News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A DRB-Approved Shade of White Christmas to All!

USE BEFORE XMAS Santa arrives @ Lake Anne.jpg

This former resident of Targetville was spotted delivering holiday cheer, or at least a festive collection of DRB violations. As we wind down for a brief holiday hiatus, which Reston institutions do you think made the naughty and nice list for 2009? Sound off, in the comments.


  1. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 23, 2009 at 10:54 AM


    1.) Harris Teeter at the Spectrum Center. When I first moved here I shopped there and was literally chastised by an employee for trying to help unload my shopping cart for them. I'm from an area where you're independent and don't expect to get "pampered" while shopping, so this was a foreign concept to me. No need to be short-tempered with a fresh transplant over it! Now the Northpoint Giant sees 95% of my business, even if the one free sample woman did mistake me for Clay Aiken there. Then again I DID see Cathy Hudgins shopping there the Friday night of the snow storm, so perhaps Harris-Teeter DOES have its good spots. I was too intimidated by her fame and popularity to go over and say hello though.

    2.) AT&T Store in Northpoint Village. When my old cell phone finally kicked the bucket, leaving me without a phone (I don't have a landline), I rushed over to the store hoping to purchase either a replacement battery for my phone or just purchase a new phone outright (I was willing to PAY THEM for an UPGRADE). There were two associates there, each one tied up with a middle-aged woman who was asking a million questions about iPhones. I waited patiently---about 30 minutes---until a third associate emerged from the back and offered me assistance, grudgingly. He took a quick look at my phone, told me it had water damage (which it didn't), and told me it was too old to buy a new battery for it. I asked him if I could buy a new phone from them that day, and he didn't want to have any part of that. I left, frustrated, ready to switch to Verizon.


    1.) Clyde's in RTC. When I first moved here I mentioned in idle banter with our cute waiter that I was just in the process of moving here, so he brought me out a free dessert! That really made me feel special; it is not often that someone does something nice like that for me. They may not be the best Reston has to offer, but because of that kind gesture I've already been back several times and have brought numerous others as well to try it out. That was a good business decision on their part to give out a free dessert to encourage repeat business.

    2.) Mama Wok. Whenever I order Chinese from there I'm consistently impressed by their expedient delivery and the quality of their food. I also love the sweet-sounding Asian woman who answers the phone; you can tell this is a family-owned operation.

    3.) Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Since joining this excellent congregation I've felt my Christian faith 100% reaffirmed after a dark period in which I was pondering Atheism. The people there are genuinely caring and sincere. Volunteering and getting involved is highly encouraged. I'm pretty much one of the few (if not the only) young twenty-something single without family in the area who goes to church there, so a few people have sort of adopted me as one of their own. I can't sing enough praises about this awesome church.

    4.) Lake Anne Chevron. When I first moved here they did my state safety and emissions inspections for me, and they did so extraordinarily quickly and professionally. My car received a clean bill of health. I'm very gullible (and look vulnerable), so they very easily could have pounced on me and tried to hawk all sorts of "dire" maintenance needs at me. Their honesty earns them a gold star from me.

    5.) Jimmy's in Herndon. Why can't Reston have a place like this?! (eyes tearing up!)

  2. This is off topic, but I've been wondering this for awhile - what is the deal with the Macaroni Grill? It's often mentioned on this blog, but I don't get the reference. Don't get me wrong, MG is not a place I consider to have a high level of Italian cuisine, it's simply one of the boring restaurant chains. I've been enjoying this blog for about a year now, keep up the good work!
    I live in south-south Reston (oakton), but play in Reston.

  3. Another kind of off-topic, but I was there with my daughter to see the barge-landing, and I've got to tell you, the Santa was about the least santa-like Santa that I've seen. The ho ho ho was all wrong, the voice was too high, just in general not a good rendition. I know know who the guy was, but he wasn't Santa, it was an imposter, I tell you! No reindeer or elves either which was a good tip-off.

  4. @anon
    "It's simply one of the boring restaurant chains"
    That's where the irony is.

  5. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 23, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    I think Macaroni Grill just epitomizes the "sterility" that Reston is trending towards with the proliferation of corporate chains throughout the community. Personally I've only ever had GOOD experiences with my neighborhood Macaroni Grill. After a pleasant server there humored my bad jokes and helped me to complete a successful date I typed up a nice letter to corporate praising her and the restaurant. I receive a unique and well-worded reply in the mail from corporate with $15 in free food coupons. I've complained (rare) or complimented (frequent) employees at chains on many occasions, and this was by far the most PERSONAL response I had received. I was thrilled. In general though it's just sad that a community that forged upon the notion of being "unique" has just faded into Anytown USA. Other than the pleasant dense tree canopy and concerning lack of sidewalks there's really not much, in my eyes, that sets Reston apart from any other suburb. Take the trees (and trails) out of Reston, and it just looks very generic. There were shopping centers and strip malls near my former home that were comprised nearly exclusively of mom-and-pops. Here 90% of Reston's businesses seem to be chains. It's sort of ironic to me that when I first moved here everyone championed the place as being truly "one-of-a-kind" when I've seen many, many places that look just like Reston. The town is losing any individual identity it may have once had year by year.

  6. Cheers: Restonian, Reston's beautiful trails, the blizzard of 2009 for 2 or 3 hours of neighborliness

    Jeers: Mormons trolling the Hunters Woods Safeway parking lot, homeless dudes snoring in the library magazine section

  7. Nice:
    1. Angela's Happy Stamper on Sunset Hills
    2. Lakeside Inn (with smokers gone the place has gotten even better)
    3. Reston Library (doing more with less - and just ask them to wake up the snoring guy - and perhaps be a little more compassionate. It is really cold out right now)

    1. RA in it's "we know what's best for you" mode.
    2. Cathy Hudgins in the "I know what's best for you/me mode."
    3. Residents of Resident (US) - in the "let us know what we're supposed to think" mode

    I can't believe I'm first to put RA and Hudgins on the naughty list. Wow!

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  8. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonDecember 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Lumps of coal (or at least a densely inedible fruitcake) to:

    1. The DRB, for coming up with more inane examples of nanny-state over-regulation, such as the one saving us from the horror of red mulch.

    2. Dominion Virginia's management, for not burying those few overhead electric lines in Reston that regularly get knocked out at least twice a year, usually in winter.

    Candy canes to:

    1. Dominion Virginia's workers, for coming out in hellacious conditions to restore the power.

    2. All the residents of Reston who volunteer to make this a better place.

    3. The small local businesses who provide a bang for the buck and merit our continued support.

    4. The esteemed editor of Restonian, for providing not only some of the funniest material to be found on the Web but also a chance for all of us who are regular contributors and/or commenters to share our opinion and alleged wit.

    5. Alan Webb, for being named by ESPN as top high school athlete of the decade.

    Special Christmas wish:

    That Hickory Cluster Knuckle Duster and Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO) get their own show on local cable to debate -- a la those legendary "60 Minutes" debates between James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander -- the future of Reston. Maybe title it "Hickory vs. Oak". Must-see TV!

    To all my fellow commenters on this "filthy Web-log" a Merry Christmas and all the best in 2010.

  9. Happy Holidays, mortals. :D

    Special cheer to Restonian. Great, great, great blog. Thank you.

  10. Hickory Cluster Knuckle DusterDecember 27, 2009 at 8:18 PM

    Restonian and all of the regulars and anons. It is my favorite waste of time these days. The Restonian filthy web-log provides me with up-to-date gossip and news about my community, a place called Reston.

    The RCC and RA's bald-faced attempt to put an orange julius where I went to RHOA day camp, and played soccer as a kid.

  11. I went to RHOA day camp too! When were you there, HCKD? I went one year. Was '77-ish. I also played soccer in the Reston kids' league. I was five or six at the time.

    Would be flippin' amazing if we were there at the same time. Either way, very fond memories, if hazy ones.

  12. Hickory Cluster Knuckle DusterJanuary 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    We very well may have been. I was there probably in 77 as well. I also played Reston youth Soccer.

    Grey Ghosts, Orange Crush, Bobcats, Eagles....

  13. Cool!

    I don't remember much of RHOA day camp except taking a boat ride in Lake Anne and then going to some camping retreat for a couple of days. Do you know where that was, by any chance? It seemed far away by bus at the time, but I'm thinking it may have been at Lake Fairfax Park.

  14. Hickory Cluster Knuckle DusterJanuary 6, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    I think it was in the woods right behind Brown's Chapel which is now Lake Newport and environs.

    I also remember doing after school pottery at Brown's Chapel with Laney Oxman.

  15. Really! Do you by any chance remember, on these camping excursions, being welcomed at an outdoor amphitheater? If so, has there been an amphitheater in that same Lake Newport area? Because that's one element I do recall about the trip. That and being bitten on the butt by ants because I sat on a log they were inhabiting.


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