Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Missing Man Found and Returned Home — “Mr. Walter ‘George’ Winstead has returned home safe and without incident.” [Facebook]

Beyer Says Trump Colluded With Russians — “The Trump campaign was offered Russian government assistance. The Trump campaign sought Russian government assistance. The Trump campaign received Russian government assistance. Trump campaign personnel coordinated efforts with Russian intelligence operatives and Wikileaks.” [Twitter]

Social Justice Walk Passing Through Alexandria on Thursday — “Join Pastor Juli and people of faith who began walking for racial justice from Charlottesville to DC last week when they arrive in Alexandria Thursday afternoon.” [Facebook]

E60 Fitness to Open Gym in Alexandria — “Alexandria’s West End residents are getting a new fitness option! E60 is opening in September.” [Alexandria Living]

GET AIR Trampoline Park Bounces Back Into Business — “The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to provide a safe and fun environment for families to get out of the house and enjoy time together.” [Zebra]

Escape Room Live Reopening in Old Town on August 28 — “Feel the rush of adventure! A safe, PRIVATE, immersive, and FUN experience. We are committed to the health and safety of our community, guests, and team members and will be going above and beyond to ensure everyone has a safe ESCAPE!” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High around 90F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%. In the evening, mostly clear skies. Low 72F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Chief of Staff — “Islamic Relief USA is seeking a Chief of Staff to provide leadership support to the CEO by being a strategic partner focused on communications, policy development, management and oversite to enhance efficiency and create the capacity necessary for the CEO to focus on the most critical aspects of the CEO’s job. The Chief of Staff will serve as the primary point of contact for internal and external stakeholders on all matters pertaining to the CEO.” [Indeed]

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An Alexandria climbing gym is surviving by its fingertips amid a slow recovery.

“We are talking about a year of survival,” said Sportrock spokesperson Sean Taft-Morales, “not a year of thriving.”

Sportrock is a climbing gym that boasts the tallest indoor rock climbing surface in the Mid-Atlantic. The gym has been located in the city since 1996 and has been part of a small enclave of western Eisenhower businesses that had been thriving before the pandemic.

The gym closed voluntarily before the governor’s order, with Taft-Morales saying the gym’s leadership felt it was unsafe to remain open. The gym was fortunate enough to not have to lay anyone off through the shutdown, but the slow recovery did lead to the first layoffs last month.

The gym’s survival this far has been owed largely to their community, Taft-Morales said.

“We’ve always been a very community focused gym, that’s one of the pillars of our model,” he said. “We’ve been here since the 90s, we’re not new, and it’s still locally owned and operated. Our connection with membership… that really came through for us. Not to the extent that we’re not feeling the financial effects, but had a number of members keep their memberships active through the pandemic and that helped.”

The gym reopened about a month and a half ago, but with heavy restrictions. The plan was, Taft-Morales said, to reopen more gradually over the summer, but those plans seem to have been overly optimistic as the city, and state, have remained at the same level of reopening.

“It’s a huge space,” Taft-Morales said. “According to regulations, we could have something like 350 people in the space. They’re just doing a percentage of your occupancy, which just seems totally nuts. We’re doing voluntary cap of 75 customers at a time.” Read More

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Rosslyn-based gym E60 Fitness announced yesterday (Sunday) that the business is planning to open a second location this summer at West Alex — a new apartment at 3445 Berkeley St.

The gym will occupy 3,200 square feet of the new building, which is scheduled to open this summer. An employee at E60 fitness said the company is tentatively eyeing a September opening.

E60 is described in the press release as a circuit training-style program that combines functional, cardio, and weight training.

“A dedicated and certified fitness expert will guide you through our workout, which changes daily to keep the body guessing and prevent plateau,” the press release said. “At E60 you will build a better, stronger, healthier long-term body.”

The building will also have a 62,000 square foot Harris Teeter and a Silver Diner.

Photo via E60/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Large Income Disparities in Alexandria — “White Alexandria is pulling in significantly more money than Hispanic workers and African Americans, according to numbers from the United States Census Bureau. A look at average income shows non-Hispanic whites make more than $85,000 a year. That’s more than three times the average income for Hispanic workers, $24,000, and more than twice the average income for black workers, $37,000.” [Gazette]

Water Taxi Returns to Old Town — “A face mask requirement and other safety measures are in place for the limited water taxi service.” [Patch]

Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden Hosting Juneteenth Trivia Night — “It’s long been on our calendar to celebrate Juneteenth – marking the legal end of slavery in the United States on June 19th, 1865 – with a trivia night that explores African American culture. We hope you’ll join us on Zoom this Friday night for this special evening! Tickets are FREE, but an optional donation will be split between us, Carlyle House Historic Park, and ALIVE. Pre-registration at our Eventbrite page is required.” [Facebook]

NVTA Recommends Full Funding for Duke Street Transitway — “The Duke Street Transitway was the City of Alexandria’s only request to the NVTA and the cost is estimated at $87 million. Alexandria received $12 million already, so this funding request is for the remaining $75 million.” [Alexandria Living]

North Potomac Yard Virtual Meeting at 7 p.m. — “The Virginia Tech Foundation and JBG SMITH is hosting virtual community meetings to provide information on the design of the proposed buildings and site-wide updates.” [City of Alexandria]

Casa Chirilagua Hosting Fundraiser Sunday — “Casa Chirilagua is a local community nonprofit serving the Central American Latinx community in City of Alexandria zip code 22305 – a hot spot for COVID-19. Because of the health and economic conditions, demand for Casa Chirilagua’s services has become enormous.” [Facebook]

‘Ascend Cycle’ Hosting Virtual Pride Ride — “A $15 minimum donation is requested for this event. 100% of proceeds will be donated. Sign up for the ride online and we’ll text you the Zoom code before class!” [Facebook]

YMCA Reopens in Del Ray — “Your local YMCA at 420 East Monroe Avenue is back in business. It opened for the first time in months this past Monday, June 15, along with the Arlington location. The Y is following a phased approach to reopening so you will see differences when you visit.” [Zebra]

New Job: Assistant Center Manager — “Mathnasium is a highly dynamic and fast-paced and is known for the great care we take with our students and employees alike… We’re looking for an Assistant Center Manager to assist at both our Alexandria City and Mount Vernon centers. The pay range we’re offering is $16-$18/hour depending on center performance.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Tenants and Workers United Organizes Rent Protest in Arlandria Friday — “Join our Caravan. THIS FRIDAY at 4:30 P.M.” ️[Facebook]

Here’s an Updated List of Alexandria’s Nonprofit Needs — “This list is updated on a regular basis, so check back regularly to see the latest items needed to support our most vulnerable populations during this critical time. Thank you for caring for our community!” [Volunteer Alexandria]

‘Let’s Meat On The Avenue’ Requiring Customers Wear Face Masks — “As of TOMORROW [Wednesday], we will REQUIRE all patrons to wear masks. ‘Most everyone’s already on board, but we had a nitwit or two today.” [Twitter]

Taqueria Picoso Donates Tacos to Police — “Thank you so much #TaqueriaPicoso for dropping off tacos for our officers and dispatch! From left to right: Capt. Ladislaw, Taqueria Picoso employees, and Officer Cushing.” [Twitter]

City Housing Director Wins 2020 Regional Housing Leaders Award — “This month we are honoring Helen McIlvaine for leading the Office of Housing in the City of Alexandria, developing creative solutions in land use and zoning, and supporting a dedicated source of revenue to address the growing housing needs in the city.” [Facebook]

Revolutionary Fitness Hiring Gym Manager — “Under the direction and guidance of the CEO, the incumbent has the general responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of Revolutionary Fitness.” [Indeed]

Del Ray Cakery Makes Hospital-Themed Cookies — “Thank you to all our healthcare professionals during this pandemic. We are truly grateful for your efforts!” [Facebook]

DASH Hosting Online Meeting to Discuss Future Service — “Join us live on Facebook at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday 4/29 for our Transit Development Plan Community Meeting to discuss potential changes to FY2021 service, including to the AT-4.” [Twitter]

Group Give Meals From ‘The Warehouse’ to Alexandria Hospital — “These are crazy, uncertain times right now and the least we can do is support our favorite independently owned restaurants and bring some food to healthcare professionals! Cheers to supporting local, supporting each other, and showing gratitude for our community! [Facebook]

Method Acting Used to Teach Polk Elementary Students the Scientific Method — “Hello children of Polk Elementary School. I am professor Brainstein, and Mr. Palmer has invited me to speak to you about the scientific method. First, I want you to feel welcome in my laboratory…” [wevideo.com]

Alexandria Nurse Speaking in Church Online Sermon Series at Noon — “As part of our Finding Hope sermon series, this week, we hear from our very own Caroline Cheek, an Emergency Room nurse, who shares how she has experienced hope in the last 6 weeks.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

AFD Extinguishes Fire on N. West Street — “Engine 205 and surrounding companies made quick work of a small kitchen fire in the 300 Block of N. West Street.” [Twitter]

Health Department Warns Against Misinformation — “Along with our city partners and fantastic Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, we need you, community members, to help share accurate information and dispel the fear that can be seductive and paralyzing.” [Alex Times]

Parkway Classic Postponed — “Considering the current uncertainty and plausibility of continued restrictions on events, we are working closely with our partners on an alternate date for our 36th Annual PNC Parkway Classic originally slated for April 26th.” [PNC Parkway Classic]

West End Fitness Center to Open this Summer — “A dedicated and certified fitness expert will guide you through our workout, which changes daily to keep the body guessing and prevent plateau.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria YMCA Suspends Operations — “The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will suspend operations at all YMCA facilities located in Maryland at 5pm today, Monday, March 16th; and in Northern Virginia and in the District of Columbia at the close of business, Monday, March 16, 2020. At this moment, we plan to reopen all YMCA facilities as soon as it is permitted by the government officials and upheld by the guidance of health organizations.” [YMCA]

Mayor Asks Landlords to Ease Restrictions — “Although it is still a couple of weeks before April rents will be due, I would ask that you consider now what you can do to ease burdens for tenants who will have difficulty paying their next rent because of illness or financial hardship related to ongoing business disruptions and closures.” [Facebook]

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In an effort to make maximum use of limited space, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is planning to wedge a new gym at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School directly over the student drop-off circle.

Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School — a retrofit of an existing office building at 1701 N. Beauregard Street — opened in September 2018. While ACPS was able to change the office structure into a school for 650 students, the school division said on the project website that building constraints meant there was no physical activity space or assembly area in the original designs.

The new gym would be located between the third and fifth floors of the existing school and parking garage, creating a bridge between the two structures. The addition would offer both a physical activity space for students at the school and a stage to host school and community events. Plans also show a small office and some storage space.

The first community meeting for the project was held last week. The next community meeting on the new addition is tentatively scheduled for late winter/early spring, in the new year. The design is scheduled to be completed and submitted to the city by February.

Construction is primarily scheduled to take place over the summer, with the gym substantially completed by winter/spring 2021. The school will remain open while work is done, according to the school’s plans.

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A new pilates studio in Carlyle is hoping to help locals get a head start on their New Year’s fitness resolutions.

Club Pilates, a pilates chain, planning to open at 1725 Jamieson Avenue, just a block south of Whole Foods. The location is scheduled to have a grand opening early next year, but the new studio is offering free preview sessions next week.

According to a press release:

In anticipation of the grand opening early next year the new studio will be having a meet and greet on December 12 and free introductory classes, December 13-15. During the meet and greet prospect members will get a chance to learn about Club Pilates, meet instructors and interact with current members and for those attending the free introductory classes there will be a chance to win raffle prizes, discount on Club Pilates merchandise, and gift cards.

The pilates business advertises its classes as low-impact training to build strength, mobility and flexibility at an affordable price. Training sessions are offered in various packages, but prices for the classes have not been posted yet.

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An Alexandria boutique gym has moved to a new location in the West End.

Sand and Steel Fitness opened in a larger, “state-of-the-art” space at 5418 Eisenhower Avenue on November 1. Previously, the gym was located along Alfred Street in Old Town.

The new location is 2.5 times bigger, Sand and Steel said, and will offer new training options.

“Our expansion is a strategic move to increase member options and value. We want to provide the very best coaches, an ideal environment, along with more classes so clients can get even more out of their relationship with Sand and Steel Fitness,” said co-owner Paul Roberts.

“In addition to Sand and Steel’s proven personal training program, the gym will now be able to offer group classes and an open gym, as well as mobility and nutrition coaching,” the gym said in a press release. “Classes will include yoga, CrossFit, CoreFit, powerlifting, suspension training via Total Resistance Exercises (TRX), kettlebell work, and more. “

Roberts, who has a background as a biomedical engineer, says he has analyzed data from thousands of clients in order to optimize workout results for clients. In addition to personal training and group classes, Sand and Steel features one-on-one nutrition counseling.

Bundles for group classes and personal training sessions are currently being offered at 25 percent off in celebration of the new location.  Pricing starts in the $400 range before the discount.

Photo via Sand and Steel/Facebook 

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