in hopes of attracting sideburned 70s twentysomethings, pastel-wearing 80s yuppies, commuters, and clowns to our favorite earth-toned community. But this is apparently an advertisement that aired, presumably on a teevee station, at some point. It's... eerily cinematic.


As we stare at a pile of boxes deposited in front of a fancy lakefront home, a narrator that would have been right at home in the trailer for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre solemly intones: "Today a family is moving into a neighborhood of beautiful homes, golf courses, tennis courts, and over 400 acres of lakes, parks, and open space...."

But as the camera pans out, giving us an aerial view of... well, mostly trees, we realize that the next line is not "...until they realized they had disturbed an unspeakable evil..." Well, unless they leave those boxes out in the yard, in which case the DRB will fill that role quite nicely.

Our POV, as the kids in the movie industry probably don't say, continues moving upward, as an angelic chorus swells, until we see the Reston skyline at the time, at least if one black mauvescraper counts as a skyline. And then the voiceover continues: "If your family is looking for a nice place to live, this place probably sounds like heaven. It's not. It's Reston."

True, in so many ways.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tuesday Rush Hour Not Exactly The Best Omen for Reston's Transit-Oriented Future

Endless traffic
So this was Wiehle Avenue around 5:45 last night, as we got our first real taste of what all those Loudoun cut-through commuters look like as they pour forth from Level G7 of the Wiehle Metro parking garage, homeward Wegman's bound. And yes, it might have been raining somewhere at this point in time, but we're getting the sense that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Sterling, from now on that means a 30-minute drive to the McTacoHut.

We've long said that the worst-case scenario would be only Phase 1 of the Silver Line being built, leaving Reston holding the bag with the only parking garage from Leesburg to Falls Church. Fortunately, it looks like Loudoun has finally, if reluctantly, embraced mixed-use nirvana, complete with their own vowel-free apartments, so it will only be 5-7 years before we can leave the house during rush hour again, the end.