Next week is a double-hitter in terms of holidays, with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday and Inauguration Day on Wednesday.
As with many holidays, all government offices will be completely closed on both days, but other services around the city are operating on different schedules:
- Residential trash and recycling will not be collected on Monday, with pickup delayed by one day throughout the week. Monday collection will be on Tuesday, Tuesday on Wednesday, and so-on. The hazardous waste center at 3224 Colvin Street will be closed on Monday.
- The animal shelter will be open be open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only
- Schools will be closed on Monday, but virtual classes will be held on Wednesday.
- All library services will be closed on Monday and Wednesday.
- The Alexandria Police Department also announced that they will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions at metered spaces and residential permit parking districts on Monday and Wednesday, though parking in normally prohibited zones is still subject to fines or towing.
- DASH bus service will operate on a Saturday schedule on Monday but will run regular service on Wednesday. The trolly remains suspended until further notice.
Bilbo Baggins Now for Sale — “Longtime Alexandria restaurant and pub Bilbo Baggins has closed its doors for good. The cozy eatery, which opened in 1980, closed in the spring when COVID-19 first struck. Since then, the family-owned restaurant has not reopened and the nearly 4,000-square foot property is now for sale for $2.8 million.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Reminder: Illegal Starting Jan. 1 to Hold Cell Phone While Driving — “Starting January 1st, the ‘Hands-Free’ law will go into effect. The law makes it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving.” [Twitter]
Goodwin House Residents and Staff Receive Vaccine — “Earlier today, some residents and staff at Goodwin House Alexandria received the vaccine. Before the end of 2020, it is estimated that 125 residents and employees will be vaccinated.” [Zebra]
What’s Open and Closed on New Year’s? — “A week after Christmas, residents will get another holiday with the arrival of 2021. Some services in Alexandria will be closed or modified for the New Year’s holiday.” [Patch]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Nine-year-old Chaquira and her eight-year-old daughter Princesa are inseparable, and the pair are looking for a new home via the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
AWLA took in Chaquira and Princesa with 12 other dogs from the Florida-based True and Faithful Pet Rescue Mission.
“Senior dogs like Princesa and Chaquira have spent their whole lives giving love to others,” said AWLA Executive Director Stella Hanly. “They deserve just as much love in their older years.”
Princesa is reportedly the more outgoing of the two dogs, although treats and ear scratches have proven to quickly bring Chaquira around.
“They are sweet, curious girls who have taken in stride the many changes they’ve experienced over the last month,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter said. “We know that the person or people lucky enough to adopt them will receive double the love and gratitude from their new canine family members.”
Anyone interested in learning more about these two should email [email protected]
Photos via AWLA
We’re coming up on an unusual Christmas at the end of 2020.
Alexandria Health Director Dr. Stephen Haering urged locals not to travel for the holidays if they could avoid it.
“Traveling for celebrations is a hallmark of these holidays but is especially risky with the COVID-19 increases across the country,” Haering said. “If you can’t avoid traveling, know your travel risk and consider getting tested both before and after traveling, particularly if you are visiting or returning home to someone at high risk of severe illness. Keep in mind that the virus can take between 2-14 days to incubate. AHD recommends that you wait about 7-10 days after a gathering or travel to get tested.”
Even distanced, the CDC warned that gathering with friends or family who do not live with you can increase your chance of spreading COVID-19.
Are you risking that to gather with family or are you planning something smaller with the folks you live with. Sound off in the comments if you have other plans.
What’s Open and What’s Closed Over Holidays — “All City of Alexandria government offices will be closed on Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25, in observance of Christmas; and on Friday, January 1, 2021, in observance of New Year’s Day.” [Zebra]
City Releases Guide to Safely Celebrating Holidays — “This year, the best gift for friends and family is continued good health. With COVID-19 cases surging, it is more important than ever to stay home, wear a mask, maintain 6 feet of distance, and wash your hands frequently.” [City of Alexandria]
First Night Alexandria Themes Celebration ‘Night of Nostalgia’ — “Residents and visitors can load up their cars and celebrate the arrival of 2021 on Dec. 31 at 5001 Eisenhower Ave. in the West End of Alexandria with a drive-in concert experience of pre-recorded music and comedy projected on the big screen.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Ada’s On the River to Open Mid-January — “Ada’s on the River, the first restaurant concept at the Robinson Landing development in Alexandria, is slated to open in mid-January.” [Patch]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Christmas tree looking a little sparse? The Alexandria Commons Shopping Center at 3233 Duke Street is hosting a pop-up on Saturday (Dec. 19) that will include a free ornament decorating kit.
“Celebrate the holidays by decorating your own holiday ornament!” the center said on its Facebook page.
The pop-up is scheduled to run from noon to 2 p.m.
“Your kit will include all supplies needed to decorate your ornament, fun holiday giveaways and a few surprises from Alexandria Commons Shopping Center merchants,” the shopping center said. “Once your ornament is complete share with your family and friends via Facebook to be entered into our contest to win a $50 gift card to an Alexandria Commons Shopping Center merchant of your choice.”
There will be 300 kits available given away one per person on a first come, first serve basis. The center noted on the event page that social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions will be enforced.
Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Annie Lennox… It’s been sounding a lot like Christmas inside Crooked Beat Records for the last month. Even though the record shop missed a few beats when it closed in April and May, sales have increased due to a new generation of hobbyists.
The hobbyists have turned sales back on the right track, according to Crooked Beats’ Paloma Alcala.
“Many people are looking for hobbies that they can do by themselves that they don’t need to do in a group,” Alcala told ALXnow. “Lots of people have taken up record collecting.”
The shop moved to 802 N. Fairfax Street from D.C. four years ago, and features thousands of records from nearly every genre. Due to COVID-19, the shop is currently letting in five customers at a time.
“We’ve got the classics,” Alcala said. “All kinds of things. We’ve got Canadian Christmas music, we’ve got compilations that span all kinds of genres. You want some Rockabilly Christmas music? We got that. Christmas R&B? Punk rock Christmas music? We have that.”
Most records sell for less than $50. Some of the higher priced items include a 13-disc expanded edition of Prince’s Sign O’ The Times ($289) and early pressings of 50-year-old albums by Jimi Hendrix and The Doors that are still sealed ($200 apiece).
The shop also sells Audio Technica 120 turntables ($289), and only buys used record collections from the public in good condition.
What’s the appeal of records? Alcala said she is frequently asked that question at the shop.
“In an era of streaming music, you can pretty much listen to anything that’s been put up on the internet, whenever and wherever you want,” she said. “There’s something really wonderful about that, too. But there’s something more satisfying and more active and purposeful about taking a record out of its sleeve, putting it on a player and dropping the needle. It puts you in a different mindset, and you’re able to enjoy the music on a much more personal level, and building a collection helps you curate the music that means the most to you.”
Crooked Beat Records is open Monday from 1 to 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday from noon to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m. The shop is closed every Tuesday.
Photo via Crooked Beat Records/Facebook
Alexandria is famous for celebrating the holiday season, and there are still a couple of in-person and virtual performances to help get into the spirit of things.
Tickets are still available for the Little Theatre of Alexandria‘s in-person rendition of A Christmas Carol, which runs until Dec. 19. The theatre has limited capacity to 46 guests, and seating is spaced out so that only up to groups of three people from the same group can watch the show together.
A Christmas Carol is being performed by just five actors, as opposed to the annual sold-out production with dozens of actors. It has been adapted for the times and directed by Emmy-winning journalist and actor Michael J Baker, Jr., who also stars as Ebenezer Scrooge.
Tickets cost $20 apiece and the remaining performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Dec. 16, 17, 18 and 19.
On Dec. 26 and 27, more than 90 students from the Metropolitan School of the Arts will perform six separate virtual renditions of The Nutcracker ballet at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Each show will be performed by three casts at the school.
“We knew performing the Nutcracker this year was going to be a challenge, but we also wanted the show to go on,” said Jacqueline Doherty, the show’s artistic director. “We’re so proud of the students’ commitment and passion to make this ballet come to life, despite the COVID restrictions. They were dedicated to making this show happen.”
The shows will broadcast on the Metropolitan School of the Arts’ YouTube channel, and tickets range from $40-$80.
Photos via LTA and Metropolitan School of the Arts
While holiday festivities like the Scottish Christmas Parade are being cancelled around town due to coronavirus concerns, the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is still planning to go forward with the organization’s 10th annual Alexandria Holiday Lights Ride and Walk.
The annual ride takes cyclists and pedestrians on a tour of the best of Del Ray’s lights. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, from 5:30-7 p.m.
“The residents of lovely Del Ray put on a great holiday light show every year, and we plan to see it on bike or on foot!” BPAC said in an event listing. “Please register on Eventbrite if you’re joining us.”
The tour will start at the south end of Main Line Blvd near the Potomac Yard trail. The route is around five miles through flat neighborhood streets.
“Small, socially-distanced groups of people biking will leave at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m. each evening,” BPAC said. “Small, socially-distanced groups of people walking will leave at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. each evening.”
All ages and abilities are welcome, the group said, but children under 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Participants over five must also have a face covering. For those biking, helmets and lights are required, with “bonus points” for decorating bikes with holiday lights.
Groups will be broken into no more than 10 people and participants should register in advance for a time slot.
Photo via BPAC/Facebook
This weekend, the Old Town Business Association is planning to install a holiday update to Alexandria’s street lamps.
“Starting today, the art is being installed on the selected lamp posts in Old Town,” the Old Town Business Association said in a press release. “The arts are alive in Old Town this holiday season with the debut of its first-holiday art walk.”
Several lamp posts in Old Town will feature new art from 25 artists from The Art League. The majority of the art will be located along the 100-1800 blocks of King Street, with a few on select side streets.
“Old Town Business collaborated with 25 artists from The Art League to create holiday-themed lamp post art pieces along King Street and select side streets,” the Old Town Business Association said. “A map of the artwork will be created so folks can stroll the art walk at their own leisure.”
Photo courtesy Old Town Business Association