News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, March 27, 2015

Metro: Meet the New Line, Same as the Old Line

Broken stairs
As this cellular telephone photo of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station shared by Twitter Operative "Kstansbu" shows, everyone's favorite mass transit system has managed to do the impossible: they've broken the stairs. No word on whether the packed escalator to the right is actually working.

Between this and the recent minor fire and flooding at the Wiehle station -- nothing to see here, folks! -- we're not exactly getting the vibe that the awesome new Metro is shaping up to be a whole lot different from the old Metro.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Children's Treasury of Renderings of RTC's Westward Expansion

Now that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has given final approval to plans to remake the stodgy old Reston Executive Center on Sunset Hills Road into an exciting mixed use retail extravaganza known as RTC West, we can anticipate Reston's gritty urban core extending, tentaclelike, to within footsteps of the future Metro station. And what better time to break into the 173-page staff report to get a look at our exciting future. Here we go!

Here's the current site, surrounded by surface parking and Chipolte's (sadly, Targetville is not labeled). Bo-ring!

Here's the new mixed-use hawtness, which will be created by adding new retail space to the bottoms of both buildings. It's part of a broader strategy by RTC West owner JBG to rehab its older Reston properties to cash in on the sweeeeeet Metro bounty. We just can't wait to shop at Mesmery, Plain Note, and Endless Wok.

Busy exec and slacker sister
Here a busy executive and her estranged slacker sister sit on uncomfortable wooden furniture, awaiting their separate reservations at Endless Wok.

Future consumer
A future consumer, being indoctrinated introduced to the fun of strolling in the sorts of privately administered, mixed-use "third places" that, by the time he/she is grown, will have replaced virtually all public gathering spots -- which is fine, until you feel the need to protest or maybe take a photo. But hey -- trendy midscale retail!

Boss signs
Will there be awesome signage? Yes, yes there will.

Font rules
We pity the fool that uses Garamond, not Gothic Black for the signage.

New construction = dramatic sunsets. We can't wait to shop at Nano, a store that only sells discontinued products from the Apple store around the corner, and Shoe Carnival, which sells... shoes for clowns? We dunno.

EDGY. Corey Hart would approve.

And finally, after poring through dozens of these staff reports, some DRB-pleasing paver palettes (say that three times fast) we can all get behind, the end.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Flashback Monday: Fashion Springs Eternal

Reston bridge 60s clothes
Now that we're officially into spring, please to be enjoying this photo of two (Burnt) Bronze-era Restonians, ca. mid-1960s, taking a stroll around Lake Anne. As is true today, it's proof that Early Reston, much like Milan and Paris, was at the center of the haute couture movement, with the Van Gogh bridge serving as a makeshift runway that ended in a muddy construction site where Waterview Cluster sits today, the end.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Caddyshackpocalypse Soon: Spring Brings With It The Probability of Endless Appeals (Updated)

C-iv.jpgAh, the first day spring. Along with green snow, it brings the promise of more time out on the links a property of indeterminate zoning status, along with the scheduled April 15 announcement by the Board of Zoning Appeals as to whether Reston National Golf Course should be considered open space or, due to a plot point lifted straight from Scooby Doo, be ripe for awesome bollardy Metro-fueled redevelopment.

Earlier this week, our BFFs at Rescue Reston gave supporters a sense of what to expect in the months to come:

We will win a major victory in the battle if the BZA rules in favor of our County Zoning Administrator. Ideally, Northwestern Mutual, RN Golf Management and their attorneys will accept “3 strikes and you’re out.” The April 15 BZA meeting will start at 9 am and can be viewed live on the TV Channel 16.
The losing side has 30 days after the decision to petition for appeal to the Circuit Court. This would not be a jury trial, although there may be oral arguments before the judge by the attorneys. The Circuit Court judge usually takes 6-8 months to release his or her ruling. Whichever side loses at the Circuit Court level may appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, which may choose to either hear the appeal or not (meaning the Circuit Court ruling would stand). It may be a year or more until we have a final resolution.
This means additional months of litigation and legal fees.
Sounds like a safe bet. And there's this:
Whichever side wins, we fully expect the process to continue through appeals.
While we wait, the Rescue Reston folks are planning a mass photo op on Sunday morning. Details here.

Update: The results of the photo shoot are below.

ResResNO Web sized
Press release goodness here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RA's New Website Looks Like a Million Bucks, Cost One-Tenth of That

New web
Wow, the Reston Association's fancy new "web site" looks like a million bucks $100,000! Which is only apt, since that's what it cost. SRSLY. Give us some outrage-inducing blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

RA spokeswoman Kirsten Carr said the new site is “the culmination of a year-long process that included both outside design consultation and internal staff planning.”

RA hired Reingold, a communications and marketing firm, in 2013 to assist RA with an overall communications strategic plan design, which included a website renovation, said Carr.
The board approved $100,000 in the 2014 budget to redesign to meet the findings of the strategic plan process and community interviews, she said.
Wow. Doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, that's 100,000 times the design budget of this filthy "web log."

But before you head off to the earth-toned barricades, let's look at the good things about the site. They got rid of the hokey, non-Reston-like clip art we gave them grief for during their last redesign, way back in ought-nine. The colors are nice! And included in that sum, at no extra charge, is that fancy "infinite scrolling" that all the cool responsive design kids are talking about. No need to click around looking for where to buy your pool passes, just keep scrolling until you find what you're looking for! All in all, it'll be a place where we'll be proud to pay our assessment next year. And after only 155.76 more years, we'll have paid off the cost of the redesign, by which time the Internet will be beamed directly into our cyborg brains, the end.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Children's Treasury of Photos From Reston's Mini-Maker Faire

This past weekend, the second annual NoVa Mini Maker Faire attracted more than 3,000 visitors to South Lakes High School, the extraneous "e" on its name notwithstanding. Our favorite correspondent, the Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, provided this account:

Channeling his inner Sheldon-Leonard-Howard (Raj, unfortunately, was busy randomly cold-calling Microsoft users to warn them that their Windows operating system had a virus), the Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston moseyed on over to South Lakes High on Sunday to see what this "NoVa Mini-Maker Faire" hoopla was all about.  In his befuddled state, the Peasant originally thought it might have something to do with the wee folk from Santa's North Pole workshop, but no, this was Geekdom Kingdom in all its power and glory.  For the benefit of fellow peasants who likewise have barely transitioned from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, here are some "digital daguerreotypes" showing a few highlights of the event.

Rats!  Barbarians at the gate!  What are these intruders from the Particleboard Kingdom to our west doing here?  Here's the working model of how we plan to fling them back to where they belong in the Valley of Death, aka Ashburn.

Below is something for the folks living by the Reston National Golf Course ...The McDermott-inator!  An autonomous drone system designed to seek out sleazy Northwest Mutual lawyers and terminate flimsy lawsuits with extreme prejudice.

And here's the flow chart of the RA decision-making process rendered in exquisite 3-D.  Watch out for those banned pastels!

Whoa -- time travel!  The original (non) spandexed speed demon of the Lawyers Road-Dieted Velodrome, circa 1890.

Here's a nifty new cost-saving device the RA will be introducing shortly to cut the cost of communicating with its membership.  Having heard enough complaints about the cost of printing that glossy quarterly magazine, our earth-toned overlords are going high tech with this state of the art communication device known as a "tele-type".  Don't have one at home to receive the latest bulletins about verboten paint shades?  Set your mind at ease, citizen!  When there's important news to send, the RA staff will transport this "tele-type" to each of the 20,000 or so residential addresses in Reston one by one, plug in the doodad, and print out the message just for you!  Does the concept of personalized service get any better than this?
Finally, when a coronal mass ejection from the Sun hits our planet, or when North Korea detonates its nuclear arsenal in outer space and creates an electro-magnetic pulse powerful enough to fry every last electronic device on Earth...resourceful Restonians will take it all in stride and just say "No problemo!"  Why?  Because they live in a sustainable neighborhood and are adept at making both cordage from native plants and flint knives, that's why.  As the End of Days looms on the horizon, Reston survival preppers will march forth with steely (or flinty) resolve to partake of the bountiful garlic mustard harvest in the Reston woodlands.  And for those Restonians of an amazing randy persuasion, although their DVR copies of "Fifty Shade of (DRB-approved) Grey" are now sadly useless, they DO have at their disposal for their boudoir antics all that handmade native plant cordage woven from only the finest invasive English ivy... 

On second thought, stuff it. Despite all the great technology and creativity on display at the Faire, this is where we're going! 


Given our Ben & Jerrys at RTC, Reston is practically Vermont, only with fewer cows.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shoveling Snow and Walking Around Lakes: Two Great Reston Activities Now Conclusively Proven Dangerous To Your Well-Being

In the last week, we've learned that digging your car out of the snow can be hazardous to your health (at least when it's done at 2:15 in the morning). Give us some good blockquote that doesn't include approximately 900 racially tinged comments, BFFs at Reston Now:

A man was shoveling snow off his car in Reston when he was held up at gunpoint early on Friday, Fairfax County Police said.

The victim was shoveling out his car in the 11600 block of North Shore Road near the intersection of Clubhouse Road about 2:15 a.m. when he was approached by two men, he told police. The first suspect grabbed the victim and demanded property, but the victim resisted and a struggle occurred. During the struggle, the second suspect displayed a handgun, which allowed the first suspect to take property and cash, police said.
Fortunately, all that snow is (almost) gone, and it's starting to feel like spring. Maybe a nice relaxing walk around the lake will help calm the nerves. Wait now, what's this?

Confidential Restonian Operative "Cujo" has the "deets," as the kids haven't said for at least a few years now:
Fairfax Police have plastered these notices all over Lake Audubon in the hope that the brain-dead jogger who owns the dog can be found and the victim doesn't have to undergo rabies shots after being attacked this past Saturday.  Love the description of the owner as having "leash in hand".  News flash to Ms. Moron: the leash goes on the dog, not around your hand.  All too typical, unfortunately, of too many dog owners around here who have their dogs off-leash on the Reston trails because "my sweet little poochie would NEVER hurt anyone".
We're staying inside and hoping our lighting fixtures don't become sentient, the end.