Alexandria, VA

Beyer Warns of Looming Economic Catastrophe — “For months we’ve propped up the economy with strong government stimulus, especially unemployment benefits. Those benefits will expire in 25 days amid dire state and local government shortfalls. McConnell and Trump remain opposed to extending them. Economic catastrophe looms.” [Twitter]

ACPS Asks for Community Input With Reopening Survey — “We are aware that the situation we are facing is unprecedented, constantly changing, and requires a degree of flexibility from all of us. You will be asked to make a decision about your commitment to return to school in late July. By that time you will have a clear idea of our anticipated reopening plans for the fall to assist you in your decision.” [ACPS]

Visit Alexandria Shifts Strategy — “In a complete shift from prior marketing plans, Visit Alexandria emphasized the need to focus much closer to home. They plan to target the drive market, beginning with the local DC area and moving out to a 3-hour drive radius. This is in direct response to trends in consumer comfort levels which show that many people are afraid to fly or travel great distances.” [Alexandria Living]

How An Old Town Book Shop Adapted to COVID-19 — “Inside, the shop went from cozy bookstore to book-packing assembly line, and the team was grateful to be able to keep working.” [Alexandria Living]

There’s Outdoor Yoga in Del Ray Wednesday — “This class is for all levels but is designed to be an easy and cooling flow class. Bring your mat. All spots will be socially distanced and it will be first come first serve. Masks are not required for outdoor activity but are encouraged. Refreshments to follow. We look forward to seeing you there!” [Facebook]

New Job: Interview Supervisor — “The Interviewer Supervisor, a public health professional, is responsible for managing a team of approximately ten (10) Contact Interviewers and/or Case Interviewers.” [Workforce Development Center]

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Morning Notes

Alfred Street Baptist Church Leaders March on Washington — “Reverend Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of the Alfred Street Baptist Church, welcomed hundreds of marchers, including regional and local ecumenical believers and leaders, along with national faith leaders.” [WTOP]

Nonprofit Used Book Store Planned for Del Ray — “Don Alexander, a resident, posted on the web platform Nextdoor that he is collecting used books and plans to open a used bookstore at 1712 Mt Vernon Ave., which is near Alexandria Hyundai and R&B Plumbing.” [Alexandria Living]

City Reports 17 New COVID-19 Cases Sunday — “These new cases come as Northern Virginia is in Phase Two of reopening.” [WJLA]

Office of Historic Alexandria Documenting Protests — “Recognizing the importance of this moment in history, the Office of Historic Alexandria invites the community to share signs, t-shirts, flyers, photographs, journals, personal stories, and artifacts that document local vigils and protests surrounding the murders of black and brown victims at the hands of police.” [Facebook]

New Job: The Fish Market is Hiring — “We are back open and in need of some help! Positions available include Host, Server, Cook, Dishwasher, Busser, Food Runner, and BarBack. Stop by TODAY and fill out an application!” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Enters Phase 2 of Reopening Economy — “Under phase two, the maximum number of people allowed to gather increases from 10 to 50. Restaurants can open indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, and fitness centers can open at 30 percent capacity.” [Alex Times]

Del. Herring Supports Criminal Justice Reform — “As legislators there is a lot of work ahead of ahead of us. This piece was originally published in 2018 & updated. From policing to solitary confinement this is worth reading & then acting.” [Twitter]

Sheriff and Staff Congratulate T.C. Williams High School Graduates — “You’ve handled it with true Titan spirit — responsibly, creatively and boldly! We’re so proud of you and we will always remember the 2020 Titans!” [Facebook]

Locals Create Face Mask Company — “The masks sell for only $5.00 apiece in packs of 3/$15 for a very breathable fleece, and 3/$20 for the scuba knit. They also have adorable children’s masks, in colorful fabrics, sized appropriately.” [Zebra]

Old Town Books Closed Sunday in Recognition of Black Lives Matter Protestors — “Our storefront will be CLOSED this Sunday, June 14 to stand in solidarity with protestors in Old Town. We’ve also extended our donations from the antiracist reading list on our homepage, with 20% of sales from those books going toward the Black Lives Matter movement. A lot of the books on the list are in high demand right now and are taking a bit longer than usual to receive, so we appreciate your patience as we continue to fulfill all your orders!” [Facebook]

fibre space Staying Closed Until Next Week — “While northern VA will begin phase 2 tomorrow, we will remain closed to the public for in store shopping until some time next week. This will allow us to monitor Nova cases of covid as well as figure out a schedule for the team that balances processing web orders with hosting customers in the shop. More details to come. See you soon.” [Facebook]

Bishop Ireton High School Raises $70K for Annual Fund — “We did it! Thanks to YOU and your generosity, we met our goal of getting a donation from every state (and DC) during our 2020 Annual Fund Day of Giving. We raised more than $70,000 with a number of first time donors. Thank you for supporting Bishop Ireton, our current students and faculty and the future of our school.” [Facebook]

New Job: Event Manager — “The Individual will be responsible managing part and full time employees in operations, logistics, and events. The position requires a strong Project Management background to ensure the continued success of our various events offered throughout the country.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

High School Student Assaulted Walking Home — “The assault occurred near the intersection of Russell Road and Rosecrest Avenue in the Del Ray/Rosemont neighborhood. The victim was a member of the T.C. Williams High School baseball team.” [Alex Times]

Officers Complain of Toxic Work Culture at Alexandria Police Department — “There are employees, including some who resigned after allegedly being subjected to retribution, who blame Chief Michael L. Brown for establishing an environment without discipline or accountability, where misconduct is swept under the rug. They say that under Chief Brown’s leadership, problems have gotten worse, which has fueled retirements and resignations from the department.” [Alex Times]

Vigil for Victims of Police Brutality Tonight in Arlandria — “Let’s join in solidarity with our Black community. Please bring a candle, poster, or other tribute to honor the lives lost at the hands of police. We will gather in the parking lot behind TWU’s building at 3801 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. For everyone’s safety, please wear a face covering.” [Facebook]

fibrespace Gives May 31 Profits to ‘Innocence Project’ — ‘Thanks to your shopping, we sent almost a thousand dollars today to this incredible organization who is working to exonerate the innocent and reform our broken criminal justice system.” [Facebook]

George Mason Elementary Donates Books to Community Lodgings — “The principal, Mr. O., was so generous to collect the books and spread them around the lawn at Fifer so that families could select books while maintaining a safe distance from one another.” [Facebook]

Virtual Concert Saturday Benefiting Senior Services of Alexandria — “100 percent of your contributions to the Löwball virtual tip jar for our June 6th webcast will go to support SSA Meals on Wheels program.” [Facebook]

Wesley Housing Closes on Affordable Housing Near Huntington Metro — “Located at 2317 Huntington Avenue, The Arden will be a seven-story building at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Biscayne Drive.” [Zebra]

New Job: Brand and Public Relations Specialist — “The Specialist, Brand and Public Relations is a core member of the SHRM Brand and Communication team with responsibilities to support national TV commercials, brand activations, PR campaigns and earned media to amplify SHRM’s thought leadership and reputation.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria’s library system is currently in the process of preparing for the first phase of reopening, but for many Alexandrians it could still be a while before you’re able to go and check out books.

In the video town hall last night (Thursday) where he also addressed the city’s coronavirus testing, Mayor Justin Wilson also offered a glimpse at what’s ahead for the city’s libraries.

“Going into phase one, [the libraries] are bringing staff back, organizing all of the holds placed over the last several months,” Wilson said. “The expectation is around June 15, people can pick up held books at the library.”

The Alexandria library’s phased reopening plan said the library will be offering curbside pickup for books. In the meantime, the library has a new selection of electronic options to help residents through the quarantine.

Once the city enters Phase 2 of reopening, which could be June 5 for the rest of the state, Wilson said Alexandrians will likely be able to start placing a hold on new books and going to pick them up.

Wilson said it won’t be until Phase 3 when the public parts of the library start to reopen to the public. Even then, the phased reopening plan notes that the library will be limited to 25% of its full capacity.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Developer Gets Financing to Build Apartments in West End — “Monday Properties announced Tuesday it secured a $66.8M construction loan from EagleBank and broke ground on the development at 2000 North Beauregard St. The project is planned to include 300 units in six to seven stories of wood-frame construction atop a two-level concrete podium. The apartments will be wrapped around an internal, 420-space parking garage.” [Bisnow]

Inova to Build Hospital, Considers Alexandria Campus Modernization — “The health system is also looking at options for ways to modernize the current Inova Alexandria Hospital — and noted that ‘all options, from renovating in place to relocation, are under evaluation. Additional information will be made available as this project develops.'” [Alexandria Living]

Beyer Calls Trump’s Vanity ‘Nauseating’ — “The day the United States hit 100,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic Trump shares a messages calling himself ‘the greatest President in our history.’ His vanity is nauseating. He doesn’t care about you, your family, your health, or your safety. He only cares about himself.” [Twitter]

Local Lawyer and Musician Dies — “John Spaulding, 94, a traffic-law trial lawyer who also was a choir leader, musician and regular weekend pianist in the 1980s at the Fish Market Restaurant in Alexandria, Va., died April 5 at his home in Arlington, Va. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his wife, Polly Plumb deButts.” [Washington Post]

Student Collects 500+ Books for Middle Schoolers — “During the past few weeks, tenth grader Erin Machado and her mom have collected more than 500 middle school books from friends and neighbors, sanitized each one, and delivered them to Francis C. Hammond Middle School in Alexandria.” [Facebook]

‘The Garden’ in Del Ray is Not Reopening Outside — “We will take this time to continue to train staff with updated health department regulations as well as make the necessary updates to our business to ensure your safety upon reopening. We do have plans to incorporate take out from The Garden in the next couple of weeks. There will be new menu items, cocktails, growlers, and can beer to go. Please continue to follow us on social media and check out our website for further updates.” [Facebook]

New Job: Event and Promotions Assistant — “This firm identifies and develops new streams of revenue for clients through on-site promotions, innovative marketing strategies and advertising campaigns with a personal touch. This is an entry-level position with fully paid training and the opportunity for growth into an executive management role after completion of training program.” [Indeed]

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Like many Alexandrians, Gina Flynn has been stuck at home because of the pandemic, and she hasn’t spent time with Amir, her three-year-old grandson living in Philadelphia. She decided to write him a kids’ book called The Imaginary Castle on staying safe at home, coping with the absence of friends and the importance of developing young imaginations.

“He’s an only child and he’s lonely,” Flynn told ALXnow. “A lot of times we don’t think that young kids really understand what’s going on, but they do know something is happening. I think it’s our duty to talk to them and try to explain things.”

Amir’s nickname for his grandmother is “Gigi,” which Flynn used as her pen name for the book. The project took a number of weeks to finish, and Flynn self-published with BookBaby. The book, which is meant for young children, was officially released on May 23.

Flynn worked for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a project manager for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2016. She is a lifelong reader and this is her first attempt at writing a book. While sleeping one night, she ended up having a dream that inspired her.

“I literally had a dream where I heard Amir’s mother talk about the pandemic, and I woke up and I said, ‘I need to write a book,'” Flynn said. “It’s about two little kids, Ethan and Ava, and they’re lonely. The first page shows them looking out the window at the playground and they really want to go play with their friends, but mom says they can’t because of this thing called a virus, and then I describe what a virus is in terms that they can understand.”

In the book, the mother then tells her children to use their imaginations, which the kids look for all around the house, before deciding to build a castle out of cardboard boxes.

“The castle then turns into an imaginary stone castle with flying unicorns and fire-breathing dragons, and they’re just standing there looking at it, not realizing that this is their imaginations,” Flynn said. “I just feel like using your imagination builds self-confidence.”

Amir reportedly loves the book.

“I sent his mom the book and she has had to read it over and over,” Flynn said. “Amir keeps saying, ‘Mommy, read it again.'”

Flynn said that the book is the first in a series that she is now writing to help kids deal with tough times.

“We’re so divisive in this country right now, and I think I want to do something to talk about how to accept other people and their differences,” she said. “During these times of uncertainty, of having to social distance, younger kids can be afraid and may not talk about it. We need to actually sit them down and explain things to them the best we can.”

Images courtesy of the author

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Morning Notes

City Urges Residents to Use Caution Outside — “The City and the Alexandria Health Department urge everyone to follow Governor Northam’s order to #stayhome except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and maintain physical distancing when possible.” [Twitter]

Beyer Lashes Out Against Senate Republicans — “Senate Republicans are refusing to consider more help for the American people during pandemic. Instead they are now prioritizing investigations of the President’s political rivals. They previously said they didn’t have time to hear from witnesses during the impeachment trial.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Wants Parental Feedback on Summer Camp — “The City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) is asking parents in a survey to “tell us how modified summer programs will meet your family’s needs for a safe and enjoyable summer.” Options include half day camps, full day camps and a yes/no question on whether parents are interested in online or virtual camps.” [Alexandria Living]

Story Time: Alexandria Sheriff’s Deputy Reads ‘The Lorax’ — “Time for a classic from Dr. Seuss! Learn a lesson from “The Lorax” with Lieutenant Sean Casey.” [Facebook]

West End Business Association Happy Hour at 4 p.m. — “Each person will be able to give their one-minute introduction, and should also answer two questions: What Business-to-Business efforts have worked for you these past two months? What will be on your grill this weekend for Memorial Day?” [WEBA]

Old Town Artist Todd Healy Packs it Up — “It is with a heavy heart we share the news that after 40 years of making Alexandria his muse, our treasured Alexandria Legend Todd Healy is packing up his paints and canvases.” [Facebook]

ACPS Early Childhood Center has Message on Littering — “We’ve been learning all about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at the ECC, and today we’re learning all about littering! Go on a walk with Bo and see if he can find any litter in his neighborhood!” [Facebook]

The Hard Times Cafe Horse is Wearing a Face Mask — “Thanks to the folks at Hard Times for letting us have some fun today! Mask from Mission Masks by KH Giving. Get one through the link below and you’ll be entered to win great prizes that KH Giving has bought from Alexandria businesses!” [Facebook]

Bishop Ireton High School Thanks Longtime Educator — “Congratulations to Mr. Sean Casey, winner of the inaugural Peter G. Davey Service Award, for his service as the president of the athletic boosters club. Under Mr. Casey’s leadership the past two years, a number of facilities and team improvements were made, highlighted by the new press box installed on Fannon Field.” [Facebook]

New Job: Toastique Team Member — “Toastique in Old Town, Alexandria and is seeking team members to help create smoothies, gourmet toasts, and run the POS system. Employees will be joining a team to create a fun, clean, fresh environment for a gourmet toast and juice bar in bustling Old Town! No specific skills or experience needed, but applicant must be excited to interact with customers and serve healthy, fresh food to the community.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

City Helps World Central Kitchen Give Out 1,250 Meals — “On May 14, City staff and volunteers distributed 1,250 hot meals to 350 families in the third food distribution organized in Alexandria by World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit food distribution organization founded by chef José Andrés. Local nonprofit ALIVE! also distributed 800 pounds of food at the event. This food distribution will take place again at Casa Chirilagua on May 21 and Ramsay Elementary School on May 28.” [City of Alexandria]

10,000 Maniacs Show at The Birchmere Rescheduled to November — “his show has been RESCHEDULED AGAIN, now for Friday November 20, 2020! All 3/20/20 & 5/31/20 tickets will be honored on the new date. Refunds available through Ticketmaster if you cannot attend the new date. If you purchased at The Birchmere Box Office, please hold on to your tickets until we reopen. Tickets for 11/20/20 on sale now!” [Birchmere]

Old Town Books Raising Funds to Stay Afloat — “I never thought I would be turning to crowd funding to keep the store open. This fundraiser is to cover payroll, rent, and fixed costs during the shut down. It will keep the store open through the next very uncertain year while we adapt our business model to continue operating through the COVID-19 outbreak. I want Old Town Books to be here when the clouds part, and I hope you do, too.” [GoFundMe]

Here’s the Latest from the Old Town Boutique District — “The Old Town Boutique District kindly asks for you to continue to hold hands with us and support us little guys any way that you can. We love our loyal shop local community and we still need you.” [OTBD]

Tall Ship Providence Hosting Virtual Tours on Tuesdays — “Every week, historic re-enactors talk about Providence, life aboard the ship and much more in a series of videos, online discussion and other virtual features.” [Alexandria Living]

North Potomac Yard Virtual Community Meeting at 7 p.m. — “The Virginia Tech Foundation and JBG SMITH will host a virtual community meeting to provide information regarding transportation, open space, sustainability and community benefits.” [City of Alexandria]

Sixth Grader Leaves Colorful Rocks in Neighborhood — “Sophie Richardson, a 6th grade student at St. Stephens/St. Agnes School, is brightening up the Vauxcleuse neighborhood near Inova Alexandria Hospital with rocks painted with uplifting messages for her neighbors to find.” [Gazette]

Virtue Feed and Grain Donates Meals to D.C. Nonprofit — “We are grateful for the partnership & hope to continue giving back to our community.” [Facebook]

Pedego Electric Bikes Gets Colorful Shipment of Helmets — “We just received a shipment of new Thousand helmets! Refilling some favorites and adding a few new awesome colors. Come and get them while they last!” [Facebook]

The Art League is Offering Online Courses — “Check out our new online classes to help keep you connected to each other and your creativity. Connect to online classes using Zoom, a video-conferencing platform that is simple and easy to use. And stay in touch with your classmates and teacher with Google classroom.” [Art League]

New Job: Alexandria Health Department Communications Officer — “The AHD Communications Officer is a key member of AHD’s Population Health team comprised of the Population Health Manager, Health Planner, and HIV/AIDS Prevention Coordinator. The Communications Officer reports directly to the Population Health Manager, is AHD’s principal communications subject matter expert, and provides oversight of AHD’s internal and external communications.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Mayor Hosting Weekly Virtual Town Hall Tonight — “Thursday evening (May 14th) beginning at 8 PM, I will be hosting another virtual Living Room Town Hall Meeting. ‬‪We will discuss the City’s on-going response to the COVID-19 outbreak and address any questions you might have. ‬‪Please post questions and join us Thursday night!‬” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria Needs Household Donations — “Can you donate some canned goods, diapers, or kitty litter? During COVID-19, there is a great need for a variety of goods — many of which you may have around the house or be able to pick up in your next shopping trip.” [Facebook]

Alexandria City Public Schools Not Making Staff Reductions — “While these budget reductions will impact some of our employees’ take-home salary, we are fortunate to not be required to implement a reduction in our workforce at this time. It is important that we understand the budget reduction recommendations that were presented last week may potentially increase in the near future if we do not see an uptick in our economy and revitalization of dollars appropriated to ACPS from city, local, state, and federal funding sources.” [ACPS]

Congressman Beyer Calls President ‘Compulsive Liar’ — “This isn’t complicated. Dr. Fauci is a highly decorated scientist and doctor, a respected medical expert who spent his life leading American efforts to fight infectious diseases. Trump is a compulsive liar who suggested we could fight COVID-19 by injecting people with bleach.” [Twitter]

Scholarship Fund Auctioning Guitar Signed by ‘Collective Soul’ — “Along the way during our Virtual Auction to Support Scholarships we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing and unique donations we received this year. CHECK OUT this QUINTESSENTIALLY ’90s Fender Electric Guitar Signed by COLLECTIVE SOUL. Dude, rock on, this is some quality ’90s memorabilia here…” [Facebook]

Virginia Theological Seminary Hosting Virtual Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. — “Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of our 197th Commencement Ceremony, which will be broadcast on our website, here on Facebook, and on YouTube at 10:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow, May 14. Join us in honoring the Class of 2020!” [Facebook]

‘Mind The Mat’ Hosting Virtual Prenatal Pilates Today at 6 p.m. — “No experience necessary! Start at any stage of your pregnancy. Our prenatal program is designed for pregnancy not modified for it. This course was developed by Megan Brown, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pilates Instructor and mother of two.” [Facebook]

Buskey Hard Cider Offers Delivery in Alexandria — “Orders for the NOVA Zone run between Ruther Glen, up I-95 up to Arlington and out to Winchester. It’s a big territory! Delivery schedule for this week: start delivering on Friday, and continue subsequent days based on orders! Orders must be placed by 11:59pm on Thursday night.” [Buskey Cider]

Alexandria Library Offers Remote Academic Journal Access — “JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.” [Zebra]

New Job: Digital Communications Manager — “The ideal candidate has a mix of technical and creative acumen with the ability to think critically and strategically about communications while helping our association move forward with modern communications techniques.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

T.C. Senior Wins $40K Scholarship — “What does it feel like to get a SURPRISE ZOOM CALL from U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Lisa Collis, and daughters Gillian, Eliza & Madison…telling you that you are the first recipient of the Collis Warner Family Scholarship worth $40,000? Just ask T.C. Williams High School Senior Foziya Mohammed! Mohammed received the call this afternoon…’I am shocked and excited! I was nervous I thought this was a call about some kind of problem with my scholarship application. I’m not nervous anymore! Thank you so much. I would tell all of the younger students at T.C. that hard work pays off!'” [Facebook]

Police Respond to Domestic Violence Service Call — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a weapon violation in the 1400 block of South Highview Lane. A helicopter is assisting and expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Local Reporter Gets Coronavirus Test — “To my surprise, the ER wasn’t crowded and I got in fast. With the social scene dead, the emergency room would be the most interesting thing I’d do that week. I kind of like the ER. You’re waited on, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle, and you generally feel you’re safe. Although this time was slightly different. The nurse wore a hazmat suit.” [Zebra]

Hops N Shine Hosting Virtual Beer Tasting Tonight — “This will be a Zoom meeting broadcast onto Facebook live for all to see. We welcome you to join us on Zoom to chat about how things are going for breweries, cideries, and restaurants around town, or if you just want to watch you can check it out on Facebook.” [Facebook]

T.C. Seniors Make Fox 5 DC Appearance — “T.C. Williams High School seniors TJ Horton & Amiya Chisolm on Fox 5 DC with Principal Balas this morning talking about the Titan #Classof2020 documentary we’re making. Don’t miss out – record your stories this Friday, May 1!” [Facebook]

New Job Posting: Virtual Insurance Agent — “The Financial Crisis Prevention Center is seeking highly motivated Benefits Analysts to meet with federal employees about their retirement benefits, supplemental insurance, annuities, and fringe benefit discount programs. Hiring immediately part-time and full-time sales representatives. Licensed and unlicensed positions available.” [Indeed]

Carpenter’s Shelter Gets Face Mask Donation — “Thanks to Elegance By Roya Bridal – Alexandria for these beautiful masks made by their atelier and donated to the shelter for the protection of our residents. We are appreciative of your, and all of our donor support for needed items such as masks, Clorox cleaning wipes, and sanitizer.” [Facebook]

Oakville Triangle Plan Comment Deadline is Today — “As a reminder, the online feedback portal for the applicant’s second online engagement posted on April 16 will remain open through tomorrow, April 30. Please take a few minutes to view the second presentation and provide comments.” [City of Alexandria]

Del Ray Cakery Makes Flower-like Cookie Bouquets — “Mother’s Day bouquets! 3 choices DM if interested. $15 each.” [Facebook]

There’s a 500-Piece Lee Fendall House Museum Jigsaw Puzzle — “Feeling PUZZLED about how to spend your time? How about a springtime image of Lee-Fendall House? These 500-piece puzzles are $18, and all proceeds support our preservation and education work. Message us on Facebook, email [email protected]g, or call (703)548-1789 to place your order and arrange for contactless pickup, local delivery (within 1 mile of the museum), or shipping (at cost).” [Facebook]

Old Town Book Club Goes Online This Saturday — “In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.” [Old Town Books]

Alexandrian Creates Haiku Contest for Sister’s 70th Birthday — “Poring over the poems was the closest they were going to get to a family reunion. They picked their three favorites and sent the entire batch to the family to enjoy.” [Washington Post]

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For David Erskine, the last 35 years have passed like the pages of a must-read comic book, and on Saturday he did the unthinkable and took down the sign outside his shop, Aftertime Comics.

“We’re all done here,” Erskine told ALXnow as he unscrewed the sign.

The coronavirus pandemic stalled his plans to reopen next month at a new location on N. Washington Street in time for the busiest day of the year — Free Comic Book Day on May 2. But with the day postponed, Erskin has decided to cool his heels until the smoke clears and restrictions are lifted before reopening his shop.

Most comic book sales for the shop are online, and interested customers will need to see what’s available on its Facebook page.

Like many superheroes, Erskine has another identity. By day he’s a general clerk for bulk mail with the U.S. Postal Service. He’s collected comic books since he was five years old, and got hooked selling them after attending his first convention in the early 1970s.

“People ask me all the time what kinds of comics should they invest in,” Erskine said. “You can never go wrong with Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man — the classics.”

Erskine added, “I don’t have a secret collection or anything. Anything we have we sell. I had a Superman number one, which I sold. It wasn’t in very good condition, but I owned it. I’ve also sold numerous Spider-Man number ones.”

The shop has also suspended buying comics from fans until further notice.

“I hope we reopen,” Erskine said. “My garage is completely full of comic books right now.”

WE ARE SHIPPING TO CUSTOMERS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR BOOKS SHIPPED, PLEASE EMAIL AFTERTIMECOMIC@GMAIL.COM…

Posted by Aftertime Comics on Saturday, March 21, 2020

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