Tysons, VA

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) 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 (March 29)

  • COVID-19 Sports Informational Meeting (Online) — 6 p.m. — The Fairfax County Health Department will discuss COVID-19 & athletic programs. The county has provided a handout with policies related to COVID-19 and its effect on athletics. There will be time to voice any questions or concerns during the meeting. Questions may be sent in advance to [email protected].

Wednesday (March 31)

  • Celebree School Groundbreaking — 11 a.m. at Valo Park (7950 Jones Branch Dr.) — Celebree School, a private early childhood education franchise, will break ground on its new location in Tysons. Families and other community members are invited to attend as construction begins on the school, according to a press release.

Thursday (April 1)

Friday (Apr. 2)

Saturday (Apr. 3)

  • Outdoor Yoga — 9:30-10:30 a.m. at The Boro (8350 Broad Street) — Join The Boro for an early morning of yoga in celebration of the beginning of spring. All registered participants will receive a $10 gift card from Flower Child and a cherry blossom treat. Tickets are $20 per person, $10 from each ticket will be donated to Autism Speaks.
  • Bunny Hop — 10 a.m. on the east side of Falls Church City — The City of Falls Church canceled its annual Easter egg hunt, but families can celebrate instead by greeting Mr. and Mrs. Bunny as they drive through neighborhood streets, escorted by city staff, police, and the sheriff’s department.
  • Mini Golf and Egg Hunt — 11 a.m. at Burke Lake Park (7315 Ox Road) — Celebrate Easter at Burke Lake Park with socially-distanced mini golf and an egg hunt. Groups of up to five people can register for $10 per person to play through the specially decorated course, which will culminate with the egg hunt at the 18th hole. For more information, call 703-323-6600.
  • Drive-In Movie at Mosaic — 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Market Garage (8295 Glass Alley) — Pull up for a springtime movie at the Mosaic District. For $28 per car, enjoy a movie on the roof of the Market Garage. Saturday’s two movies are “Mary Poppins” at 4 p.m. and “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off” at 7:30 p.m. See the Mosaic website for tickets and more information.

Sunday (Apr. 4)

  • Drive-In Movie at Mosaic (8295 Glass Alley) — 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. — The Mosaic District’s spring-themed drive-in movie series continues today with “Hop” at 1 p.m. and “42” at 4 p.m. Screenings will again cost $28 per car and take place on the roof of the Market Garage. Sunday’s shows will include a special appearance from the Easter Bunny. See the Mosaic website for tickets and more information.

Photo via The Boro/Facebook

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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!

Monday (Mar. 22)

  • Cherry Blossoms at The Boro — The cherry blossom installation is opening at The Boro (8350 Broad St). The vignettes will be up from Mar. 22 through Apr. 18. Sit and enjoy the spring weather, and snap a picture to join their social media campaign and a chance to win a gift card.

Wednesday (Mar. 24)

  • (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].
  • Conversation with Tyler Cowen (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library hosts a virtual talk with economist Tyler Cowen, who will discuss “the insane stock market, future of jobs, arts going global, favorite books, local ethnic food and more.” Register in advance to receive a Zoom link to the event.
  • Mystery Book Club (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s monthly mystery book club is meeting to discuss “Mystery in the Channel” by Freeman Wills Crofts. To get the Zoom link for this event email [email protected]
  • Student Town Hall (Online) — 6:30-7:30 p.m. — Fairfax County School Board member Melanie Meren is hosting a town hall for students to ask her questions. Meren represents the Hunter Mill District, but the Q & A is open to all FCPS students. The theme of the town hall is “What can FCPS do to help you during these times?” Students are required to register ahead of the event to receive the Zoom link, and questions can be submitted through the registration form.

Thursday (Mar. 25)

  • Ask Chair McKay (Online) — 10-11 a.m. — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay will answer questions about everything from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the county budget and Metro during a Twitter town hall. Questions can be submitted by using the hashtag #askChairMcKay.
  • Falls Church Writers Group (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — This online group is for writers to share their work and receive constructive criticism. For more information or to request the Zoom link, email Pete Sullivan at [email protected]

Friday (Mar. 26)

  • Family Fun Trivia Night (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — The McLean Community Center is hosting a family-friendly, virtual trivia night. Registration is required, and the price is $5 per team. There will be prizes for the winning teams.
  • Vienna Theatre Company Production: Dear Elizabeth (Online) — 7:30 p.m. — Dear Elizabeth is the story of the famed correspondence between two of the 20th century’s top poets, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Live, virtual performances will also be available to view on Saturday (March 27) and April 2 and 3, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Sunday (March 28) and April 3.  Tickets are on sale now for $15. Questions call Lily Widman at 703-255-5738 or email [email protected]
  • Mayor’s Walk — 9:30 a.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St S) — Meet Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert in front of Town Hall and take a walk through town. This is an opportunity to chat with Mayor Colbert or voice questions and concerns.

Saturday (Mar. 27)

  • Doggie Playdate at The Boro — 11 a.m.-noon at The Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) — A pop-up springtime doggie playdate is happening at The Boro Park. Register for your pet to receive a floral bandana, doggie biscuits, and cherry blossom treats. If there is rain, the make-up day is March 28.

Photo via The Boro/Twitter

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Cherry blossom season is coming to The Boro.

The Tysons mixed-use development is hosting “Blossoms at the Boro” from March 22 to April 18 to celebrate the pink flowers and the coming of spring.

Starting today (Monday), life-sized cherry trees will pop up throughout the development. Visitors who take photos with the installations and share them on social media while tagging The Boro could win gift cards.

Other events in the series, which is separate from the official National Cherry Blossom Festival, include:

  • Doggie Playdate and Blossom Bandana Giveaway (March 27): Pet owners who visit Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) between 11 a.m. and noon will receive spring-themed bandanas and bags with dog treats. Visitors must register for the free event in advance to be eligible.
  • Outdoor Yoga Class with Flower Child (April 3): The health-food restaurant Flower Child is hosting an outdoor yoga class at Boro Park from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tickets are $20, and participants will receive a $10 Flower Child gift card and a “blossom treat bag.”
  • Peak Blossom Doughnut Giveaway (April 8-11): The first 50 customers to stop by Curiosity Doughnuts in Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) and ask for a “blossom doughnut” each day will get a free cherry blossom-themed treat and be entered into a $100 gift card giveaway. The winner will be announced at 5 p.m. on April 11.
  • Rooftop Wine and Paint Class (April 10): The Italian restaurant North Italia will provide wine, snacks, and supplies at an in-person painting class for people 21 and older on the Boro Tower rooftop (8350 Broad Street) from 5-7 p.m. There are limited spaces available, and tickets cost $20.

People who participate in any of the “Blossoms at The Boro” events will “have the chance to receive cherry blossom treat bags with yummy cookies and more,” according to a press release.

Half of each $20 ticket for the yoga and paint classes will be donated to Autism Speaks, a high-profile but controversial advocacy group and a regular partner of The Meridian Group, which owns The Boro.

“The proceeds from this event series are being donated in honor of April being autism awareness month,” a spokesperson for The Boro said in a statement. “The Boro is always looking to partner with organizations that give back to the community, and has a history of doing so with groups like The American Red Cross.”

The Autism Society of America, which launched the annual campaign with a National Autistic Children’s Week in 1972, joined other disability advocacy organizations this year in adopting Autism Acceptance Month to replace Autism Awareness Month.

“While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life,” Autism Society President and CEO Christopher Banks said. “As many individuals and families affected by autism know, acceptance is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system.”

The National Cherry Blossom Festival held a virtual opening ceremony this past Saturday (March 20), kicking off almost a month of events throughout the D.C. region, including Fairfax County. The festival will last through April 11.

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The Meridian Group is following up its mixed-use development, The Boro, with plans for an expansion along Westpark Drive.

Fairfax County recently accepted a rezoning application from Meridian that involves about 9.37 acres of land in the west quadrant of Westpark Drive and Greensboro Drive, the developer’s legal representative Elizabeth D. Baker told Tysons Reporter.

The application concerns two buildings in a larger conceptual development plan that calls for four buildings — Buildings I, J, K and L — that will be developed with residential, continuing care, health club, and retail and service uses, she said in an email.

“This development will be an extension of The Boro, which is a successful transit-oriented mixed-use development across Westpark Drive,” said Baker, who is the Senior Land Use Planner for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh.

Fairfax County accepted plans for Buildings I and K on Feb. 25. It has also accepted and is evaluating a plan for a proposed continuing care facility in Building J by Silverstone Tysons.

Meridian is proposing the following specifications for Building I, which would be adjacent to Westpark Drive:

  • Maximum of 200,000 square feet — up to 175,000 square feet for residential use and up to 25,000 for retail
  • Maximum of 130 dwelling units, likely condominiums
  • Approximately seven stories with a maximum height of 90 feet
  • Underground and above-ground parking structures

“In addition to interior residential amenities, Building I includes an elevated outdoor terrace that looks out onto a central park,” Baker said.

Building K would be located west of Building I with frontages on Greensboro Drive. It has the following proposed specifications:

  • Up to 430 residential units
  • Up to 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail use
  • Approximately seven stories with a maximum height of 90 feet
  • Underground and above-ground parking structures

“Two interior courtyards providing amenities for the buildings’ residents are located atop the parking garage podium,” Baker said.

In addition to a central park, Meridian envisions creating a linear park along Westpark Drive. It would be a combined pedestrian and bicycle circuit designed to accommodate leisure bikers and walkers, according to Baker.

“Known as the Community Circuit, this park will include marked pavement, wayfinding signage, bike and pedestrian amenities, and focal elements such as public art, benches, and specialty landscaping,” she said.

The Meridian Group acquired the National Automobile Dealers Association headquarters building at 8400 Westpark Drive and an adjacent site in 2018, the Washington Business Journal reported. The developer paid $33.7 million to the NADA, which relocated to 8484 Westpark Drive that October.

A separate development is in the works at nearby Westpark Plaza.

The lot at 8401 Westpark Drive will be converted into an interim public “reading park” with new vehicle storage after the Fairfax County Planning Commission granted developer Dittmar’s request to amend its plans on Dec. 9. The amenities will occupy the site until Dittmar kicks off its idling plans for two residential buildings, a new hotel, and retail.

Image via Google Maps

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The Boro has joined with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive on Mar. 4, the third that the Tysons development has held over the past year.

The drive will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the E and F conference rooms at Boro Station (1775 Greensboro Station Place) in McLean. The use of the conference center will “allow for proper social distancing,” according to a press release announcing the upcoming event.

“This will be an essential part of the life-saving network connecting donors to those in need of blood, platelets and plasma,” the press release said. “…Blood donations to support patients in hospitals are needed more than ever as surgical procedures and treatments that were temporarily paused due to the pandemic resume.”

In addition to potentially helping save another person’s life, donors will get the benefit of a free COVID-19 antibodies test, as the American Red Cross continues to test all blood, platelet, and plasma donations.

The Red Cross is providing the antibody testing service for a limited time. Donors will be able to see the results of their test within seven to 10 days by logging into the Red Cross blood donor app and online portal.

The Fairfax County Health Department says that antibody blood tests, or serology tests, can detect proteins that would indicate a past infection by the novel coronavirus, but they should not be used to diagnose COVID-19.

“Medical science has yet to determine what level of antibodies confirm immunity or how long immunity might last,” the FCHD says. “Until there is more definitive information, we should assume, even with positive antibodies, that a person may still be susceptible to the coronavirus.”

This will be the third blood drive that The Boro has hosted with the Red Cross. The previous two drives took place in July and October, and brought in enough donations to save 67 lives, according to The Boro.

Prospective donors should schedule an appointment online through American Red Cross Blood Services.

According to American Red Cross Blood Services, volunteer donors to the Red Cross contribute about 40% of the blood and blood components supply for the U.S., which needs approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells, 7,000 units of platelets, and 10,000 plasma units every day.

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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Dr. Dana Lipsky has witnessed “pandemic fatigue” firsthand.

Lipsky has plenty of experience helping people navigate anxiety, depression, and other conditions as the owner and clinical director of Metropolitan Psychological Services PLLC (MPS), a mental health care practice that she started in Arlington in 2014.

However, she says there has been a noticeable uptick in clients struggling with anxiety in particular since COVID-19 upended daily life in Northern Virginia last March.

“Since the pandemic, it’s been more focused on what’s the world like: My everyday life has been disrupted. How do I make those adjustments and live in a world of uncertainty?” Lipsky said. “So, we’ve been working a lot with just kind of accepting the reality and learning how to adapt given the situation that we’re in.”

MPS had contemplated expanding to serve more people for a while, but the search for a second location got underway in earnest in early 2020, as the pandemic triggered fears of a widespread mental health crisis.

According to Lipsky, MPS settled on The Boro in Tysons for its proximity to major roads like I-66 and I-495 and to the Spring Hill Metro station. The neighborhood also stood out for its mix of residential and commercial properties, allowing the company to offer its services to businesses and workers as well as residents.

MPS officially announced the opening of its Tysons practice at 8401 Greensboro Dr. last week and has been providing services there since August, though the physical office has not been utilized yet, with the pandemic limiting nearly all clients to virtual sessions.

When the office does open, it will be staffed with four or five clinicians with different areas of expertise, from children and teen specialists to adult and couples’ therapists, Lipsky says.

“Our Arlington location primarily services teens and up, with the bulk of the population that we see probably ages 25 through 40,” Lipsky said. “…We really opened the Tysons Corner office with reaching out to more folks in mind, so this office is designed to really focus on treating the whole lifespan.”

Once the pandemic is under control, Lipsky also hopes to take advantage of the Tysons office’s central location to turn it into a base for educational and outreach efforts to aimed at combatting the stigma around getting therapy and other mental health care services.

MPS clinicians use various treatment and counseling methods to address issues ranging from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder to relationship difficulties and life transitions, but the overall goal is not to “fix” people. Rather, Lipsky says therapy is about giving people tools to better handle the challenges they encounter.

“Life doesn’t need to be so difficult, and learning ways to mitigate that distress is really important,” Lipsky said. “That helps you achieve a better form of wellness for yourself by increasing that positivity and hopefully finding more fulfillment in your life.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Thursday Morning Notes

Fairfax Connector Reminds Passengers To Wear Face Masks — “Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) officials would like to remind Fairfax Connector passengers that they must wear a mask or a face covering, as now federally mandated, when taking public transit or visiting a transit hub in Fairfax County. This safety measure, which has been in place on board Fairfax Connector buses since May 2020, aims to protect passengers and bus operators during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” [Fairfax Connector]

Fairfax County Public Schools to Hold Virtual Job Fair — FCPS is “searching for educators with a strong academic background and a passion to make a difference in the lives of students. To open the 2021-22 school year hiring season, FCPS will host a virtual Instructional Job Fair on Saturday, February 20, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.” [FCPS]

Sens. Kaine and Warner Raise Concerns About Continued Mail Delays — “From Dec. 19 to 31, according to statistics in the [court] filings that the Senators cited in their letter, Northern Virginia residents received less than half of their first class mail on-time. While the holiday crush is surely to be a contributing factor, rates started dropping in mid-September.” [ARLNow]

Virginia Pauses E-Z Pass Deactivations During Pandemic — For the next six months, Virginia is suspending its policy of deactivating E-Z Pass accounts if they go unused for a year, since fewer people are traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of users who got a notice that their account would be deactivated last year nearly doubled from 2019. [The Virginian-Pilot]

The Boro Partners with Red Cross for Blood Drive — “#TheBoroTysons is partnering with @americanredcro5 to host another blood drive on March 4th from 9am-3pm in Boro Station (1775 Greensboro Station Place). Donors will receive free antibody testing. Help save a life and reserve your spot!” [@TheBoroTysons/Twitter]

McLean Contractor Buys Fairfax Firm — “McLean-based tech contractor IntelliBridge Inc. announced Monday it has acquired Fairfax-based tech company Alethix LLC. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the acquisition will add DevSecOps and cloud services to IntelliBridge (which is backed by Enlightenment Capital), and also expand its clientele to include homeland security, federal-civilian and defense agencies.” [Virginia Business]

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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Juice enthusiasts can now get their fix while grocery shopping at Whole Foods Market in The Boro.

Purée Artisan Juice Bar held a soft opening for its new permanent space in Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) on Dec. 18, and it has been operating as a full-service retail location since Jan. 4.

This is Purée’s second location in the Tysons area. The flagship store is in Bethesda, Md., and it can also be found in Sibley Memorial Hospital in D.C. and the Mosaic District in Merrifield.

“The opportunity to join as a Friend of Whole Foods Market has been an exciting experience for Purée especially in the winter months during a global pandemic,” Jordan von Lange, Purée’s marketing and e-commerce director, said in a press release. “Our values of wellness and organic, holistic living naturally align with Whole Foods and the partnership is a direct result of that.”

The Friends of Whole Foods program provides independent space inside the grocery store to other businesses and retailers.

The Tysons Purée features at least 15 flavors of organic and vegan cold-pressed juices, including seasonal options. The store also offers one to three-day cleanse programs, a full menu of smoothies and smoothie bowls, and plant-based grab-and-go options.

Open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., the juice bar is located on the first floor of Whole Foods between Allegro Coffee and the produce section. Customers can also order online for in-person or curbside pickup and through the delivery apps ChowNow and Doordash.

A loyalty program to return glass bottles for recycling is also available at the Purée in The Boro.

“Our hope for this shop is to work with the Whole Foods team to provide convenient and healthy options for our new community,” von Lange said.

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The Boro is giving away free tickets this week to its upcoming Valentine’s Drive-In Movie Series.

The series will run from Feb. 12-14, and in order of their screening date, the featured films will be “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and “Valentine’s Day.”

Details for entering the contest for free tickets can be found on The Boro’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Winners will be selected randomly and contacted by The Boro later this week.

The Boro decided to offer a Valentine’s Day-oriented film series after finding success with drive-in movie screenings last summer and on Halloween.

“We witnessed a huge demand for this type of activation when we quickly sold out our summer drive-in series,” The Boro Director of Marketing Tanya Graves said. “We’re excited to bring it back in this new capacity, helping people celebrate Valentine’s Day in a safe, but still romantic way.”

Gates for the screenings, which will be held behind The Loft at the intersection of Broad Street and Silver Hill Drive, will open at 6:30 p.m. The movies will begin at 8 p.m.

Paris Baguette will provide complimentary hot chocolate and sweet treats for the event. The Boro is also encouraging visitors to stop by its restaurants and retailers before the screenings.

“The last few months have been tough on everyone so The Boro wanted to offer the community a safe and fun outdoor activity to enjoy together,” Graves said. “We also want to support our retailers by inviting guests to grab dinner beforehand at one of our many dining options like North Italia, Santouka Ramen, and Poki DC.”

Tickets are now on sale through Eventbrite. They cost $25 per vehicle, and parking spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Limited spaces are available to promote social distancing,” The Boro says on the event page.

The Boro is asking that people remain in their vehicles for the duration of each screening, except to use the bathroom or visit Boro Place retailers. Vehicles will also not be able to arrive late or leave early unless there is an emergency.

Audio for the movies will be available through a dedicated FM radio channel.

Like The Boro’s previous drive-in movie screenings, the Valentine’s Day series is being produced by DC Fray and District Fray Magazine.

Photo via The Boro Tysons/Facebook

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The Meridian Group earned a viral response certification with the highest score in the country to date since the Fitwel healthy building certifications system launched in July.

The real estate firm behind The Boro development in Tysons announced on Jan. 14 that it received a 99 out of 100 rating from Fitwel for the policies and practices it has put in place to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 in its buildings.

“During an unprecedented time in real estate and the world, we are honored to be recognized for our innovative efforts to optimize safe environments in our buildings,” Meridian Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Mark King said. “We are dedicated to — and 100% focused on — the health, safety and well-being of all our buildings’ tenants and visitors.”

Based in Bethesda, Md., the Meridian Group owns the Tysons Technology Center office complex in Vienna as well as The Boro.

Meridian says it partnered with the sustainability and green building consulting firm Paladino and Company — a tenant of The Boro — to develop indoor air-quality testing and monitoring protocols, personal protective equipment guidelines, plans for surface hygiene stations and contagious disease outbreak preparedness, and enhanced cleaning, disinfecting, and maintenance procedures.

According to a press release from Meridian, Paladino provided oversight, quality control, and technical advice, while also managing the real estate company’s submission to the Center for Active Design, the nonprofit organization that operates Fitwel.

Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration to set industry standards for healthy building environments and viral mitigation policies.

The third-party certification system launched a viral response module last year to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative was developed by real estate companies with input from a Fitwel Academic Advisory Group of public health experts.

The CDC remains involved with Fitwel as its research and evaluation partner, according to the Center for Active Design.

“Addressing health and mitigating viral transfer is one example of how we must respond to the new realities of potential pandemics,” Paladino and Company Managing Director Katie Rothenberg said. “Fortunately, there is so much we can do to promote health and transparency in buildings where we live and work.”

Photo courtesy The Meridian Group

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