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Taste of Del Ray at First Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 - 08/31/10 01:56 PM
You've heard about all the great little eateries in Del Ray. You've promised to visit at least a thousand times. But nothing has happened. What to do? What to do? No problem. Join us for Taste of Del Ray at First Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. This is the last First Thursday for 2010 and looks like it is going to be a doozy. Eateries up and down Mt. Vernon Avenue will pitch their tents in the parking lot directly behind Virginia Commerce Bank from 6-9 pm. (This is where folks park for the Del Ray Farmers Market.) Tickets are $10 (2 comments)
Five years ago my mother-in-law decided to sell her house Florida and move to Goodwin House here in Alexandria. She made the decision on her own time and very quickly. It left little time for preparation but I found a competent agent and her (5 comments)
The 100 block of North Columbus Street in Old Town Alexandria is awash in the color of late summer flowers.
Home to private residences, a spa and an antique store, there is a pride of place, a calm, a sense of the what lies behind the closed door.
And all who chance on this block leave with a smile.
Would You Wait Two Hours for a Lobster Roll? - 08/28/10 07:52 PM
Would you wait two hours for a lobster roll? A few weeks ago an article in New York magazine noted the prevelance of lobster rolls in the Big Apple. Apparently the relatively low price of Maine lobsters has created somewhat of a glut and lobster roll entrepreneurs were spouting on every corner. Being a lobster roll aficianado myself, I was particularly interested in one vendor, Red Hook Lobster, that was going to bring a roaming lobster truck to Washington, DC. (Yes, I know, Washington is really Pat Kennedy's territory but this is worthy of crossing the river.) Seems that company co-founder (4 comments)
Cheestique - the Wine & Cheese Bar is now open all day (from lunch thru dinner) La Strada - a three course meal and a glass of wine for $35 during Alexandria Restaurant Week Body, Mind and Sole - $10 off any service of 60 minutes or longer, Mon-Fri. Expires Aug. 31 Energy Fitness Club - try out the gym free (including classes) for 7 days. Just bring identification to show that you live/work in Del Ray. Barkley Square - buy one pound of (4 comments)
15 Top Cities for Bed Bugs - 08/26/10 07:39 AM
Terminix, one of the nation's largest pest control companies has announced its list of the 15 Top Cities for Bed Bugs. This is nothing to rave about but just one more example of the problem at hand. I've gotten hundreds of comments on Yuck! Bed Bugs Are Back, my broker reblogged it, our head of technical support reblogged it, and now it's on the agenda for the next meeting of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR)
New York City Philadelphia Detroit Cincinnati, OH Chicago Denver Columbus, OH Dayton, OH Washington, DC Los Angeles Boston Indiannapolis Louisville, KY Cleveland, (12 comments)
Twittter is So Over - 08/25/10 09:26 PM
Twitter is so over." Or at least that's what I over heard today in my local Barnes & Noble store I had stopped by to pick up a copy of Seth Godin's Purple Cow (recommended here on AR) and was standing at the information desk next to two college age girls. They were talking, as college age girls do, and the subject of Twitter came up.
"Yeah, I was on Twitter for about five months but am so over it now." "Really? I don't even have an account." "It was just something to do. Seriously, Twitter is so over." (61 comments)
I happened to notice this trio sitting outside at the Hard Times Cafe in Old Town Alexandria and couldn't help but stop for a picture. And oh did I wish I could join them -
This is the McElroy family from Austin, TX - visiting, relaxing, taking in the sights and smart enough to know that the Hard Times Cafe is a local favorite. Come back and see us again - (3 comments)
Getting Organized - Family Photos - 08/24/10 09:01 PM
Earlier this summer the Washington Post ran a great article on getting organized. As a preface they talked to several professionals on the topic. A buyer at Amazon noted that more and more self help organizing books are being published and that "interest exploded with the coverage of hoarders . . . and the steady stream of DIY cable series starring professional organizers. Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project, says " . . . there is something about getting ahold of physical clutter that makes people feel energized, freer and happier. Order contributes to inner calm for most (0 comments)
Bulldogs! Hokies! Crimson Tide! - 08/23/10 09:14 PM
This afternoon I was out checking on a listing in Old Town Alexandria when I noticed a row of townhouses on North Payton Street.
There, separated by only one house, were flags for The University of Georgia, Virginia Tech and the University of Alabama.
Bulldogs! Hokies! Crimson Tide! My guess is that a lot of football gets watched here on the weekends. I'm thinking I may have to do some door to door prospecting . . .
I come from a long line of tomato snobs. We don't eat hydroponic tomatoes, we don't eat tomatoes from the grocery store and we don't eat tomatoes from about mid-September to July. In other words, we are tomato deprived for most of the year. We wait, with almost palpable anticipation, for the road side stands and farmer's markets (6 comments)
Yuck! Bed Bugs are Back! - 08/21/10 06:58 PM
Yuck, yuck, yuck. Bed bugs, once thought to be the sole province of dirty, low rent hotels are back - with a vengeance. Almost totally eradicated after WWII with the use of DDT (now banned because of it's toxicity), the increase in international travel is thought to be one factor in the increase of infestations. Entire office buildings (the Time Warner Center), residential buildings, retail stores (Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria's Secret), movie theaters (AMC's Empire 25), in New York City have been invaded and reports are coming in from around the country.
In fact, just this week, bed bugs (58 comments)
Slaters Lane Shopping in Alexandria, VA - 08/19/10 09:56 PM
I've tried really hard to find an official name for the row of shops on Slater's Lane in Alexandria but to no avail. So, we're just going to call it the "Slater's Lane Shopping Center." Except of course that it's not really a shopping center and it's not a strip mall either. Instead, it's a charming collection of shops at the entrance to the Potomac Greens and Old Town Greens townhouse development, across the street from the Old Town Crescent (condominiums) and half way between the Monroe Street Bridge and the George Washington Parkway. Got it? In other words, (2 comments)
Ninth Annual Del Ray Chili Cook Off - Mark Your Calendar for Oct. 23, 2010 - 08/18/10 08:50 PM
I know, I know, it's only August but we want to give you a big head's up and plenty of time to plan. So, mark you calendar for Oct. 23 and the Ninth Annual Del Ray Chili Cook Off.Started, organized and planned every year by our neighbor Laura Fries, the Del Ray Chili Cook Off is about as unassuming and homespun as you can get.
Anybody can enter, it can be any kind of chili - beef, pork, turkey, venison, beans, no beans, chopped, sliced, diced, vegetarian, etc. - and anybody can win. Pretty simple isn't it? All you (7 comments)
Alexandria City Public School Registration Fall 2010 - 08/17/10 08:57 PM
Alexandria City Public School Registration Information for Fall 2010. September is almost upon us and that means school will be starting in the Alexandria City Public School system. When to Register: To register for kindergarten a child must be five years old on or before September 30 and must meet all documentation and health requirements. If an eligible child is NOT registered for kindergarten, you must contact the school system in writing. Parent of first graders should follow the same procedures for kindergarten. Students transferring to Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) from other school districts school enroll as soon as (0 comments)
Tape Measure - A 25-foot (or more) self-retracting tape measure. Look for a strong a thumb lock and tape that’s sturdy enough to remain flat after being stretched out. Utility Knife – A reliable utility knife can cut through string, rope, nylon, boxes, packages, drywall and carpet. Typically, they lock in varying positions, allowing you to cut at the easiest and safest angles. Screwdrivers – Have either an assortment of screwdrivers in varying sizes, both flat and Phillips-style, or one screwdriver with interchangeable bits. Power Drill – Depending on the (8 comments)
Jim Morrison of the Doors Lived HERE in Alexandria - 08/14/10 08:08 AM
Did you know that Jim Morrison of the Doors lived HERE in Alexandria? Jim Morrison lived here while attending GW High School (now GW Middle School) on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray I promised not to divulge the exact address but let's just say it is in a lovely neighborhood off Russell Road. And now, for classic Jim Morrison and the Doors -
On a personal note - my lovely wife met Morrison back in the late 60's and, although he was in head to toe black leather, she did not take him up on his offer (4 comments)
Model Train Exhibit in Old Town Alexandria August 14-15 - 08/13/10 11:39 AM
Do have kids or are you still a kid at heart? Either way, plan to spend some time this weekend at the Model Train Exhibit in Old Town Alexandria. Sponsored by the Potomac Division of the National Model Railroad Association and the Lyceum, this is a chance to see the best in model trains. Association members will bring their working HO gauge trains and state-of-the-art digital command systems and will be on hand to answer questions. The exhibit is recommended for ages 8 and up. Space is limited and advance reservations and ticket purchase are required. Timed admission is on (0 comments)
Will Dog Sit for Referrals - 08/12/10 10:20 PM
Shortly before Christmas last year there was a notice on our local neighborhood list serv. Someone wrote to say that a puppy was arriving from Florida as a present and needed somewhere to stay for the four days right before Christmas. We had just lost our "Mac" - a fine feline specimen who had been with us for over 20 years - and were desperate for companionship of the animal variety.
We answered the email, made the arrangements and just hours later we were the temporary guardians of a 12 week old parti-color minature poodle. We fell in love (22 comments)
Alexandria Restaurant Week, August 20-29, 2010 - 08/11/10 09:17 PM
Alexandria will kick off Restaurant Week, August 20-29, 2010. More than 60 restaurants, bars and coffee shops will take part in this annual summer eating extravaganza. There are three categories of participation - a $35 Prix-Fixe Three Course Dinner a $35 Dinner for Two and $3.50 Sweet Treats. Participating restaurants are located all over Alexandria, from Mango Mike's in the West End to the Union Street Public House on the riverfront in Old Town Alexandria to La Strada in our Del Ray neighborhood. Also in Del Ray are sweet treat favorites, ACKC Coca Bar and the Dairy Godmother. For (5 comments)
VIRGINIA - Our Most Historically Significant State - 08/10/10 08:57 PM
Ted Landphair is a long time Voice of America reporter and essayist. He also has a blog called Ted Landphair's America and he writes about the thousands of places he has visited in this wonderful country of ours.
Today I was lucky enough to stumble across a recent piece in which he notes that VIRGINIA is perhaps our most historically significant state, "not only an incubator of American independence and the cradle of American presidents — eight of them — but also the scene of ferocious, climactic battles of our great civil war." I'll give you just a few (7 comments)
Should You Be Driving? - 08/10/10 03:09 PM
Should you be driving? There is an excellent article in this morning's Washington Post that addresses the painful, but often necessary, question of should you be driving for older family members. Whether residing in the family home or living independently in a retirement community, the ability to drive - to just get out and go - is one of the most cherished of all freedoms. Rarely does someone stop driving on their own. More often it is a family member who notices new dents or scrapes on the fender or maybe mom or dad gets lost and has to call for (8 comments)
Everything You Need to Know About Changing Your Address - 08/09/10 09:36 PM
Today we heard from a site that calls itself Change of Address. Basically they have taken everything you need to know about changing your address and put it together in one place for easy reference. In addition to change of address forms for the U.S. Post Office, they also offer change of address forms for government agencies: • The Internal Revenue Service – Download the Form • Social Security Administration Click Here • Social Security Administration: Supplemental Security Income Benefits Click Here • Department of Veterans Affairs Click Here • State Department of Motor Vehicles Click Here • U.S. Customs (12 comments)
The Lost Trees of Del Ray - 08/08/10 11:54 AM
An enterprising neighbor has put together a Google map of the Del Ray area in an attempt to chart the trees lost in Thursday's devastating storm. View Lost Trees of Del Ray in a larger map The map came through on our local list serv and folks are being asked to add what they know about the lost trees of Del Ray. Like with many natural disasters, there is no real pattern but it's still interesting to see the clusters. This just in from the Del Ray Citizens Association: "Please add any trees you know about. To edit the map, (4 comments)
Tree Damage - Who Pays? - 08/07/10 01:18 PM
With the number of trees down in Alexandria from the massive thunder storm that swept through on Thursday, it's worth asking - who pays for tree damage? Essentially, it's going to depend on how the insurance policies read and what a claims adjuster decides. If the tree was already dead or diseased - and if you had already brought it to the attention of your neighbor - then it's your neighbor's insurance that will end up paying. (This is when pictures and documented evidence come in handy.) If it was a healthy tree and just knocked down by a storm, (an (3 comments)
Tree Removal Guidelines for the City of Alexandria - 08/07/10 12:06 PM
In the wake of Thursday's crushing thunder storm and the damage to more than 17,000 trees, the City of Alexandria has issued these tree removal guidelines: "Over the next seven to ten days, crews will be collecting tree debris from the curb and public rights-of-way. The City is temporarily relaxing some of its normal requirements for removal of tree debris on private property. Residents removing tree debris on their property should place tree limbs and debris at the curb, and if possible, cut them down to pieces that you, as a homeowner, can safely take to the curb for collection. (4 comments)
17,000 Trees Damaged in Alexandria from Freak Thunderstorm - 08/06/10 08:54 PM
The City of Alexandria has announced that some 17,000 trees were damaged in Alexandria in a freak thunderstorm that roared through the area late Thursday afternoon. A majority of that damage was in the Del Ray, Rosemont and Beverley Hills neighborhoods. We were lucky. Several large limbs crashed into our yard from a neighbor's tree and we lost electricity but otherwise our particular block of East Howell was relatively unscathed. Our back yard The scene just one block down and then one block over was quite different. Howell Avenue Trees uprooted concrete sidewalks, brought down power lines (10 comments)
The Best French Fries in the DMV - the District, Maryland and Virginia - 08/04/10 05:59 PM
The Washington Post Magazine recently ran it's Best Bets column on a favorite, calorie laden treat - french fries. According to the Post, the best french fries in the DMV - the District, Maryland and Virginia - can be found at these spots around the beltway: ***BGR: The Burger Joint. Multiple locations. Yukon Gold or Idaho Sweet. Toppings include roasted garlic, fresh rosemary or Parmesan cheese. Brasserie Beck. 1001 K St. NW. Washington, DC Belgian style fries, thin and cooked in grapeseed oil. Good to the bottom of the bowl. Brewers Art. 1108 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD. Rosemary garlic (12 comments)
It's County Fair Time in Northern Virginia - 08/03/10 08:16 PM
Days are getting shorter (!!!), the start of school is just around the corner and retailers are dusting off their holiday decorations. That means it's County Fair time in Northern Virginia. Traditionally held at the end of summer, August and September are chocked full of county and state fairs. County fairs, which are more correctly known as agricultural fairs, began in the early 1800's.
According to Ag History, the fairs " gave rural families an opportunity to see first hand the latest agricultural techniques, equipment, crops, and livestock. Over the course of the nineteenth century, fairs also (4 comments)
School Supplies are Tax Exempt in Virginia August 6,7,8 - 08/02/10 07:32 PM
Getting ready for school? It always costs you more than you think but this Virginia tax holiday will give you a small break. That's right, school supplies, including some clothes, are tax exempt in Virginia August 6,7,8, 2010. During this three-day period, purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax. (Retailers may also choose to absorb the tax on other items during the holiday period, but they are responsible for paying the tax on those items (2 comments)
Living in the DMV - 08/02/10 12:00 PM
A recent article in the Washington Post caught our eye because of a blinged out necklace with the letters DMV. We couldn't imagine this was a salute to the Department of Motor Vehicles and we were right.
When you think of New York, it's the Big Apple. Chicago is the Windy City. Atlanta is the ATL. Los Angeles is L.A., Tinseltown or La La Land. In fact there are whole sites devoted to city nicknames. More recent contributions (like ATL) have come from hip hop artists and rappers who have added abbreviated city monikers that fit their catchy musical phrasing. (2 comments)
Dancing in the Circle of Life - 08/02/10 10:43 AM
This weekend we celebrated the wedding of one of my nieces. Catie is a pediatric nurse at Fairfax Hospital, her Drew is a Youth Minister at Gainesville United Methodist Church. Family came from near and far including cousins from Spain and California. These same cousins had all served as bridesmaids at my wedding some twenty years ago.
The bride beamed, with a smile on her face from beginning to end. The groom was clearly smitten, his devotion evident in everything he did. There was dancing, the traditional bouquet toss and cake cutting, and lots (2 comments)
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