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Crème de la Crème is moving to 907 King Street in Old Town in March 2024 (via Facebook)

French and Italian tableware and home goods boutique Crème de la Crème will open at 907 King Street in March.

The Middleburg-based retailer recently signed a five-year lease with building owner EastBanc for the 2,200-square-foot property formerly home to Mackie’s Bar and Grill. The Old Town store will join the company’s two locations in Virginia — in Middleburg and Richmond — and one store in Frederick, Maryland.

Crème de la Crème was founded in 2000 by Tara and Ben Wegdam. The couple also own three other retail shops in Middleburg — Loulou, Zest and Brick and Mortar.

“We have been looking for years at expanding our presence into Alexandria and finally found a place that will work for our format,” said Tara Wegdam. “We have so many customers from the D.C. and Alexandria area that have been asking us for a retail location closer by, so we are extremely excited to open our doors at 907 King Street next Spring.”

Philippe Lanier, a principal at EastBanc, said that the neighborhood is perfect for the boutique.

“We have no doubt that their unique store experience and carefully-curated goods will attract locals and visitors alike looking for one-of-a-kind gifts and tableware,” Lanier said.

Image via Facebook

Heidi DeuPree and Keith Harmon canoeing down Union Street in Old Town, Friday, October 29, 2021. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandrians who have been trying to flood-proof their homes should find it a little easier to get city funding.

Alexandria’s Flood Mitigation Grant Program received an update in October that makes it easier for property owners to access and boosts the amount of funding homeowners can receive. One of the big changes is that residents no longer have to show past flooding, meaning they can make precautionary improvements to homes that haven’t been hit with flooding before.

According to a release:

Effective October 24, 2023, the City of Alexandria updated the Flood Mitigation Grant Program to open eligibility to all property owners by removing the requirement to show past flooding. The Grant program was also updated to increase the maximum amount of the 50/50 matching funding for eligible flood mitigation measures on association common areas up to $25,000.

That $25,000 is a dramatic increase compared to the previous $5,000 matching grant for improvements to common areas.

According to the release:

The Virginia General Assembly modified Virginia Code to explicitly state that grant funding can be used by associations for flood mitigation projects, effective July 1, 2023. This increase in matching grant funding for association common areas is reasonable given that the cost of flood mitigation measures is typically much higher for common areas. Individual condominium owners may still apply for up to $5,000 of matching grant funding for their units.


Good Tuesday morning, Alexandria!

☀️ Today’s weather: Expect a mostly sunny day, with temperatures reaching a high of around 38 degrees. The northwest wind will be ranging from 6 to 11 mph in the morning, increasing to 13 to 18 mph in the afternoon and gusting up to 30 mph. As for Tuesday night, the sky will be mostly clear with the temperature dropping to a low of approximately 21 degrees. West wind will blow 7 to 14 mph and may gust as high as 21 mph.

🚨 You need to know

Fairfax County seal at the Huntington Metro station in Fairfax (Staff photo by Sloane)

For the most part, violent crime has been declining over the last year in Mount Vernon, the area of Fairfax just south of Alexandria.

Mount Vernon news site On the MoVe said crime data from January through September of this year shows that most types of crime have declined compared to previous years.

Homicides spiked last year, with six homicides in the same time frame in 2022, while this year that’s gone back down to two homicides (the same as it was in 2020 and one fewer than in 2021).

On the MoVe noted that the Mount Vernon Police District accounted for less than one-eighth of the county’s total homicides for this year, as compared to one-third of the homicides last year.

Aggravated assaults also declined from 110 to 103, though that’s still higher than the 66 and 82 aggravated assaults in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Robberies had a similar decline from last year, from 94 robberies to 85.

The one increase was rapes, which increased from 15 last year to 19 in 2023.

📈 Monday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Nov 27, 2023.

  1. Alexandria resident robbed at gunpoint and beaten in D.C. this weekend (5982 views)
  2. Alexandria police investigating dead person found in car at West End gas station (5635 views)
  3. Off-duty D.C. police officer charged with felony after chase leads to Tesla crash in Alexandria (1685 views)

🗞 Other local coverage

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.
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Santa at the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Old Town, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Santa Claus will don a kilt and bagpipes this weekend for the Scottish Christmas Walk in Old Town. Here’s what you need to know about the annual event.

Congressman Don Beyer (D-8th) and his wife, Megan, are the grand marshals of the 52nd annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Thousands of parade watchers are expected to attend the free event, and the weather is forecasted to be cloudy and cool — perfect for taking pictures.

The parade lasts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes dozens of Scottish clans, dancers, bagpipers and the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums.

This year, the parade also features a number of entertainers, including champion Scottish fiddler Seán Heely, singer SHENNA, LEGO master builder Andrew Litterst (with one of his creations on the route), and the parade’s newest participant — the Ethiopian Community Support Center.

The City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums marches in the 50th annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Old Town, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The one-mile-long parade starts at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Wolfe and St. Asaph streets, and travels north to Queen Street, then turns right (east toward the Potomac River) on Queen for three blocks, turns right on Fairfax Street, right on King Street and then concludes at the reviewing stand in front of City Hall (301 King Street).

Also, don’t miss the end of the parade, where three bagpipe bands — the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums, St. Andrew’s Society’s Washington Scottish Pipe Band and Kiltie Band of York — play a massed concert at Market Square (301 King Street).

The parade route for the 2023 Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 (Via The Campagna Center)

Taste of Scotland

While the parade is the main attraction, the weekend of events is capped off Friday night (Dec. 1) with the Campagna Center’s Taste of Scotland at The Atrium Building (277 S. Washington Street).

Single tickets for the event cost $200, and the event includes “whiskey-tasting stations, hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine bars and a custom art exhibit,” according to the Campagna Center. The evening is sponsored by The Goodhart Group, starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event benefit Campagna Center core programs for Alexandria children and families.

Santa at The Torpedo Factory

Also on Saturday, the Torpedo Factory Art Center will host its annual holiday festival.

The event starts at 2 p.m., and art enthusiasts will have an hour-and-a-half before the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be ferried to the event by an Alexandria fireboat at around 3:30 p.m.

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Saturday’s events will conclude with the 23rd Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon.

The boat parade starts at 5:30 p.m. with more than 50 brightly lit boats cruising one mile along the Potomac River.

According to Visit Alexandria:

Enjoy dockside festivities from 1 to 8 p.m. in Waterfront Park including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company, holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM,hot chocolate from Dolci Gelati, pizza by the slice from Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, American comfort food from Mason Social cookies, snacks from Together We Bake and more.Also at Waterfront Park, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. enjoy hands-on activities from independently owned Alexandria businesses Shop Made in Virginia, Penny Post and AR Workshop Alexandria.

Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights (photo via Visit Alexandria/Facebook)

Christmas Through The Ages

Christmas Through The Ages – Join the Washington Men’s Camerata, and Guest Director Scott Tucker for a program of Christmas and holiday music spanning the centuries through today, featuring the music of Bach, Lauridsen, Abbie Betinis, and many others.

301 North Fairfax Street (image via City of Alexandria)

A new residential development that created a stir among some Old Town residents is heading to Alexandria’s Planning Commission next week.

The new development at 301 N. Fairfax Street — around two blocks west of Founders Park and two blocks north of City Hall — would create 48 new residential units, along with underground parking with 67 spaces and 10,065 square feet of private open space. Two of those units will be set aside as affordable housing.

The new development has a gross floor area of 97,556 square feet and is four stories tall, replacing a three-story office building constructed in 1977.

The staff report notes that the building went through some modifications to reduce the overall massing of the building and look more similar to other nearby townhouses.

A rendering for 301 N. Fairfax Street in Old Town (via City of Alexandria)

“Some members of the community also expressed concern about the amount of parking,” the staff report said. “It is noted that this project is providing more parking than is required, and residents of the building will not be eligible for Residential Parking Permits (RPPs).”

The project went through community meetings earlier this year and three rounds at the Board of Architectural Review (BAR). The project has a staff recommendation of “approval with conditions” — though the BAR was less enthusiastic.

“[It’s] an improvement, but given this elevation and the scale of the nearby buildings, I think it’s too massive,” said BAR Member Theresa Del Ninno. “I would not be able to support this proposal with the current massing.”

The project is scheduled for review at a Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, followed by a City Council vote on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Police car lights (file photo)

A Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with one felony count of eluding police after allegedly crashing into a car near the Seminary Road exit of Interstate 395.

Just before midnight on Wednesday (Nov. 22), Virginia State Police reported investigating a four-door blue Tesla driving 95 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone on I-395 near the Seminary Road exit. The state trooper attempted to pull the driver over, and he instead took the Seminary Road exit, allegedly ran a red light and smashed into a Honda Civic.

The driver, 25-year-old Peter McCauley, was reportedly driving his own vehicle and had a 28-year-old female passenger, who was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The 22-year-old female driver of the Honda also reportedly suffered minor injuries. Everyone involved in the crash wore seatbelts, according to VSP.

“The impact of the crash caused the Tesla to run off the road and strike the Jersey wall,” VSP said in a release. “Meanwhile, the Honda ran off the road and struck the Jersey wall and a light pole.”

McCauley is an MPD officer and his police powers have been revoked, according to the Washington Post.

VSP said that the incident remains under investigation.

The crash was recorded by STATter 911.

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Live Alexandria: Holiday gift guide

Explore Alexandria living in this bi-weekly column sponsored and written by Sandy McMaster of McEnearney Associates. Got a question or comment? Contact Sandy at [email protected].

It’s official! The holiday shopping season is here! 

The fantastic businesses that were kind enough to help us launch this series are some of my favs — but first things first. COFFEE. Any good shopping trip in the city starts coffee at The Greenery. I highly recommend “The Stacked.” Trust me on this one — delicious.

The next stop should be Made In ALX (we have some seriously talented and creative people living among us!) If you’re looking for high-quality bespoke stocking stuffers and gifts, put MadeInALX at the top of your shopping tour.

Sending cards to special people? That will require a stop at Penny Post. And if you’re at Penny Post, you’re a half-block from Red Barn Mercantile — so of course you go! Even out-of-towners put Red Barn on their list of shops to visit!

Lastly — you have to put a little self-care into the holiday schedule. That means sitting in Angela’s chair at Salon De Zen. They’ll be sure to keep you looking snappy for all your holiday photos!

We hope you enjoy the season and all the city offers. If you see me at a boat parade or a tree lighting, please say hello!

Happy holidays!

To get to know more about me and how I help people build lives they want in homes they love, follow me @SandyMcMaster on IG or visit  www.SandyMcMaster.RealEstate

A man was found dead inside a car at the Liberty gas station at 3468 King Street in Alexandria’s West End on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023 (via Google Maps)

(Updated 4:20 p.m.) The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a dead woman found inside a parked car at a gas station in the West End of the city.

APD was notified of an unresponsive woman sitting in the parking lot of the Liberty gas station at 3468 King Street at around 8:15 a.m.

Police found an unresponsive person inside a black Hyundai with dealer tags, according to the police scanner. APD said in an update later that the person in the car was a woman, despite earlier reports the person was male.

At 10:55 a.m., police notified the public to expect a moderate police presence in the area.

Anyone with information on this incident can call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911 or the Department of Human Services’ emergency services line at 703-746-3401. CrisisLink also has a 24-hour crisis hotline at 703-527-4077 or 800-SUICIDE, or text 703-940-0888.

Image via Google Maps

Police car lights (file photo)

An Alexandria man was walking on the 1700 block of M Street in D.C. on Saturday when he was robbed at gunpoint and beaten by a group of attackers, according to a police report.

The report says that the man, an Alexandria resident, was walking with someone else on M Street just after midnight when four suspects surrounded them.

“The suspects all pointed handguns at [the victim] and punched and kicked him about the head,” the report said. “The suspects took the listed property, including his jacket and shoes. The suspects fled in an unknown vehicle.”

The report says that the suspects stole the man’s phone, car keys, and $1,500 in cash, along with his jacket and shoes. The report notes that the phone was later recovered.

H/t to Alan Henney


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