Alexandria, VA

Even after an unforgettable year stricken by a pandemic, Alexandria has been named one of the best small cities in the United States.

Alexandria took the fifth spot in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The city placed third last year and fourth the year before that.

Here’s the top five small cities in the U.S. this year, according to the magazine:

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  4. Laguna Beach, California
  5. Alexandria, Virginia

According to Condé Nast:

Washingtonians are all in on the secret, but it’s no surprise the rest of the world is catching up: Alexandria, Virginia, the charming, historic city just across the Potomac River from our nation’s capital, draws travelers and would-be residents alike. Most folks start to imagine moving there just after setting foot in Old Town, once they’ve strolled the red brick sidewalks, clocking street after street of perfectly preserved rowhouses from the 18th and 19th centuries. When you visit, scope out King Street, packed with boutiques, restaurants, and specialty shops; then land at the waterfront, where you can watch the boats bobbing on the water before touring the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a collective of galleries and artists’ studios. End the day at Gadsby’s Tavern, where some of our founding fathers used to drink–don’t mind the actors in colonial garb.

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Morning Notes

Beyer Calls Breonna Taylor Ruling Unjust — “Breonna Taylor should still be alive. She did not deserve to die. This is not justice.” [Twitter]

Visit Alexandria Thanks Community With Video — “Here’s our tribute to Alexandria’s small businesses, hospitality workers, health department and city government, who are standing together in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. We thank you!” [Twitter]

You Can Put Your Likeness on Seats at the Little Theatre of Alexandria — “With social distancing in effect, we can fill only 46 of our 215 seats. A clever way of distancing our audiences while giving our performers the feeling of a sold-out event is to fill our unused seats with silhouettes sporting your face or that of a friend, family member, or pet.” [Facebook]

Rocklands Barbecue and Grilling Co. Wins Rammy Award — “Among the winners was Jamal Flowers of Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co. in Alexandria for manager of the year. Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co also won a 2020 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Awards for 30 years.” [Patch]

City Giving Away Free Flu Shots — “This Saturday, from 9 AM until 3 PM, the City will be hosting the first of two free flu shot clinics. Saturday’s event will be drive-up (max of 4 to a car) at @TCWTitans at 3330 King St. This year, it is even more important than ever to get a flu shot!” [Twitter]

Transcript Reveals Details About City’s Only Homicide This Year — “The homicide case of Karla Dominguez has left many disappointed with and upset by the city’s criminal justice procedures in the era of COVID-19.” [Alex Times]

Today’s Weather — “Overcast (during the day). High 77F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Cloudy skies at night. Low 59F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: ACPS Communications Specialist — “Responsible for researching, developing, implementing and evaluating communications for special projects to include capital projects, facilities projects, communication projects and projects that support schools, departments and the superintendent.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Twenty New Coronavirus Cases in Alexandria — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 20 to 3,415 in the City; 7-day Positivity Rate down to 4.4%; 2 new hospitalizations. Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Beyer Says White House Blocking Stimulus Negotiations — “Across the country, millions of workers are facing paycheck uncertainty inflicted on them by the Trump Administration to trick people into thinking the White House is providing help so that they can continue blocking stimulus negotiations. We need answers on this ASAP.” [Twitter]

Fire Department Wins American Heart Association Award — “For the 7th year in a row, the Alexandria Fire Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Pluse Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.” [Twitter]

Spirit Halloween Pop-Up Store Opening in West End — “The company typically occupies vacant storefronts leading up to Halloween season, and this year it will be at the former Pier 1 Imports store at the Foxchase shopping center, 4609 Duke Street in Alexandria.” [Patch]

Doyle’s Outpost Reopening Next Month — “Today, Doyle’s Outpost announces its reopening scheduled for October 1, 2020. With a new General Manager, Adriano Tarantola, and a renewed commitment to COVID-19 safety protocols and physically distanced social entertainment, Doyle’s Outpost offers onsite activities for adults and families, including a featured Laser Tag arena, a variety of interactive technology, a restaurant and full bar, and late-night hours.” [Zebra]

Workforce Development Center Offering Job Counseling — “Are you recently unemployed or want to change your career and don’t know where to start? We are now offering free one-on-one Job Search Coaching to help Alexandrians who have experienced job loss during the pandemic.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High 91F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.Scattered thunderstorms during the evening, then becoming clear overnight. Low 72F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Outreach and Screening Navigator — “The Outreach and Screening Patient Navigator (OSPN) will need to have experience in the health system working with the Latino community with chronic diseases.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

‘Le Refuge’ Restaurant Founder Passes Away — “Jean-Francois Chaufour was born in born in Tavers, France June 7, 1952. He and his wife, Francoise, both hailed from the Loive Valley area and came to the United States together in 1976 and started working as servers in the metropolitan area. After many years of hard work and saving, they pursued the American dream of opening their own establishment.” [Zebra]

Beyer Provides COVID-19 Updates — “I’ve compiled a series of summaries of financial assistance (direct payments, unemployment, paid leave, & more), plus housing, food, and small business resources.” [Twitter]

Tenants and Workers United Hands Out 160 Gift Cards on Giving Tuesday — “This is a GREAT way to share your stimulus check with those who most need it. Any amount helps!” [Facebook]

Mayor Reports Fourth Takeout Order So Far This Month — “Getting wild-n-crazy and doing carryout in the middle of the week. Family walk down the hill for Andy’s Sicilian Pizza and carryout cocktail at Stomping Ground. Support Alexandria Restaurants!” [Facebook]

Campagna Center Distributes Diapers — “The sun ☀️ came out for day two of our diaper distribution… At The Campagna Center we know our #community is stronger when each person has access to the support they need to THRIVE!” [Facebook]

DASH Thanks Drivers on Public Services Recognition Week — “We recognize the hard work of all public servants, including the dedicated transit workers who keep our communities moving.” [Facebook]

Hundreds Participate in Virginia Theological Seminary Liturgies — “Eight hundred and fifty-six people participated in the digital program on Liturgies for Holy Week.” [Facebook]

New Job: The Motley Fool is Hiring a Content Strategist — “Whether it’s analyzing the latest earnings reports or providing jargon-free insight on the business world, our content is designed to help people take control of their financial lives. And now we’re looking for the next Foolishly awesome Content Strategist. If you think you’ve got what it takes to make the cut, enter the gauntlet by applying below.” [Indeed]

Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps Looking For Volunteers — “Join Alexandria MRC to help with staffing the call center and conducting community outreach to our most vulnerable populations. Training will be provided.” [Twitter]

Bishop Ireton High School Senior Accepts Naval Academy Appointment — “We have another exciting college decision for one of our seniors to share. Isabelle Thornburg has accepted her appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Congratulations! We know you will share the BI Cardinal spirit in Annapolis!” [Facebook]

Alexandria Businesses Nominated For 2020 RAMMY Awards — “Del Ray’s own Stomping Ground is nominated for favorite gathering place of the year. While Stomping Ground is limited to takeout during the new coronavirus crisis, it normally sees locals line up on weekends for biscuits and a casual dining atmosphere.” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Flood Watch Issued for Alexandria — “Multiple rounds of rainfall will occur through early Friday. The heaviest rainfall potential will begin Thursday afternoon and continue into Thursday night. Storm total rainfall amounts through Friday morning are expected to range between 2 and 3 inches.” [Twitter, Twitter]

New Facility Opens at Bishop Ireton HS — “After less than eighteen months since its groundbreaking, Bishop Ireton High School hosted hundreds on Monday, February 3 who were there to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony and opening of the school’s new 40,000 square foot academic center, which sits adjacent to the current school building at 201 Cambridge Road.” [Zebra]

Del Ray Awards Voting Starts — “It’s February — and that means it’s time for the Heart of Del Ray Awards! ‘Every February, the Del Ray Business Association presents the Heart of Del Ray Award to the business that serves as the heart and soul of Del Ray, as determined by a public vote of neighbors and customers,’ according to the Del Ray Business Association.” [Alexandria Living, Heart of Del Ray]

Library to End Movie Streaming Service — “Alexandria Library is set to end access to the Kanopy on-demand movie streaming service for members on April 30… The library began offering the streaming service for free to members in August 2018.” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Petition for Lower Speeds on Duke Street — “After Sunday’s fatal traffic crash which took the life of 89-year-old Alfredo DaSilva, Alexandria, Virginia resident Grace Grant has started a petition to reduce speed along Duke Street between Quaker Lane & Jordan Street.” [Port City Wire, Change.org]

T.C. Grad Wins Grammy — “Tracy Young, a T.C. Williams alumna, became the first woman to win in the best remixed recording non-classical category at the 62nd annual Grammys Sunday. She won for her pride remix of Madonna’s ‘I Rise.'” [Patch, Twitter]

Remembering Kobe Bryant — Alexandria’s Elijah Griffin spoke to TV station ABC 7 about his personal “memories of legendary NBA star, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter, Gianna. He spoke not only about Bryant’s outstanding abilities on the court, but also about the amazing person he was off the court.” [WJLA]

DASH Bus Crash on Duke Street — “APD is on scene of a minor crash involving a DASH bus on Duke Street near S. Jordan Street. No injuries reported.” [Twitter]

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For the second year in a row, Alexandria’s Noah Lyles has been named the top U.S. men’s athlete of the year by Track and Field News.

The outlet described the 2016 graduate as a “runaway choice for the top spot,” and said that Lyles received 22 of 31 top votes from an international panel.

Lyles, 22, now lives and trains with his younger brother, Josephus Lyles — who’s also a professional track and field athlete — in Clermont, Florida. The pair have signed a sponsorship deal with Adidas, and make it back to Alexandria two or three times a year to visit family and their alma mater, T.C. Williams High School.

“If you want to be the best and do something that no one has ever done, you need to carve a path that nobody has ever taken,” Lyles told the T.C. track team last October. “Most of the things that I do today [are] because of what I learned in high school.”

Lyles was also recently ranked number on in the 200m and number two in the 100m by Athletics Weekly

Lyles is training for the 2020 Olympic trials this June, and hopes to win three gold medals in the upcoming Tokyo games — in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. Last fall, he won two gold medals at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Image (top) via World Athletics/YouTube

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Among Most Festive Xmas Cities — Thanks in part of the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and the annual boat parade, Alexandria has made Wall Street 24/7’s list of the Most Festive Christmas Cities in the U.S. [24/7 Wall Street]

City Warns of PCP Overdoses — “The City of Alexandria has responded to eight overdoses related to suspected phencyclidine (PCP) use in the past two months, one of which was fatal. City officials are concerned about the potency and deadly nature of the PCP being distributed and used in the region.” [City of Alexandria]

Confederate Statue Struck — “The Appomattox statue in Old Town commemorating Alexandria’s Confederate troops was struck by a vehicle last night. Its base looks like it was moved quite a bit by the impact.” [Twitter/@Drubaru]

Local Doctor Honored — “For Dr. Jennifer Lightfoot of Alexandria, hearing loss hasn’t held her back. In fact, it shaped her life’s work and recently won her a 2019 Oticon Focus on People Award… Winning the award in the practitioner category solidified the belief in her work with hearing impaired children.” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Apartment Fire on N. Patrick Street — “A six-month-old infant was rescued by firefighters during an apartment fire early Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. The fire also left 19 people displaced, according to the Red Cross. The child was taken to the hospital for observation, according to fire officials.” [WJLA]

Runner Traverses Entire City — “It’s been said that there’s no better way to discover a city than to explore it by foot. Alexandria resident Stephanie Lasure took that piece of advice to heart. Between November 2018 and September 2019, Lasure ran every single street in Alexandria, logging 330 miles total. In November, city council presented Lasure with a proclamation recognizing her efforts.” [Alexandria Times]

A Tale of Two Cities — “Taylor Run is about three miles from Arlandria. But it might as well be on the other side of the planet in terms of median household income. Census records show that the leafy suburban Taylor Run neighborhood, which is just behind the George Washington Masonic Memorial, has the highest median family income in Alexandria, more than $180,000 a year. The low-income neighborhood of Latino residents near the border with Arlington, on the other hand, has the lowest, less than $55,000 a year.” [Gazette Packet]

Local Hero Honored By Embassy — “A 10-year-old Alexandria boy who saved a man from drowning was honored by Ambassador Roya Rahmani at the Afghanistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. Sulaiman Mohammad was first honored by the Alexandria Police department for his lifesaving actions in August.” [WJLA]

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Morning Notes

Amazon Presence on Innovation Campus? — “Virginia Tech leaders and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) executives are working toward a partnership that could give the company’s cloud computing arm a home at the $1 billion innovation campus at Potomac Yard.” [Washington Business Journal]

Underage Drinking Prevention Town Hall — “On Dec. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.), the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria will host a town hall discussion titled, ‘Healthy Youth, Healthy Families: Promoting Alcohol-Free Holidays.'” [Zebra]

Boat Parade Winners Named — “A record number of 60 boats competed for prizes in ten categories at the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on Saturday… Best of Alexandria Show was awarded to Anamchara and Captain Steve Preda who presented the theme ‘Peace’ featuring a rotating lighted globe, glowing doves and a peace sign.” [Press Release]

City ‘Open for Solar Business’ — “The City of Alexandria has received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar… For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Alexandria is ‘open for solar business.'” [City of Alexandria]

T.C. Teacher Wins National Award — “When T.C.Williams High School teacher Kimberley Wilson stepped on stage on Wednesday to collect the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) National Teacher of the Year award, her first thought was for her students.” [ACPS]

Snow Likely Overnight — “Temperatures are poised to leap to near 60 degrees Tuesday, and it won’t feel at all like it could snow. But, in a flash, that will change. An Arctic front charging to the East Coast will switch our weather from fall-like to winterlike in a matter of hours, setting the stage for possible wet snow overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

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Morning Notes

City Phone Service Restored — The City of Alexandria’s non-emergency phone lines are working again after service was restored Tuesday night. A cut to a fiber optic line caused the outage, a city spokeswoman said. [Twitter/@AlexandriaVAGov]

House With George Washington Connection on Airbnb — “George Washington may have slept here, and now so could you… in the heart of Old Town Alexandria in Virginia, where a house that once belonged to the first U.S. president is available to rent. The George of Old Town is a 6000-square-foot townhouse on Cameron Street, and it is available on Airbnb.” [WTOP]

Life Savers Recognized by AFD — “Recently when a colleague collapsed, his coworkers dialed 9-1-1 and performed CPR until fire department units arrived. Yesterday, AFD recognized Stefan Jaeger, Rebecca Rosario, Tammy Lafley, and Nick Canfield for their heroic acts that helped save a life.” [Twitter]

Nutcracker Returns Next Month — “Now in its 11th year, the Alexandria Community Nutcracker is continuing its own tradition of performing the famous ballet with a modern twist by including tap, jazz, gymnastics, Irish dance, and hip hop in the choreography. More than 250 dancers and musicians, from age 3 to age 18, bring the magic and eloquence of Tchaikovsky’s 1892 classic score to life on stage at West Potomac High School.” [Gazette Packet]

Bread & Water Back Open — After a devastating fire at the Belle View Shopping Center, local bakery and cafe Bread & Water has reopened. That has also allowed the company’s locations at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria and Pentagon Row in Arlington to reopen, as the Belle View store supplied each location with fresh bread and other offerings. [Zebra]

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Morning Notes

Residential Parking Permit Changes in the Works — “Changes to the city’s residential parking permit program are underway and both residents and businesses are concerned about what the proposed changes could mean… The most controversial change, which staff has since removed from its list of recommended changes, would have eliminated the three-hour parking option for non-permit holders in RPP districts.” [Alexandria Times]

Port City Brings Home Gold Medal — “Several Northern Virginia craft brewers brought home medals from the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, including two gold medals… Port City Brewing in Alexandria won a gold medal for its German Pilsner in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category.” [WTOP]

T.C. Grads Raise Money for Scholarships — “Nobody remembers the T.C. Williams Titans like former graduates, and this week the final totals were tallied in the annual Clash of the Titans fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria. In all, T.C. alumni raised $46,736 for the fund, which annually gives $1 million in scholarships. And this year, bragging rights for the class to raise the most goes to… the T.C. Williams Class of 1993, which raised $5,870.” [Zebra]

More Plaudits for the City — “Southern Living Magazine has named Alexandria the perfect setting for a Hallmark Christmas movie… “You’ll find yourself wondering: ‘Was that Candace Cameron Bure I just saw crossing King Street?'” Southern Living wrote. [Alexandria Living]

Smoke Alarm Drive This Weekend — “VOLUNTEER OPP: We’re partnering with @RedCrossNCR to install smoke alarms for residents in the Westover area on Saturday, Nov. 16.” [Twitter/@AlexandriaVAFD]

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