Have You Seen These Eight Public Art Pieces Around Reston?

Reston has more than 70 pieces of public art. While many of them are placed in well-traversed locations, like the Mercury Fountain in Reston Town Center, some pieces are less widely known because they are hiding in plain sight or located off the beaten path.

“There are many gems that are off the main areas,” Anne Delaney, the executive director of Public Art Reston, told Reston Now.

Reston Now has rounded up information on eight “hidden treasures” — as Delaney describes them — and where to find them.

Berlin Wall Fragment

Where to find it: Bundeswehr–German Liaison Office (11150 Sunrise Valley Drive)

Description: A part of history is at the entrance to the office. The 4-foot-wide Berlin Wall fragment is circa 1973 and was acquired by the Command Headquarters in 1990 to commemorate the reunification of Germany, according to Public Art Reston.

Emerge 

Where to find it: Glade Drive Underpass near Hunters Woods Village Center

Description: Valerie Theberge’s 2010 glass and mirror mosaic tiles greet bicyclists and people walking eastbound on the Turquoise Trail. “Theberge designed this artwork to be uplifting, whimsical and optimistic,” according to its Public Art Reston bio. “Multiple shades of greens were chosen to reflect the rich vegetation in Reston.” Students from Hunters Woods Elementary School helped create the stars scattered around the art.

The Underpass

Where to find it: North Shore Drive Underpass near Lake Anne

Description: Multiple, concrete sculptural elements created by Gonzalo Fonseca in 1965 decorate the tunnel connecting Lake Anne and the nearby Hickory Cluster townhouses along the Green Trail. “Along with a functional seat and table, The Underpass includes pieces that — upon close inspection — provide passersby with surprises meant to jog the imagination with stories and ideas,” Public Art Reston says.

Pylon

Where to find it: Right by The Underpass

Description: The curved, concrete cylinder, also by Fonseca, sits near the pathway beyond The Underpass. Public Art Reston notes that this piece is the most inconspicuous of Fonseca’s work in the area.

September 11th Memorial

Where to find it: Attached to a large stone in the garden at the Freedom Grove at Brown’s Chapel (1575 Browns Chapel Road)

Description: The Reston Association commissioned the bronze memorial by Kathy Walden Kaplan to honor the memory of the victims of the 9/11 attack, including Reston residents Leonard Taylor and Norma Cruz Kahn, according to Public Art Reston.

Slit Figure

Where to find it: In the parking lot at Plaza America directly across from MOD Pizza

Description: While three red ellipses standing more than 6 feet tall might sound like a sculpture that would stand out, this welded steel art piece by Al Landzberg is hiding in plain sight at the complicated Plaza America parking lot. Meant to be the centerpiece of the plaza, “Slit Figure is a study in contrasts: the contrast in shapes between three closed ellipses and a mysterious opening that slices through them, the contrast in colors between the sculpture’s fire-engine red and the shopping center’s subdued hues, and the contrast in design between the center’s business orientation and the sculpture’s playfulness,” Public Art Reston says.

Swing

Where to find it: Also near The Underpass

Description: Overlooking Lake Anne, the wood and steel swing was designed by William Roehl in collaboration with Conklin and Rossant. The swing has changed since it was first installed in 1965, evolving from a hanging basket swing to its current form, according to Public Art Reston.

Untitled

Where to find it: Along Moorings Drive by the Blue Trail

Description: This mysterious ceramic, mosaic piece made by Olin Russum in 1967 is an abstract representation of the map of Reston, although only the right side remains intact, according to Public Art Reston. “I would love if anyone knows how this work came to be,” Delaney told Reston Now.

People looking to learn more about public art in Reston and visit the pieces in person can contact Public Art Reston or the Reston Association to find out information about upcoming walking tours and print and digital maps marking the locations of the art.

Last two photos via Google Maps 

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Q&A: Solidcore Manager Talks First Month at RTC West

RTC West welcomed the D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore back in early March as part of a larger expansion in the D.C. area.

After one month in business at its new spot at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd, Krystal Capasso, the studio manager for the Reston location, shared some details with Reston Now on how the pilates-focused fitness chain is faring in Reston.

Before coming to Solidcore, Capasso worked at pilates and barre studios in Arlington and Ashburn. She also served in the Marines for several years.

Reston Now: How has it been going since opening?

Krystal Capasso: We’ve had a lot of people come in. It’s a cool mix of people.

RN: Do you know why the Reston location was chosen?

KC: Not really, but I can tell you we are right next to Reston Town Center and then there are also some businesses right nearby.

RN: What is your customer base like at Reston?

KC: We’ve had a lot of people coming during lunch or right before or after work and also people who live nearby — Reston, Herndon and Fairfax. It’s more of a mix of people who are coming from work or who live in the area. I think we have a fair amount of men and women coming into the studio.

RN: What do you think is the appeal of the Reston location?

KC: The [D.C.-area] people are already familiar with Solidcore. This location may be more convenient for them than other studios in Northern Virginia — filing gaps between studios. I think also generally as a workout, the cool thing about Solidcore — it’s a workout that they can use as their primary workout, but it’s also a really good complimentary workout to something else that people are doing. It’s a good way to reach other people, people who are already fit and have a routine in place but want some diversity and change.

RN: Generally, do people who go to studios to work out stick to the same spot or do they frequent multiple ones?

KC: Usually, people come to a studio and stay there and only go to those studios. I think a unique thing about Solidcore is we do have people who do that exclusively, but then people who will use Solidcore as another thing to do to supplement their workouts.

RN: What do you enjoy the most about Solidcore?

KC: When I come into this studio and take a Solidcore class, I am always challenged. It doesn’t get easier. You are always going to get stronger.

RN: What do you think makes people return for more classes?

KC: The community keeps people coming back. We try to get people excited about working out together. It’s a really team-oriented environment.

For people who might be hesitant about trying out Solidcore, Capasso said at the end of the interview that there is a beginner’s class that moves at a slower pace to allow coaches to give more instructions and to demo moves before class starts so that people can feel more comfortable.

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Google Moving to New Reston Station Office Space This Summer

In a few months, Google employees will start occupying their new office space at Comstock’s Reston Station development.

“The global technology company has had a longstanding presence in Reston and will start moving its current employee base into Reston Station later this summer,” Comstock said in a press release.

Building permits last month indicated that the tech giant has been busy fixing up its top floors of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza.

“Google first opened a small office in Reston back in 2005 and we’ve since grown to close to 200 employees, working on major projects across engineering, sales and more,” Liz Schwab, the head of external affairs for Google in Virginia, said in the press release. Its current office is at Reston Town Center.

The new Reston location fits into the company’s larger expansion as part of a $13 billion round of investment in new offices and data centers across the U.S., along with plans to double its workforce in Northern Virginia.

“We’re confident that Reston Station will be a great new home for us and will provide room for future growth,” Schwab said. “We’re proud to call Reston home.”

File photo

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Legal Insider: Getting a New Job After Termination

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

We represent employees in Virginia who have been fired from their employment. Sometimes, our representation involves claims against the employer and/or negotiations and other times it involves the issue of how they obtain a new position in light of their termination.

The following are 7 tips to consider if an employee ever finds themselves in this particular situation.

Handle Termination Day Calmly

When an employee is terminated, it can be an extreme shock. Sometimes the reasons are known, sometimes the employee is specifically informed about the underlying issues, and other times they really cannot figure out why. In any case, it is very important to handle termination day with as much grace as possible.

Be calm, follow any reasonable instructions and be polite as you leave. Doing so will help the former employee in the future when they are applying for other work. We have represented many employees where termination day ended up badly and the employer made additional notes in their personnel record or even contacted the police.

If Wrongful Termination is Potentially Involved, Obtain Legal Advice

When an employee has been fired, it is important for them to consider all of their options. If there has been a potential illegal action taken by the employer against the employee (e.g. firing the employee for whistleblowing or based on illegal discrimination) it is important to get legal advice about whether or not to pursue any legal options about the termination.

If a wrongful termination exists, there may be ways for an attorney to resolve the matter with the company in a way that makes the employee more readily employable.

Where Appropriate File for Unemployment Compensation

If an employee is terminated unjustly, it can be worth it for them to apply for unemployment compensation while they are finding a new position. Sometimes, employers decline to object to compensation or fail to show up at such hearings. In many cases, employees can be awarded unemployment compensation even if they have been fired.

Prepare an Updated Resume

When an individual who has been fired starts the job search, it is important to work on their resume. Even though the individual has been terminated, it is important to update their resume and list all of their experience and any skills or education gained from the past employer. The sooner this is done, the quicker the ability to rebound becomes.

Write a Note to the Former Supervisor

While this may be difficult, writing a thank you note to a former supervisor can go a long way to mitigating what they may say to another employer. This can be difficult, especially if the employee was treated unfairly, but it can pay significant dividends in terms of future employability. Many supervisors, even if they fire an employee will feel some guilt in doing so.

If an employee responds with a kind letter to them, it can go a long way in mitigating any bad feelings. I find that when terminated employees take this step, many former supervisors will provide them recommendations when they apply for other positions.

Use Other Contacts as References if Needed

Sometimes a supervisor will not provide a reference for your prior employment. In that case, it is important to find others who can potentially vouch for an employee’s service during their prior employment.

For example, sometimes a former supervisor who is no longer with the employer is willing to provide a positive recommendation. In other instances, former co-workers can sometimes provide a recommendation as well.

Practice Job Interviews

When trying to get a new position after being fired, it is important to practice interview skills. It is also particularly important to be able to explain the termination if need be, and to provide other references. It is usually good advice to stay away from sounding defensive or vindictive toward the former employer in explaining the reasons for termination.

A calm and neutral explanation of the termination is usually the best strategy. However, practicing the delivery is very important.

Take an Interim Job if Necessary

Sometimes, when a termination is based on difficult facts for the former employee, it can be important to take a less than ideal employment position to bridge the gap from the termination.

Basically, in this type of situation, the employee takes a position that either doesn’t pay as much as they are used to or where they are overqualified in order to have a current position on their resume as they apply to their ideal position later. This often alleviates or minimizes future concerns from the prior termination.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law advice or representation, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Ben and Jerry’s Giving Out Free Cones in Reston Town Center Tuesday

With warm weather in store for this week, here’s the scoop on where to get free ice cream cones tomorrow.

Ben and Jerry’s will hand them out on Tuesday (April 9) at its Reston Town Center spot. “Free Cone Day” is set to last from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

The store at 11916 Market Street will also accept donations to benefit SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center.

File photo

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Best of Reston Honorees Celebrated at 28th Annual Event

The 28th annual Best of Reston Awards celebrated honorees for their philanthropy and volunteerism in the Reston and Herndon communities last Thursday night.

The event, held in partnership by Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, raised $504,660 for Cornerstones, a local non-profit. 

The honorees for 2019 are:

Del. Ken Plum said that he and State Sen. Janet Howell “always look forward to coming to Best of Reston, because, although we are heavily involved in the community, it always is the case when we come here we meet wonderful new people that we hadn’t known about.”

Photos via Chip McCrea Photography

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Monday Morning Notes

“Babes in the Woods” — Parents can bring their toddlers up to 35 months of age for craft time and sing-alongs at the Walker Nature Center. Tickets cost $7 for Restonians and $9 for non-residents. [WebTrac]

Target increases paychecks — “Target workers in Reston are about to see their paychecks go up. The retail giant announced Thursday that all of its workers will make at least $13 an hour beginning in June as part of its commitment to have a $15 minimum hourly wage by 2020.” [Reston Patch]

Screen safety PSA — The fire department wants residents to remember that screens keep bugs out but won’t keep the kids in. “Screens DO NOT prevent children from falling out. Windows must operate easily for emergency exits in case of fire, but should be made ‘childproof'” — which the fire department has tips about. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Auditing action — “Some places in America are significantly more likely to get audited by the IRS than others. Unfortunately, Reston is one of them. That’s according to a new interactive map created by the folks at Pro Publica… According to the map, an estimated 7.9 per 1,000 filings in Fairfax County were audited.” [Reston Patch]

Restonian tried to get gun past TSA — “Federal security officers spotted an unloaded 9 mm handgun in a [Reston] man’s carry-on bag at a Baltimore Washington International Airport security checkpoint April 5… The gun owned by a Reston man was not loaded and was spotted in the checkpoint X-ray machine. Maryland Transportation Authority Police confiscated the gun and arrested him on a state weapons charge.” [Reston Patch]

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