- Three Divas will perform tonight at 7 at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609A Washington Plaza N.). This program is sold out, but names are being taken for a wait list in case tickets become available. Call 703-709-7700 or email [email protected] for details.
- Events at Reston Town Center this weekend include NBA All-Star Weekend watch parties at the American Tap Room (1811 Library St.), the cartoon skate at the ice pavilion and Girl Scout cookie sales in the promenade and Fountain Square.
- CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) will present the New York Festival of Song as they perform The Picnic Cantata/Dinner at Eight on Saturday at 8 p.m.
- Art exhibitions “CUT” at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) and “Springtime in Winter” at Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.) will both close Saturday.
- At the Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609A Washington Plaza N.), “For the Love of Color” remains on display.
- Frying Pan Farm Park will put on a program Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., the library will host a talk in its lecture series on World War I.
- New Love Animal Rescue is planning an animal adoption event at Pet Valu (11160 South Lakes Drive) Saturday from noon-2 pm.
- Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will offer live music from The Reluctors tonight, and DJ Kram will perform Saturday night.
- At the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive), a free bird walk for adults will be offered Sunday morning, from 8-11.
- Lifetime Athletic Club (1757 Business Center Drive) is putting on a Daddy-Daughter dance Saturday night from 6-8.
- The Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention is going on this weekend at the Sheraton Reston Hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive). Flute choirs will be playing in the hotel lobby throughout the day.
Northern Virginia Orthodontics has teamed up with nonprofit Dentistry From The Heart to offer a free dental care day Saturday at their Reston office (12110 Sunset Hills Road #475). Free cleanings, fillings and extractions will be offered from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
This will be the first time Northern Virginia Orthodontics, which opened its Reston office in December, has offered such an opportunity. But it isn’t the first time the business has reached out to help others, said Casey Peterson, practice relations manager.
“We support and help so many different organizations, schools and community groups,” Peterson said of the Loudoun County-based practice, which also works in partnership with Inova Children’s Hospital on pediatric cancer efforts. “We’re centered around giving back to the community.”
Florida-based Dentistry From The Heart is a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free dental care to those who need it but cannot afford it. It sponsors hundreds of such events nationwide each year, according to its website, helping thousands of patients and giving millions of dollars in free dental care.
“Dental health is linked to so many other full-body issues, and anything we can do to help somebody get in complete health is something we’ll try to do,” Peterson said. “We’re hopeful that there are people out there who’ll take advantage of it.”
Registration on Saturday will begin at 8:30 a.m., and care will be first come, first serve. Peterson said top dental-care providers from around the area will be part of the event, and referrals will be offered to patients if additional care is necessary.
For more information, call 703-574-2174.
Local nanobrewery Lake Anne Brew House is partnering with beer historians to offer the frosty mugs of our ancestors.
Praize the Maize, which will be tapped Thursday evening at the pub (11424 Washington Plaza West), has been brewed using the 1912 recipe of a German immigrant brewer — with ingredients that have been sourced from the locations called for in the recipe as well.
“We’re just really excited about it,” said Melissa Romano, the brew house’s co-owner. “We’re going to be doing a whole series of these recipes over the coming year — or years, who knows?”
The Heritage Lager series is a partnership between Lake Anne Brew House and Lost Lagers, the team of beer historians Michael Stein and Peter Jones, whose mission is to recreate the beers of days gone by.
“[They were] able to take this recipe, translate it into English, and then we were able to work on sourcing period-accurate ingredients,” Romano said. According to information provided by Lost Lagers, that involved tracking down appropriate hops from New York and California.
Romano said the recipe for Praize the Maize, as well as the other beers that will be brewed as the series continues, came from the notebooks of a brewer who arrived in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. A distant relative of the brewer is a friend of Romano and has done graphic design work for the brewpub. The recipe books, family heirlooms, have been loaned to the brew house for the project.
According to Lost Lagers’ research, Praize the Maize was likely — in its past life — a beer called Erlanger Light by Philadelphia’s Weger Brothers Brewery. Romano said it is “light” and “fresh,” with “a little bit of sweetness” and “some nice herbal qualities.”
“I think [customers] are going to really like it,” Romano said. “I think it’s going to be a very approachable and easy-drinking beer.”
The beer will be tapped and ready for consumption at 7 p.m. Thursday. Stein and Jones from Lost Lagers will be present, along with the family that provided the recipes, to answer any questions from visitors and to discuss the process.
“It’s a really unique recipe,” Romano said. “It’s just going to be kind of a cool thing, I think.”
Editor’s Note: February is Black History Month. Reston Now recently asked Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who has lived in Reston since 1969, to share her memories of arriving in the community after her family had difficulty finding acceptance in other places.
“[My two sons] went to school here, but schools were different. They were Virginia schools and we really did have to do some work as parents, as well as as a community. This community was very overt in saying to the Fairfax County school system, ‘Equity is not here.’ We saw overt discrimination and we had to speak up.”
“Lake Anne Elementary was the first school built here, and a group of families… realized that the history of Virginia that [schools were] teaching kids was not the history of real Virginia, and we don’t want our kids to learn just one side. This is not just African-American families, all families were saying that. ‘This isn’t the history.’ And so they went out and said, ‘We’ll help you create a curriculum, because this isn’t what we want.’ Those kinds of things took place often.”
“Coming here, we found it very welcoming. We found people who were looking for the same thing that we were looking for, and that was to be able to bring our children and raise them here. [The children] got the opportunity to not only live with people like them, but with people of all different environments. That was the richness of what I think this has done for us as a family. It has been, I think, what makes Reston one of the really great places to live.”
Do you have a personal story about Black History in Reston you would like to share? Please contact [email protected].
The water in Lake Anne was 38 degrees Saturday, but that didn’t stop nearly 200 people from making a “splash” for charity.
The 10th annual Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne raised $75,000 for Camp Sunshine, organizers announced at the conclusion of the day’s festivities. A total of 198 people, many dressed in colorful costumes, leapt from the dock to show their support of the cause.
The dry onlookers cheered from the plaza as plungers — some solo, some in groups; some tentatively, some with backflips and cannonballs — took the chilly dive.
Curtis Ellor of Reston had participated in the event every year since its inception, but was forced to miss it last year after an operation. He was excited to get back into the water, continuing the tradition of diving along with his guitar.
“It’s wonderful,” Ellor said. “[It’s] for the kids.”
One of those kids was Mathias, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he was 11 and died at the age of 13. Team Mathias, represented by a large group of jumpers from around Loudoun and Fairfax counties, has participated in the event for four years and has raised thousands of dollars for Camp Sunshine.
“Team Mathias’s mission is to support cancer families, siblings and parents — we do care packages for them,” said Emily Kelly of Herndon. “This year we raised almost $5,000 [for the plunge].”
Kelly said the event is a special chance to help kids and families who need a pick-me-up while battling a life-threatening illness.
“It’s special, it really is,” she said. “This is why we do this.”
Lake Anne Plaza merchants banded together during the event. Some, including Lake Anne Brew House and Kalypso’s, participated in the plunge itself. They and many others also offered specials throughout the day and donated a portion of the proceeds to the cause.
Organizers said the money raised from this year’s event will support an entire week of services at Camp Sunshine, which is located in Casco, Maine. It is the only year-round program in the nation designed to serve the entire family.
The $75,000 raised this year brings the total amount raised during the event’s 10 years to nearly $700,000.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Here is a sampling of what’s available in Reston:
- The Virginia Polar Dip is Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza. Registration starts at noon, with the event itself scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Camp Sunshine.
- Events at Reston Town Center this weekend include a handmade Valentine card workshop, a pre-Valentine cooking class at Il Fornaio, a wine tasting and more.
- A pub crawl is slated for 2-6 p.m. Saturday, beginning at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.). The event is to support the Fairfax Boxing Club.
- An open house is scheduled for The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.) from noon-2 p.m. Sunday.
- Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) has a Sunday Afternoon Dance and a Sunday Country Western Dance both slated for this weekend.
- Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) will offer a workshop, Career in the Arts: Opportunities for Visually Creative People, Saturday evening.
- The Reston Chorale will present Camerata: Inside Out at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Sunday afternoon.
- Art exhibitions “CUT” and “Springtime in Winter” remain on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) and Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), respectively.
- Tom Saputo and Friends will play at Café Montmarte tonight.
- Kalypso’s will have musical guests New Dominion Band tonight and DJ Kram on Saturday.
- Wuayra Peruvian Silver Jewelry will have a pop-up shop in collaboration with Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) this weekend.
Robert E. Simon founded Reston in 1964 on the principle that it would be inclusive for all. Six years ago this month, during a Black History Month event at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, a 96-year-old Simon shared some of his thoughts about racial inclusion.
His words, which are available on YouTube, are transcribed below:
“The story is something I read in the New Yorker magazine. In those days, if you wanted to go from one coast to the other, you had to change trains in Chicago. After Chicago, there were no more cars where you could get food. You got off the train and went into Harvey Houses.”
“So, the story tells of this troop train. Black soldiers transporting white prisoners from one place to the other. After Chicago, they stopped at the Harvey Houses – the prisoners were put in the dining room and the soldiers were put in the kitchen. Well, that really blew my mind.”
“And so when I got started here, it was inconceivable that we would not be an open community. [unintelligible] It wasn’t that great an idea to some fellow Virginians at the time. The brokers outside of Reston were prone to say ‘That’s communist.'”
“At any rate, the rest of the history is pretty heart-warming. You have, I think I heard someplace, 100 different languages. I don’t know if that’s possible. But we do have enormous diversity here.”
“At the moment, if you want to pick on ethnic origin, it’s not so much Black. At the moment it’s Latino, which is very interesting, what’s going on in the world, if you think about it — how hate can be transferred.”
Simon died in September 2015 at the age of 101.
H/T Restonian. Screen grab via YouTube.
Commemorative bricks for Reston’s annual Founder’s Day are being sold through next week.
The bricks will be installed on Lake Anne Plaza and dedicated during the event Saturday, April 8. Restonians are encouraged to become part of Reston’s history by purchasing one.
“The commemorative bricks support the Reston Museum and Founder’s Day — an opportunity each year to celebrate Robert E. Simon and his vision for this special and inclusive community,” said Elizabeth Didiano, executive director of Reston Historic Trust and Museum.
A commemorative brick can also be lasting gift to someone special, Didiano said.
“[The bricks] are a unique way for us to record Reston’s history,” she said. “[They allow] individuals to share their names, relationships and contributions to Reston where everyone can see them — surrounding the statue of Reston’s founder Bob Simon on Lake Anne Plaza.”
Bricks can be purchased from the Reston Historic Trust and Museum for a tax-deductible contribution of $100 for a standard-sized brick, or $250 for a large brick. Orders can be made on the museum’s website, by emailing Didiano at [email protected], or by calling 703-709-7700.
The deadline to order bricks is Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Founder’s Day is presented by Reston Historic Trust and Museum, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Initiative for Public Art — Reston, and Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association.
Photo courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum
“I actually was able to get an internship with Disney World, which was my dream job,” she said. “I was offered a regular full-time position, but I ended up getting sick.”
After a long series of doctor’s visits, Katz was diagnosed in 2014 with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a condition that causes an increased heart rate when standing upright — resulting in dizziness, migraines and more. Because of it, Katz was forced to give up her photography position at Disney World and return home to Reston to her parents, Gina and Bert.
Now 25, Katz finds herself traveling down a new path in life, raising awareness for rare diseases and chronic illnesses. She has started an awareness campaign called Spoonspirations — the name of which is a reference to “spoon theory,” a term coined by lupus patient advocate Christine Miserandino about how sufferers of such conditions must ration their energy.
“She wanted a way to describe it to people who don’t have a chronic illness, so they could understand,” Katz said. “Basically, it’s kind of like if you get up to walk the dog, you use three spoons out of your 12 total spoons for the day.”
Through Spoonspirations, Katz is using her love of art to spread the word about chronic illness. Katz studied graphic design as well as photography, and she has designed a number of different pieces of apparel for various related causes.
She is raising money for research in the process, as all proceeds from sales of the clothing are given to chronic illness organizations. In 2016, she said, she raised $8,000 that was donated in large part to Dysautonomia International and the Dysautonomia Support Network, organizations she became acquainted with through her personal journey.
This year, Katz has become involved with rare disease advocacy organization Global Genes. She will travel to Southern California at the end of the month to participate in a fashion show for the organization as part of World Rare Disease Day.
“Everyone is walking in honor of someone who has a rare disease,” she said. “I’m the only one walking who actually has a rare disease.”
Katz is hopeful that she will be able to make more connections during the event to help her expand Spoonspirations and raise more awareness for the hundreds of millions worldwide suffering from chronic illnesses.
“Rare diseases affect approximately 350 million people worldwide and often times are invisible,” she said. “So you never know who might be affected.”
Photos courtesy Nisa Katz/Spoonspirations
Valentine’s Day is just a little over a week away. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to make your dinner reservations soon, before the restaurants fill up and you’re left in the doghouse.
Here is just a sampling of some of the specials being offered by eateries around Reston:
- American Tap Room (1811 Library St.) will offer a three-course dinner (2 entrees, 1 appetizer, 1 dessert) with a bottle of wine and a rose for $70, tax and gratuity not included.
- Big Bowl (11915 Democracy Drive) is offering a special three-course Valentine’s Menu for Two from Friday, Feb. 10 to Tuesday, Feb. 14 for $44.95 per couple, not including beverages, tax or gratuity.
- Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) will be offering its regular dinner menu along with a regional menu inspired by the region of Umbria, the birthplace of St. Valentine.
- Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will offer music by Tula from 6-9 p.m.
- McCormick & Schmick’s (11920 Democracy Drive) will have Valentine’s specials all weekend.
- The Melting Pot (11730 Plaza America Drive) is offering a four-course prix fixe menu on Valentine’s Day. Cost is $80 per person, which includes all four courses and a complimentary champange toast.
- Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) offers more than 80 boutique French wine varietals that complement its menu of classic French dishes.
- Morton’s The Steakhouse (11956 Market St.) is welcoming Valentine’s Day celebrants to enjoy their steak dinner.
- Passion Fish (11960 Democracy Drive) will be offering a three-course dinner with a price range of $60-$90, depending on entree selection.
- Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) is offering a Valentine’s Day “Duet Menu” for $55 per person. Details are available on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
- Uncle Julio’s (1827 Library St.) will offer chocolate pinatas, filled with fresh fruit and house-made mini-churros. They are served with a trio of raspberry, chocolate and caramel sauces and homemade whipped cream.
- Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) is featuring a $50 tasting menu with a wine pairing. The meal begins with an offering of baby red Russian kale salad, followed by house-cured Wester Ross organic salmon and grilled rack of lamb, and ending with dessert of pomegranate mousse and dark chocolate ganache.
Some information via OpenTable. Image via Wikimedia/suksim
Looking for something to do this weekend? Here is a sampling of what’s available in Reston:
- The South Lakes High School Chorus is presenting its Broadway Night event tonight and Saturday.
- Reston Town Center events this weekend include a kids’ cooking class at Il Fornaio, cartoon skate at the ice pavilion, Super Bowl festivities at American Tap Room and Mon Ami Gabi, and more.
- Potomac River Running will be putting on its For The Love Of It 10K, beginning at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), Saturday morning.
- Reston Community Players will close out their run of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” tonight and Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
- Project-based charter school Ideaventions Academy (12340 Pinecrest Road) will be holding an open house Saturday.
- Art exhibitions “CUT” and “Springtime in Winter” remain on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street) and Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), respectively.
- Del. Ken Plum will be at Lake Anne Coffee House (1612 Washington Plaza N.) on Saturday morning to discuss issues with his constituents.
- Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive) won’t just be offering beer specials Sunday during the Super Bowl, but it will unveil its new bison chili as well.
- Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will host a Super Bowl party Sunday, featuring regional foods from New England and Atlanta. A raffle will also be held to benefit Camp Sunshine.
The only YMCA in Fairfax County is accepting applications for its more than 50 summer camp options.
Joseph Crawford, YMCA Fairfax County Reston’s executive director, said some residents may be unaware that the cost of the organization’s camps — which can run $180 and up per week, per child — can be covered by scholarship funding.
“We raise all the money locally. Some comes from some companies around here, there’s lot of them in Reston, but the lion’s share of the money donated just comes from families that had positive experiences at YMCAs and they really get it,” Crawford said. “Reston and Fairfax County, specifically, it’s a very philanthropic community, and they have that give-back focus kind of built into their DNA.”
YMCA Fairfax County Reston has about 10,000 members, Crawford said. He said 300 to 400 children and teenagers can be involved in camps at the branch each day during the summer.
“The camps range from age 6 all the way up through teenagers — boys and girls of all ages, a very diverse group,” he said. “We really take a lot of pride in making sure there’s a continuum of care, all the way from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s also high-quality and cost-effective if you have more than one kid, and that’s why we have the scholarship system.”
According to information provided by YMCA Fairfax County Reston, more than $3 million in financial-assistance scholarships have been awarded since the facility opened in 2000.
“Contributions support our Caring for Community scholarship which provides financial assistance for individuals and families who are unable to afford quality childcare, summer camp, membership as well as other programs and services.”
More than $425,000 was awarded in 2016 among over 1,600 scholarships, with 20 percent of those going toward summer camp enrollment.
Crawford said anyone interested in applying for a Caring for Community scholarship should visit the YMCA branch (12196 Sunset Hills Road). Applicants will be asked to supply recent pay stubs (if applicable), tax documents and other financial budget statements.
The director said STEM-based camps such as Lego Robotics are particularly popular, but the YMCA continues to offer more traditional camps as well.
“We have traditional camps, where they can swim, bike and play basketball, that are all right here at the branch,” Crawford said. “A lot of the adventure camps are popular too, where the kids or the teenagers can take local trips around to different museums in the DMV area.”
YMCA is the fifth largest charitable organization in the United States, and Crawford said the scholarship program that helps make camp and memberships possible for many is a large part of what makes it great.
“The membership dues keep the doors open,” he said. “The scholarship money, the money we raise every year, makes sure we’re an inclusive organization so that everybody can come in and out of those doors.”
Photo via YMCA Fairfax County Reston/Facebook
Reston’s Elizabeth Vandenburg was in D.C.’s Chevy Chase recently when signs dotting the community called to her.
“There was an initiative by the neighborhood, and there were signs all over the place,” she said. “Seeing these signs, it just was really inspirational.”
The signs were part of the “Hate Has No Home Here” project, which started in November in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood. Students at an elementary school devised the slogan and a local graphic designer developed the artwork. Word has gotten out and the campaign has spread across the nation and world.
Anyone can make their own HHNHH signs by downloading the artwork and taking it to a print shop. Vandenburg had 100 signs printed at Sign & Print in Herndon. One is currently in her front yard on Hunting Horn Lane and she is working to distribute the rest to friends and others who have contacted her through Facebook.
“First, I surveyed like 10 or 15 friends, and they said, ‘Sure,'” Vandenburg said. “I raised some money to do it, so I could give some away. … The 100 are pretty much accounted for.”
Vandenburg said she was encouraged to become part of the project because she feels it is important to stand up for what you believe.
“I’ve been an advocate for a lot of different issues, and I wanted my voice to be heard,” she said. “I wanted to feel inspired as I went around Reston. I know Reston is inclusive and supportive of these causes, but having it be visible gives my heart a lift.”
The project defines itself as non-partisan:
This sign is a public declaration that hate speech and hateful actions against others will not be tolerated by the person or organization displaying the sign. In that, it is apolitical. This sign is a statement that, while it is OK to disagree with others civilly regarding issues, it is not OK to intimidate or attack a person or group — verbally or physically — based on attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability or sexual orientation. The colors of the sign — red, white and blue — are the colors of the American flag, not any political party.
Vandenburg said, however, that issues such as President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration emphasize the importance of the project’s message.
“It’s a privilege to be an American,” she said. “I believe it’s my responsibility and duty to speak up.”
For more information on the project, visit its Facebook page.
This article was submitted to Reston Now by Dave Ryan of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
No matter how much some readers may yell at certain pesky geese to stop blocking Reston roadways and pooping on its sidewalks, some of these wildlife neighbors never seem to get the message that they should fly away or migrate to more natural areas.
Why is this? Katherine Edwards knows.
In a Jan. 18 presentation to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Reston Community Center Lake Anne, Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist Dr. Katherine Edwards explained that there are two distinct populations of Canada geese that inhabit Fairfax County — migratory and resident. Present-day resident geese originated from captured migratory ones that decades ago had their flight feathers clipped, and were then largely used as live hunting decoys.
Even when these captive birds were released or escaped and no longer had their flight inhibited, they did not resume their ancestral migratory patterns. The reason: For a goose to migrate, it must be taught the flight path by its parents or flock.
Successive generations of geese never learned to migrate. Over time, the birds and their descendants, while able to fly, lost the instinct and need to migrate — so they’re blissfully happy taking up permanent residence right here in Reston.
According to Edwards, communities like Reston provide an abundance of ideal nesting and foraging habitat for geese in the form of lawns, sports fields, golf courses, parks and ponds. With relatively few predators around, goose populations are safe to expand in suburban areas. However, this increase in goose numbers often leads to conflicts with humans in terms of overgrazed lawns, accumulated droppings, molted feathers and roadway hazards.
Edwards added that the county uses a variety of methods to manage resident geese, including habitat modification and egg oiling to reduce flock growth.
For more information about wildlife in Fairfax County, visit the Fairfax County website. For more information about how the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University provides educational, social and cultural opportunities to citizens of Northern Virginia, visit its website.
Photos courtesy David Ryan/OLLI
Arlington-based pet store Dogma Bakery announced earlier this week that it plans to open a Reston location in the space formerly housed by PetMAC Pet Nutrition Center, which recently closed due to an illness suffered by the owner.
PetMAC had been in the location about two years. Dogma says it plans to keep all three of PetMAC’s employees to work at its new store.
The company’s website advertises the new Reston location as a “grooming salon,” but they have responded to customers on Facebook by saying they plan to offer some of their house-made treats for dogs as well.
“We will have ice cream and some treats. Maybe not the entire selection, but we can always make sure to have your favorites ready for you when you come by.”
Dogma said earlier this week in its post that it is “[k]ind of unofficially open,” but that it would have an official opening soon. No operating hours for the store are being provided quite yet.
The shop is located at 11412 Washington Plaza West, in Lake Anne Plaza.