Saturday, March 31, 2012

all green on anniversary of water spill

Today is the 416-day anniversary of the heroic effort that finally plugged the Deep Soil Rosslyn Water Spill.  Ft. Myer Heights Park is green and peaceful.  Uninformed passers-by could not imagine the tens of thousands of gallons of water that pushed up through a broken water main and poured across the park.  Readers of the Ode Street Tribune, who are knowledgeable and well-informed, can savor memories of that tragic event.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hirshhorn projects Rosslyn views and feelings

Doug Aitken's SONG 1, now enveloping the Hirshhorn Museum, poignantly evokes views and feelings of Rosslyn.  The similarities between Rosslyn's architecture and that of the Hirshhorn Museum are obvious.  Both provide propitious spaces for video art.  Aitken also makes superb compositional use of the environment around the building, including trees and public art. Trees and public art contribute importantly to the sense of Rosslyn.  A photo/video projection above Central Space in downtown Rosslyn in 2009 highlighted Rosslyn's fast-paced urban scene.  Aitken's work has a more languid and lyrical sense, a personal plea underneath the personal declaration.  Yet in Rosslyn, even in the midst of its major media corporations, there's also a personal voice.  You are here, and so am I.  This is Rosslyn.  Millions live in other places, but they all disappear from view.  I only have eyes for you.

Artisphere's Dome would make a wonderful canvas for further Aitken video art. Unfortunately, even given Rosslyn's unquestionable artistic allure, Artisphere's meagre current budget probably couldn't sustain Aitken. But don't count out prospects for artistic development in Rosslyn.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

low turnout at Rosslyn's Wilson School precinct

At approximately 8:10am this morning, only 21 voters had checked into Rosslyn's Wilson School precinct.  Arlnow reports that overall, only 15,110 persons (12% of the electorate) voted, and that Libby Garvey won the election for the Arlington County Board seat.

Fortunately, this election was not your only opportunity to participate in self-government.  As part of Arlington's Participation, Leadership, and Civic Engagement (PLACE) initiative, Arlington has established an online forum OpenArlington for engaging with Arlington County government.  The first question is, "What would make it easier for you and others to engage with Arlington County Government?"  You can look at others' response, and contribute your own.

You can also participate in self-government by eating vegetables rather than cupcakes.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Santa lives in Rosslyn

Due to the unseasonably warm Christmas this past December, Santa Claus traversed the DC area by skateboard.  Jimmy Pelletier, a local skateboarder and videographer, captured Santa serving the homeless.  Close study of the beginning of the video reveals that Santa lives in Rosslyn's River Place Apartments.

You can see more of Jimmy Pelletier's videos at Artisphere through April 17.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

election for County Board this Tuesday

The special election to fill an empty seat on the County Board is this coming Tuesday.  The candidates:
Here's video of the candidates presentations at last month's RAFOM meeting.  Voting will occur at the usual official polling placesSample ballot here.  Vote!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

reincarnation machine at Artisphere

The American Reincarnation Machine, as seen on TV, is available for use in Artisphere's Works-In-Progress Gallery through Sunday, April 15. This machine, built by Jenny Sidhu Mullins, determines the animal you will be reincarnated into for your next life.  It determines your future by your past life animal, your answers to three invasive questions, and your current karma, which you set on the machine's karma dial. The machine politely requests a donation "if you are able" for its service.

Adhering to headquarters' directive on participatory journalism, the Ode Street Tribune's journalist did the reincarnation transaction.  According to the machine, he will be reincarnated as a bull.  Draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

notice of change in taste

Given Rosslyn residents' exquisite taste, residents may notice a change in the taste of the tap water from March 26 through May 7, 2012.   The disinfectant in the water supply during that period will switch from chloramine to chlorine.  This switch is standard practice:
The annual switch in water disinfection is part of a routine program to clean and maintain water distribution systems in the District of Columbia, Arlington County and Falls Church. During the temporary switch to chlorine, local water authorities will also conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. This program is standard practice for many U.S. water systems that use chloramine during the majority of the year.  
The shape of the drinking glass affects the bouquet of wine.  Experiment with different glasses (swirl the water before sniffing) to see what shape produces the finest water smell.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rosslyn not just for fast-charging professionals

Rosslyn's picturesque Crandal Mackey Park is named after famed Arlington Commonwealth Attorney Crandal Mackey. In 1905, Mackey led a series of raids on brothels and bars in Rosslyn to tone down the exuberance of Rosslyn's night life.  Mackey was not completely successful.  Rosslyn retains today a reputation for dynamism, wildness, and fast-charging professionals.

But Rosslyn now also embraces more relaxed lifestyles. An Ode Street Tribune investigative team recently found a man dozing in one of the rocking chairs that Rosslyn BID has placed on the lovely, small plaza right next to Crandal Mackey Park.  The man told the Tribune that he has been unemployed since December 19 of last year.  He said that he's hoping to take up farming, but he hasn't been able to find any affordable farmland in Arlington.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cherry Blossom Festival features Rosslyn views

Cherry blossoms are now in full bloom for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  This month-long festival, which includes a large calendar of events, attracts about a million visitors to Washington.  Don't miss this great opportunity to see Rosslyn framed with cherry blossoms!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

historic homes look on development

An Ode Street Tribune investigative walk has revealed historic homes in the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood of Rosslyn.  One home has a red metal roof on top of traditional architecture.  Another is an old-style wood rambler with a magnificent wood patch-work roof.

These home are right near the construction site for new Grayson Flats at 1200 N. Rolfe Street.  The Grayson Flats website describes the new building:
With just 67 stunningly spacious apartment homes, Grayson Flats is a modern jewel box within walking distance of everything and miles ahead of the competition.
Development and affordable housing were major issues in the recent County Board candidates forum.  Rosslyn still has an amazingly diverse housing stock, but keeping that is a major challenge for public policy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rosslyn similar to Shinagawa, but special and unique

With 113 votes currently cast in the poll to determine if Rosslyn is more like Manhattan or more like San Francisco, the leading vote-getter is the write-in candidate "other."  Among the write-in selections are Buffalo, Newark (New Jersey), Des Moines, Lima, and Rockville (Maryland).  The diversity of these write-ins suggests Rosslyn's cosmopolitan ambiance.  One voter wrote in "stalinist Russia," evidently recognizing that Teddy Roosevelt Island is part of Rosslyn.  Another voter insightfully wrote in Shinagawa, a suburb of Tokyo pictured above.  The similarities in deeply reflective buildings are obvious.  But the most common write-in, with a full ten instances, was "Rosslyn."  As these voters indicated, Rosslyn is unique, special, and truly beyond comparison.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bore or trench?

Construction of the power line along Rt. 110 is progressing rapidly.  So far there's been little impact on large number of walkers, runners, and cyclists on the scenic Arlington-Rosslyn-Washington expressway.  But the next section of the power line will be installed along Rosslyn's Arlington National Cemetery, between the expressway and the road.  If the power line is installed through a trench, major traffic disruption could occur.  Boring, such as occurred under the access road, is also possible.  The Ode Street Tribune favors boring for power line installations, but not for news.

County Board candidates' forum

Today's Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM) meeting featured candidates for the Arlington County Board in the upcoming special election on Tuesday, March 27. The candidates are running to fill the remaining term of former County Board member Barbara Favola, who was elected to the Virginia Senate in November, 2011.  The candidates (with links to their websites) are:
Videos of the candidates opening, rebuttal, and closing statements are below.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diamond Derby creates dynamic cycling scene

Today's Crystal City Diamond Derby combined an wonderful range of cycling styles in an event that began under beautiful blue skies on the National Mall and ended with a high-energy underground cycling scene in a parking garage in Crystal City.  No matter what sort of cycling you like, this event had something for you.
The Dandies & Quaintrelles led a style ride that started near the Smithsonian metro station, circled around Hains Point with beautiful river vistas, and then crossed the 395 bridge, giving all the riders a chance to enjoy Rosslyn's spectacular skyscape. The ride then traveled on the Mt. Vernon trail to the Diamond Derby site in Crystal City. 
The bike racing on the underground parking garage course was intense.  It was a highly technical course with many tight turns, some speed bumps, a tire obstacle, and a barrier jump.  The open-class scavenger points competition also required riders to carry their bikes through a van.  In addition, riders had to pick off a roll of duct tape from a road pylon and place it on another, without putting a foot on the ground.  This was pioneering urban cyclocross.  Like cyclocross races, the Diamond Derby had a great have-fun vibe, food, music, and excellent spectating.
Douglas Galbi, riding for local bike racing team Squadra Coppi, finished in the middle of the field in the Dandies & Quaintrelles River Ride.  Determined to bring more glory to Squadra Coppi, he also lined up for the open-class scavenger points competition.  He was riding a fixed-gear, faux-track bike with stylish white coloring that beautifully complemented the colors of the Squadra Coppi kit.  However, that type of bike is totally wrong for urban cyclocross racing.  Asked about his equipment choice, Galbi said, "Crystal City is known for fashion and Crystal Couture. I had to try to look good."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rosslyn losing a Tribune subscriber

An Ode Street Tribune subscriber is moving from Rosslyn to the Upper East Side of Manhattan at the end of this month.  The subscriber, Anastasia M., says that she loved living in Rosslyn, but couldn't turn down an exciting job opportunity in social marketing with a major New York agency.

Having come from San Francisco, Anastasia's a bit apprehensive about living in Manhattan.  The Manhattan House seemed to her somewhat less green and less friendly than Westmoreland, but it has newer kitchen appliances and a concierge service.  Asked whether Rosslyn is more like San Francisco or Manhattan, Anastasia said that she felt the same cultural richness here that she did in San Francisco, but at the same time Rosslyn has a kind of New York intensity of life.  She said that she likes a spunky local news source and hopes that she'll be able to find another like the Tribune.

The eyes of the Tribune's publisher flashed with anger at Anastasia's suggestion that there could be another like the Tribune.  Anastasia said that she didn't mean it that way, and said that she will always stay with the Ode Street Tribune.

The Ode Street Tribune is available to readers world-wide. Wherever your life takes you, the Tribune will always be there for you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rosslyn evergreen

While poking around Rosslyn, the Ode Street Tribune's hard-living reporter found a view of an evergreen from within a hole in Dark Star Park.  Draw your own conclusions.

Related post: deep, damp tunnel

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

shiny-new dumpster

The historically important Westmoreland Terrace Condominiums has gotten shiny-new dumpsters for recyclable waste.  A recent Condo Board meeting decided to replace the arrays of recycling garbage cans with large bins.  The new dumpster encourages recycling by making it simpler, it looks better than the array of bins, and it's also cheaper.  If your condo building has an array of recycling cans, you should look into replacing them with a single large dumpster.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meade St. redesign just in time

Meade St. leading up to Rosslyn's bridge over Route 50 is currently in bad shape. The road surface is pockmarked and a mass of pebbles chewed up from the road has accumulated at the crosswalk. Fortunately, discussions for improvements are moving forward.

Check out the Meade St. Bridge redesign preferred concept plan (large pdf file).  The redesign widens the sidewalks, adds bike lanes, adds trees, shifts the intersections from the shape of a highway drive-through access system to a more rectangular, urban design, and adds a much needed traffic light on the south side of the bridge. With the addition of the luminous bodies public art, the redesigned bridge area will increase Rosslyn's resemblance to San Francisco.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bikeshare Transit Development Plan nearing completion

Arlington's Capital Bikeshare is continuing its impressive community engagement with a Bikeshare Transit Development Plan.  This document will review the existing Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) system and set out a six-year plan for its development and operation.  Here are drafts of the plan's chapters and a summary overview.  Online comments on the proposed plan will be open from March 12 to April 13.  A general public meeting for comment and discussion about Arlington's CaBi plan will occur on Thursday, March 29, from 7-9pm at George Mason University.

Some milestones in public discussion of CaBi to date:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Frida Kahlo's photos deserve a close look

Frida Kahlo's personal photos, at Artisphere in their first and only U.S. showing, are worth pondering closely.  The most poignant photos are in the section, "The Broken Body."  There's a photo of Kahlo in an early-twentieth-century industrial-style head traction, Kahlo as a reclining, alluring half-nude in a hospital bed, and Kahlo painting from her hospital bed with the help of an intricately wired, rectangular overhead easel.  Can you imagine yourself after a body-breaking accident?