News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reston(R): The Magazine Is Finally Here; We Read the RA's Foray Into Magazine Publishing So You Don't Have To

Bob S.jpgReston: The Magazine is "a magazine that says 'Reston,'" according to the introductory text in its first edition, which we found "on-line" yesterday. It also "provides an identifiable Reston brand, if you will." Okay, we will.

So what will you find in this 124-page magnum opus once it arrives at your doorstep? Here's what jumped out at us when we flipped through the magazine yesterday, in no particular order:

  • Sweet clip art of a pen.

  • A letter from Cathy Hudgins, encouraging us to get involved in the master plan.

  • Some actual news about the master plan timing, including the fact that Herndon-Monroe gets studied first, followed by Wiehle Avenue, then Town Center and Reston Parkway. The village centers will be reviewed in 2011. News to us!

  • A Q&A with Bob Simon, who says "I don't have a crystal ball," but says the community's future depends on "decisions made by its governing politicians and the people who elect them." Quite right!

  • Something called "On the Street," which would up not being nearly as hip as that title suggests.

  • Some weird avant-garde prose poem about the brutalist statues at Lake Anne, including this: "The grass is crisp and moist as a jogger and her Irish wolfhound glide past me, through the tunnel and into the distance. I hope they stop for a moment and take a seat on The Sun Boat, but I know The Pyramid is inviting at first dawn." Weren't those the lyrics from a Led Zeppelin IV B-side?

  • All the camp, tennis and pools stuff that used to get mailed separately. It actually looks really good.

  • An interview titled "Katie, Katie, Nature Lady," about the RA employee of the year. "A grateful and delighted look came over Katie's face," the article reads, mirroring the "New Journalism" attention to detail and narrative that drove such luminaries as Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Hunter S. Thompson, only they didn't generally write about earth-toned planned real estate developments.

  • A surprising number of ads! We're starting to feel a bit jealous.

  • Clip art of a CFL light bulb in the grass. We think this has to do with clubbing baby seals or something.

  • The lengthy "List of Rules for the Use of the Reston Association Common Area." It's not the centerfold, but it should be.

  • The "Stroke of the Week." Minds out of the gutter, please! Also, an ad for some guy known as the "Racket Bear" (again, minds out of the gutter.)

  • Clip art of smiling senior citizens flashing the "thumbs up" sign. Matlock must be on!
All in all, it looks really good, conspicuous lack of New Yorker style cartoons featuring talking dogs notwithstanding. We can't wait until a federal uniformed agent delivers a "hard copy" to our mailbox, but if you have to see it now, click here for a "portable document format" version you can read on your fancy "portable document format reader" "soft-ware" on your "personal computer." If you start reading now, you might get to the last page by the end of the long weekend!


  1. I got my copy today. I've already read it. Well, the first nine pages of "content", but about half of that was ads. Once I got to the activities guide I skipped to the back page. There wasn't even a clever column or cartoon penned by a local Reston humorist. Surely one of the newly displaced guys from Targetville could bang something out. I'd even settle for a picture of the guy that picks up trash on Baron Cameron with a witty caption.

    Honestly though, it comes off as a really expensive way to distribute the same activity guide materials that they have been distributing for years on recyclable newsprint. Except now RA has to pay for magazine stock paper, an "editor", etc. Plus, someone (RA) gets to sell ads and make even more money. If RA really wanted to make Reston hip, they should let residents opt-out of getting this steaming pile of waste delivered and elect to only get activity information on-line.


    Filthy "Web-Blog" Commentator (in my pajamas)

  2. It's soo slick it seems to ooze!
    I would like to know the bottom line. How about the transparency here? Given that RA is already spending over 1,200,000 for computer liason and communication could they could put together a magazine that is also lends a bit of elegance to Reston?

    It's my preference that it be "organic" as opposed to just institutional. Institutions tend to say well institutional things like how good a job they are doing and what a good value Restons are getting. It's just irresistable for institutions and third world dictatorships. But it just gets boring. Think of all the messages from leader we've been getting over the years from Jane Blackwell and then Robin. How many really read em after a while? How many are going to read Reston after a while.

    But you put real what I like to call organic material from everyday real people and it's interesting and compelling. Look at the Restonian here.

  3. We love our nature house so much but why? We love it because it is so good. We sit in it and love nature and make pamplets out of recycled paper and look out the nature! We just love it and we really love nature when we sit in it.

  4. The popular comment layout is common, so it is easily recognized when scanning to post a comment. If the comment section is in a different format, then I am going to spend more time trying to decipher what everything means.
    this is very interesting blog for online marketing

    work from home

  5. Hey, well at least he's honest. Something to be said for that. Not that I'm clicking his link or anything, because it may start with working from home, but we all know it ultimately leads to hard labor in the tundra of northeastern Russia.

  6. The Convict in the GulagJanuary 17, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    And what's wrong with Northeastern Russia? Kamchatka is so pretty this time of year.

    Of course, if you want a taste of life in internal exile, I cordially invite you to live in the Gulag.

  7. I think I read somewhere that "Kamchatka" in Russian means "ow, ow, ow, it hurts." Something like that.

  8. Kindly directing your attention to the top of pp 118. It really ought to be a fold-out in the center of the magazine but we can always dream can't we. I predict an early Spring - Dafodils in February!!!

  9. Well, Smyers suggested that this was going to save the RA countless thousands because they were consolidating two publications into one. I guess we can confirm that in the next annual report?

    Personally I haven't been able to read it as it's been sitting in our kitchen the last two days - too busy catching up on filthy weblogs and going out in this incredibly balmy weather.

  10. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)January 19, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    Personally I liked it! The glossiness and "feel good" nature of it made me think I was receiving a copy of "Washingtonian: Lite" (minus the celebrity gossip).

  11. A waste of my RA dues really...


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).