News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lake Anne Plaza Will Be A Little Bit Emptier For Polar Plunge

336863_120113127b.jpgHere's one of those good news, bad news sorts of situations. Lake Anne Plaza will once again host the Polar Plunge on Feb. 6, to benefit Camp Sunshine, which serves children with life-threatening illnesses.

The bad news? Along with the ongoing attempts to sell Lake Anne Pharmacy, the last of the plaza's original businesses, Body by Geoff has also relocated... to the fake downtown.

After five years at Lake Anne, Body by Geoff closed its doors when the business’s lease ran out at the beginning of the year. The health and fitness company is moving its operation to the One to One Fitness Centers in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston Town Center.

Eve Thompson, president of the Lake Anne Merchants Association, said another business had already spoken for the space but had not yet signed a lease. "I believe the space is under negotiations right now," she said.
But never fear! While we wait for redevelopment to transform the polar wasteland plaza to a vibrant, Macaroni Grill-intensive mixed-use development, another fix is in the works!
Another contract that came to an end was the plaza’s ongoing relationship with Myers Public Relations. "What we feel is that we need to take control of our own image," Thompson said. As of last week, the village center took on two independent marketing people to rework its logo, its Web site and its brand. A temporary Web site is now up, and Thompson said marketing for Lake Anne will place more focus on social media and blogging than previously.

However, she said updates to the center’s image would also take place on the plaza, and not just online, with a new landscape company hired and storefront improvements on the way.
Wow. By now, you're undoubtedly thinking, "That's awesome. Now if we could only get a yarn shop into the plaza, all our problems will be over."

Guess what?
The owner of the former convenience store next to Washington Plaza Baptist Church is hoping to bring in a yarn shop, complete with knitting groups and classes, she said, noting that such specialty businesses become destinations that shoppers seek out from afar.

The owner, she said, is offering "a huge rent discount" to a shop that fits the description.

85 comments:

  1. Man, knitting is sooooo last decade.

    Wait, or are "yarn shop," "knitting groups" and "classes" just PC euphemisms for "head shop," "varieties of medical marijuana" and "bongs"? Hard to tell, as I'm not that hip to the lingo these days.

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  2. No way is Body by Geoff, an original business at the Plaza. They have been there 5 years tops.

    Glad to see though they are staying in town.

    By the way, how long does RTC have to be around before it loses the fake downtown designation? Seems like they have some staying power, and have earned a legitimate right to being a real downtown like it or not.

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  3. I think Lake Anne Pharmacy is what they meant by the original business. It's been there forever.

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  4. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)January 28, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    I'm sorry, but as a fresh transplant to Virginia I DO still call Reston Town Center our "fake downtown." Why, pray tell? Well, I think it's ludicrous that the largest suburb outside the Beltway didn't even HAVE a downtown until around 1990 whereas most traditional communities fan out around the downtown, which was their original focal point; ours feels like an "afterthought." The town center doesn't really FEEL like an established downtown because most people still do have to drive to it and the surrounding development is generally one-story (library, Spectrum Center, surface parking lots) or two-story (i.e. many of the townhomes/condos nearby). Winchester has a REAL downtown. Culpeper had a REAL downtown. Fredericksburg has a REAL downtown. Leesburg has a REAL downtown. Reston Town Center just feels separated from the rest of the community, like an island, and doesn't "flow" well. Reston is very much in an identity crisis. Lake Anne represents what the "old-timers" who want Reston to return to the year 1965 perceive as the "true" Reston. Newcomers who crave urbanity and all that life in Arlington and Bethesda offers view Reston Town Center as the wave of the future. I'm sold on a HYBRID of both so we can preserve our community's rich heritage and open space while ALSO building a better core that is more representative of a community of our size, but with how NIMBY many here are I don't foresee that happening. For God's sake people freaked out over an indoor tennis court, so I couldn't even imagine what plans to overhaul a huge swath of Reston would do to cause panic. We've already heard unfounded hysterics and horror stories from the anti-density people in the master planning process about how bogeymen in bulldozers are just going to start knocking everyone's homes down indiscriminately for a new Jamba Juice and artists' colony.

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  5. BiCo ... you'd be surprised how many agree with you... keep the conversation going... :O)

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  6. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)January 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    To me a "downtown" should be a place that you feel inherently "connected" to. It should be a place that is unique, full of intriguing independent businesses, home to quirky architecture, easily-accessible via foot or bike, and should have some SOUL to it. Perhaps I'm just as much of a sourpuss as some on here think I am, but whenever I go to RTC I feel like I'm walking around in a sterilized office park or an outdoor shopping mall---I don't feel like this is the "heart" of my community. I grew up just outside of Scranton, PA, and even though our downtown was BLEAK it had charm, character, soul, and a true living breathing identity to it. I just don't get that "warm fuzzy" feeling from RTC, and if that makes me an ogre, then so be it. I happen to be a yuppie (shudder to admit it), and as the target demographic of most of RTC's businesses I can safely say I find myself driving to downtown local merchants in OTHER TOWNS to get that "warm fuzzy" feeling that the RTC Office Park---errr---our "quaint downtown" sorely lacks. I've taken two drives out to Winchester in recent weeks. It may sound odd, but I'm firmly considering moving there and power-commuting in the coming years because I just love the "homey" feel there. You don't get that at all with RTC---you just see 30-something d-bags in Armani suits talking about their jobs on Friday nights at places like Jackson's while trying to score chicks for the night. These "town center" ideas in Virginia are HORRIBLE. Dulles Town Center also likes any sort of charm or soul and is even LESS pedestrian-friendly. A distinction needs to be drawn between "town center" and "downtown."

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  7. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)January 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Dulles Town Center also *LACKS*... Sorry. Wish we could fix typos! :-)

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  8. They need to bring more 34-story offices and apartments to Scranton to bring that homey feeling to that decrepit little town. None of that 3-story brick townhouse for me. You can have your downtown Leesburgs and Old Town Alexandria.

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  9. Town Center = Outdoor Mall.

    RTC FAR Ratio is only 1 because of all the land devoted to surface parking and roads.

    RTC has that one narrow street in the middle that looks like a city street. All the rest are wide avenues that provide a quick passage for cars to get between Reston Parkway and Ffx Pkwy so people can easily get out of town.

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  10. I had always hoped to go to Body by Geoff for a real workout but just kept putting it off. If not for a actual workout maybe just to see him pull single handed a Humvee.

    Good points about the validity of the town centers of towns like Culpepper and Fredericksburg, though they too are threatened by the big box stores.

    Do any remember Vance Packard (Nation of Strangers) who defined the whole concept of town centers where people would go just to hang out and maybe window shop? Vance had much to say about Reston and Columbia.

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  11. If the Lake Anne Merchants Assn wants to take advantage of social networking, etc., then they ought to have the entire Lake Anne Plaza a 'free wi-fi' zone with lots of outdoor seating. For three seasons per year, that will get people over there.

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  12. The Lake Anne Merchants are currently working to re-deploy a free wi-fi zone that would be accessible from everywhere on the Plaza.

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  13. Great news about the wifi. Now we just need more than that one cafe/coffee shop. It's so packed on the weekends in the summer, with lines going out the door. It takes 25 minutes to get your food.

    Regarding RTC, sure it's not a "real" downtown, but right now it's actually alive (albeit in a soul-less way ;-) , whereas it seems Lake Anne is dying a slow death as businesses leave one after the other. I'm glad that the merchants there are trying to get their act together. Lets hope they can affect some changes. Anyway, back to RTC, while I'd certainly love a more real downtown with lots of independent businesses and a "homey" feel, that doesn't seem to be what RTC's goal was. They certainly drive a lot of traffic there, the only problem I have is what does that traffic bring to Reston? Maybe some people are a bit more likely to move here? But outside of that, what? A place Restonians can go to get dinner and movie without having to go to Tysons? IE, RTC doesn't pay anything to RA. As citizens of Reston, none of the money these business get from us or anyone else goes back into Reston, it all goes to their corporate headquarters. If it was providing a revenue base for Reston that could be used for creating more facilities, more sidewalks, paths, streetlights, etc., that would be one thing, but right now it just seems to be providing a boost to traffic.

    That being said, the comparisons to these other towns are a bit unfair. They were all formed a century, or two or even more ago. Reston is an oddity, a planned city. It was the first one out there and planned at a time when our understanding of city planning was a fraction of what it is today. You have to give them credit for building something that has for the most part lasted as long as it has. Sure there are problems, but given other suburban wastelands like Ashburn, it could have been a whole lot worse. The whole idea though as I've learned, were to have these mini town centers scattered around Reston. The problem is that most of them with the exception of Lake Anne are pretty indistinguishable from your average suburban shopping center. Sure there might be a community center, or a small edge of lakefront on one or two, but that doesn't mean much. I'd love it if we could transform RTC into an Olde-town, but I don't see it happening. However, I think it's much more feasible to do something like that with one or more of these shopping centers. Of course they'd have to take out the biggest usage of space in them (the parking lot), and build a tall parking garage, and then lay down a grid of buildings that won't be able to accommodate huge business and thus will promote more independent ones. But these building can't be one or two stories tall either, they are going to need to be a bit taller so that the parking garage doesn't become the tallest structure in the area!

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  14. The RA meet tonight to review the Criterium study of maintaining Reston. The Criterium are engineers and they analyzed Reston 18 different categories of things that need maintenance among them such things for example as tot lots, foot bridges, pathways, boat docks, Lakes and ponds. Based on their findings we should be able to maintain everything adequately for the next 18 years by our current spending. But then the costs will go up dramatically.

    There were three suggestions:

    Alternative One-increase the current spending from 2.1 million to 2.7 million a year.

    Alternative Two- Increase annual spending by 3% a year.

    Alternative 3 Retain current funding levels, but but plan on a special assessment or other infusion of about $20 million in about 18 years.

    The thing that I don't like about it is that there seems to be no control on how the Reston Association maintains things. For example I see regurally Reston workers driving trucks on the pathways. The pathways are not designed for vehicle travel they don't have the needed base and as a result the shoulders of the roadways crumble. Yet I often see multiple vehicles with Reston workers transporting themselves each carrying a diffrent tool simultaneously deteriorating the pathways while they are also maintaining it. So no wonder it is a constant expense. Could they not instead use wheelbarrows and park nearby I wonder?

    There is no one to supervise Reston workers except aparently other Reston workers. Board members do not I was told at candidate orientation night recently.

    So if we have a organization with increasing funding to fund increasing maintenance that sometimes is self perpetuating I worry that things will just get more and more expensive which we'll have to fund somehow.

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  15. dvdmom says: I'd love it if we could transform RTC into an Olde-town, but I don't see it happening.

    Rod: I wished we had political control over RTC and mandate that they rent out a few places to used book stores or church coffee shops to give it a bit of character. There's often so many places empty any way.

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  16. RTC looks like it's going to be mostly eateries. I guess the department stores as anchors are not very trendy these days with the major chains struggling against the warehouse clubs and the mass merchandise stores Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl's.

    The carryout sushi place in Lake Anne is supposed to open next week.

    They could also use a carryout pizza place.

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  17. The only way Lake Anne is going to survive in its currents state right now, is to bring in a business that will generate foot traffic, let say, I don’t know a STRIP CLUB.

    To make my point, look at downtown Springfield, they have one smack in the middle called Paper Moon, it’s surrounded by businesses, there is plenty of security around, and the surrounding are pretty clean. Well, all that really didn’t matter to me much, I was just glad to see the mountains.

    That’s the type of business that will survive in Lake Anne, right now, until Reston makes up their mind or decides how to redevelop it.

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  18. Lake Anne is UGLY, dreary, and feels very unsafe. If you don't believe me, to to Lake Anne in the middle of the afternoon. It is practically deserted. I never feel safe there unless I'm there during the farmers market.

    Lake Anne Village is an earth toned wasteland that either needs to be torn down and rebuilt tastefully or changed so that it's shops will attract families. I love RTC, and I think that Lake Anne could have so much potential.

    I hope that it gets revitalized. It is in sore need of a face lift. Don't get me wrong - I love the used book shop, and I'm a big fan of the pharmacy. I just don't like the feeling that I might get mugged.

    If it was a safer, more family friendly place, more people would visit. Every mom in my walking group agrees with me.

    Lake Anne needs a cafe that caters to SAH moms with kids. If you convince the moms of reston that it is a great place to walk to and meet their friends, then you will start to generate business. It also needs some type of barrier along the boardwalk that protects kids from falling into the Lake if they are running around and playing in the children's fountain (Oh wait - they can't play in that anymore).

    Obviously the current plan for Lake Anne isn't working. I vote that the planners make it into a paradise for moms who choose to stay at home during the day and want a place to shop/visit/bring their kids. Bring in a cafe where moms can go with their kids. Put in a place where moms can take kids to music classes. Put in a hair salon that caters to moms and kids. Keep the used children's clothing store, but give them more retail space so that a mom can get inside with a stroller and not knock everything over.

    SAHMs spend money. They are the primary shoppers in a family.

    Lake Anne is getting worse right now, not better.

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  19. To date there have been no "muggings" at Lake Anne that I've been aware of, a few attempted break-ins over the years but nothing even remotely resembling a mugging. RTC on the other hand has car break-ins on a weekly basis. Tons of moms bring their kids to the free kids programs on Tues & Thursdays, which are paid for by the Lake Anne Merchants as a gift to the community.

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  20. I'm not the 4:08 poster, but I suspect I know what she means. If you go there during the week you have to walk past groups of 20- and 30- something year old men hanging out outside the Latino market or sitting on top of the ridiculous concrete pyramid. I don't particularly like being leered at when I'm out with my kids. While I've never felt the least bit unsafe there, it does make the experience unpleasant. Unfortunately, as I recall the very same problem (loiterers making shoppers uncomfortable) is what did in the original Hunter's Woods center.

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  21. The Convict in the GulagJanuary 30, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    I think you've got it right, 4:08. What Lake Anne needs is a Jello Pit. That should take care of your request and Prunie's at the same time.

    I think that Lake Anne could use a Rod and Gun store. You can get your fishing pole and bait and, when you're reeling in that little bastard that's about to break your new Zebco rod and reel, you can finish subduing him with your Smith and Wesson .357 magnum.

    Or maybe SLSC would be more appropriate. After all, we believe that effective Gun Control can be summed up as Breath, Relax, Aim, Squeeze.

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  22. I'm disturbed and don't know what the answer is to anonymous's post. On the one hand the original idea of Robert Simon of having plaza's was to have people hang out. I remember Mike Corigan of RCA saying that we wanted people to be outside because when they were outside there was less crime.

    Else where in Reston it can be be a bit of a tightrope. There is a seeming open atmosphere with everyone smiling but it is very rule intensive and from my point of view not conductive to community life. As a candidate I am required to submit 25 valid names on my petition of candidacy. But I found out I could not ask people to sigh over at the town center. Trying to either campaign or get signatures for the town I found I could not distribute literature or get signatures at Wholefoods or Harris teeter where they ran me off. Thanks Giants and Safeway for supporting Reston.

    It's sort of maybe a old Virginia feeling against people hanging out or loitering. I remember when I used to live near Orange Virginia there was a feeling against loitering and at the same time Vance Pakard was lamenting the decline of the Town Center.

    Currently we are trying to get a Farmers Market at KMart shopping center but are fighting a kind of feeling against hanging out the very thing that is viewed as increasing the quality of life in another vien. It's been hard to get a toehold in and find a place to sharpen knives and scissors locally. Though I have heard that we will soon have a new farmers market Wednesday in Reston at a new location. Most customers of sharpening are high end cooking buffs who like to stay home and cook. But it's hard to even address this kind of feeling of being uncomftrable where there are a large group of people previous there and you approach as a new come somewhere people are hanging out. Perhaps this was a problem going back through history.

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  23. Dear Rod: Check out the Reston Market, which is the crafts side of the Saturday Market down at Lake Anne. (If you're not too frightened!) Sometime they have a vendor selling new knives, so maybe they would let you have a booth? I don't know who runs that part of the market, but John Lovaas runs the Farmers and he might be able to tell you, or maybe you can find them online...I recall that they are call The Reston Market.

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  24. She said it feels unsafe. She didn't say it was unsafe. There's been no muggings, robbings, or assaults on the plaza. The attempted attacks have all occurred at night on the paths near the apartment complexes in that part of N. Reston. They all occurred a couple of years ago as possibly a crime spree by a single individual.

    She might also try visiting around noon when there's more traffic in the restaurants and in the drug store.

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  25. Rod- I agree the issue of loitering is problematic. I think when it's a large group comprised only of men, especially in the middle of the day during the week when we tend to think young men should be at work, it makes women nervous. Mixed groups don't tend to bother people. Male only groups can be scary, especially when they are leering at all the women who walk by them, which is the case frequently at Lake Anne.

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  26. Actually there have been multiple sexual assaults on the paths near Lake Anne and just last May the jewelry store's window was broken and items were stolen. More recently graffiti decorated the plaza and I know 7 people that had their cars broken into in the parking lot during the middle of the day. The plaza has no form of security. To the mother with nothing to do with her kids, you could take them to one of the many pools Reston has instead of having them swim in the fountain. The fountain was never meant to be a "children's fountain". They do not need to put a barrier next to lake, you have to teach your kids that they may fall in if they run around like animals.

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  27. The plaza will be empty in a year. Eve Thompson, president of lake anne merchants needs to stop lying in the Connection saying the plaza is great and businesses are popping up every day. The buildings are falling apart, businesses are leaving, people think the plaza is run down and she knows it.

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  28. Wow! 11:21 & 11:39--that's a lot of hostility. Maybe you should just avoid Lake Anne.

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  29. Actually, the attacks were next to the Vantage Hill Condos, across from the Cameron Crescent Apartments, and within the Northgate Condos complex.

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  30. Vantage Hill Condos, Cameron Crescent Apartments, and Northgate Condos are all less than 1/2 from Lake Anne. Like I said, the sexual assaults were on the paths near Lake Anne.

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  31. I though you were referring to the Lake Anne Plaza, not the actual lake. I would suggest you stay away from the lake if you feel that insecure. LOL.

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  32. ^^sound like the people that are hysterical about all of South Reston.

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  33. Hi Eve Thompson here—let me be as accurate as I can. As of today 1/31/10 there are the following vacancies on Lake Anne Plaza. 1.) The Body By Geoff space became vacant at the end of December. There is someone actively negotiating for that space. 2.) The Tavern on the Lake space has been sold, the transaction settles in late Feb. There aren’t any specifics on the restaurant concept but what has been discussed is Italian food and a sports themed bar. 3.) The space that used to house Sonya’s Dry Cleaning and Alterations has been partially rented and will be occupied by Rita’s Alterations. (that will leave the other side of that 2 bay space still vacant) 4.) The space that formerly held the Jewelry shop is rented and now holds a sushi shop that does take out and delivery. 5.) The shop on the corner next to the Church has been beautifully renovated and is hoping to house a yarn shop. Safety issues are important to us, most of us not only work here, we live here as well. But let me be clear: To my knowledge here has never been a sexual assault on our property, I’ve never heard of a mugging, and if 7 cars were broken into in our commercial parking lot it wasn’t reported to the Condo or the police. The jewelry store was broken into, but their loses were not publicized. The recent graffiti incident has caused the Condo to evaluate the possibility of a security camera system. In the past year we’ve had 2 vandalism incidents in the residential parking lots—in one case an owner had their license plates and gas cap taken and in the other someone attempted to gain entry, without permission to the car of a person that they knew. That’s the full list of Lake Anne Plaza crimes that were reported to the Condo and or County Police —no wait, a group of kids did get into to the high rise and were a nuisance ringing doorbells.

    Regarding my lying to the Connection Newspaper: I’ve related things as I see them, and I do see them positively, I don’t believe my efforts in my own business or as the Chair of the Merchants Committee are well served by cynicism and sarcasm. The majority of the businesses on Lake Anne, the bookshop, the Art Gallery, Small Change, Café Montemart, Jasmine Café, the Barber Shop, have all been there for years; some of those years have been better than others, but they have employed people, and been a part of the community. Do all of the Lake Anne Merchants need to step it up? Absolutely we do, and we believe we are on a path that will help us do that, and we welcome all constructive ideas and patronage from the community.

    Thank you.

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  34. Eve,

    Thanks for the update and I'm looking forward to the upcoming changes at the Plaza.

    HCKD

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  35. Oh and two clarifications: the fountain WAS designed as 'Children's Fountain.' For 40 years children have played in it.

    The plaza does NOT need a fence along the dock. That is an absurd suggestion. Keep an eye on your child... I do when my child is on the Plaza.

    HCKD

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  36. Yea HCKD! Some sanity!

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  37. HCKD, the fountain may have been designed for that purpose, but it was designed very badly. Nobody moniters the water quality at that fountain, and it isn't safe for kids to be immersing themselves in it. I stopped allowing my oldest in it about a year and a half ago after she broke out in a horrible rash over her arms and legs a few hours after playing in that fountain (which required several days of prescription-strength topical antibiotics). I know other mothers who have had their kids become sick after playing in it as well- not just skin infections, but nasty bouts of vomiting as well. The water is over a foot deep at its deepest point, and things grow in it. The bottom is also lined with very sharp concrete blocks and I have seen kids get cuts bad enough to need stitches after playing in there (and, of course, those cuts bleed into the fountain). Because of the standing water and the fact that it isn't chlorinated, it's basically like a public bathtub. I imagine it's worse now than it used to be... when I was a kid in Reston 20 years ago, children would just wade in the fountain, and there was always a big effort not to get your clothes wet. But recently (before the sign went up, anyway), kids were using it like a swimming pool, wearing bathing suits and submerging themselves up to their necks by lying down in the pool.

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  38. It is too bad you had such a negative experience with the fountain. I have never heard of that except here on this blog. My personal experiences, and those of my friends don't support that story.

    I played in it 30 years ago and now my little one plays in it.

    RTC has a nice fountain I hear. (but they don't have fencing around the streets to keep the kids from running into traffic)

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  39. lake anne has breathed its last gasp....has eve thompson really walked around there lately??the stains from graffiti are still visible by the stairs of jasmine cafe!businesses are vacating because of lack of maintenance by individual owners and the condo association!good luck to the new restaurants,they will need it!!

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  40. hey eve, how about the space once occupied by millennium bank???i suppose thats spoken for too???

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  41. The Convict in the GulagFebruary 1, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    I played in that fountain as well. What's so different about kids now and kids 30 - 40 years ago? If you want to argue that the quality of the water has deteriorated during the last 30 years, you might have an argument. To say that today's kids play in the fountain in a fundamentally different fashion than kids of 30 years ago, well, that's a bit of a stretch.

    Having read Eve's comments, it suddenly dawns on me why Lake Anne has problems. Lake Anne houses - nee, caters to -- small businesses. While there's nothing inherently wrong with small businesses, they are exactly that: small businesses. The mall was vibrant when there was a big business there: Safeway. But once the grocery store moved away, there wasn't the big foot traffic draw. That's what most small retail establishments need in order to be viable.

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  42. Anon 10:40 PM - just so you know, the water quality in the fountain *IS* monitored. As a resident of Lake Anne I witnessed it many times.

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  43. Anon 10:40. Stiches, a bout of the collywobbles, and even broken bones are a normal part of being a kid. My kids, and now my grandkids play in the fountain. Yes they could get hurt. But there are real dangers and minor dangers.

    I worry more about gangs and drugs than a skinned knee.

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  44. Statisticlly speaking one stands a much greater chance of being involved in a robbery or assault while visiting RTC.

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  45. small businesses can't make it at lake anne because the condo fees are too high. why? because of a lack of maintenance!!!things have deteriorated so much,that its just not cost effective.no chain store will consider lake anne because parking is too limited.so, enjoy the soon to be day labor site!!

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  46. so, eve thompson has stated in the connection that lake anne is "on track"...for what??? she names six(6)businesses!!!thats "doing great"????who is she kidding?!!give lake anne one year and we all will see just how much "right on track" it really is.the management there or lack there of is appalling!!!way to go eve!keep up your good work and maybe we'll have one business left...yours!!!


    '

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  47. patronage from community??whats there to patronize??!!a yarn shop??!!!!!!are you kidding!!!!take out sushi???from the lake??!!!get real!!!

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  48. Anon !!!!

    OMG !!!! there is other puntuation thatn !!!!

    You !!!!ing, !!!! !

    Of course the sushi place will serve catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill !!!!

    That's why the sushi place in Hunters Woods serves squirrel and acorns, and the Sushi place in RTC serves Cougar silicone and douchebag black-berry!!!!!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!

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  49. I am shocked and saddened that my kinsmen are served up as the sushi special in Hunters Woods.

    !!!!!!!!!!

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  50. scubadiver, ordinarily I would agree, but I worry about more serious things like hepatitis.

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  51. Stating the ObviousFebruary 2, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    If you're scared of the water, then don't let YOUR kids play in it.

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  52. Anon 6:06PM- For the record: Eve could have set up her business anywhere. It is precisely her dedication to Lake Anne that led her to set up shop there, knowing that every client she brings to her office will come to Lake Anne. She *gasp* likes it there. She's aware it's not an easy place to be; but she isn't easily undone by challenges.

    Also there are a number of things that happen at Lake Anne, pesides the market:
    The wine shop has wine tastings, the book store often has readings by professional actors, and storytellers. The Christmas time reading of a Christmas Carol is almost alwasy standing room only. Jasmine cafe often has special menus and events. I've also heard that, yes, in fact, the plaza *is* going to become a free WiFi area.
    If Meyer's PR firm had actually doen the job they were paid to do then maybe people outside the residents of Lake Anne would actually know these things.

    Lake Anne is actually a great place to live. It's not perfect, and there are certainly a lot of strong personalities in play with everything that goes on there. But the same people I go 10 rounds with over condo-fees, revitilization, and whatever else, also share fireworks with my kids on the 4th of July, and laugh with me over the lunacy of the Polar Plunge. ( It's for a good cause...)I dig it, warts and all.

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  53. The Convict in the GulagFebruary 2, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    I thought private fireworks were illegal in Fairfax County. Are you admitting to being an accessory to a crime, MU?

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  54. MU 9:23 ...first and foremost, you should proof-read before you hit "send" its idiots like you who don't notice things. ie....lake anne!stick to an English class before you voice an opinion.Now, so it's Myers PR firm that is to blame?I suggest you lay off the wine tastings so much and take a SOBER walk around lake anne and maybe, just maybe you will see things a little differently.

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  55. MU 9:23 people outside Lake Anne don't come because there is no reason to come.Wine tastings are great, do they ever advertise it?Jasmine cafe is good too, but the roaches are a bit much for me, especially when they are crawling around the table.

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  56. roaches?eewwww!!!come on people!

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  57. professional actors?LOL!who? go take a plunge MU 9:23 and stay under!!

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  58. I think he's already there!=)

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  59. ah yes, roaches, revitalization,condo fees,and Eve Thompson! need one say more?

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  60. its gotta be lake anne!

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  61. ah yes,condo fees, revitalization,roaches,and Eve Thompson...need one say more?

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  62. Troll the douchebag sock puppetFebruary 2, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Douchebags, trolls, and sock puppets ?

    12:28 (et al) Don't be such a douchebag, you Douchebag.

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  63. Please do pardon my proof-reading, or lack there of. I did not intend for you (Anon 12:28) to be so offended by it. In fact if I wanted to be offensive to anyone I would say something more in the vein of your post.

    As it so happens I have seen several readings in the Reston Used Book Store and at the Greater Reston Arts Center which have featured profesional actors, and directors from the metro DC area. To name a few:

    Donna Migliaccio (who just completed the revival run of Ragtime on Broadway) was in a reading called Big Love.
    Rick Foucheux- was in a reading called The Clockmaker a few weeks ago. Also Sherri Herron, and Jimmy Flannegan did a reading of The Sandreckoner. Other actors include Tim Getman, Jason Lott, Kristen Egermeier, Nikki Torres, Evan Casey... these are all professiional actors you can find on stage in DC. I'm sorry you missed the performances, they were wonderful.

    And as for my personal consumption of wine... that seems a bit personal, although I will share with you that I don't drink. I was simply pointing out that events happen. I cannot speak to roaches in Jasmine, although I cooked and bartended there for quite sometime several years ago and I can attest to the adhearence to food safty guidelines, if not others...

    Oh what else... right Meyers... ok I'll admitt she can't be blamed for ALL of the poor marketing but I think the results of her work were not comparable to what she charged. It was robbery.

    My point about Lake Anne isn't that it doesn't have problems, but more that I see them, I accept them, and I participate in various process to help address them. My take is that these processes are long term, therefore I don't have expectations of overnight results.

    No I don't think I will be jumping into the lake. I think most everyone agrees, that's pretty gross.

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  64. "If you're scared of the water, then don't let YOUR kids play in it."


    uh... I don't. How would I stop other people from letting their kids play in it? Except that there is now a sign up saying that it isn't allowed.

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  65. good thing you don't have over-night expectations,plan on it being a long time before positive changes will be made.Robbery is what owners and renters pay in condo dues to the association which by the way, does nothing to solve the numerous problems confronting the businesses.I'm glad you enjoyed the performances at the bookstore-perhaps that will be all that is left!how exactly are you addressing the problems??

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  66. are you one of those people who think 2 "independent consultants" are going to solve the problems?Myers PR did more for lake anne than the current merchants assoc. does.Furthermore, wi-fi is not going to make lake anne busier if its free or not-you need PEOPLE!Now back to Jasmine cafe, all one needs to do is check out the current violations of any restaurant,& one will find many violations least of which are roaches!As for offending me,your lack of facts and general stupidity offend people like myself who ARE AND HAVE BEEN trying to save lake anne from its current path of deterioration.

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  67. dear MU- just as i thought,you see the problems,and you accept them.your words not mine....

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  68. MU,any committees you would suggest that are helping the plaza?

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  69. MU,ANON,who cares!let time be the judge..til then, lets all go to RTC!=)

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  70. MU- when was the last time you were at jasmine or any of the restaurants?have you seen how empty they are?I guess their events and such aren't working huh?And just how many people are coming to see Eve?Do you really think shes bringing in business?I could count the number of people walking towards her
    "business".You see, I spend most my days there and I know what I'm talking about.I actually support the businesses,not just flap my jaw about them.
    '

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  71. one more question MU, what company did you "witness"monitoring the fountain?I can see the fountain from my window,and I have never seen anyone monitor it.Or is this another one of your factual comments?

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  72. please tell me it was not the condo association!

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  73. I'm sorry Anon 8:37, I was unaware that you required detailed specifics from me. Frankly the fact that you keep calling me stupid doesn't particularly inspire me to "prove" myself to you. Perhaps you and I have worked together on some community events. If so I'm sure we're both passionate, and dedicated to our roles. You seem to be assuming a lot about my "position" on Lake Anne when I don't think I have claimed anything as a cure-all to the issues Lake Anne faces. If finding the "silver bullet" is the task, I as a citizen am charged with there is no question I'll fail. My approach is about the people I live with and the importance of those relationships. If I'm not mistaken that's part of the Lake Anne community as well, a part which in my experience is not in disrepair, not with out frustration, but certainly very valuable.

    I find bullying doesn't get me very far. Hence my attempt at civility here.

    I'm not going to get into a pissing match with you about who knows more, and who's approach is better. You're involved-- great. I'm involved--great. Or perhaps you would rather that all who don't agree with you just stay home and do nothing?

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  74. Anon 9:18PM- I ate at Jasmine last Wednesday afternoon, and at Montre Mart the weekend before.

    This event took place last week:

    Julia, Benoit & Eduardo, a French Wine Dinner

    7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28
    Jasmine Café at Lake Anne
    All featured wines are available at The Wine Seller

    As far as Eve and her office business, you'll have to ask her for specific numbers. I'm sure she'd be open to having a conversation with you, she's great like that.

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  75. Anon 9:10-- Indeed, let time be the judge. With that adieu! RTC, huh? Will I get... cooties? :)

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  76. Trollish Anon 8:37. What is your plan to save Lake Anne? Is it holding up sock puppets and being a douchebag?

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  77. anon 11:04...my plan used to be working with Myers PR to find ways of bringing business to the plaza.As someone who has worked there/lives there,I have seen lake anne from 1971-today.It does break my heart to bear witness to what was once a beautiful place to what it is to-date.Perhaps your sock puppets or douchebags can help?

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  78. as for you MU,perhaps my anger should not be directed at you.I'm glad to hear you support the businesses,they all need it.I do hear your civility in your retorts=)I will do the same!

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  79. The Convict in the GulagFebruary 3, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Wow. Here I brought my flame retardant underwear to this flame war and what do you know?? A decent conversation is attempting to break out. It's almost as good as a hockey game.

    If you keep this up, we're going to make you all honorable denizens of the Gulag.

    Bring Roller Derby to Reston.

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  80. I have not posted here before, but was looking to find info on what will become of Lake Anne. To add to the list, Salon Chakra will be closing soon also.

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  81. the little counter deli inside pharmacy just closed too? =(

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  82. I heard the Roti Grill is closing too. At this rate there won't be any businesses in the plaza.

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  83. Hello to everyone who has visited or who calls Lake Anne and Reston home. I went to Intermediate School and High School (in Herndon) while living in Reston back in the early to mid 70's. I had very fond memories of Reston and I lived on Roundleaf Ct. which was just down the hill from Forest Edge Elementary School and a few miles from Lake Anne. For a kid with a bike and plenty of free time (read - no video games existed back then), I frequented the Lake Anne plaza with my friends for years while living there. In 1998 I came back to visit Reston, my old stomping grounds with my family, who along with myself had long since moved on to other places. When I got to Lake Anne, it looked more or less eerily vacant with several dubious characters milling around just outside of the famed high rise condos. I didn't think much of it and I went ahead and walked into one of the plaza businesses (I believe it was the pharmacy) and asked how the area was doing while reminiscing about my past experiences there. After patiently listening to me go on and on about how much fun I had growing up there blah, blah, blah, the clerk finally said in a rather matter of fact tone to me: "oh you don't know? The high rise apartments (the Heron House) has been overrun by drug dealers for some time now. Oh yeah, this is common knowledge". Needless to say I was shocked and really bummed out. I remember going to a party in one of the upper floor condos that one of my first youth soccer coaches threw for my team. I was floored by the view and the overall beauty of Lake Anne Plaza. Granted this was back in 1971 or '72. Well after getting this news from the clerk, I came back during my vacation because I had a very difficult time believing this guy. In fact I returned 4 more times over the next week at different times of the day just to try and disprove this guy's theory and I'm sad to say each time I returned I saw young men with stereotypical "gang style" clothing hanging out. You know baggy shorts, do rags and always on cell phones etc. But absolutley no kids. No families. I can only hope that it's gotten a lot better but I've rarely given Reston much of a thought since that visit and when I do, it's depressing. Maybe I went during a bad week? Here's hoping that the clerk was wrong and what I saw was an anomaly and or that things are much, much better now. I'm sorry to read all of this bickering about the state of the businesses in Lake Anne and I sincerely do hope that, well, I'm wrong. Cheers, Gary

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