Tysons, VA

Labor Day is almost here — and the end of pool season.

While swimming in the pool or lounging nearby are popular summer activities, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on swimsuit season, unless you have a private pool or know someone who does.

Fairfax County didn’t allow public indoor and outdoor swimming pools to reopen until mid-June only for lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction.

Then when Phase 3 guidelines went into effect on July 1, public pools could allow up to 75% occupancy with 10 feet of physical distance between users who are not from the same household. Public hot tubs, spas, saunas and spray pools are still closed though.

“This guidance applies to all community pools, including those operated by apartment and condominium complexes, recreation centers, homeowner’s associations and swim clubs,” according to Fairfax County’s website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they don’t have evidence that the novel coronavirus can be spread in the water.

“Plus, proper operation of public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds (such as at an apartment complex or owned by a community) and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus,” according to the CDC.

When we asked readers in June how they felt about using public pools, roughly 40% said they wouldn’t because of COVID-19 concerns, while 36% said they would.

With Labor Day soon marking the unofficial end to summer, we want to know if you have been to the pool. Let us know in the poll below and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo by Toni Cuenca/Unsplash

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People looking to read a few more books before summer ends in a few weeks might want to check out work by local authors.

Tysons Reporter recently revisited its profiles of local authors from the last few months. From murder mysteries to kids’ books, the books run the gamut of genres.

While nowhere near an exhaustive list, the titles below are a few of the recent books by Tysons-area residents:

Little Yura Loves to Dance

At the start of this year, Garry Gekhman, the owner of Tysons Ballroom, published the kids’ book. Gekhman, who is a former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant and started dancing at age 6, hopes the book sparks kids’ passion for dancing.

To Kill a Mocking Girl

Harper Kincaid’s murder mystery is set in Vienna and features local spots like Bards Alley bookstore and the Freeman Store. The book follows a woman’s investigation after she is framed for murder. The book debuted in May.

Bob In A Box

After the success of “Bob Winging It,” local author Joe Jamaldinian decided to write a second book about a penguin named Bob. “Bob In a Box” was published last January.

Jamaldinian told Tysons Reporter that he aims to inspire the younger generations to follow their dreams through his writing.

Get Back in the Book!

Larry Issa won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2019 for his picture book about a young boy who keeps catching the characters trying to escape from his book. The book, which features art by British artist Emma Chadwick, was released last January.

The Emancipation of Evan Walls

Jeffrey Blount published his novel tackling classism and racism last June. The main character, Evan Wells, reflects on the oppression he faced during his childhood in a small Virginian town.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the book, Blount and his wife Jeanne Meserve, a former anchor and correspondent for CNN and ABC News, are set to talk about the book during a Zoom event on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Gay Men in the Feminist Revolution

Nick Benton, the founder and owner of the Falls Church News-Press, released the volume for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969. The book explores the power of feminism in politics and discusses various perspectives in the LGBTQ+ community.

Benton, who wrote for gay media outlets and worked as an LGBTQ in the San Francisco Bay Area, told Tysons Reporter that the book “is my two cents in terms of what happened 50 years ago.”

BunnyElla

Cooper Middle School student Chloe Middleton became a published author with her book about a bunny who has to be brave and overcome peer pressure. An artist digitized the artwork by Chloe and her younger sister, Adeline, for the book.

The book was published in March. Chloe told Tysons Reporter that she is working on a sequel.

Vienna Stories 1950-2000

Marie Kisner, a former public information officer for the Town of Vienna, collected and compiled newspaper stories to share vignettes about what the town was like from the 1950s to early 2000s.

Kisner got the idea for the book after the town’s clerk office gave her dozens of boxes with news article clippings. The book was published in 2019.

Do you know of a local author with a book published within the last year that isn’t on the list? Email us at [email protected]

Photo via Kimberly Farmer/Unsplash

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Local photographers have been out capturing what the Tysons area looks like this summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the D.C. region.

While Jay Westcott, the staff photographer for our parent company Local News Now, is off until September, we’ve had support from freelancer Michelle Goldchain and readers who volunteered to snap some photos for us.

During recent visits to the Town of Vienna and Tysons, Goldchain captured well-known spots, like the red caboose in Vienna and the Capital One tower in Tysons.

She also snapped some photos of activity, like the construction that is underway at Tysons Galleria. Her photos show that the pandemic hasn’t stopped people from exercising along the W&OD Trail.

Whether or not there are people inside, the office and hotel buildings are still gleaming in Tysons.

We’ve also had several readers send us photos. Over the last few weeks, Joanne Liebig has shared the flowers she’s spotted around Westpark and International drives in Tysons:

Thank you to everyone who has submitted photos!

You can reach us at [email protected] or tag/direct message us on our social media accounts (InstagramTwitter and Facebook).

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Falls Church’s parks and recreation department is hosting a scavenger hunt that will take people to parks and historic landmarks throughout the city.

The “Historic Scavenger Hunt” will have clues participants will have to solve about parks and landmarks.

“At each stop, you’ll find a kiosk or sign with a corresponding letter. Unscramble the letters from the nine clues and you’ll crack the code word and win a Historic Scavenger Hunt t-shirt!” the city said in a newsletter.

People can download the form to track the code work. Once the form is complete, people can email it to [email protected] by Sunday, July 5, for the chance to win a t-shirt.

Falls Church isn’t the only Tysons-area place holding a scavenger hunt — the McLean Community Center is also hosting one.

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For people seeking a summer activity, the McLean Community Center has organized an all-ages scavenger hunt.

The MCC Super Summer Scavenger Hunt promises participants the chance to complete 100 challenges with a team of four to 10 people, according to the website.

Each challenge consists of taking photos, geocaching, finding specific items and other such activities, the page said, adding that each task will be worth a variety of points.

“Teams earning at least 30,000 points will be entered into a grand prize drawing,” the website said.

Participation is free but only 125 teams can participate. The first 50 teams to register will receive a goodie bag, according to the page.

The challenge will run from July 1-Aug. 17. Group captains, who must be 16 or older, can register the teams online.

Team members will need a cell phone to document their findings.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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The Town of Vienna’s summer concert series will still happen — just not at the Town Green.

Audiences for “Summer on the Green” will instead watch the concerts via Facebook Live or at local businesses at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays.

The town announced on its website that the changes are due to safety concerns with COVID-19.

People will be able to make song requests and play trivia and virtual bingo to win prizes, according to the town. “If you miss the live shows, you can watch later on Facebook or on Youtube,” the website says.

Here’s the line-up:

The town and the Rotary Club of Vienna, along with other sponsors, host the series of free performances.

The Vienna Business Association is encouraging businesses to sign up to stream the concerts.

Photo via Town of Vienna/Facebook

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(Updated 4:30 p.m.) Fans of fresh produce can find many farmers markets around Tysons with spring almost officially here.

Several markets recently announced opening dates for the spring season.

Though some markets are seeded in tradition, with founding dates over 30 years ago, there are several new options for shoppers that only popped up in the last year or so.

Tysons Reporter rounded up places — including a few year-round markets — where shoppers can score fresh food and locally-sourced items.

The Falls Church Farmers Market at the City Hall parking lot (300 Park Ave) is open year-round and offers shoppers choices from more than 50 vendors, according to the City of Falls Church’s website.

From April through December, the market is open from 8 a.m. until noon. From January through March, the market is open from 9 a.m. until noon.

The Vienna Farmers Market exclusively offers locally-sourced items, according to its website.

“The Vienna Farmers Market is a Certified Farmers Market, meaning that our farmers can provide proof of local produce and take pride in that they have produced the products available for sale,” according to the website.

The seasonal market will operate from May through the end of October for the 2020 season, the website said, adding that hours of operation will be 8 a.m. until noon each Saturday at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE).

NOVA Central Farm Market is part of a larger network of year-round markets around the area including ones in Bethesda and Westfield.

The closest location is open on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. April through December and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. January through March at Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike) in Falls Church.

FARMFRESH Mosaic began last year and is located in the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave) on Sundays. It is open year-round but hours of operation vary depending on the season.

On Sundays, the market is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. from April through December and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. January through March.

The Tysons Farmers Market will take place seasonally beginning June 2 at The Plaza in front of Tysons Corner Center on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m, its website said. Programming at the market will also be family-friendly, according to the page.

This year, the McLean Farmers Market will be open from May 8 through Nov. 13 in Lewinsville Park (1659 Chainbridge Road). Every Friday, vendors will offer an array of locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, freshly baked bread and other local products from 8 a.m. until noon, according to Fairfax County.

This specific market became a tradition in the area after its founding in 1980, according to the website, which added that many vendors have been setting up shop each season for over 30 years.

Photo via McLean Farmers Market/Facebook

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Updated 3/3/2020 — Wolf Trap added new performers including Pitbull and Elvis Costello & The Imposters to its summer line-up. An updated list is below with the new concerts.

Summer is still several months away, but the Filene Center at Wolf Trap recently unveiled its summer lineup, which will feature several Irish music and dance, along with John Legend.

Tysons Reporter rounded up the noteworthy concerts coming to the outdoor amphitheater.

Photo via Wolf Trap

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End of Summer Fun!

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

The clock is ticking on our summer fun!

Just 2 weeks to go until the kids go back to school and the adults go back to our regular schedules. But before that happens, there’s actually a lot going on around the area for some late summer fun.

You’ve got 3 weeks left at the pool, but if you’re looking for something else to do, try one of these things this week:

  • Restaurant Week all over D.C. and NoVA! Find a full list of restaurant participants here. Some of my favorites include Ambar, Ford’s Fish Shack, Lyon Hall and TenPenh
  • Arlington County Fair: August 14-18, see the full schedule here. Pretend you’re reliving ViVa Vienna or McLean Day!
  • Kids on the Green: 10 a.m. at the Town Green, kids performers
  • Chillin’ on Church: 6:30 p.m. on the Town Green with a live band, food trucks, activities for kids and beer truck!
  • Kids Obstacle Course at McLean Central Park: Saturday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m. Buy $10 tickets here. The Vienna Kids Adventure Race was last weekend and so much fun! If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend for the under 10 crowd.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Volta Under The Big Top; Definitely not too dark for the whole family but a great excuse for a date night!

Also I’d love some reader input! If you have a favorite getaway for a day, drop it in the comments below.

Do you like going to Sandy Point for a beach day? Know a better spot? Let me know!

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Fairfax County Public Library is trying something new this year — a county-wide, adult summer reading challenge.

In years past, various branches held individual challenges for adults, but after demand rose, the county designed a unified program, according to Mary Mulrenan, a spokesperson for FCPL.

“A small committee worked together to create a system-wide program that would provide a way for all library customers to participate,” she said.

So far, participants have turned in 1,534 logs to the library — significantly more than they originally anticipated, according to Mulrenan. “We are surveying customers and to date, 73 people have completed our survey. Out of this number, 92% have rated it excellent or very good and 95% will participate again next summer.”

Anyone interested in participating can pick up reading logs at any local FCPL branch or print them out on the website. The nearest location is the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike).

To complete the challenge, participants must complete two reading logs, each consisting of a challenge to read or listen to four books and complete one other task, like trying out the library’s research database or following FCPL’s social media accounts.

Participants who return one log will be given goodies such as free snacks, discounts, fine forgiveness at the library or free entry to a Fairfax County recreation center.

Upon completion of a second log, participants will receive a drawstring bag and be entered into a drawing at the end of the summer for a canvas bag filled with a Barnes and Noble gift card, a journal and a portable beach blanket. Individual branches may offer additional prizes, according to the county library website.

Anyone interested in participating can still turn in reading logs until Aug. 31.

The library plans to offer more incentives next summer, due to this year’s high demand.

“It’s wonderful that we have exceeded that number and we still have time (one month) to gain more finishers. We also hope to encourage more businesses to sponsor coupons,” Mulrenan said.

Image via Fairfax County

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