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to catch him between flights. About 26 miles west of Alexandria, Dulles sits on 10,000 acres of land and was designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen.
What immediately caught my eye as we got into the terminal were the airport police who were using Segway's to get around this giant transportation hub. I was able to snag one of the rolling wonders on traffic duty (6 comments)
Hillwood is a Hidden Gem on the Washington DC Site-Seeing Circuit - 09/29/09 04:32 PM
Living in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area - in this case Alexandria - often means playing tour guide to visiting friends and family. Sometimes you can just drop them at the nearest Metro Rail station with a good map and good wishes. Other occasions merit a more personal approach and a bit of advance planning.
Our first choice for a 'leisurely' day of adult activity is Hillwood, the Washington home of Marjorie Merriweather Post - one of the true hidden gems on the Washington site-seeing circuit. Set on a 25 acre estate overlooking Rock Creek Parkway, Hillwood's catch phrase (2 comments)
4 Great Ways to Be a "Leaf Peeper" - 09/28/09 09:11 PM
Here in Northern Virginia we are lucky enough to be in easy driving distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains of western Maryland when we are ready to go "leaf peeping".
But sometimes you just want - or need - a bit more. Something that adds an extra edge. Thanks to a terrific article in the Washington Post, we're happy to offer you 4 Great Ways to be a "Leaf Peeper". Try these on for size and see what you think: Ride a gondola in Vermont Take the zip line in Massachusetts Soar over Pennsylvania in a glider (4 comments)
Pork Barrel Barbeque (BBQ) is Coming to Alexandria! Part Three - 09/27/09 09:32 PM
Ok, we've told you how much we love barbeque and we've told you about how Pork Barrel BBQ got started. Now it's time to talk about how Heath Hall and Brett Thompson have become media darlings and why Pork Barrel Barbeque is coming to Alexandria. Shortly after their appearance at the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor, Heath and Brett were contacted by local restaurant legend "Mango" Mike Anderson, owner of Mango Mike's on Duke St. Mike and business partner, Bill Blackburn had been on the lookout for a restaurant to locate in Del Ray and when they heard about (2 comments)
Talking with the Authors at the 2009 National Book Festival - 09/26/09 08:03 PM
Today was the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC and although the day promised rain, nothing could dampen our spirits. Eager to claim our press passes and stake out our seats, we packed up and headed out about 9:00am.
Thirty minutes later when we got off at the Smithsonian Metro stop, the crowds were heavy and already filling the tents. We staked out our seats in the Mystery and Thriller tent- second row, stage right - and Virginia headed to the media tent for our coveted press credentials. A disclaimer - The National Book Festival is a huge event, (0 comments)
And a Little Child Shall Lead Them - 09/25/09 03:31 PM
Well, in this case, it's five little children who could surely have led this crowd anywhere. Singing at a Texas Tech basketball game, an 8 yr. old, two 7 yr. olds, and two 6 yr. olds, stunned fans with their rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Listen carefully - you won;t hear a sound except for these exceptional young singers. It's just a great way to start the weekend -
10 Coolest Small Towns in America - 09/24/09 06:07 PM
Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine recently did an article on the 10 Coolest Small Towns in America. We love checking out small town in our travels and will definitely be keeping this list for future trips. Only one of these towns is even remotely close to us here in Northern Virginia but we still thought it was worth sharing. It's a good reminder that small towns - and the folks who call them home - have much to offer. The Frommer criteria? Great coffee, food with character and shop owners with purpose. 10 Coolest Small Towns in America Cayucos, CA (population (10 comments)
Pork Barrel Barbeque (BBQ) is Coming to Alexandria! Part Two - 09/22/09 09:12 AM
Ok, so the other day we shared our personal love of barbecue and how it even made an appearance on our wedding day. Today we are going to dive right into the heart of the matter and tell you how Pork Barrel Barbecue got started and why it's coming to Alexandria.
Heath Hall and Brett Thomson met as staffers in the office of U.S Senator Jim Talent of Missouri. Conservative politics was a given but they also shared a mutual love of slow cooked pork, smoky ribs, tangy sauces and a strong belief in the power of small businesses. One (0 comments)
NO MORE BAGS! One Woman's Small Contribution to the Environment and Green Living - 09/21/09 10:31 PM
A guest post from my wife Virginia, my managing partner and all round good friend: I used to be known as the Bag Lady. And it was true, I never met a bag I didn't like. My particular love was bags for work and travel - I was always on the prowl for the PERFECT bag - ut then it spilled over to gift bags, grocery bags, department store bags, specialty bags, etc. Bags were good! But no more. I'm not sure when the turning point came but I suddenly realized that the bags in my house, especially the plastic bags from the (2 comments)
It's history goes some thing like this: John Hollensbury, a brick maker, built the tiny house in the 1830s, for his daughters, Julia and Harriett. The "lot" on which it was built was actually a narrow alley between Hollensbury's house and his neighbor's. Local lore has it that Hollensbury built the house because he wanted to keep his neighbor's oversized carriage out of the (6 comments)
Keeping Your Car in Shape - It Adds to the Bottom Line - 09/20/09 11:22 AM
In this day and time when every dollar counts, there are three things you can do to keep you car in shape and add to the bottom line. 1) Keep your engine properly tuned. If your car is noticeably out of tune or has failed and emissions test, fixing those two things can improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Correcting a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage as much as 40 percent. 2) Keep tires properly inflated. Improve gas mileage by about 3.3 percent by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated (6 comments)
When is the City of Alexandria Liable? Part Two - 09/19/09 05:02 PM
As you can imagine, the thread on our neighborhood listserv regarding what and when the City of Alexandria is liable for homeowner damages was quite lively. The general consensus seems to be that the first response of the city is NO but that patience and persistence often win out. One neighbor wrote (I paraphrase): about four years ago, the city allowed a private contractor to bore holes underneath the sidewalks to lay fiber optic cable. In the process, they broke 80 yr. old clay sewer pipes that worked great. The damage resulted in sewage backing up to my house and causing (2 comments)
Pork Barrel Barbeque (BBQ) is Coming to Alexandria! Part One - 09/18/09 11:20 AM
We are so excited, Pork Barrel BBQ is coming to Alexandria! And even more specifically, it's coming to our very own Del Ray neighborhood. But first, a little background. My parents used to live in Southern Maryland in a community known as Scientist's Cliffs near Port Republic, MD. Getting there was a straight shot down Rt. 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue) with only a slight detour down a side road in Huntingtown, MD. There, situated between a deserted post office and a Maryland state road equipment yard, in a gravel parking lot, was John's Open Pit Barbecue. It didn't matter if we were (0 comments)
The question was posed by a neighbor whose car was parked on the street under a tree in front of their house. Sidewalks and the strip of land between the sidewalk and the curb/street are city property, as are trees planted by the city. The question was posed by a neighbor whose car was parked on the street under a tree in front of their house. Sidewalks and the strip of land (4 comments)
Neighborhood ListServs - Old Fashioned Information with New Fangled Technology - 09/17/09 11:46 AM
I don't know if its just Northern Virginia or not, but here neighborhood listservs are to the 21st century what party lines were to our grandparents. Everybody "listens in" and everybody has an opinion! Simply put - it's getting information the old fashioned way (asking your neighbor) but with new fangled technology. Essentially, a listserv is an electronic mailing list that a person can use to send one message to multiple addresses. Prior to 1986 these lists were generated and maintained by a human administrator. Novel concept, right?
But then, in 1986, the software that eventually became Listserv was invented (2 comments)
Exploring Historic and Scenic Virginia - 09/16/09 05:52 PM
The Commonwealth of Virginia is rich in both history and natural scenic beauty. From the extravagant majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the poignant battlefields of Petersburg and Appomatox, Virginia is awash in things to do and see.
Whether you want to camp or hike, bike or raft, Virginia offers multiple opportunities for day trips as well as overnight adventures. And if you prefer a pristine B&B and an elegant restaurant after a day of exploring, well that's available too. These are just some of the titles that we found to help you plan your trip: Exploring Virginia Exploring (3 comments)
This week, Sept, 13-20, is Virginia Cyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week in Virginia. A joint effort of BikeWalk Virginia and Drive Smart Virginia, the effort is aimed at making the roadways safer for everyone. Just last year over 90 people died and 2,300 people were injured while biking and walking on Virginia Roads. Collisions can be reduced and even prevented in many instances by knowing the law and following guidelines. KNOW THE LAW: Bicycles ARE VECHICLES when ridden on the highway - Follow rules that apply to motor vehicles Obey all traffic signs, signals, lights, and markings Ride on the (2 comments)
Real Estate Trends in Northern Virginia and Alexandria - Del Ray - 09/14/09 04:08 PM
Real estate trends in Northern Virginia, especially for Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood continue to track upward. There were 18 houses sold in August 09 compared to 15 in August 08 and the average price is up 13 percent. The only reverse in this trend is longer days on the market - an average of 48 days in August 08 but 62 days in August 09.
These numbers represent sales in zip code 22301 which encompasses the primary neighborhoods of Del Ray and Rosemont which is bordered by Rt. 1, King Street and the Braddock Rd. Metro tracks. For more information (0 comments)
Dan Brown Mania Comes to Northern Virginia - 09/13/09 07:47 AM
Dan Brown mania is coming to Northern Virginia this Tuesday, September 14. Remember Dan Brown of major seller "Angels and Demons" fame? Dan Brown of mega seller "Da Vinci Code" fame? Yes, it's the same Dan Brown back with "The Lost Symbol", the third in his adventure trilogy. In the first book, the hero, Professor Langdon raced through Rome; in the second he (Tom Hanks) raced through Paris and London; on Tuesday he will race through Washington and Northern Virginia.
Did you know that places receiving even the smallest mention in the "Da Vinci Code" received visits from thousands of (4 comments)
Living in Old Town Alexandria - 09/12/09 04:09 PM
The Washington Post does a weekly feature every Saturday where they profile a neighborhood in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. This week they choose Old Town Alexandria and we thought this was a perfect opportunity to share what some folks have to say about living in this richly historic, wonderfully friendly and walkable neighborhood.
A sidebar is full of facts and figures about Old Town sales numbers over the last 12 months.. But keep this in mind - in August, while the average sales price was down, the number of sales was up 12 percent and days on (2 comments)
Craigslist Real Estate Scam Hits Northern Virginia - 09/11/09 06:49 PM
ell it happened - I got hit by the Craigslist real estate scam that has been going around the country. Like a lot of real estate agents, I use Craigslist for listings, open houses, rentals, etc. In this case it was a very nice rental for a very particular client. We had a number of discussions about how she wanted the property described, the pictures she wanted taken, etc. etc. All that was done and neatly posted with the property offered for $3200 a month.
Day before yesterday I got two calls on the townhouse, both quoting the rental price (7 comments)
Where Were You on September 11? - 09/10/09 08:43 PM
Do you remember where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001? My wife Virginia and were meeting with our financial planner in the western part of Fairfax County. As we drove back into Alexandria on I-66 we could see black smoke billowing in the distance. And the rest is history.
The flag in this picture was given to me by a client, LTC Joe Gleichenhaus, former commander of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division and now stationed at the Pentagon. The flag went to Afghanistan when Joe was deployed in Oct. 2004. It flew in (2 comments)
Blogging Got Me Press Credentials! - 09/10/09 12:52 PM
Yep, it's true - thanks to a post we did about the National Festival of Books, we got a email from Fleishman Hillard, the marketing and communications gurus handling publicity for the Festival, offering us online media credentials.
Fleishman Hillard is obviously tracking all media pertaining to the Festival and saw our post here on Active Rain and on our outside blog. They sent a very complimentary message and then suggested we register for official credentials that will give us access to the Press Tent, the online Press Room, and to individual authors for interviews. We even get offical "press (8 comments)
Northern Virginia Calendar of Events for Fall 2009 - 09/09/09 11:03 PM
Get your pen or pencil and favorite calendar and mark these great events happening in Northern Virginia. This is by no means a complete list for Fall 2009 but it does take into account some of our very favorite people and places. Pick one, pick them all! Northern Virginia Calendar of Events for Fall 2009 Sept. 12-13 Alexandria Festival of the Arts Sept. 19-20 Virginia Wine Festival Sept. 24 - Oct. 4 Virginia State Fair Sept. 26 National Book Festival Sept. 26 Historic Alexandria Homes Tour Oct. 1 First Thursday Oct. 1 Corn Mazes Oct. 3 Art on the (0 comments)
2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC - 09/07/09 08:16 PM
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 26th and the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. If you are a book lover then this is one event you cannot miss. Begun under the patronage of Laura Bush in 2001, and with the Library of Congress guiding the way, the National Book Festival has grown from an intimate gathering in the shadows of the Capitol to a full fledged event that stretches the length of the mall. Events are housed in giant tents devoted to: children teens and children mysteries and thrillers fiction and fantasy poetry and prose history and biography. (2 comments)
National Harbor in Prince Georges County, Maryland - 09/07/09 03:44 PM
After spending part of Saturday and most of Sunday doing yard work (a real estate holiday if you will), we decided to take advantage of the weather and head over to National Harbor for an early dinner on this Labor Day weekend. Now, if you don't know National Harbor, it is across the Potomac from Old Town Alexandria and probably the most exciting thing in Prince Georges County, Maryland. By its own description it is "a spectacular waterfront resort destination on the banks of the Potomac." The project was years - and countless millions of dollars - in the making. Warning (2 comments)
Scenic Sunday in Old Town Alexandria - 09/06/09 09:31 AM
For today's Scenic Sunday we took our camera to Old Town Alexandria. These are the homes, on two blocks of Columbus St., that greet us every Sunday as we make our way to historic Christ Church. (Double click for a larger image.)
The Alexandria City Council approved the straightening of the Monroe Avenue Bridge as an element of the Potomac Yard development plan. The straightened bridge provides four lanes of traffic and two dedicated turning lanes but less direct access to Monroe Avenue which used to be the commercial thorough fare in Del Ray.
While the bridge was under construction, side streets Howell and (4 comments)
Saturday Morning at the Del Ray Farmer’s Market - 09/05/09 10:23 AM
It’s Labor Day Weekend, the weather is beautiful, and what better place to be on Saturday morning than the Del Ray Farmer’s Market. The crowds - Busy vendors - Beautiful produce - Homemade goodies - Another perfect day in the neighborhood, Michael For more on Del Ray, see: Del Ray Farmer’s Market is Open for 2009 Season, Walking in Del Ray (2 comments)
Real Estate Trends in Northern Virginia for August 2009 - 09/03/09 09:48 PM
Real estate statistics for Northern Virginia for the month of August 2009 are just in. The real estate market continues to be a hot topic with the national media because market trends show an increase in not only the number of buyers entering the market, but in the sales price of homes. Here in Northern Virginia we are showing the same positive trend overall although it naturally varies from county to county. Getting to specifics is where I come in. I can provide you with local market information that is city, county and neighborhood specific to help you make your housing (0 comments)
First Thursday (September) On Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, VA - 09/03/09 09:45 PM
First Thursday (September) in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood was just about as good as it gets. First the weather was cool and crisp. Second, Mt. Vernon Avenue was packed. Three, it was the annual First Thursday Taste of Del Ray with local restaurants competing for bragging rights. A Taste of Del Ray is the creation of Gayle Reuter and benefits ALIVE. Tickets to sample food from the 12 participating restaurants could be purchased with a donation of canned goods or for $.25 a ticket. Folks were 8 and 10 deep at each of the tents but good conversation and music from (0 comments)
Underwear - The Latest Economic Indicator - 09/01/09 07:58 PM
We just had to laugh at a story in this morning's Washington Post on underwear as the latest economic indicator. The basic story line goes like this, "Sales of men's underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip. . . . It's like trying to drive your car an extra 10,000 miles."
The men's underwear index, or MUI, has received a thumbs up from no less an authority than Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the (10 comments)
Manufacturing and Housing Show Signs of Emerging Strength - 09/01/09 02:55 PM
The economy continues to show signs of a gradual but persistent climb out of the recession doldrums: Home construction in July had its best showing in 10 months Pending home sales are at their highest level in 2 years Manufacturing grew in August after an 18 month slide. Overall construction spending dropped 0.2 percent in July and was actually worse than the flat reading economists had predicted. The good news? Construction of home and apartments rose by 2.3 percent. This is THE best showing in home construction since September 2008 and cautious evidence that the housing slump is bottoming out. (2 comments)
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