Newsletter

Morning Notes

Capital One Center Nears Next Opening — The Washington Business Journal toured Capital One Center as the mixed-use development prepares to open more facilities, including The Perch, a skypark set to open this summer, and Capital One Hall, the performing arts venue that will open in October. The complex will accommodate about 10,000 Capital One employees, but it’s also intended to appeal to local residents like The Boro or The Wharf in downtown D.C. [Washington Business Journal]

Fairfax County Introduces Transportation Debit Card — The new Transportation Options, Programs & Services (TOPS) initiative replaces the county’s existing taxi voucher programs. Serving older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income residents, TOPS provides a transportation debit card in lieu of paper vouchers and supports more transportation options, including rideshare, Metro, and public buses. [Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services]

Wolf Trap National Park Superintendent Leaves — Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts Superintendent George Liffert left the role he’d held since 2016 in May to take over Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, the National Park Service announced yesterday (Tuesday). Wolf Trap Deputy Superintendent Ken Bigley is now serving as acting superintendent until a permanent successor is selected. [NPS]

Madison HS Seniors Graduate — James Madison High School held an in-person graduation ceremony for its Class of 2021 at Jiffy Lube Live in Prince William County. Principal Greg Hood invoked the many musicians who have performed at the outdoor amphitheater in a speech to the new graduates, who were commended for their perseverance and motivation in an unusual year. [Madison HS/Twitter]

Falls Church City Wins Mayor’s Fitness Challenge — The City of Falls Church bested the Town of Vienna and Fairfax City in an eight-week competition to determine the “Most Fit Community.” Falls Church participants averaged 1,622.28 minutes of exercise, followed by Vienna with an average of 1,484 minutes and the City of Fairfax with an average of 1,289.25 minutes. [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

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

Tuesday (May 25)

  • Fit4Mom Stroller Strides — 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave) — Fit4Mom Stroller Strides is a 60-minute workout that includes strength training, cardio, and core restoration, along with entertainment for the little ones in your stroller. Classes meet in Strawberry Park in front of Mom & Pop. Register online. Your first session is free. A second class will be held on Thursday (May 27) at the same time.
  • Introduction to Corporate Giving (Online) — 2-3:30 p.m. — The Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library will provide this workshop for nonprofits looking for corporate support. The class will teach participants how to find potential corporate donors and how to successfully win their support. Registration is required.

Wednesday (May 26)

  • Partial Lunar Eclipse — 4-6 a.m. at Burke Lake Park (7315 Ox Rd.) — Join some astronomical naturalists to view the partial lunar eclipse. Stars and constellations will be viewable too. There will be some telescopes available, but participants are encouraged to bring binoculars. There is a registration fee of $1o.
  • (the) Unruly Theatre Project’s Virtual Improv Show (Online) — 7 p.m. — The McLean Community Center’s teen improv group is putting on its latest virtual performance. Registration is open up to two hours before the show. The Zoom link and password will be emailed to those who register. For more information, contact [email protected].

Thursday (May 27)

Friday (May 28)

  • Parent & Me Snack and Paint — 7-9 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Join the Old Firehouse Center for a Snack and Paint event. A parent and their child (ages 10-18) can join for $30 total, which includes all painting materials and snacks. Register and make a spring-themed masterpiece.

Saturday (May 29)

  • In-Person Early Voting for Democratic Primary — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Falls Church City Hall (300 Park Ave.) — City Hall will open this Saturday for registered Falls Church voters to vote early in the Democratic Party’s June 8 primary election to decide the party’s candidates for Virginia’s governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general in the November election.
  • ViVa! Vienna! — 10 a.m.-10 p.m. — After having to cancel last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ViVa! Vienna! is back. Rides and entertainment start Saturday for the Town of Vienna’s Memorial Day weekend festival, with vendors setting up on Sunday (May 30) and Monday (May 31). A full schedule as well as information about buying tickets and the vendors that will be in attendance can be found on the ViVa! Vienna! website.
  • Ride of the Patriots — 10 a.m. at 9739 Fairfax Blvd. — Patriot Harley-Davidson‘s annual Memorial Day tribute to military service members and first responders will begin in Fairfax City and travel on Route 50 East to I-495 North into D.C. over Memorial Bridge. There will be a second ride on Sunday, but each ride will be limited to 225 people. Registration costs $25.

Monday (May 31)

  • Memorial Day Ceremony & Parade — 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) — The City of Falls Church is bringing back many of its Memorial Day traditions, albeit in a slightly scaled-down form. Pre-registration and masks are required to attend the ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial, while the parade will travel throughout the city instead of sticking to Park Avenue.

Photo via ViVa! Vienna!/Facebook

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Updated at 3:00 p.m. — The Town of Vienna has postponed its Arbor Day celebration again, citing inclement weather that is supposed to hit Fairfax County this afternoon.

The tree planting will now take place at 4:30 pm on Thursday (May 6).

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

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

Monday (May 3)

  • Arbor Day Tree Planting — 4:30 p.m. at Southside Park (1317 Ross Dr. SW) — The Town of Vienna will celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree at Southside Park. This ceremony was originally scheduled to take place last Friday (April 30), but it got postponed due to the windy weather. (Update: This event has been postponed to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.)

Tuesday (May 4)

  • Family PASS 5th Annual Golf Benefit — 12 p.m. at Westfields Golf Club (13940 Balmoral Greens Ave.) — The fifth annual Family PASS Golf Tournament will be held at the Westfields Golf Club in Clifton to support working families facing homelessness in Fairfax County. There will be prizes for the top three teams, along with various other contests. Register and donate online to support this cause.
  • Fit4Mom Stroller Strides — 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave.) — Fit4Mom Stroller Strides is a total-body workout for moms with their kids in tow. The 60-minute workout includes strength training, cardio, and core restoration, along with entertainment for the little ones in your stroller. The class will meet in Strawberry Park in front of Mom & Pop. Register online for the class. Your first session is free.
  • Town Election Day — 6 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE) — Three seats on the Vienna Town Council are up for election. Residents of the Town of Vienna who are registered to vote can cast a ballot in person at the Vienna Community Center. Voters must show a valid form of ID to cast a ballot. Call 703-255-6303 for more information.

Wednesday (May 5)

  • Cinco de Mayo at Urbano Mosaic — 12-9 p.m. at Urbano (2985 District Ave.) — Eat, drink, and dance to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Mosaic District. There will be outdoor events with some tent coverage. A live DJ will be playing from 4 to 6 p.m., and a live band will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are on sale for food and drinks, and guests must be over 21 years old to enter the party.

Thursday (May 6)

  • Intentional Gardening: Make Way for the Pollinators (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — Master gardeners and Habitat Restoration Team members Sandy Tarpinian and Amy Crumpton lead the second session of Falls Church City’s three-part series about how gardeners can help create a healthy habitat for humans and wildlife. Email Marshall Webster at [email protected] to get the Zoom link.

Friday (May 7)

  • URBNmarket Spring Pop Up Market — 3-8 p.m. at the Mosaic District (2905 District Ave.) — The URBNmarket is back at the Mosaic District. Started in 2014, the pop-up crafts market features home decor, jewelry, toys, clothes, and more from artisans, collectors, and creators in the D.C. area. The market will also appear on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday (May 8)

  • Pups & Pints — 12-7 p.m. at the McLean Metro station (1820 Dolley Madison Blvd.) — For a second weekend, Capital One Center will convert the McLean Metro station parking lot into a pop-up dog park and beer garden. The event features live music, food trucks, a puppy parade, a Mutt Strutt contest, and vendors with dog-centric products and services. Advance registration for a time slot is required to ensure adequate social distancing on the site.

Sunday (May 9)

  • Virtual Mother’s Day Tea: Bringing Up Baby (Online) — 3 p.m. — Hosted by Green Spring Gardens, this virtual tea will focus on parenting through history. Learn about the child-rearing advice from the past that would shock and amuse us today. Register online for the Zoom link. Call 703-941-7987 for more information.

Photo via Town of Vienna/Facebook

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Put on weight during quarantine that you’re looking to lose? A new fitness center in Tysons says it can help.

Personal20, a electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) training program, opened its second U.S. studio in Sport & Health Tysons at 8250 Greensboro Drive on Tuesday (April 27).

Founded in Portugal before opening its first U.S. franchise in Herndon in 2017, Personal20 advertises its workout as giving users the effects of a 90-minute workout in just 20 minutes by using electrodes that stimulate the muscles being used during the workout.

Personal20 cofounder Connie Ruiz, who also owns the Herndon and Tysons studios, says that EMS workouts have especially gained popularity in Europe. The EMS technology has also been featured on shows like “The Doctors” and “Rachael Ray.”

Ruiz told Tysons Reporter that Personal20 decided to expand into the Tysons area, because the Herndon studio frequently draws people from Tysons and D.C.

“We believe this location will quickly build up to serve the local area,” she said.

Recognizing that people might not have time to undertake multiple 90-minute workouts every week, Personal20 recommends that its clients do an EMS workout once or twice a week, which it says would be the equivalent of 90 to 180 minutes of non-EMS training.

According to Ruiz, both U.S. studios comply with all CDC guidelines for gyms and fitness centers, including temperature checks, masks, social distancing and equipment sanitizing. Patrons are allowed to take off their masks while working out but must wear them while entering and exiting the studio.

She says the Tysons studio is 750 square feet in size, allowing up to four occupants at a time, or two trainers with a client each.

“We believe these are the reasons our first studio recovered after Covid,” Ruiz said. “People feel safe with the extra measures of cleanliness and privacy.”

For more information on Personal20, people can visit their website or call 571-407-1199 (Tysons) or 703-559-4040 (Herndon).

Photo via Connie Ruiz

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Where and How to Decrease Stress

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

Happy week 2 all your home schooling parents!

I say that with the enthusiasm of someone who’s had two cups of coffee today (and it’s not even noon yet). Regardless of your child care situation right now, everyone I know is under more stress lately than ever, myself included, and I wanted to help offer up some opportunities to combat that cortisol!

Exercise

  • I did a post a few months ago about the best hidden walking trails. Still an option, especially on Monday afternoons like today where the work at home is light.
  • Outdoor fitness classes: Orange Theory, Pure Barre and Yoga just to name a few, are all doing an outdoor fitness class if you have an interest and comfort level with being outdoor.

Food

  • I read online, reducing caffeine intake helps with reducing stress. This might be one of those do as I say, not as a I do… you could try a Viva Sol smoothie, South Block smoothie or SweetLeaf smoothie (fruit, kale or sweet mix-in).
  • The total opposite of that is a decadent treat — Crumbl, Pie Gourmet, Kiln and Co, etc.

Hang Out With Friends

  • Lots of socially distanced options right now — outdoor tables at many of the eateries, wineries/breweries, apple picking, pumpkin picking — so many options.
  • Organize an outdoor “playdate” on the grass at a school or the blacktop

As the weather begins to finally (thankfully) turn to the fall, I look forward to getting back outside when my own kids are off the screens. Happy fall!

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Updated 8/10/2020 — Clarifies White started the advocacy group and how much money the GoFundMe raised.

Vienna pickleball players looking for facilities of their own in Fairfax County now have a new club and advocacy group.

Sally Unger, a new ambassador for pickleball in Fairfax County, wants to persuade county officials to further support pickleball players by providing more and better facilities. 

She has created the Vienna Pickleball Club Facebook group, which was created in June and now boasts 92 members. After the Vienna Pickleball Club formed, Unger said Helen White, the USAPA District Ambassador for Northeast Virginia and D.C., started the Fairfax County Advocates for Pickleball (FCAP).

In Fairfax County, there are zero courts dedicated to pickleball, according to Unger. Instead, players have to adapt the game to tennis courts, which Unger said makes for an inauthentic game. For example, a pickleball net is shorter than a tennis net, and both games have different court lines. 

“It’s pretty frustrating,” said Unger, who is one of the advocacy group’s members. 

FCAP is fighting for a facility pickleball players can claim as their own. 

Unger’s three goals upon becoming an ambassador were to create a pickleball club, collect data about pickleball activity in the county and to understand how funding within the county works to ask for more support. She recently sent out a survey measuring trends and demographics within the pickleball community to bring to the county. 

While pushing for official pickleball facilities, FCAP is also looking for derelict tennis courts to save and remodel for pickleball play. They are already working with the Town of Vienna to consider resurfacing Vienna’s Glyndon Court into four pickleball courts. 

According to Unger, the public reception to the club and the advocacy has been “phenomenal.” One supporter of the group created a GoFundMe to raise money for nets, locks and other court essentials. The GoFundMe raised more than $1,900 in 72 hours, Unger said. 

Unger also credits some of the sport’s popularity to the pandemic — since the game is played outside and players are relatively distant, it makes for a safe way to stay active.

“It’s a great way to meet people and build a sense of community,” said Unger. “When we’re restricted to our own yards and it’s the only outlet where I have social contact, it keeps me sane.” 

People with questions or who are interested in joining can email [email protected] or visit the Vienna Pickleball Club’s Facebook page. 

Photo by Frankie Lopez/Unsplash

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Now that Virginia is in Phase Three of rolling back restrictions, the Fairfax County Park Authority announced today that the Spring Hill Recreation Center will reopen on Monday, July 13.

The McLean center (1239 Spring Hill Road) is a part of nine recreation centers reopening in the county.

“Please keep in mind that membership gives you access to the entire RECenter system; if your RECenter isn’t one of the first opened, you can visit one that has already opened,” the Park Authority said.

Here are the centers reopening this month:

  • July 13: Spring Hill and Lee District and Oak Marr
  • July 20: Audrey Moore, Cub Run and South Run
  • July 27: George Washington, Mount Vernon and Providence

People heading to the centers can expect health screenings for COVID-19 symptoms, mandatory face coverings when not exercising, reservation requirements and time limits for visits. The Park Authority also noted that less equipment will be available for use.

More from the Park Authority:

Initially, the fitness centers and pools will reopen under timed entry restrictions for individual workouts, lap swimming and water walking. Later, drop-in exercise and other classes inside the RECenters will resume, free and plate weights will return, and racquetball and basketball courts will be available. Please consult the RECenter Operational Calendar or go to individual RECenter websites for details on the services offered at each of the RECenters.

“All openings are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, state mandates, guidance from local health officials and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies,” the Park Authority said.

Photo by Marcus Ng on Unsplash

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People who have missed hitting the gym for the last few months are seeing options reopen.

Several gyms and yoga studios in the Tysons-area pivoted to online classes in April. Ahead of Northern Virginia starting to ease COVID-19 restrictions, some fitness center owners and clients pushed for more opportunities.

Now, fitness centers are allowed to open indoor spaces at 30% occupancy under Phase Two, which Northern Virginia entered June 12.

Fairfax County offers indoor and outdoor public swimming only for lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction. Public pools, including community pools, are not allowed to open for recreational use.

When Virginia enters Phase Three, Gov. Ralph Northam said that pools and gyms may open at 75% capacity. The date for when Virginia will enter that phase has not been announced yet.

Just because pools and gyms can open in limited capacities doesn’t mean that they will. Some gyms, like 24 Hour Fitness in Tysons, won’t reopen at all.

We want to know how you feel about going back to the gym during the pandemic. Let us know in the poll below.

Photo by Danielle Cerullo on Unsplash

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Updated 6/22/2020 — Corrects the date for when the swimming pools reopened.

Now that Northern Virginia has entered the second reopening phase, Fairfax County is now allowing public swimming with some restrictions.

The county allowed indoor and outdoor swimming pools to open on Friday, June 12, only for lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction.

Public pools, including ones in communities, cannot open right now for recreational use. Currently, hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools and interactive features are still closed.

People who operate public aquatic venues can find a list of safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of the suggestions include disinfecting frequently touched areas, ensuring there’s proper ventilation and encouraging swimmers to social distance.

“There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds. Additionally, proper operation of these aquatic venues and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus,” according to the CDC.

The CDC notes that decisions for whether or how to open the facilities “should be made locally” with input from local health officials.

Fairfax County’s restrictions on public swimming include:

  • limiting pool lanes to three people spaced 10 feet apart
  • limiting diving areas to three people spaced 10 feet apart
  • limiting water classes so participants can stay 10 feet apart
  • cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment after each use

How do you feel about using public pools?

Photo by Marcus Ng on Unsplash

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Local shop owners say they are seeing a run on bicycles thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. 

With both limited public transportation and social activity, people have gravitated towards cycling as a way to get outside. As a result, local bike stores have seen a massive rise in sales. 

“Our service area is seeing an unprecedented level of demand,” said Tim Fricker, the owner of [email protected] in Vienna. But for residents seeking a quick tuneup before hitting the road, they may have to wait a little longer with Fricker reporting a turnaround time of about seven weeks. 

“The longest turnaround time I can recall in the past is a few times where we hit three weeks,” he added. “There has been nothing like this.”

[email protected] sells “conventional bicycles” in addition to specialty bikes such as recumbent bikes and trikes, folding bikes, adaptive bikes, electric bikes and trikes. While they haven’t sold out on conventional bikes, Fricker predicts that most other shops and distributors have. 

Bikenetic in Falls Church, for example, is anticipating first-time and impulse-buyers to flock to the store. Inventory for entry-level riders has yet to be replenished, though.

“All of the companies we deal with have also run out of bikes and are waiting for purchase orders to fill back in from Asia,” said Jan Feuchtner, the owner of Bikenetic.

The store is also experiencing a delayed turnaround. Feuchtner reported also being seven weeks out on repairs with about 300 bikes in the queue, which is double the number of bikes they usually have backlogged. 

To adapt to the demand, [email protected] created heavier structure and discipline to better manage workflow. Fricker said they eliminated “while you wait” services with the exception of mid-ride issues such as a flat tire.

Additionally, they tweaked certain services due to the coronavirus pandemic. No customers are permitted in the store at any time, walk-in test rides are not allowed and payment is handled over the phone.

Fricker anticipates that typical bike stores will see a steep drop in sales once the pandemic begins to die down since the market will be “saturated.” Because of the specialty of his own store, however, he thinks [email protected] won’t be impacted as much and will have more returning customers.

Of the people who started biking because of the pandemic, some will likely continue riding when things return to normal, keeping business afloat. 

“I just don’t know what percentage will continue versus those who lose interest once the world gets back to something more normal. Time will tell.”

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