News and notes from Reston (tm).

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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

At Lake Anne, a Sobering Momento Mori

Before I Die
This cheerful piece of what the kids would call "participatory art," presumably left over from a jazz festival this weekend, was spotted on the shores of Lake Anne on Monday. We're not sure if it's a subtle reminder of the need for a memorial garden, or perhaps the Plaza itself recognizing its own (retail) mortality (sadly, no one wrote "maintain a viable pharmacy or cupcakery"). But either way, as the summer fades into fall, school starts back up again, and we all return to our seemingly endless routines of day-to-day drudgery, it's one heck of a downer a reminder to gather ye appropriately colored rosebuds -- let's call them mauvebuds -- while ye may. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Reston: The Magazine: Truth in Advertising?

Screen Shot 2014 08 29 at 9 51 25 AM
After uniformed federal agents delivered the latest copy of Reston: The Magazine to Restonian World Headquarters, we confess to being a bit confused about the choice of cover imagery. Not even our years of postdoctoral studies in semiotics at one of the Caribbean's finer online institutions of higher learning were any help in "unpacking" this image. So far as we know, Reston has not recently annexed a major, crustacean-laden body of water, unless this, like other mystery objects that have recently surfaced on Reston shores, is a sign that maybe the pH levels of our lakes need a soup├žon of tweaking. Or, after a year in which people have groused about dogs, memorial gardens, obscure Italian sports, the impact of the multibillion-dollar-gift that is the Silver Line, the Metro raising property values, the Metro not raising property values, smokers, hunters, rodents, robots, robocalls, and dogs again, perhaps the folks at Reston: The Magazine decided a bunch of crabs, combined with the tagline "Together, We Make Reston Great," was a perfectly appropriate image to encapsulate our earth-toned community, the end.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bummer: Lakeside Pharmacy Closing For Good

So long lakeside
We learned on the Facebooks that Lakeside Pharmacy, the last of the original businesses in Lake Anne Plaza, is closing its doors for good on September 22nd. The longtime owners, Larry and Ruth Cohn, sold the property earlier this year, and while they held out hope that another pharmacist might express interest in the space, it apparently wasn't meant to be. (To understand why, look no further than where the prescription files are being sent off to.)

Even with the promise of new development driving more traffic, it's not been a great summer for businesses at the Plaza. The Cupcake Ladi closed her doors a few weeks back, officially bringing an end to the artisanal cupcake fad of the late oughts. Her next-door neighbor, New Family Naturals also closed this summer -- and earlier, there was a bit of chained-up-premises unpleasantness with another longtime tenant, the Jasmine Cafe.

In late spring, the Cohns were the guests of honor at a sendoff party even though they continued working through the summer in hopes of finding another pharmacist. Unfortunately,that only prolonged the inevitable. They'll be missed.