News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, January 22, 2010

This and That: A Random Walk Around Reston News


  • South Lakes' Alan Webb, who recently decamped for the Pacific Northwest, was named ESPN's Track and Field Boys Athlete of the Decade. "Webb-mania still all the rage," the headline says, followed by a long series of seemingly random numbers separated by colons which presumably represent the many records he broke.

  • As we all know, the demise of the nifty indoor rec center proposed for Brown's Chapel Park also meant that no fun juicery would be built. But Reston's apparently getting the next best thing: a cupcakery!

  • The new phone books are here! Actually, no. New Town Publications, which published the A Place Called Reston phone book whose cover featured the snosage-diving dog, has filed for bankruptcy.
    Nancy Larson, New Town board chairman, mailed a letter to clients this week that announced that the company had run out of funds and would not be able to publish the "A Place Called Reston" and "Hometown Herndon" books in 2010.

    "It is my sad assignment to advise you that New Town Publications (like many others in the print media field) has totally run out of funds and will be filing for bankruptcy protection," Larson wrote in her letter. "This means that no additional editions of the directories will be printed and distributed, at least not by New Town Publications."

  • Some random development news: Reston Excelsior has filed an "application for construction" to build two multifamily residential buildings at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunset Hills Drive -- near the Oracle building if memory serves. This was actually approved by planners back in 2006, but it's yet another hint at the construction to come. With a fancy name like Excelsior, we're guessing it's not going to be Section 8 housing and have a high coriander-to-wood ratio in the kitchens. Also, Reston Hospital Center's planned expansion to add 152 beds and a six-story medical center to its campus here won approval by both the Reston Planning & Zoning Board and the Planning Commission. Good things, too, as the number of coriander-related kitchen accidents could be set to shoot through the roof!

  • Meanwhile in Tysons, Fairfax's glittering urban jewel is reeling from the news that plans to build a fancy Reston Town Center-like mixed-use development, in the words of the Post, collapsed.
    The deal to sell WestGroup's holdings in Tysons Corner to a McLean shopping mall developer is dead because the buyer could not secure financing, the parties said Thursday.

    It's also a reminder that the recession could continue to slow one of the nation's most closely watched redevelopment efforts even as a subway is built through Tysons to Dulles International Airport. WestGroup, the largest landowner in Tysons, had signed a contract six months ago to sell 142 acres to an investment group led by Robert Pence.

    Pence, president of Pence-Friedel, had floated plans to build big-box stores and other retail and residential projects modeled after Reston Town Center on the WestGroup property.
    Guess the proposal didn't wow 'em.

  • People who live in Fox Mill are unhappy because someone got a bus stop moved from in front of their house. You can read far more than you'll ever want to know about this by clicky clicky.

  • BET co-founder Sheila Johnson was keynote speaker at Reston Community Center's 25th annual MLK day celebration. Among other things, she discussed why she supported Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, in last fall's election. The short answer: Jackie Robinson.

  • InScope Solutions, a "technology consulting company" (aren't they all!) is moving from Alexander Bell Drive to Two Reston Crescent, expanding its headquarters by 10,000 square feet. What, do they need room for filing cabinets?

  • Do you know how cool Reston is? It's so cool that TV's Alec Baldwin actually has friends who live here!
    His college-days friends are all still in Washington, he says: "They're K Street lawyers, and they live in Herndon and Reston and have kids. If I had stayed, I might be living in Herndon or Reston or Old Town."
    We should be so lucky.


  1. The Convict in the GulagJanuary 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Anyone want to start a pool on how long the cupcakery lasts?

  2. Oh man, cupcakes are the new black. There's a pink van (Curbside Cupcakes) that drives around D.C. and sells gourmet cupcakes. The ladies flock to it like the world is coming to an end.

  3. The Convict in the GulagJanuary 22, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Fad, my friend. Their only real hope is that parents switch from sheet cakes to cupcakes. Even if that happens, the grocery store bakeries will move in to undersell them. Once the novelty wears off (i.e. Mom discovers that she can no longer fit into her current wardrobe because of the cupcakes), this will disappear.

    Their only hope in this economy is that enough people see this as a sinful luxury that they can afford. Either that, or they'll have to diversify into another business line, like lunch sandwiches or party catering.

  4. New Town Publications was in it's day until quite recently one of the better respected local "yellow pages." Just a month ago, thinking to better establish my sharpening business in Reston I contacted them but was told I was too late to be included in the coming issue, I had missed the deadline. I think someone on their board was the former head of RCC.

  5. I would assume the new apartments are going up where there are some existing garden apartments. This is at the south easter corner of the intersection, the only part that is zoned residential. This is on the other side of the Toll Road, by RA's new headquarters.

  6. Any idea where in Reston this cup cake place will be? Hope it's Lake Anne, although then it'll probably just go out of business within 6 months! Er, sorry about that. Apparently they are going all over the area. The link above goes to a blank page for me so I did a little digging and found this: They are also based out of my hometown, so they can't be all that bad. This has been a trend that started with that Lazy Sunday SNL video, or rather with the cupcake place that was featured in it. Personally I don't get it, but then I'm a low-carb guy. If they maybe offered cupcakes with no trans fats, made with real butter and or coconut oil, with organic ingredients I'd definitely be more into it though. By the way, they also have regular cakes.

  7. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)January 23, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    To all the naysayers about the new bakery apparently you're not familiar with Georgetown Cupcakes. I make a pilgrimage into the District for this very reason once every few months to stock up, and whenever I go the line to get inside stretches all the way up the block. I believe the place is now so successful that they've opened up a second location in MoCo. Who's to say Crumbs won't enjoy similar success? It would be great if this placed opened at Lake Anne, but somehow I have a hunch it will be going into RTC.

  8. The Convict in the GulagJanuary 23, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Who's to say that Crumbs won't emjoy a similar success? They might. But the fect that the relatively high-density, high-affluence area of DC to which you refer can only support one cupcakery seems to imply that there isn't that much demand. After all, how many Starbucks does DC support?

    Couple that with the fact that there are no bakeries within Reston, would seem to imply that the demand for quality, custom made, EXPENSIVE, baked good just aren't a priority. The bakeries in most grocery stores seem to be sufficient for most people in terms of the number of offerings, quality and price.

    Of course, I may be wrong on this and we may be on the verge of a cupcake renaissance. There may be enough pent up demand of individually wrapped confectionary delights that Crumbs succeeds. After all, Great Harvests bakery has managed to survive in Herndon. Amd there's a pie shop off of Herndon Parkway that's been around for a while.

    I suspect that once Crumb's opens, there's going to an initial rush of business but once people -- the regulars upon which so many businesses depend -- start to see their waistlines expand because of Crumb's carb and sugar bombs, I suspect that business will drop off. I figure they've got maybe two years before the novelty of cupcakes in the market wears off. At that point, they'll be counting on their repeat business -- the people who can't make it through the day or the week without their cupcake fix.

    Of course, I'm projecting because, while I can see myself going there occassionally, I doubt that they'll be getting much of my business, especially if they're charging more than $2 for a cupcake.

    If Crumbs is to survive, it seems to me that they need to diversify their offerings right from the get go. They'll need good coffee and maybe some lunch offerings. They should also figure out how to tap into the local offices, like offering heavy discounts for buying in bulk or on a "subscription" basis.

    Or I could be wrong about it. However, BiCO, if you feel differently, $10 will get you into the betting pool.

  9. A visit to Nature house: Well I went deep inside Nature House today. Inside were a group of youthful nature appreciating sort of folk sharing potluck. What was this? It turns out it was a cluster meeting. Clusters can apparently rent nature house in much the same way they could rent the Glade room across the street. I wonder if there is any sort of list of renters that citizens could sort of crash(in a friendly way), if they were so inclined. I stayed long enough to talk to one who had just returned from a job out west where he was a camping guide in some place like New Mexico but the place where he worked had gone out of business to lead people on rafting trips down the Colorado River. He is now working for a firm doing traffic analysis.

  10. Do any remember the cup cake bakery that existed in Hunters Woods prior to the renovation? It resembled ones all across America in that it just sold cupcakes and maybe wedding cakes? I remember another one over near where the State Theater used to be years ago. Not for me! Give me the Wholefoods bakery which has more of what a European bakery might be expected to have.And uses whole grains a that is organic even! Or the Amphora bakery maybe more in Herndon. But now the cupcakes are coming back this isn't progress!

  11. Amphora Bakery just over the line in Herndon. Go down Sunset Hills past Target and the "Y", under the FFX Cty Parkway, and turn into the parking lot on your left surrounded by small businesses shoved into light industrial buildings. Just next to the gymfinity (conveniently for moms with already hyper children) is the Amphora Bakery. You want great cupcakes and other pastries! WOWZA!

    Or, go into Herndon and patronize the Great Harvest there. Absolutely awesome bread.

    We don't need no stinkin' upscale stuff in Reston!

  12. Good idea! I need a bran muffin right about now after all those wings I ate during both games yesterday.

  13. The Movie of the last Wednesday of the month will be:EASY VIRTUE stars American actress Jessica Biel (The Illusionist) playing Larita, the avant-garde young woman who takes the Whittaker family by storm

    Wednesday at 9:30 at Towncenter Movi Theater Get there early as these movies are very popular to both to get a good seat and to sign my petition

    (if you want. I need 25 signatures to be put on the ballot. What is on my candidacy and qualification statment? OK fair question:


    I sharpen scissors and knives at farmer’s markets and hair salons. Scissors and knives become dull and unusable over time. Restoring these tools to work like new saves time and money for the discriminating cook or hair stylist. If elected, I will bring this spirit of resourcefulness and economy to the Reston Association(RA). I want the RA to serve citizens with less expense and more efficiency, to continue fulfilling Robert Simon’s vision of Reston as the best place on the planet to live, work, and play! With that in mind I served on the Reston Citizens Association as a Director and supervised the meeting that resulted in the information packet ”Methods of Obtaining and Sharing Information in the Reston Area.” I currently serve on the RA Neighborhoods Advisory Committee and as an Assistant leader for Hypothermia Week. ... See More


    To be a community, it is essential that Reston have open and accessible lines of communication that go both ways. Unfortunately, RA currently limits communication to one way institutional communication. I favor improving our electronic communications including creation of an on line forum where citizens can both receive information about the Association’s work while offering their opinions on current projects under consideration to help the board understand and address the needs of citizens. This could be largely self-supporting and be helpful for Reston businesses.

    I will advocate for the RA to spend some of its current $1,200,000 budget for computers and communication for this citizen communication.

    I favor more decisions being made by referendum WITHOUT board input.

    I will never vote for expensive feasibility studies without a clear mandate from the people of Reston.

    I am here to work for you and humbly ask for your vote.

  14. There is a bakery in Reston. Has everyone forgotten Edibles Incredibles at RTC?

  15. Do you know where we can see renderings of the Reston Excelsior project? For those that are interested, there is a decent forum about Tysons development projects:

  16. All I have to say is that Crumbs is THE BOMB! I have made it a point for several years to get an Artie Lange cupcake, and several others, every time I go to NYC. You won't be disappointed. Trust me. They're much better than Sprinkles cupcakes, if you've ever had those in Beverly Hills.


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