News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, November 22, 2019

Separated at Birth: Tesla, Terraset, and Visions of Future Passed

Our Facebook BFFs at Reston, Remember When made an uncanny discovery about the newly unveiled Tesla Cybertruck, which definitely looks like the future -- or at least the future as seen from the same hazy, earth-toned past in which a planned community thought it would be a totally tubular idea to bury its fancypants new elementary school in the yard, because of the Saudis or something.

Behold.... THE FUTURE!

Both can move at about the same speed during rush hour in Reston, but there's one important difference. Terraset has fewer broken windows, the end.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Your Name Here: Metro Naming Rights Only The Tip of The Earth-Toned Iceberg

We were VERY excited to hear that Metro, in its infinite wisdom, is devoting time and attention to addressing longstanding maintenance and operational issues that have transformed a world-class transit system into an unreliable laughingstock selling the naming rights for the Innovation Center Metro Station in nearby Herndon, if you consider an upside-down building next to a giant gravel pit "Herndon." Give us some sweet meeting minutes blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

"A unique and time-sensitive opportunity has arisen where a Fortune Global 500 Company, currently in negotiations to lease headquarters adjacent to the new Innovation Center Metro station has expressed interest in being the corporate sponsor for this new station,” the Metro documents said.
Awesome! We love Brands(tm), so we see no downside to this. But why stop there? After all, Reston's Silver Line Metro stops are named after a corporation too, and a long-defunct one at that. This seems like a golden opportunity to draw in some other Fortune 500 companies to make some sweet cash "revitalize Reston's brand," or whatever.

Here are a few humble suggestions:

WIEHLE-RESTON EAST:
• Comstock-Comstock East
HQ 0
Maggie Parker For Supervisor Stop, But Anyone Else Is Welcome To Name This Station Too, Maybe
McTacoPupatella, Pending Further Redevelopment
• Hidden Creek Golf Course (short-term lease for naming rights)

RESTON TOWN CENTER:
• Boston Not-So-Strong Properties
• TBD - winner of an unmanipulated naming contest which will have NOTHING to do with parking
• Wegmans North
• Nail Salon-Candle Bar South
• Restonian Dot Org World Headquarters*
• Reston National Golf Course (short-term lease for naming rights)

* Assuming they open the eligibility criteria to Fortune 500,000,000 companies

And let's not forget the "Herndon" stop, which is actually right across the street from Reston's Polo Fields neighborhood. But since it's unlikely the Polo Fields HOA will be able to scrape together the cash for the naming rights, there's really only one option here: Jimmy's South, the end.

Update: The Metro board has pulled the discussion on naming rights pending further discussions with Fairfax County. We're reasonably certain they're considering some of the options listed above.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

McTacoHut, Minus the Taco and the Hut: McDonald's Renovations To Imperil Restonians' Access To Highly Processed Foodstuffs, At Least For a While

Coming fast on the heels of the shocking news that the Hut in Reston's eternal one-stop carbohydrate complex, known to generations as the McTacoHut, is closing early next year to be replaced by a purveyor of more upscale processed cheese and dough discs, we now have learned that the Mc -- that's right, McDonald's -- is temporarily closing at around the same time.

Say it isn't so, Ronald! Give us the LDL-lowering news, BFFs at NextDoor:

PSA - the McDonald's on Wiehle Avenue and Isaac Newton Drive will be closed in December for renovations.
they are expecting the renovations to take 4 to 6 weeks!
The exclamation point and casual disregard of sentence case doesn't even scratch the surface of our existential angst, even as other NextDoor patrons took a break from using their Pantone swatches to report suspicious-looking people and advertising giveaways of gently soiled mattresses to complain about the service at the epicenter of Reston's gustatorial history. However, our own McDonald's has lasted through countless fads and competitors, so we're optimistic that when it reopens sometime early next year, McTaco____ will retain its mantle as a destination of choice for those far and wide and not be replaced by a 96-story "mixed-use" mauvescraper offering 20 square feet of retail and 123,000-square-feet of bomb-strapping-to-dolphin office space (with four parking spots), the end.

Monday, September 2, 2019

We Can't Have Nice Things, Reston: The Case of the Headless Lake Anne Horse (Updated)

This troubling sight greeted visitors to Lake Anne Plaza over the Labor Day weekend, as the beloved replica of the original wooden horse that gave Reston's earliest children an alternative to cracking their skulls on concrete "playground" abutments appears to have been unceremoniously beheaded, its oaken skull nowhere to be found within the confines of the hastily erected safety barrier/crime scene tape.

Foul play? Playground accident? Jazz aficionados worked into a frenzy by an unanticipated chord modulation during this weekend's festival? If only we knew, and we only can hope the horse was more seriously hurt than the perpetrator, the end.

Update: According to a Facebook poster, "the head is at the museum and the artist is working on getting it back on." No truth to the rumor that it wound up in an RA board member's bed.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Survey About Reston: The Brand Underway, Could Result in Giant Indoor Pickleball/ Waterpark/ Biophilic Pleasure Dome, Maybe

Among your voluminous electronic correspondence from deposed Nigerian royalty and purveyors of discount medication, you may have received an "electronic message" with an equally mysterious subject: PLEASE HELP US SHAPE THE FUTURE OF RESTON. And apparently, that future may involve some sweeeet indoor pickleball courts, a water park, and some rockin' keggers at the Leaky Lake House.

Something called the "Brand Consultancy" is conducting a survey on behalf of our beloved Reston Association to get a sense of RA's, um, brand. Survey questions ask us, the lowly lumpen Restonians, if we think the RA "is on the cutting edge of environmental needs," "helps make Reston a better place to live," "are easy to work with," and (and if this isn't a misguided consultant-generated bit of branding gobbledygook, we don't know what is) "the premier service provider for Reston." Then there's this question, which prompted us to hastily cover the screen of our laptop in case the kids happened to walk by:

Then we get to the meat of the survey, which asks what kinds of services our plastic fantastic homeowners association should consider adding. Some are things people have talked about for a loooong time, like indoor or all-year tennis courts. Others build on existing initiatives, including indoor/all-year pickleball courts. Others are... interesting.

"Once the data and results are received by RA, the association will be better positioned to make decisions about how to serve its members’ needs now and in the future," the association's weekly email states.

We'll leave it to others to debate the wisdom of a giant, RA-run indoor water park, and just close this informative blog post with what those of us in the marketing biz (or at least got most of the way through Season 2 of Mad Men) like to call a positioning statement:

... and scene.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Meanwhile, in the Anti-Anti Reston: Woodstock 50's Loss Could Be Our Gain

Shocking news today from our pagan doppelgänger in Maryland. After the Woodstock 50 festival moved from Max Yasgur's farm upstate New York to Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion, presumably because it was muddy enough and difficult enough to get to to replicate the original experience, it was abruptly canceled today.

Besides the mud and impossible parking, Columbia made sense as an alternate venue for a celebration of all things hippie. With Tolkien-like street names like "Leaf Reader Way" and "Crazy Quilt Court," it fits the freewheeling late 60s mindset to a T, though they might have wanted to overlook its satanic undercurrents. But Reston was built at the same time, with the same idealistic hippie underpinnings (primarily living in townhouses that weren't in towns, but still). People in the other Anti-Reston certainly thought we were a bunch of "crackpots". And while "Temporary Road" doesn't have the same Age of Aquarius feel as "Dark Fire Way" or "Bright Edge Path", we've got it all!

As our favorite correspondent, the Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, points out, we have culture! Art! Americana! Confounding public statuary! And, in keeping with the antidisestablishmentarian nature of Woodstock, this anthemic musical tribute!

So we'll throw out this public invitation to the organizers of Woodstock 50: Come to another epicenter of 1960s history! We can even get you the residents' discount on a top-notch events facility, so long as you can promise things will be quiet enough to not disturb the neighbors. In return, alls we, your humble "web loggers," want is a simple thing: to get on the PA system at one point and say, "the Dulles Toll Road is closed, man!"


🎵 Signs, signs, everywhere signs... 🎵

Monday, July 15, 2019

Decade-Old Blog Joke Comes Weirdly True as RA Fined For Child Labor Law Violations

Way back in ought-nine, when the Reston Association was planning on moving to is then-new headquarters, an intrepid investigative journalist (who are we kidding, it was us) discovered what was a SHOCKING detail in the floorplans: a "kids area," where we jokingly (or "jokingly") imagined that an army of child laborers would be put to work filing away all the paperwork that necessitated the costly move from RA's old headquarters in the first place.

As with other wacky memes that somehow came true in horrific this-entire-universe-is-a-twisted-simulation fashion, a decade later we discover the RA is being fined for child labor law violations, according to our BFFs at Reston Now. Wait, what?

The state fined Reston Association $12,000 for violating child labor laws late last year.

The state’s Department of Labor and Industry issued fines in October 2018 after an investigation found “numerous violations” regarding minors employed as aquatics attendants or lifeguards, according to an August 2018 inspection report obtained by Reston Now.

Kudos to our Reston Now BFFs for moving beyond wacky polls to do this weird, decidedly non "web log" thing called "journalism," or at least "listening to people who email them with axes to grind but with valid documentation to back up their gripes." We'll have to check that out some day!

But we digress. You would think that would explain why the RA has had so much trouble with its swimming pools this year. You would think.

A source familiar with the state’s labor law investigation and on-boarding of lifeguards, however, said that part of the reason for delays in opening the pools was because lifeguards did not have required safety certifications to begin working — an issue that was spotted by administrative staff “far too late” once pools were already scheduled to open. Certifications were expired or still in the process of being received, the source said.
From leaky lake houses to weighing in on development to, um, child labor fines, "far too late" is starting to sound like an appropriate replacement slogan for "Live, Work, Play," the end.