Tysons, VA

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (Jan. 15)

  • VSA Teas’n You Fundraiser — 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at Teas’n You (8032 Leesburg Pike) — Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Vietnamese Student Association at Virginia Tech. Anyone who stops by for bubble tea or a snack can show the event page or mention the VSA to donate a section of their purchase to the group.
  • Floral Arrangement Class — 7-9 p.m. at Northside Social (205 Park Avenue) — Galleria Florist will host a sip and design class taught by Alisa Rabinovich. People will learn to make a table arrangement. The class cost is $60 and includes a glass of wine.

Thursday (Jan. 16)

  • Non-Obvious Book Launch — 7-9 p.m. at La Sandia (7852 Tysons Corner Center) — Rohit Bhargava will release the next book in his series at this event. People are encouraged to wear yellow in support of the author and to celebrate his birthday, which happens to be on the day of the event.  Tickets range in price from free to $79, which includes signed copies and other swag.
  • Penny University: Preparing to Travel to Iceland — 7-8 p.m. at Caffe Amouri Coffee Roaster (107 Church Street NE) — People planning a trip to Iceland are welcome to join for a conversation that helps them prepare a packing list for their upcoming trip. Staff from REI will be at the event assisting anyone with questions. This event is free and people can RSVP for a spot.

Friday (Jan. 17)

  • Bailen at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) —  The group blends together folk-rock with pop influences to earn a spot on Sofar Sounds’ 2018 artist watch list. Tickets start at $22.

Saturday (Jan. 18)

  • Be Fit McLean– 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — This event brings together exhibitors from around the area and will teach community members how to lead a more healthy life and incorporate dance, fitness, mental health and better eating habits into their daily routine. This event is free.
  • Free Kettle Bell Class — noon to 1 p.m. at Functional Fitness (350 S. Washington Street) —  Every Saturday in January, Functional Fitness is hosting a free class for community members in order to promote wellness and allow people to try out the multi-functional workout.

Image via Bailen/Facebook

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The owner of Tysons Ballroom — who happens to be a former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant — became an author in 2020 with the release of his new kids’ book.

Garry Gekhman, who started dancing at age 6, published “Little Yura Loves to Dance” on Tuesday (Jan. 7) in hopes of inspiring a younger generation to pursue their passion for dance, according to a press release.

Earlier today (Jan. 9), he debuted his book with a reading for kids at the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a non-profit preschool.

As a recipient of support from the local Rotary Club, which Gekhman is a member of, he said the children’s center seemed like the perfect location for the reading.

At various times throughout the morning, two classes of roughly 20 preschoolers gathered for storytime and a dance class taught by Gekhman and Suusar Ganbold, Tysons Ballroom’s manager. They learned the basics of dancing — including direction and poise — while interacting with their peers.

Gekhman also shared with the kids parts of a Youtube video adapted from his book.

The book’s storyline guides kids through the life of the main character Yura, the name people called Gekhman in Russia before he moved to the U.S.

Growing up, Gekhman said he struggled with his weight and felt like he didn’t fit in with his peers. Through dance, he managed to find his identity and overcome previous struggles and then decided to share his story with kids who might be dealing with the same issues.

“If you are passionate about something, you’ll achieve it,” Gekhman told Tysons Reporter. “It doesn’t matter how you look.”

Gekhman’s advice to young people: “Follow your passion, think big and start small.”

Gekhman moved to Virginia in 2007 and is now an award-winning dancer who has performed at the White House. He currently teaches Latin dance at his studio (8032 Leesburg Pike, Suite 201). Occasionally, he will also judge various competitions and help co-organize the Yuletide Ball Championships in D.C.

People interested in purchasing his book can find it online for $15.95.

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Local author Joe Jamaldinian began writing to inspire the younger generations to follow their dreams and explore new ambitions.

After the success of his first book “Bob Winging It,” he recently decided to write a second called “Bob In A Box.”

So far, Jamaldinian said the feedback has been fabulous.

“Bob In A Box” is about a penguin named Bob who leaves his comfort zone — or metaphorical box — to explore the world and discover the wonders beyond his comfort zone.

Jamaldinian decided to self-publish his second book after being disappointed in the services provided by his former publishing company.

The artist and writer began drawing penguins for fun because he thinks they are fun and silly animals, who don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.

While working at his previous job, people noticed Jamaldinian’s sketches and suggested that he take his creative talents to the next level.

As a parent himself, he said he understands the importance of kids’ passion for reading and exploration. He hopes Penguin Bob, the main character of the books, will allow kids to see themselves in the character and feel free to experiment with new hobbies and passions like writing or art.

Now, he attends craft fairs, markets and events where he can introduce his book to the community and potentially sell a few copies. Jamaldinian also volunteers around the area reading to kids at schools.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of either “Bob In A Box” for $18 or “Bob Winging It” for $15 can find the books on Amazon. Or, if purchased on the author’s website, Jamaldinian will personally sign the book and write a message for the recipient.

Instagram users can check out Penguin Bob cartoons on the social media app as well and purchase character prints.

Photo via Joe Jamaldinian

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Monday (Dec. 23)

  • Christmas Drive-Thru Light Show — 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. at McLean Bible Church (8925 Leesburg Pike) — Community members are invited to drive through the area to see a collection of festive lights. This event is free.
  • Madeline’s Christmas” — 7:30 p.m. at Creative Cauldron, ArtSpace Falls Church (410 S. Maple Avenue) — This musical explores how Madeline helps her classmates and teacher when they are sick in bed on Christmas eve. Tickets are $30 for adults and cheaper tickets are available for kids, older adults and members of the military.

Saturday (Dec. 28)

  • 70’s Disco & Funk Dance Party — 7:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. at The Palladium (8453 Tyco Road) — Partygoers can dance to a variety of 70s’ music and enjoy performances from a DJ. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online.
  • “The Kindness Book” Story Time — 11 a.m. Barnes and Noble Booksellers at Tysons Corner Center — Families are welcome to join in a free story time featuring “The Kindness Book.” There will be activities following the event, but the event page did not specify what they will be.

Photo via Creative Cauldron/Facebook

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Get Back in the Book!” by Larry Issa has only been in circulation for less than a year but it’s already sold more than 1,500 copies around the Northern Virginia area.

Issa’s picture book is about a young boy named Danny who writes his own book but catches the characters trying to sneak out of the pages because they think the book is boring. Danny ends up teaching his creations the value of books and convinces them that their happy place is within their own story.

Issa told Tysons Reporter that he hopes the message resonates with kids, and they take away a deeper appreciation for literature.

“A lot of my family members are teachers, and one complaint is that reading levels are going down,” he said.

Issa, who is from the McLean area, said he wants to encourage kids around the area and globe to love literature just as much as he did as a kid.

All of the characters in the book are inspired by things he loves doing or what he wanted to be growing up. The dinosaur tends to be a popular character, but Issa said the astronaut is his personal favorite.

In November, Issa won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in first-place for the picture book category.

When it came to the book design and art, Issa approached British artist Emma Chadwick with an idea for a partnership after discovering her art portfolio on Instagram.

As a designer, Issa had a very distinctive plan for what he hoped the book would become and said that he and Chadwick worked well as a cohesive team after accepting the offer. They agreed that a darker color scheme would suit the story well since the book takes place on a school night in the child’s bedroom.

When not working as a professional designer, Issa spends a lot of his time performing readings to school kids and selling his books at local shops, markets and festivals.

As a self-publisher, Issa began giving advice to others who want to publish children’s books and began his new brand — Kalmus Books. He said some of his mentees are planning to publish their books under Kalamus in the future.

Issa told Tysons Reporter that the best advice he can give future authors is to just put themselves out there and start writing, adding that his book went through more than 25 rounds of edits before publication.

He currently coordinates with schools and local charities to give away copies of his book to students in need and seeking donation sponsors to follow in the footsteps of The Closet in Herndon, who recently purchased 100 copies.

People can email Larry Issa if they are interested in helping the cause.

“Get Back in the Book” is available in hard-cover and can be purchased in person at a variety of popups for $18.99 or online, for $21.

Issa said he made the copies slightly more expensive online because he wants to encourage the community to check out markets and book stores in-person.

Although he has received requests for digital and soft-cover copies, he said he doesn’t want to release them just yet because these formats weaken the storytelling experience.

“We are all about the aesthetics,” Issa said.

If anyone wants to meet Issa and purchase their own copy of the book signed on-site, they are welcome to stop by the holiday market in Tysons Corner Center, where he can usually be found during mall hours until Tuesday (Dec. 24), when the pop-up shop closes.

“Get Back in the Book” can also be purchased at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive).

Issa expects to publish another book soon.

He told Tysons Reporter that hints or “easter eggs” for the upcoming book can be seen in drawings from the main character in”Get Back in the Book.”

Images courtesy Larry Issa

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Monday (Dec. 9)

  • NVTC Tech 100 Party — 6 to 8 p.m. at Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Blvd) — This event invites community members involved with technology to network and enjoy drinks and food. The cost of the event ranges from $195-$235.

Wednesday (Dec. 11)

  • Holiday Cooking Party — 7 to 10 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — Attendees will learn how to create recipes including festive fruits, veggies and desserts. Registration is $80 for the public and $65 for district residents. Participants must be over 18 years old.

Thursday (Dec. 12)

  • Tysons Women’s Business Book Club — noon to 1 p.m. at 1751 Pinnacle Drive #600 — This book club invites industry professionals to come network and enjoy a new book. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and a lunch or snacks to share. It is not necessary to read the book beforehand.
  • Holiday Happy Hour — 4 to 7 p.m. at Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) — High Point Pub will host a happy hour with live music and drinks from Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard Cocktail Company.

Friday (Dec. 13)

  • “The R-Word Film” Screening — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Capital One Bank (1680 Capital One Drive) — The McLean CapAbilities chapter will host this free event to educate the community on the lives of people with disabilities, using key characters in order to shift the conversation and societal views. Lunch will be provided and attendees will hear from the director and people highlighted in the film.
  • Vienna Town Council Holiday Reception — 4 to 6 p.m. at Town Hall (127 S. Center Street) — Community members are invited to celebrate the holidays with the Vienna Town Council. This event is free and registration isn’t required.
  • Live Nativity Scene — 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1325 Scotts Run Road) — This event will celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus with a nativity — including live animals petting zoo and actors. Cookies and hot cocoa will also be available.

Saturday (Dec. 14)

  • Another Silent Night – The Musical” — 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Columbia Baptist Church, The Sanctuary (103 W. Columbia Street) — This musical invites families to hear about an Army officer who returns from WW1 during the Christmas Season.  Childcare for kids ages 5 and under is available with preregistration. Tickets are $5 per person or up to $20 per family.

Photo via Ed Robertson/Unsplash

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Oct. 22)

  • Beer School 101 — 6 to 8 p.m. at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (7861 Tysons Corner Center) — Gordon Biersch’s head brewer is hosting an event to teach attendees how to start the beer-making process. Light appetizers are included with the $10 admission price. Tickets are $10 and can be found online.

Wednesday (Oct. 23)

  • Startup Social — 6 to 9 p.m. at Office Evolution (8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 110) — Aspiring entrepreneurs are welcome to come and learn more about how to start a business from a panel of business founders. Attendees should register online beforehand.

Thursday (Oct. 24)

  • Lauren Liess Book Signing — 7-9 p.m. at Ballard Designs (8084 Tysons Corner Center) — The HGTV host of “Best House on the Block” will be at the mall signing her new book and talking about her inspiration. This event is free and there will be light appetizers and drinks.
  • Falls Church City Council Election Debate — 7 p.m. at Falls Church American Legion Hall, Post 130 (400 N. Oak Street) — In this debate, the candidates for the upcoming Falls Church City Council will face-off and discuss topics surrounding the community. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Kirby Road Community Meeting — 7 p.m. at Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road) — This meeting will discuss the flood damage in the area and cover what is being done to fix it. This event is free and open to the public. 

Saturday (Oct. 26)

  • Code and Coffee Meetup — 9 a.m. until 13:30 p.m. at NuAxis Innovations (8605 Westwood Center Drive) —  This monthly event will provide people a chance to enjoy snacks, coffee, free wifi and the company of other coders. It is free, but participants are encouraged to RSVP.
  • Wellness Fair — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter (543 Beulah Road NE) — This event is open to everyone and will give people the chance to enjoy keynote speakers, try yoga, hang out with therapy dogs, have lunch and play in a bounce house. Tickets are $12 per adult, $5 for kids or $25 for the whole family and can be purchased online.
  • Pup-Tober Fest — 5-7:30 p.m. at Dogtopia (1524 Spring Hill Road) — This event invites pet owners to gather for an evening of deals, food, a raffle and treats. This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday (Oct. 27)

  • Spooky Yoga — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — This seasonal event invites all ages to try out a yoga class. Tickets are $25. Attendees must bring their own mat and costumes are welcome.

Ready for spooky season? Tysons Reporter also rounded up Halloween events.

Image via Facebook/Dogtopia

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The editor in chief of the Falls Church News-Press released a book earlier this month exploring a gay perspective on feminism.

Author Nick Benton released his book “Gay Men in the Feminist Revolution: Articles, Pamphlets and Reflections on My Gay Activist Days in San Francisco, 1969-1972” on Sept. 17 through Amazon. Benton told Tysons Reporter that he hopes it will educate people on the power of feminism in politics.

Though this isn’t his first book discussing perspectives from the LGBTQ+ community, Benton released his latest book for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

“This is my two cents in terms of what happened 50 years ago,” Benton said.

Benton began his career in the San Francisco Bay Area writing for different gay media outlets and spent several years as an LGBTQ activist before moving to D.C. to become a White House correspondent.

Later in his career, he decided to set up shop and start a newspaper in Falls Church to cover a local news gap.

Benton told Tysons Reporter that he thinks feminism will be important for switching up the political culture in 2020 and hopes his readers will walk away with a more comprehensive background through historical documentation.

Readers might be surprised about “the depth of the commitment to feminism by gay men,” he said, adding that people often think about the topic as “one-dimensional,” but in reality, the gay community is very thoughtful and supportive when it comes to feminism.

When asked how people in the City of Falls Church will react to the book, he referenced the former FCNP column “Anything But Straight” saying that LBGTQ perspectives were well received by readers and he expects the same for his book.

During the writing process, Benton said he struggled to find the time and energy to complete the book, adding that much of it is based on extensive research he did himself.

The “Stonewall 50” event, hosted at the Falls Church Episcopal Church back in June, inspired him to finally finish the book. The event attracted several dominant figures in the larger community who spoke about the importance of LGBTQ advocacy, Falls Church News-Press reported.

Going forward, he hopes new generations will learn from and engage with his book.

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Comic fans rejoice — today is National Comic Book Day. Tysons Reporter has rounded up some places to check out to buy comic books.

The concept of comic books originated in the U.S. around 1933, according to the National Day calendar. “Famous Funnies” was a reprint of popular newspaper comics and sold as the first comic book. It embodied storytelling devices associated with comic books seen today.

Several local shops keep the comic book spirit alive in the Tysons area.

Big Planet Comics 

At the local chain’s Vienna location (426 E. Maple Avenue), the store offers visitors a large variety of comic book options including print editions, online comics and even a comic-book based podcast. Today, the store is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The shop also has locations in Mayland and D.C., though hours vary.

One More Page Books 

Though more of a bookshop, the store does offer customers a comic and graphic novel section. People can browse over 100 pages of options on the bookstore’s website. The store also offers a selection at their physical location (2200 N. Westmoreland Street) near the East Falls Church Metro station. Hours of operation today are 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Victory Comics

Victory Comics claims to have one of the most comprehensive inventories in the D.C. area, according to its website. Located in Falls Church at 586 S. Washington Street, the store sells new comics, sports cards, paperbacks and a variety of other items. The store is also looking to buy comics. Hours of operation today are 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hole in the Wall Books also used to sell comics in Falls Church until it closed in August.

Photo via Big Planet Comics/Facebook

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This weekend, bibliophiles can gather for a charity used book sale.

The McLean branch of the American Association of University Women is putting on a book sale that will provide scholarships for college students. This year marks the annual sale’s 50th anniversary.

Since the organization’s founding in 1969, the AAUW strives to assist with advocacy, education, philanthropy and research for women seeking higher education.

There will be a wide variety of genres available including philosophy, cookbooks, business, law, science, mathematics, travel, art, pets and animals and books in foreign languages, according to the event’s website. There will also be specialty and vintage books available for purchase.

For anyone not interested in books, there will also be a selection of DVDs.

Prices range from $10 to $200. Both cash and credit cards will be accepted.

The event will take place on Friday (Sept. 13) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday (Sept. 14) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday (Sept. 15) from noon-4 p.m at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue).

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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