Monday, September 30, 2013

Westmoreland roof replacement bids up

At this evening's condo board meeting for the historically important Westmoreland Terrace Condominiums, the Board discussed the bids received for a roof replacement.  While the cost of the roof replacement for building 1336 was $77,248, bids for another roof replacement came in at $98,000, $110,000, and $115,000. Because of the additional cost, the Board voted to defer the roof replacement until the coming spring.  Then the Board will consider doing two roofs at a time to lower costs.

Other items from the meeting:
  • Potholes in the packing lot will be repaired this week.  Cost: slightly over $3,000.
  • Residents are not allowed to place air conditioner units in windows.  Any action that changes the external experience of the building must get prior Board approval.
  • Some residents are dumping non-recyclable trash in the recycling dumpsters.   Some are also not breaking down boxes before sticking them in the recycle dumpsters.  That causes the dumpsters to over-flow.  Better signage will be affixed to the dumpsters.  Residents should choose the right dumpster for their trash and reasonably compact it before throwing it in.
  • Dogs in the ivy bed outside building 1301 continue to be a concern.  Dogs should not be allowed to run around in the ivy bed. 
Attending the meeting were Board members José Calvo, Jennifer Feinleib, Joe Ruland, and Gretchen Sprehe; residents Becky and Douglas; and Zalco Property Manager Lenard Goldbaum. The next regularly scheduled condo board meeting will be on Oct. 28.  Check with the Condo Office a few days before to confirm the show and to reserve your seat.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

new lane markings on Virginia-Rosslyn-Washington bike expressway

The Virginia-Rosslyn-Washington bike expressway now has bike lane markings along Meade St. in Rosslyn.  The speed limit along the street has been reduced to 25mph.  These changes improve safety.

Many cyclists cut through Rosslyn Vista Park rather than ride Meade St. and Marshall Drive.  Heading south on Meade St, cyclists would arrive at Marshall Drive in front of the entrance to Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall.  Unfortunately the left turn at that intersection is treacherous.  Traffic does not stop coming out of the Joint Base.  Some of that traffic turns left at speed onto Meade St.  Moreover, because of entrance gate, view of the (far) lane is obstructed.  Some cyclists also come through the gate at high speed.  They are particularly difficult to spot.   Cyclists turning left at this intersection should proceed with caution.

The reverse route is much safer.  Ride the path up to the Netherlands Carillon and continue straight.  Watch out for the jog in the trail at the bottom of the short downhill.  Watch also for wet leaves and ice at that point.  Ride up Marshall Dr. on the sidewalk, and bear right at Meade St., continuing on the sidewalk.  You can drop into the bike lane via a curb cut about 20 yards from the intersection.

Pedestrians walking in Rosslyn Vista Park would prefer cyclists to go around the park on the new bike lane. If you ride through the park, be careful of pedestrians and yield to them.

Friday, September 27, 2013

relax in Belvedere Park

Rosslyn's recently refurbished Belvedere Park provides a pastoral oasis only a few hundred yards from the bustle of Rosslyn's Wilson Blvd.  The park, at 1613 16th Street N., is a fine spot to relax and leisurely leaf through the pages of a fine newspaper such as the Ode Street Tribune.  In addition to trees and benches, the park has a flower garden.  See it quickly before it lies down for fall and winter.
The renovation of the park has wisely preserved its historic stone steps.  In 1860, William Henry Ross may have walked up the path of those steps to the top of a small rise from which he surveyed the majestic plot of land that came to be called Rosslyn. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

sidewalk to Rosslyn shrinking

The sidewalk leading to the magnificent Fort Myer Heights Park children's playground and downtown Rosslyn is shrinking from dirt slides, weeds, and branches.  Many persons traverse this sidewalk to get closer to the center of Rosslyn.  The land bordering the sidewalk may be part of Fort Myer Heights Park, or the historically important Westmoreland Terrace Condominiums, or a utility corridor.  Whoever owns the adjacent land should take responsibility for maintaining the sidewalk.

Rosslyn rainbow

Rosslyn has silver clouds and rainbow flags.  In any weather, Rosslyn is the place to be.

Monday, September 23, 2013

stoplight removed, but stop sign remains

New traffic control was temporarily installed on the small Arlington Blvd to address new traffic flows from the Courthouse/Rt. 50 interchange reconstruction.  Some of the new traffic control has now been removed.

The temporary stoplight that was installed at the corner of the small Arlington Blvd and N. Meade St. is gone.  The stoplight increased the safety of the intersection when it was active.  It was bizarrely active early Sunday morning, but not late Friday night.  As soon as Arlington County can secure five to six million dollars for the Meade St. Bridge renovation, a stoplight will be permanently installed at that corner.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) apparently forgot to remove the four-way stop installed at the Rhodes St. Bridge.  The four-way stop has improved the safety of that intersection.  To the Ode Street Tribune's readers in VDOT, thank you for forgetting to remove the temporary stop signs at that intersection!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

new children's playground to open Wednesday

The magnificent, new Fort Myer Heights Park children's playground will open this coming Wednesday, according to an informal source that the Ode Street Tribune deems reliable.  A Tribune investigation, however, has revealed evidence that children are already enjoying the playground.  This exclusive news comes through careful analysis of the children's sand pit.  A digitally enhanced image of the sand pit shows what the Tribune believes to be children's footprints.
The main gate for the playground is currently securely locked.  However, the Tribune's investigation has revealed other means of entering the park.  With the attraction of magnificent play equipment, children are clever enough to figure out some way to enter the playground. There is no signage about the park to direct draconian parents to punish their children for playing in the playground.  While some minor equipment remains in the area of the playground, it seems to present no serious hazard to supervised children.  The Tribune thus strongly opposes any punishment for children and parents playing in the playground prior to its official opening.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ft. Myer Heights playground opening imminent

The opening of the new Ft. Myer Heights children's playground looks to be only days away.  The playground is truly magnificent.  Without a doubt it's the finest children's playground on the eastern seaboard of the United States.  When you think of fun, think of Rosslyn.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Predictable, Alert, Lawful

Tonight's Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM) meeting included pedestrians complaining about cyclists and cars, cyclists complaining about pedestrians and cars, and car drivers complaining about cyclists and pedestrians.  In short, everybody complaining about everybody else. 

We're all in this community together.  God made us all, I suppose, but one wonders.  In any case, everybody has to share the roads and share the paths.  Arlington's "Be a PAL" campaign provides good guidance.  Being a PAL means:
  • Predictable - travel in a predictable way; don't make sudden unexpected moves
  • Alert - pay attention to your surroundings and to others
  • Lawful - obey traffic laws, whether in a car, on a bike, or on foot
Cyclist riding on the road must obey the same traffic regulations that cars do.  Cyclists have an equal right as cars to be on the road.  Cyclists can lawfully ride on paths and sidewalks, but they must yield to pedestrians.

As a pedestrian, cyclists, or car driver, don't just to obey the law.  Be kind and look out for your fellow human beings.  Cyclists riding quickly past pedestrians can make them fearful, as persons as the meeting made clear.  Cyclists wanting to ride relatively rapidly should consider taking Meade St. to Marshall Dr. rather than cutting through Rosslyn Vista Park and scaring pedestrians. 

Other items from the RAFOM meeting:
  • the next Realize Rosslyn community workshop will be on Oct. 5.  The workshop will help to define the Rosslyn Sector Plan Framework and Preferred Alternative.  Look for details here.
  • the Gables Company is proposing a block redevelopment for the block bounded by N. Rolfe St., N. Fairfax Dr., N. Scott St. and 14th St.
  • a redevelopment proposal is also pending for the Wendy's / Wells Fargo Bank site between Wilson and Clarendon Blvds in the Courthouse area of greater Rosslyn
  • Hillside Park is being improved.  You can help by joining with a volunteer gardening crew doing planting in the park on Oct. 5 starting at 8am. Many persons in Rosslyn lack opportunities to work the good earth.  This is such an opportunity for everyone.
  • The Arlington free tree distribution will occur on Sat., Oct. 26.  You must sign up in advance to get a free 2-4 foot tree.  Varieties available: White Oak, Blackgum (aka Black Tupelo), Sweet Birch, Sweetbay Magnolia, Pagoda Dogwod, and Blackhaw Viburnum (shrub).  Order a free tree here.
  • The George Washington Memorial Park is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Memorial Circle around the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn Vista Park.  Keep an eye on fine news sources for further details of that important review.
  • Park officials are trying to encourage a "leave no trace" ethos of park use.  That means reduce, reuse, recycle rather than throwing things in a trash bin.  Park officials have removed most trash receptacles from the park to encourage this green thinking.  If trash is building up in the park, park officials will examine how to best address the problem.
The next RAFOM meeting will be on Oct. 23.  It will be a candidate's night.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Emily Francisco piano overture at Artisphere

If as a child you learned to play piano by reading musical instructions and pressing the correct keys on the keyboard, you were an office drone in training.  But you're not fully dead yet.  Brake the pounding of those oppressive routines.  Life, creative life, still beckons.

Emily Francisco is playing with pianos in Artisphere's Artist in Residence Studio through Jan. 12, 2014. She's showing all who come to Rosslyn how to extend extended piano technique to the heights of Rosslyn's towering towers.  You'll be inspired with new ways of playing.  Don't miss the opportunity to make new music.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Gatsby 813 Ball at Artisphere Sept. 28

To celebrate literature and support community literacy, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library are holding a Great Gatsby 813 Ball at Artisphere on Saturday, September 28, 8-11pm.  Period costumes (1920s attire) is requested.  This elegant event, appropriately held in historic Rosslyn, will include:
  • 1920s music performed by the Hot Society Orchestra of Washington
  • Fidgety Feet - D.C.’s premier Lindy Hop dance troupe – will demonstrate 1920s dances
  • Master of Ceremonies Garrett Peck, author of Prohibition in D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t
  • Canapes served reminiscent of the time
  • Silent auction to benefit 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, a new early literacy initiative designed to encourage families, teachers, childcare providers, and librarians to read with children from birth and beyond
  • Prizes awarded for the best 1920s-style attire
Tickets are $30 per person.  Enjoy the beautiful 1920s outfits shown in the Ode Street Tribune's coverage of the Art Deco Society Vintage Fashion Show.  Then choose how your particular style for supporting community literacy and having fun.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rosslyn already famous for Warhol's Silver Clouds

A mass of clouds converged on Rosslyn today to provide appropriate weather for Artisphere's grand opening of Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds.  The Silver Clouds evoke the patterned glitter created in the reflections among the surfaces of the gleaming towers in Rosslyn's center.  They are made from mass-produced industrial material.  They are atomically simple.  But together they create an intricate, dynamic environment that resonates with Rosslyn.
Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds are interactive art that invites joyful participation.  Jose Ortiz, Artisphere's Executive Director and the curator of Silver Clouds, was attracted to the work a decade ago at Queens Museum of Art.  He remembers:
As I looked around, someone dared to touch a Cloud, and then someone else did, literally setting art in motion. Often, there are barriers created between art and audience. Silver Clouds breaks those barriers and aligns with our focus on connecting our patrons directly to art, whether it be through physical touch or opportunities to engage with the artist.
The large crowd at tonight's opening reception frolicked in the Silver Clouds.  At times participants' activity spontaneously developed into something close to a mass, public pillow fight. Rosslyn forever will be famous for Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

no threat to trees in Belvedere re-landscaping

Re-landscaping ongoing on the south side of the Belvedere Condominiums along N. Fairfax Dr. has been causing some fear in the neighborhood.  A few blue spruces with cyclist-type figures seemed to under siege.  But don't worry.  These trees are not being attacked.  They are only being moved to accommodate a new landscape layout that appears to be quite green.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rosslyn cubism

Rosslyn is a premiere location for office space. But as the upcoming Andy Warhol exhibit makes clear, Rosslyn is also a dynamic and magnetic center of creative art.  Walk around Rosslyn and see the expressive shapes and patterns.  Rosslyn offers creative cubism!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds at Artisphere

Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds will open at Artisphere this Thursday at 7:30pm.   This blockbuster exhibit continues Rosslyn's marching forth to the forefront of modern art:
For the first time ever in the DC region, Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds will be “in motion” at Artisphere in Arlington from Thursday, September 12 through Sunday, October 20. This uplifting installation provides viewers a chance to touch and interact with Andy Warhol’s art in a whole new way. There are no stanchions or signs that say “do not touch,” playing with art is invited and encouraged. This exhibition marks the second time in its short three year history that Artisphere has presented a premiere of works by a leading and transformative figure in contemporary art—the first being the 2012 exhibition of Frida Kahlo: Her Photos, on view for the first time in the United States at Artisphere.
In conjunction with this special exhibit, Artisphere is commissioning a special dance piece, a generative video portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama (who is a strong proponent of growing vegetables), a site-specific sound installation, and a free family pop-art-themed open house.  Don't miss this special opportunity to find the silver lining at Artisphere.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday's video

Poncho Sanchez loves Rosslyn

A huge crowd enjoyed a beautiful Rosslyn day at the 23rd annual Rosslyn Jazz Festival.  Several of the acts, including the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Ensemble with James Carter, greeted and encourage the crowd, saying "Hello, DC," "That's right, DC" and other similar phrases that indicated that these superb jazz musicians thought that they were in the District of Columbia.  DC has an outstanding reputation for jazz, blues, hip-hop, and many other musical forms.  Rosslyn being musically mistaken for DC is not an insult.  It's a compliment to the outstanding quality and reputation of the Rosslyn Jazz Festival.

After his initial greetings to DC, Poncho Sanchez, who topped the Rosslyn Jazz Festival, reached out with a special love song to Rosslyn.  His ensemble performed the gorgeous Willie Bobo Medley.  As the video above documents, it was a poignant jazz tribute to Rosslyn.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Rosslyn Jazz Festival this Saturday!

The Rosslyn Jazz Festival, the area's premier jazz showcase, is happening this Saturday.  The stellar lineup blows off at 1pm with local favorite the Kenny Rittenhouse Septet, rising a notch above its usual sextet.  The jazzy afternoon will continue with Naomi Shelton and The Gospel Queens and then the Soul Rebels.  Topping the super-sonic festival at 5:30pm will be Olè Coltrane, featuring Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band with special guest James Carter.  Jimmy Carter, as is well known, has an important connection to Rosslyn and Gateway Park's Key Bridge.  Don't miss the Rosslyn Jazz Festival this Saturday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clarendon threatens Rosslyn with covered bike parking

Rosslyn is a hub for bike trails radiating out across the metropolitan area, throughout the eastern seaboard, and reaching all the way to Portland, Oregon.  Rosslyn is regularly the largest pit stop on Bike to Work Day.  In short, Rosslyn is the capital of biking in the capital region.

The recent installation of covered bike racks in Clarendon threatens Rosslyn's stylistic eminence in bike parking.  Rosslyn has well-recognized stylistic leadership in open bike racks with its artispherical bike racks, its art-deco bike rack, and its folk-art bike posts.  Rosslyn also has covered bike parking hidden within the Rosslyn metro station.  But that Rosslyn bike parking is significantly less stylish than the new Clarendon bike parking.  Rosslyn needs to strengthen further its covered bike parking to put down the new challenge from Clarendon.

The upcoming Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM) meeting undoubtedly will discuss a forceful response to Clarendon.  The meeting will address "Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues in Arlington and at the Iwo Jima Memorial." Speakers will be Jon James, Deputy Superintendent, and Ben Helwig, Chief of Lands and Planning, NPS George Washington Memorial Parkway and David Goodman, Arlington County Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs Manager.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 18, at 7 PM, in the Prospect House Condominium Meeting Room (enter from the 1200 block of N. Oak Street).  The Rosslyn metro station renovation provides a good opportunity to keep Rosslyn safe from Clarendon and ensure that Rosslyn remains at the forefront of stylish bike parking.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

utility wires should be moved

Branches of a magnificent Oak treek in Rosslyn near the corner of N. Meade St. and 14th St. are at risk of possible harm from utility wires running through its branches. A storm could easily cause the wires to sway and to damage the tree's branches.  Raising the wires to pass more cleanly by the tree's lower branches would help.