- Road diets
- The overpowering shame of potentially having to ride the Cherry Blossom Pink Line downtown
- Imperial stormtroopers
- Money magazine
- Military maneuvers
- Sewing machines
- Naughty nighties
- 130-page documents
- Crude graffiti
- Carnivorous turkeys
- Texas donuts
- Powerpoint presentations
- Drops in lake levels
- Dudes with shovels
- Food fights
- Confusing maps
- National news reporters
- Sea creatures
- Angry linebackers
Friday, December 30, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
From the Twitter machines, Reston holiday decorations the way the DRB likes them: in dazzling monochrome.
As we settle in for a long winter's nap, please to be enjoying some fancy videos of the holiday season in Reston. First up, a tastefully appropriate seasonal offering:
Nice! And now, in the spirit of the Most Awesome Video Ever Shot in Reston, here's one with just the right mix of consumerism, festive lights, rap, and freestyle cycling. What more could anyone possibly want?
Happy holidays, one and all.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
A Confidential Restonian Operative who needs a better flash sent us this exciting photo warning denizens of the area around Glade and Quartermaster that the RA, in the true spirit of the holidays, is celebrating the end of the year by searching "natural areas" for "leaves, branches or grass clippings" in order to cite "adjacent property owners" with "violations." Or, in RA terms, a 'wassailing they will go, the end.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Please to be enjoying this photo of the Wiehle Avenue Metro station posted by our BFFs at the Dulles Corridor Metro Project. In the spirit of the holidays, we won't ask where the rad 80s art is going to go, or point out that Virginia is still hedging its bets on funding Phase 2 of the Silver Line, or that the townfolk just to our west are still all up in arms about the idea that their own station might bring development that would impact the quality of life there. Instead, we'll just say that the station is shaping up to look a lot nicer than the blocky brown boxes that characterize many of Metro's other above-ground stations, which is kind of funny, since, you know, Reston and blocky brown buildings, the end.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
And that is really all you need to know about the domestic situation on Generation Drive that had police blocking traffic on Glade for hours yesterday afternoon. Police said the situation was not a barricade, but we're really not sure what else you would call it.
Update: And here we go again.
No wonder people are getting jumpy all over the Twitters and posting blurry cellphone photos like this:
Update: And now a body has been found in a basement storage room in the Springs apartments on Greywing Square. Seriously?
Update: Police say there does not appear to be any criminal activity involving the death.
Update: Police have charged the man involved in Monday's domestic situation on Generation Drive.
And given all this excitement, we hesitate to mention that police are also looking for this man, believed to be responsible for burglarizing 11 homes in and around Reston since April, including one this past Monday. Happy holidays!
Saturday, December 17, 2011
After offering you a lozenge, your grandparents might mention they just saw something about "that Reston place" on the NBC Nightly News, a collection of "content" between the pharmaceutical ads that air right before Wheel of Fortune and the other game shows. Turns out that the national news program selected our very own
Fake Downtown Gritty Urban Core to talk about the fate of the nation's economy in this, the most important time of the year for retailers, and by extension, the entire future of this American experiment in democracy. So no pressure or anything, but the next time you stop by RTC for some Starbucks or something, you might want to spring for an extra iPod or six, the end.
Friday, December 16, 2011
At a heavily attended meeting last night, the Reston Association Board of Directors voted 8-1 to not hold a fun referendum on building an indoor tennis facility at Lake Newport. Technically, the board vote was to direct RA staff to keep researching opportunities for private-public partnerships, with only one board member -- Lake Anne/Tall Oaks director Ken Kneuven -- voting to table the proposal indefinitely.
Board members pointed out that one possibility would be using the developer money it's asked Fairfax County to send its way.
"Proffers are the way we have gotten all the other tennis courts and the pools," said RA President Kathleen Driscoll McKee. "Why should this be different? Our economy is really poopy pants right now."Such language! Leave the potty talk to the filthy "web loggers," amiright?
Continuing to kick the can on this may wind up making sense, especially if the RA seriously believes it's going to talk Fairfax County into giving it that sweet sweet proffer money. But as we've said before, at some point someone's going to have to invest in new amenities for the influx of people coming to Reston's awesome bollardy new developments. Otherwise, why would the developers of future mauvescraper condos see any benefit to becoming RA members instead of having their own pools and "exercise room" (two treadmills in front of a distressed flat-screen TV permanently turned to Fox News)?
So no fun referendum ballot with sweet clip art of tennis rackets and whatnot will be coming to your mailbox next year. But don't feel left out -- the annual assessment is already on its way, so happy holidays!
Update: The official take on the decision:
Thursday, December 15, 2011
With the holidays fast approaching, we've been pondering how it's a shame that Reston: The Board Game and Reston: The Coloring Book are no longer available as stocking stuffers for that special HOA tenant in your life. There isn't even an all-star cast recording that would help us relive the magic of Reston: The Opera! Fortunately, the Initiative for Public Art - Reston has come to the rescue, with a fancy Reston-themed jigsaw puzzle!
The IPAR fundraising jigsaw features this detail from the Glade Drive underpass mosaic "Emerge," created by Valerie Theberge and students at Hunters Woods Elementary. At 500 pieces, all of which presumably have lots of jagged mosaic borders, it looks like it'll keep us busy through the new year and then some.
It's a great idea, both as a fundraiser and as a way to raise awareness for public art. In honor of the imminent arrival of Metro, though, we'd humbly suggest that this be the visual for next year's puzzle.
For details or to order online, visit IPAR here.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
When it meets Thursday, the Reston Association Board is expected to decide whether to go forward with a referendum that would let residents vote on whether the RA should build the long-discussed indoor tennis complex at Lake Newport.
The RA has been looking to build a $3.8 million complex, but a group of residents opposed to the proposal has been posting messages saying that the cost could be "up to $13 million." It's not clear if that figure accurately reflects financing costs, or includes something else not currently being discussed, like a juicery or a bunch of automatic ball machines capable of lobbing balls at speeds approaching Mach 2, or whatever.
A new wrinkle to the issue is that the RA has been quietly discussing "public-private partnerships" involving indoor tennis, including a closed-door discussion at a recent board meeting. That would be a departure from the RA's attempt to partner with RCC on the Brown's Chapel fiasco -- and from the go-it-alone proposal currently on the table.
During the Thursday meeting, the board could vote to go forward with the $75,000 referendum, postpone it for additional staff research, continue exploring other options, or hold off on the project indefinitely.
A fancy, if not statistically accurate, poll posted by our BFFs at Patch showed that a slight majority wants to table tennis (get it?) Personally, we don't play tennis -- arena hang-gliding is our sport of choice -- but think that RA will ultimately have to invest in additional amenities to serve a population that's about to explode. Given that this has been a contentious issue, and that the RA is often accused of cowtowing to vocal minorities, we think that a referendum should probably happen at some point. We'll find out soon enough if it will in 2012.
The RA Board meeting will be at 7pm on Thursday.
Update: Apparently the fancy massive Lifetime Fitness health club proposed for Business Center Drive near the post office has been approved by the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals. Purely conjecture, but could this be just such an opportunity for a public-private venture?
Monday, December 12, 2011
(Scroll down for the latest updates.)
That helicopter hovering over Lake Anne? Apparently a shooting at Crescent Apartments.
Police are investigating a late-afternoon shooting in Reston that left one man wounded.From the Action McNews Live Chopper:
Police say the man was shot in the 1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive.
Authorities are searching for three suspects.
Suspects apparently believed to be in a black pickup truck.
Update: Channel 9 reports that the shooting victim has died.
It happened at around 4:15 p.m. on 1554 Cameron Crossing Road, police said.Police say they believe there is "no threat to public safety."
Fairfax County Police said the victim of the shooting was taken to Reston Hospital, where they pronounced him dead.
Police said they're looking for a black Chevy pickup truck occupied by three Hispanic males in their 20s, with a black handgun.
Update: The victim's name is all over Twitter, but has not been officially released by police as of this morning. A Confidential Restonian Operative shared this photo of the Park Police helicopter that took part in yesterday's search.
Update: Police have formally identified the victim as Colvin Morris, 34, of Mt. Vernon. No word on his connection to the apartment where the shooting took place, but "police are confident that this incident was not random and that there continues to be no threat to the safety of the public," an official statement read.
Update: Fairfax County police said Thursday night that they believe the shooting to be the result of a "drug deal gone bad," not gang-related activity:
Fairfax County Police Second Lt. Tim Settle said at Thursday's Reston Association Board of Directors meeting that the shooting "appears to be over a drug deal gone bad."
"Detectives are actively looking at all leads," he said. "This was not gang related."
Morris, who lived on Richmond Highway in Alexandria but is believed to have grown up in Reston, was shot in the parking lot in the 1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive about 4:15 p.m. Monday.
The only thing more fun than clambering all over Reston's brutalist statuary is engaging in scholarly discussion of its import, complete with hip '70s disregard for uppercase letters. And right off the bat, we see that things haven't changed all that much in the last three-odd decades:
The rest of the article uses lots of big words to pay homage to Lake Anne's concrete statuary, including Rossant's Pulpit and Lookout, the tall watchtowery structures on both sides of the harbor we always assumed were used by the DRB to spot floating affronts to the color palette. Lay it on us, 70s Sculpture Critic:
What they said. We'll get back to you once we pry our thesaurus out from under a leg of the kitchen table.
Of the fountain in Lake Anne Plaza, the article says it is "looked at with and without puzzlement, much like an open fire hydrant on a New York street." (Except that kids are allowed to play in open fire hydrants.) And it engages in a bit of anachronistic snark: "Less memorable are the kitcsh walls of the Plaza's pharmacy." Oh, no they didn't!
Then there's a bunch of architectury stuff about the statuary in the underpass on North Shore Road:
More intriguing are references to pieces that no longer exist, such as a wooden horse (called "Wooden Horse") and "The Building," which was made of wood and apparently a popular place to play:
Did a lawsuit or wood rot fell The Building? We may never know.
This fancy aerial shot shows an "experimental model" called the Tower that once stood next to the Sun Boat:
What Does It All Mean? Fortunately, we skipped to the end:
We'll be damned, but that almost makes sense.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Lots of exciting news on the development front -- assuming you find data centers and workout places exciting.
Core Site has filed a request to build a second data center building on its property across from USGS on Sunrise Valley Drive. The second building, which will be built behind the existing data center/office building, will be 158,399 square feet, no more than 60 feet high, and connected to the original building by a skywalk. That's right -- a skywalk. If we play our cards right, Reston could become as exciting and cutting edge as downtown Minneapolis!
Meanwhile, Lifetime Fitness has filed an application to build a health club on an 11-acre site at the end of Business Center Drive off Sunset Hills near the post office. It might not be just any ordinary fitness center -- in other places, their centers have been as large as 100,000 square feet and included rad amenities as rock climbing walls and whatnot. We can only hope that they offer something like this:
Meanwhile, many of the larger projects in the works have been in a holding pattern of late, including the Macaroni Grill-razing Spectrum redevelopment, the Reston Heights redevelopment, and the 23-story Town Center office building redevelopment, which Robert Goudie, co-chair of the Town Center Committee of the Reston Master Plan Task Force With an Unpronounceable Acronym (¥) recently testified lacks the residential component that the task force has pushed for in its recommendations.
But the longstanding Fairway Apartments redevelopment proposal is slated to go before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for a public hearing on January 10, and Parc Reston won conceptual approval from the DRB for its two 14-story residential towers last month after shifting parking to a below-ground configuration -- a great example of the DRB doing what it's supposed to do, grumbling and threatened legal challenges notwithstanding.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Christmas just came early, as the RA just delivered a special present via the You Tubes machine: the December edition of Reston Today. RA President Kathleen Driscoll McKee substitutes for the mellifluous Andy Sigle, letting us know right off the bat about yet another holiday gift from the RA: the bill for the annual assessment, which is being sent to Reston homeowners via uniformed federal agents a month earlier than usual. "Expecting a lot of mail this month?" she asks, warning us not to shove the assessment under the sofa cushions with all the cheery holiday newsletters from Aunt Ethyl and whatnot.
But that's not all! We learn how RA clears snow from the pathways whenever we get more than two inches of the stuff, using small plows called "the bombs." Sweet! They point out that the RA often gets paths cleared before VDOT can plow the roads, which has definitely been our experience. Just don't forget to do your "civic duty" and shovel your own sidewalk, is all.
Finally, we learn more about the awesome Civil War trenches and battles fought in the area, thanks to the Hunter Mill Defense League, which has a new DVD and self-guided tour booklet available, plus some rad pictures of artifacts found in the area on its "web site" -- though sadly, those relics don't include a 19th century lists of rules about what colors to paint your ox shed or whatnot.
And just like that, another 4 minutes and 54 seconds of our lives we could have spent shopping or hanging earth-toned lights on our homes is gone, our fleeting moments of mortality vanishing like sands through the hourglass. Happy holidays!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Reston Association voted on Monday to install "No Smoking" signs at 122 common areas, including tot lots, soccer fields, garden plots and tennis courts.Folks have been petitioning the RA to enforce no-smoking rules on paths and other common areas for years. Sadly, a mere $5,000 won't be enough to fund an army of miniature airborne remote-controlled drones, equipped with infrared cameras to pinpoint the heat signatures of n'er-do-wells' offending cigarettes and onboard
The move to remind residents of RA's ban on smoking was proposed by North Point director Mike Collins.
The signs will cost $41 each, totalling around $5,000. RA CEO Milton Matthews says the cost will come out of the 2011 budget, not the 2012 budget that was passed last month.
Several board members, including Cheryl Beamer and Tom Vis, expressed concern about enforcement, as well as the expense, which could go to batting cages or juice bars or bollards or something. The motion passed 5-4, and for one, we applaud the additional signage and wise use of leftover budget money. In fact, we think we'll start a fancy online petition demanding that the regulations governing window treatments and facades be posted prominently at the entrance of every cluster and neighborhood. Who wouldn't want to pull onto their street and see a sign like this?
Monday, December 5, 2011
We've looked at Reston's Civil War past before. But did you know the Battle of Dranesville was fought over a very familiar intersection, where skirmishes between
Yankees entitled Great Falls residents and Confederates Loudoun cut-through commuters continue to this day?
Lay it on us, fancy "news paper" article:
In December 1861, a Union Army led by Gen. Edward O. C. Ord encountered Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s forces at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Georgetown Pike. The resulting Battle of Dranesville was one of only a handful that happened in Fairfax County, and it is the subject of the Reston Museum’s next presentation commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Civil War.Replace "forage for their horses" with "midscale minivans stuffed with imported olives from Wegmans," and things haven't changed all that much in the last 200 years.
The battle, which was fought with five regiments on each side, was fought between Confederates coming from Centreville and Union soldiers coming from Langley.
"The battle was fought because both sides were looking for forage for their horses and they kind of bumped into one another," Waggoner said. "The Confederate soldiers that died were mostly hit by friendly fire, and there were about 150-200 wounded, many of whom probably died later."
The Reston Museum presentation will be at 7 this Thursday.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Northern Virginia Magazine has named Lake Anne Plaza one of its "most valuable places." But there's a bit of a backhanded compliment in their writeup. Can you spot it?
Somehow, it still escapes attention.That pretty much says it all.
Lake Anne Plaza was the first community in Reston, founded in 1964. But despite its decades-long existence, I only heard of the place a few months ago.
Fortunately, these two never seem to have a problem finding the Plaza. And the one with the decidedly non-DRB-approved regalia will be there tomorrow at noon sharp.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
If you can't find the right lakefront property in Reston, you could always follow the lead of Sheila Consaul and do the next best thing. The Reston resident purchased a government surplus lighthouse on Lake Erie in an online auction and will use it as a summer home.
Sheila Consaul has officially taken possession of the Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse and now the real work begins in turning the iconic structure into a summer home.Consaul has a fancy website and Facebook page for the lighthouse, if you're into such things.
“I was out to see the lighthouse both in September and October and I’m very excited to get on with the restoration,” said Consaul, a marketing executive from Reston, Va.
Personally, we could see moving the whole thing to Lake Thoreau, maybe right on the dock at South Lakes Village Center. That bright light would definitely keep something like this from happening again.