New Pottery Studio Opening in Reston This Month

A new pottery studio is coming to Reston at the end of the month.

TealNest Pottery will host a grand opening on Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 11704 Bowman Green Drive.

The owners — Heidi Pommer of Reston and Charlotte Knight of Fairfax — learned the art of pottery after taking classes at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne.

Now, they hope to pass on what they’ve learned through Scandinavian-style, boutique pottery. Their work is characterized by clean lines and calming colors.

The studio will host lessons on wheel and hand-building pottery techniques.

Here’s more from the owners:

TealNest Pottery offers potters at all levels, with seven wheels, large hand-building area, wall-slab roller, oval kiln, and beautiful glazes. “We encourage everyone to bring their unique talents and imaginations to create personalized and high-caliber pottery pieces that treasure and share! And we invite our ceramics community to join us as we collectively raise our skills to the next level.

Guests who attend the grand opening will receive a $25 gift certificate for a future class.

Photos via Heidi Pommer

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Thursday Morning Notes

Take a Break Concert Tonight — It’s officially dance night with Radio King Orchestra at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The concert is free and open for all ages. Attendees will also get the change to learn some dance moves. [Reston Community Center]

Local Students Earn College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships — Joshua Nielson of Herndon High School won a National Merit Brigham Young University Scholarship and Arabella Jariel of South Lakes High School won a National Merit Harvey Mudd Scholarship. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

New Look for Fairfax Alerts Traffic Notifications — The new format for traffic alerts allows users to look through a map to pinpoint the exact geolocation of traffic incidents. The update also standardizes how information about the location address, incident type and impact appear to users. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Reston Live and More This Weekend in Reston

CORE Foundation hosts “Reston Live,” a music festival featuring live bands, a talent competition, local market and foods vendors, on Sunday.

The event, which takes place at Lake Anne Plaza from 3-8 p.m., will also include a magic show and face painting. Attendees should bring their own lawn or tailgate chair to enjoy the festival.

So far, the following performers are confirmed:

  • Actress and singer Sissy Sheridan
  • Magician Derek Jasper
  • Singer and songwriter Lindsey Hirchfeld
  • Catchin Toads

More information is available online.

Tomorrow (May 25)

  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Bookworms will dive into “The Little Red Fort” and “Fort Building Time” at this weekly book club at Reston Regional Library. Young readers will then get the chance to build something themselves to take home.
  • College Application Essay Workshop (3-4 p.m.) — College applicants will learn more about what college admission officers expect during this free essay workshop at Reston Regional Library.
  • A Star-Spangled Salute (7-8:30 p.m.) — Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a free patriotic concert at Reston Town Center’s Pavilion. The event features The Reston Chorale and Brass of the Potomac. You can also support troops serving overseas by donating items for the Chorale’s Operation Care Package drive.

Sunday (May 26)

  • Bird Walk through Stratton Woods (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Adults can take a stroll through Stratton Woods. Walks are sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store. No registration is required. Attendees should park at Stratton Woods Park.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association to Treat Algae in Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau — RA’s aquatic consultants will treat blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, with algaecide on Friday (May 24). There will be no restrictions on fishing or boating following the application. [Reston Association]

Deadline for Study on Fairfax County and Franconia-Springfield Parkways Extended — Residents now have until June 3 to submit comments about the long-range study, which provides recommendations for 2040 and beyond for the corridor. The plan also considers whether changes should be made to the county’s transportation plan. [Fairfax County Government]

A Review of ‘The Accidental Pundette’ — Nancy Giles, a commentator and comedian, offers an evening of tongue-in-cheek humor and insight on June 1 at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $25 for Restonians and $35 for all others. [The Connection]

Photo via Reston Association

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Lake Anne Plaza to Host Second Annual Reston Pride Festival

After a successful inaugural event last year, the Reston Pride Festival is moving from its small home in the Unitarian Universalist Church to Lake Anne Plaza. The event is set for June 1 from 2-7 p.m.

“Last year’s response was so great that we opted for this new location and businesses and the plaza have been very supportive and involved,” Amiee Freeman, one of the festival’s organizers told Reston Now.

Delta Knyght, a DC-based drag entertainer, and Ken Williamson, minister of music for Washington Plaza Baptist Church and a former Las Vegas entertainer, will emcee the event. Elected officials scheduled to speak include Del. Ken Plum and Del. Danica Roem, according to event organizers. Interfaith leaders from the United Christian Parish, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and Restoration Church, will also give remarks at the event.

“Our hope is that this event will not only be awareness-raising, but also a fun and engaging expression of inclusion,” Freeman said.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1,200 people and was co-sponsored by more than 20 community organizations. The event is the brain child of Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston and co-chair of Reston Pride.

She says the festival aims to “break silence in the greater Reston/Herndon area about LGBTQ+ people and issues.”

“We are thrilled that so many organizations are working together to bring the community the second Pride festival and to launch what we hope will be an annual event,” she said.

Photo by Debra Haffner

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‘Gourmet Dive Bar’ Coming to Lake Anne Plaza This Summer

Signs portending the opening of Local VA at Lake Anne Plaza have raised some eyebrows on what the new business will bring to the plaza.

The business takes the place of Singh Thai, a locally owned Thai restaurant that left the plaza it called home for nine years earlier this month.

Owner Dylan Clark described Local VA as a “gourmet dive bar, unpretentious and comfortable with a neighborhood appeal.” Clark says the service will be “relaxed, very friendly and correct, creating an informal, comfortable environment.”

In an effort to ensure most ingredients are sourced locally, Clark said he is working with brewers, farmers, bakers and other purveyors in the state. The opening date is not final, but Clark hopes to open by June 1.

Singh Thai closed in March after the chefs, the owner’s parents, decided to retire and move back to Thailand.

Photo by Eve Thompson

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Reston Then and Now: Icons at Lake Anne Plaza

The Reston Then and Now series is going back to where we started for our penultimate episode: Lake Anne Plaza.

Anyone flicking through the photos overhead — taken from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer — might have noticed that very little has changed at the plaza itself over the years.

But as the Lakeside Pharmacy icons show, there’s been plenty of changes in tenants and aesthetics over the years. While he’s somewhat dismissive of them as historic relics, Wayne Schiffelbein, a local artist and architect who once repainted and fixed up the icons at the owner’s request, said the icons and the damages to them tell the story of earlier unease between Reston and Herndon.

“We had people that lived in and around Herndon who did not take kindly to Reston being there, especially ‘northern folk’, like Jews and Blacks being there,” said Schiffelbein. “The people [in Reston] had college degrees. Not only were the houses more expensive, but they were driving better cars, and people knew that.”

Back in the 1960s, as Reston was first getting started, Schiffelbein said there was a lot of tension between Restonians and Herndon residents who would come into areas like Lake Anne Plaza and cause trouble.

Schiffelbein remembered summers where kids from Herndon would come over to his house by Lake Anne, climb onto the roof and jump out into the lake. Not exactly a campaign of terror, but Schiffelbein said the Reston residents were annoyed by the constant footfalls on the roof.

It was during these early years of class-tension that Schiffelbein said the drug store icons obtained the damages some of them still show.

“They discovered they could carry a sheath knife around,” Schiffelbein said. “The drug store had… soft wood. So the knifes would stick. There were tables in front of the drug store where you could have sat and had coffee while playing chess. They would throw their knives at the walls. It took a couple years, but it took chunks out of pieces of wood from the backing and pieces that were there. Toothbrush took a bunch of hits. Comb didn’t do much better. They dinged the bandaid.”

But it was Vietnam that partially put an end to the local turmoil, with many of the young men from Herndon swept up by the draft.

“Tensions with Reston and Herndon went down over time,” Schiffelbein. “Some of the Herndonites were drafted and some of them just grew up, and we’ll leave it at that. It’s something you do as a 15- and 16-year-old is not as appealing when you’re 22.”

In the 1990s, Schiffelbein said he was contracted to repaint and fix the icons after years of neglect.

“If I squint, it’s a flashback to the drugstore,” Schiffelbein said. “It was a real drugstore. It had a counter, some seats at the counter. It was old fashioned drug store. It was very nice. It was small, everybody knew everybody. But as the community grew that ebbed away.”

In the early days of the pharmacy, Schiffelbein said it catered mainly to the older residents at the Lake Anne Fellowship House.

“The older people used a lot of prescription drugs and that was before insurance companies required you to go to their pharmacy,” Schiffelbein said. “In the early years, they would amble across the road and fill 50 or 60 scripts a day. There was a stream of people going into the drug store. A lot of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites moved to Reston in the early years. There was an old man there who played the races. The owner got racing forms every year. I remember that as clear as a bell, I can still see the man’s face.”

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum currently has a GoFundMe set up to preserve the icons, but it’s not going particularly well.

For more Reston Then and Now, check out these earlier stories and come back next week for final Then and Now:

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Lake Anne Hair Design Being Sold Following Death of Owner

Lake Anne Hair Design at Lake Anne Plaza (11404 Washington Plaza W) is being sold following the death of longtime owner Randy Burr in January.

The hair studio has been in business in Reston for 30 years as a no-appointment-needed barber shop.

According to an obituary, Burr went to barber school at 17 and started the design studio in the late 1970s.

“[Burr] became a neighborhood fixture waiting to strike up a conversation or watch any tennis-match on TV,” according to the obituary. “He, a true optimist, was always genuinely willing to help others in any way he could.”

In a Facebook post after Burr’s death, Lake Anne Plaza wrote a short tribute:

Randy has been on Lake Anne Plaza almost from the beginning- cutting hair, making jokes, telling stories and waving at the passersby from his comfortable chair outside his shop. He will be missed by many.

Photo via Robyn Burdett Real Estate Group

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‘Teapot and Cake’ Set to Bring Sweets to Lake Anne Plaza Spot

Purcellville-based bakery Teapot and Cake is coming to Lake Anne Plaza.

Building permits indicate that the bakery will move into 11404A W. Washington Plaza — the former spot of Havana Boutique, a high-end consignment shop.

The menu for the Purcellville spot includes a range of sweets, including cakes, pastries, cookies, cupcakes and tea.

A Facebook post from Lake Anne and Washington Plaza says that the opening date is “TBD” — “to be determined.”

Photo via Facebook

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Annual Founder’s Day at Lake Anne Exhibit Debuts Monday

Lake Anne will have a new art exhibit ahead of Founder’s Day.

The exhibit will run from April 1-29 at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (2310 Colts Neck Road). Founder’s Day, which celebrates Reston’s founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. and the community’s history, will be held on Saturday, April 6, at Lake Anne Plaza.

“In this exhibit, artists step back and focus on things that evoke feelings — anger, happiness, serenity — and give color to them through their art,” Reston Community Center’s website says. “They hope to capture the intensity of a moment and convey the message that reality is not what we see, but what we discover and create for ourselves.”

Pat Macintyre, the founder of the League of Reston Artist, is a sponsor of this exhibit, according to RCC.

A reception is set for Sunday, April 7, from 2-4 p.m.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Center 

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Lakeside Pharmacy Fundraiser Lags, Hopes for Boost at Next Week’s Triathlon

Despite some noble intentions, fundraising to save the Lakeside Pharmacy icons is not going well.

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum’s GoFundMe — which started in August — has only raised $1,663 of its $15,000 goal.

The goal of the fundraiser is to clean and reinstall the icons, currently being held in storage, in a new exhibit about the 1960’s pop art aesthetic that was a core part of early Reston history.

Alexandra Campbell, a media contact for the Reston Museum, said despite public interest — Campbell said stories related to the icons are some of their most popular social media posts — the donations to the fundraiser have been slow to trickle in.

While Campbell said there have been a few donations to the fundraiser outside of the GoFundMe, Carolyn Flitcroft, elected chair of the board for the organization, said in an earlier interview that it can be difficult to rally support for a fundraiser that’s for something that seems less dire than homelessness or hunger.

Campbell said the Reston Historic Trust is hoping for a boost with a fundraiser next week. A triathlon hosted by New Trail Cycling Studio and Lake Anne Brew House on March 27 will give a portion of the proceeds to the Reston Historic Trust.

Despite the fundraising setbacks, the organization is moving forward with the permitting process to get the icons on display. According to Campbell, the deadline to get the permits scheduled for review in April is next week, so it’s all hands on deck as the group works to get the application finalized.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust

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International Women’s Day Kicks Off Friday on Lake Anne Plaza

A weekend of events will take on Lake Anne Plaza in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8).

The events aim to raise awareness and celebrate the achievement of the women who helped shape Lake Anne Plaza, according to Rachel Piering, who shared details about the celebration to Reston Now. Women own and operate three-fourths of the businesses on the plaza, Piering said.

A free reception on Friday (March 8) at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza) kicks off the first Annual International Women’s Day Celebration with a gallery reception and panel discussion starting at 7:30 p.m.

Small Change Consignment Owner Susann Gerstein, Reston Used Book Store Owner Susan Burwell and former Lake Anne Nursery and Kindergarten Director Ann Potts will join Linda Fuller, who used to own the Lake Anne Florist, for the panel.

Before the panel begins at 8:14 p.m., attendees can view the gallery’s photography exhibit by local photographer Charlotte Geary and vintage photos from the Reston Historic Trust and Museum.

Sales of limited edition commemorative posters will benefit Shelter House, a non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services to homeless families and victims of domestic violence.

Throughout the weekend, locals will be able to enjoy several musical performances, art exhibitions, book signings and special promotions for shops and eateries, Piering said. The International Women’s Day Celebration is provided by the Lake Anne Merchants and Professionals Committee.

Businesses participating in International Women’s Day include:

On Saturday (March 9) the New Trail Cycling Studio will hold a women-only ride on from 9:30-10:20 a.m. to help raise money for the Reston Runners’ “Seize the Day Women’s 5K” training program and race. Tickets are $20.

“Proceeds are going toward creating scholarships for local underprivileged women to train for and run their first 5k,” Liz Kamp, the owner of New Trail Cycling Studio, told Reston Now, adding that Reston Runner’s Women’s Training Program will help the women prepare for the race.

Image via Rachel Piering

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Poll: Where Should Reston Now’s ‘Then and Now’ Series Look Next?

Back in December, Reston Now kicked off a “Then and Now” series to highlight how areas in Reston and Herndon have changed over the decades.

With help from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer, which offers aerial views of the county dating back to 1937, Reston Now puts together a review of how each area has evolved.

Our look into the Lake Anne area started the series, which has since explored Reston Town Center, Reston Station and Herndon’s Elden Street — to name a few.

A tip from a Reston Now reader led us to the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads where a small farmhouse was recently demolished to make way for a residential development.

Last week, we highlighted the struggling Tall Oaks Village Center, which is slated for redevelopment into a mostly residential neighborhood.

Now, we want your input for our March 8 story.

Have an idea for a spot that’s not listed? Tell us in the comments section below.

Photos via Fairfax County Historic Imagery Viewer

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With New Leadership, Reston Historic Trust & Museum Puts Art Preservation in the Spotlight

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has new leadership and is pushing into 2019 with an ambitious effort to save local art.

Carolyn Flitcroft, elected chair of the board for the organization in late January, said the Trust and Museum is hitting the ground running with a campaign to preserve the quirky pop-art iconography from the Lakeside Pharmacy.

“The main thing is we’re working on a fundraising effort for the [Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Exhibit],” said Flitcroft.

Flitcroft said that discussion of that preservation will start at a meeting on Thursday, after which Flitcroft said the group plans to begin discussions with the Fairfax County Board of Architectural Review.

With only $1,185 funded of the $15,000 goal on project’s GoFundMe, there’s still a long way to go to fund the icons’ cleaning, repairs and reinstallation.

After that, Flitcroft said the organization plans to work on an exhibit looking at the effects of Title 9 on women playing sports in Reston.

The museum, at 1639 Washington Plaza, is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and admission is free. A current exhibit shows the history of Reston in the Civil Rights era.

But Flitcroft said the Reston Historic Trust and Museum also faces challenges with visibility.

“It’s a small organization,” Flitcroft said. “It’s hard to compete with a lot of non-profits that deal with very physical things, like hunger and homelessness. So it can be a challenge to compete for donations. There’s people in Reston that don’t know about Lake Anne, much less the museum.”

Over the last few years, Flitcroft said the museum’s director Alexandra Campbell has been pushing to give the museum more of a social media presence. Part of that effort has been making the public more aware of programs focusing on more recent issues, like the arrival of the Metro.

“A lot of our programs are about what’s happening now,” said Flitcroft. “Not all historical. We try to keep the community involved with what’s going on. It’s not only about things of the past.”

Flitcroft has been on the board for five years and has experience working in other local non-profits, like Giving Circle of Hope.

“I’m excited,” said Flitcroft “There’s a lot of energy and we’re gaining more visibility in the community. I’m very excited.”

Photo via Charlotte Geary, headshot courtesy Carolyn Flitcroft

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Lake Anne Service Center Plans to Reopen Soon After Brief Closure

Locals who frequent the Lake Anne Service Center might have noticed that the auto maintenance shop has been closed recently.

Co-owner Bobby Kapoor told Reston Now that an electrical issue on Feb. 2. caused the temporary closure.

Tech crews have been working on fixing the issue, and an electrician is set to come out tomorrow (Feb. 13), he said. Once it’s fixed, Kapoor said that he will call the county to come out for an inspection.

He’s hopeful that the Lake Anne Service Center (11410 North Shore Drive) will be back to business this week.

Images via Google Maps

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