by Karen Goff — November 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Giving Circle of Hope/Photo courtesy of Giving CircleReston’s Giving Circle of HOPE will give nearly $60,000 to nine area nonprofits, the group announced.

The Giving Circle, a philanthropic club founded by Reston women in 2004, has given out $900,000 in grants over 12 years. Members put in money, then decide where the collective donations will have the most impact.

The Giving Circle says $58,200 will go to “nine Nonprofit Partners in Northern Virginia whose programs encourage job creation, help build strong families, and assist community members in need.”

This is the 12th grant cycle for the Giving Circle of HOPE, an organization of more than 110 members that was founded in 2004 to promote volunteerism and effective philanthropy. Members seek to make a difference by contributing their time, talents and money and collectively deciding how to use those resources to positively impact the local community.

The 2015  grant recipients include: All Ages Read Together; Bethany House; Centreville Immigration Forum; Grace Ministries of the United Methodist Church; Literacy Council of Northern Virginia; Lorton Community Action Center; Our Daily Bread; Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington; and Offender Aid and Restoration of Fairfax.

A celebration to honor these nonprofit partners will be held in the spring, the Giving Circle said.

by Karen Goff — November 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm 9 Comments

United Christian Parich/Courtesy UCPUnited Christian Parish in Reston is inviting people of all faiths to come to the church Wednesday night for a celebration of community and giving thanks.

The church’s annual Thanksgiving Eve gathering “allows the local community to  come together in celebration of the diversity of our community,” says UCP’s website. “We share the unity of our humanity in the simple, yet universal message of ‘giving thanks to God’ for the gift of each other and lift up the call anew to care for our neighbors and neighborhood.”

The service is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the UCP Sanctuary, 11508 North Shore Dr.

Participants will include:

• All-Dulles Area Muslim Society
• Shoreshim Community
• St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church
• Unitarian Universalist Church, Reston
• Cornerstones
• Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins
• Del. Ken Plum

A social time for connecting and re-connecting follows the service.

by Eve Thompson — November 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

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This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

I love fall in Reston. Here in the south, our colors peak in late October/November. This year in mid-November they’re still beautiful. I love walking the paths of Reston when the leaves blanket the ground. The air is extra crisp, and my dog loves all the smells.

It can be hard to capture the beauty of Reston in a photograph or two — especially South Reston with Lake Thoreau, Lake Audubon and the Glade. But you can capture it in a flyover video. On a whim, I decided to search on YouTube to see if any such videos existed…and I had success!

YouTuber pblacklock posted this video that captures the South Lakes area, especially around Lake Thoreau, which is where he launched the camera. Pblacklock has posted several flyover videos in different cities and towns, and I have to admit I got caught up in watching them.

Here are two — one is above Lake Thoreau, and this one is above the Reston National Golf Course.

One bit of advice before you hit play–mute your speaker. The only sound is the propeller of the remote control airplane, but it’s loud. I found I enjoyed the video much more with the sound off.

Does this video make you want to live in South Reston? Learn more about South Reston and the neighborhoods around Lake Thoreau (which is where this video is filmed).

by Karen Goff — November 24, 2015 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

You say you are not a Black Friday shopper? There are still plenty of things to do on Friday, Nov. 27, particularly if you have a houseful of relatives to entertain. Here are a few ideas:

Attend the Reston Holiday Parade — The theme for the 25th annual parade at Reston Town Center is “Home Sweet Home.” Parade time is 11 a.m., but head to Market Street a bit earlier for a good viewing spot. There will be marching bands, Macy’s style balloons, and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Later in the day, there will be the official tree lighting and sing-a-long.

Take a Hike — Put on warm clothes and head to nearby Great Falls National Park, where level trails make for easy hiking for the whole family.

Head To Space — The Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, that is. Located in nearby Chantilly, there are exhibits and aircraft of all types, as well as simulators and demonstrations. There is also a full slate of shows at the IMAX Theater. Bonus: wide-open spaces for little ones to get out afternoon energy.

Catch a Movie — Family friendly flicks include The Peanuts Movie (G), The Good Dinosaur (PG — Opens Nov. 25), Goosebumps (PG), and Pan (PG)

Explore the Reston Paths — Reston is connected by 55 miles of trails. Gather the family and walk, jog or bike a few of them.

Have any ideas of your own? Share them with your neighbors in the comments.

Photo: Reston Holiday Parade/Credit: Mike Heffner

by Karen Goff — November 24, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Reston’s newest retail destination — Urban Pop at Reston Station — opened on Monday. The pop-up market is Comstock’s unique initiative where crafters and other businesses can try out a small retail space of their own without a big commitment.

And when Comstock says small, they mean small. Micro, even — about 100 square feet. But that is room enough for knitter Janice Everett, who was displaying her handmade scarves, gloves and hats in her space, called WitKnits, on Monday.

Everett, who lives in Reston and is a graphic designer by day, has been selling at farmers market and the online site Etsy. She said when she heard about Urban Pop, she thought it might be a great introduction to retail business.

About eight of the 9-by-10 glass booths are now open on the Reston Station plaza, hoping to attract Wiehle-Reston East commuters, visitors to the Wednesday afternoon farmers market and holiday shoppers looking for unique gifts.

Starting next year, Reston Station residents will also live just upstairs at Comstock’s BLVD apartments.

The Urban Pop leases are short-term, so vendors may change quickly, but for the holiday launch check out:

Cloud Terre

Co Co. Sala

Yinibini Baby

Pearl Fine Teas

WitKnits (Also featuring jewelry from UrbanJule)

Arthur Christine

Scrawl Books

Urban Pop will be open Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. and select vendors will offer additional weekend hours.

In Spring 2016, Phase Two (Urban Pop Active), is slated to open. Comstock saud Phase Two will feature outdoor piazza entertainment — live entertainments, food and drink — integrated with Metro pedestrian access and the ‘jewel box’ retail, says Comstock spokeswoman Maggie Parker.

“Reston Station is delighted to deliver this exciting shopping opportunity to our neighborhood,” Parker said. We are thrilled to partner with our vendors to provide a unique shopping experience at the Wiehle-Reston Metro. “I can’t think of a better time to launch Urban Pop than at the start of the holiday season.”

Urban Pop is actively signing up vendors for January occupancy. For more information and leasing opportunities at Urban Pop, please visit www.urbanpopreston.com.

by Karen Goff — November 24, 2015 at 9:00 am 0

Sunset over Reston, Nov. 22, 2015/Credit: Chase Suddith

Thank-You Concert Tonight At SLHS — The South Lakes High School Band is performing its annual Tag Day concert on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the SLHS Little Theater. The concert is the band’s way of saying thank you to for all of the support that comes from the Reston community. The performance is free and open to the public.

Thanksgiving Tail Run/Walk — Reston Runners is sponsoring a Thanksgiving Day Trail Run/Walk at Lake Fairfax Park. This event is non competitive and involves no registration. Just show up at the picnic pavilion at 9 a.m. [Reston Runners]

Chanukah Fun At Home Depot — As soon as Thanksgiving ends, it is nearly time for Jews to celebrate Chanukah (which begins Dec. 6). Chabad Reston-Herndon is sponsoring a Chanukah Fun event at Reston’s Home Depot at 1651 Reston Parkway. The free event is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and will feature a menorah building workshop, as well as latkes, donuts and chocolate gelt. [Facebook]

Photo: Sunset over Reston, Nov. 22, 2015/Credit: Chase Suddith

by RestonNow.com — November 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm 1 Comment

Beltway Traffic/Credit: BethesdaNow.comAn estimated 1.15 million D.C.-area residents will travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday. Will you be among them?

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, holiday travel will be virtually unchanged this year, down 0.2 percent compared to 2014.

That’s despite lower gas prices and better weather — it’s supposed to be mostly sunny and cool this week. Last week at this time there was a predicted snowstorm.

About 90.5 percent of all D.C. area travelers will travel by car, compared to 7.3 percent traveling via air and 2.2 percent via other modes of transportation.

Meanwhile, a new study shows Tuesday is the new Wednesday for Thanksgiving week, meaning the worst pre-holiday traffic around DC is on Tuesday.

Will you be among those traveling outside of D.C. this year?

by Karen Goff — November 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

It was just a week ago that the 200-plus space surface parking lot at New Dominion and Fountain Drive was fenced off for construction on what will be known as Signature Site, a mostly residential Boston Properties project.

In a matter of days, crews have jackhammered the concrete, moved dirt, pulled up trees and are doing all the things necessary for construction prep.

In case you missed it, here is what is coming to the site, the last undeveloped parcel at Reston Town Center.

The Signature Site, formerly called Block 4, is Boston Properties’ project that will turn the parking lot — also formerly home to rides at Taste of Reston and the Athletes’ Village at last summer’s World Police and Fire Games — into two high-rise residential buildings with up to 549 units and nine levels of underground parking for residents.

The project will have about 1.85 acres (40 percent) of open space, its own pool and vegetated roof.

Boston Properties purchased the space in 2013 for a reported $27 million. At that time, the lot was zoned for offices. Boston Properties got a zoning change for residential development, though, and will move the office zoning to Block 5, where the current FedEx/Kinkos and Ann Taylor are now located.

Plans call for turning that three-story retail/office building into a 17-story building with 276,788 square feet of office space and 7,800 square feet of ground-floor retail. The building would also have four levels of underground parking.

by Karen Goff — November 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

Gingerbread Man Mile/File photo by Reston Town CenterKick off the holiday season with a kids’ race at Reston Town Center.

The 15th annual Gingerbread Man Mile for kids starts at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27. It’s the start of a full day of holiday fun, including the annual holiday parade (11 a.m.) and the lighting of the tree.

Here is what you need to know about the race, which is for children 14 and under:

Registration is $8 and in available online through Tuesday, Nov. 24.

All Registrants will receive:

  • Commemorative race t-shirt
  • Commemorative runners bib
  • Custom Finisher’s Ribbon
  • Gingerbread Man Cookie
  • Other post race snacks

The course is an untimed one-mile loop around Reston Town Center. Four- and five-year olds will go a half mile. Children under 4 will take part in a “Tot Trot” of two blocks.

Winners in their age categories will receive a special honor of riding in the parade.

Potomac River Running is also partnering with One Warm Coat this season. They will be accepting clean, gently used children’s coats at this year’s Gingerbread Man Mile and distributing them to people in need.

Can’t make it Friday? There is also the Turkey Day 5K at South Lakes High School.

by Karen Goff — November 23, 2015 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Supervisors Make New Donation Box Regulations — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted some new rules on charity drop-off boxes. [Fairfax County] Herndon Homicide Connects to MS-13 — A…


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