Alexandria, VA

The sun is shining and last night’s light rain is a distant memory, but the lower portion of King Street in Old Town is flooded nonetheless.

The Potomac River has inundated portions of King Street, Prince Street and The Strand, as it has done in the past —¬†as recently as last month. The water is thus far only causing minor impacts, including prompting the King Street Trolley to temporarily turn around at City Hall.

The National Weather Service has continued its Coastal Flood Advisory from last night, which now runs through 3 a.m. Wednesday. High tide happened around 1:15 p.m. this afternoon and will happen again at 1:35 a.m. tonight.

“Up to one half foot of inundation above ground level is possible,” NWS said in the advisory, below.

…COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST WEDNESDAY… * LOCATIONS…SHORELINE IN ARLINGTON COUNTY AND THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA. * TIDAL DEPARTURE…TWO TO TWO AND A HALF FEET ABOVE NORMAL. * TIMING…AROUND THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE. THE NEXT HIGH TIDE AT ALEXANDRIA WILL BE 1:35 AM TONIGHT. * IMPACTS…UP TO ONE HALF FOOT OF INUNDATION ABOVE GROUND LEVEL IS POSSIBLE. WATER IS EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE CURB NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF KING STREET AND STRAND STREET IN ALEXANDRIA. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE. &&

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The city-owned small parcel at 2 King Street — currently home to eight leased parking spaces — could have a big impact on the block at the end of King Street if the city approves a sale.

At the Waterfront Commission meeting this morning (Tuesday), staff said the city received an unsolicited offer for the lot in June from the current owners of the adjacent Fitzgerald Warehouse building. The City Council subsequently authorized staff to consider the sale and look into alternatives for the property.

Staff said the proposed plan would involve tearing down the late 20th-century addition to the historic property — which currently houses Thai restaurant Mai Thai — and replace it with a new extension that would take advantage of the waterfront view. The historic Fitzgerald Warehouse, where Starbucks is currently located, would not be torn down.

Staff was skeptical of the likelihood that another development could be built on the site, saying it could theoretically be its own building but “it would be a tight fit.”

One way or another, the parking spaces at the foot of King Street are likely going away soon. Jack Browand, division chief with the¬†Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, said that the current use does not fit with the city’s plans to make the surrounding streets more pedestrianized.

“Even if it stays with the city, it would be improved in some way, like turned into an outdoor seating area,” Browand said.

Whether the property stays with the city or is sold to a developer, several members of the Waterfront Commission said that part of the deal should be the inclusion of public restrooms or other public uses at the site.

Staff said a public meeting will be held in December to gather more ideas for what to do with the site, but no specific date has been scheduled.

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Expect some flooding near the waterfront in Old Town tonight.

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory, set to go into effect at 8 p.m. and run overnight. The Potomac River is expected to be up to 2 feet above its normal levels at high tide, around 12:30 a.m., approaching the curb at the intersection of King and Strand streets.

Old Town last experienced significant coastal flooding just over a month ago.

More from the National Weather Service:

…COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 AM EST TUESDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 AM EST TUESDAY. * LOCATIONS…SHORELINE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ARLINGTON COUNTY AND THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA. * TIDAL DEPARTURE…ONE AND A HALF TO TWO FEET ABOVE NORMAL. * TIMING…AROUND THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE. HIGH TIDE AT WASHINGTON CHANNEL IS AT 12:12 AM OVERNIGHT. HIGH TIDE AT ALEXANDRIA IS AT 12:30 AM OVERNIGHT. * IMPACTS…SHORELINE INUNDATION IS EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF THE SEAWALL ADJACENT TO OHIO DRIVE AND THE HAINS POINT LOOP ROAD AND NEAR THE TIDAL BASIN. WATER IS EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE CURB NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF KING STREET AND STRAND STREET IN ALEXANDRIA. MINOR SHORELINE INUNDATION UP TO ONE FOOT ABOVE GROUND IS POSSIBLE ELSEWHERE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE. &&

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Nighttime temperatures may be hitting the freezing mark, but that hasn’t stopped Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams from opening at 102 S. Patrick Street in Old Town.

The restaurant opened this past Wednesday (Nov. 13) in the former Misha’s Coffee space, while the coffee shop has moved down the block to 907 King Street.

The ice cream shop was not particularly crowded as of this morning — which, granted, is not peak ice-cream hours — but Twitter was abuzz with excitement.

Jeni’s is an¬†Ohio-based¬†artisan ice cream producer with a cult following and a chain of about three dozen stores nationwide. It¬†advertises that it uses no artificial flavors or colors, and has dairy-free options available.

In addition to ice cream, the shop carries assorted Jeni’s related books and paraphernalia.

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Deli, News & More at 1406 King Street in Old Town sells, as the name may suggest, deli sandwiches, news, and more. But it’s the “and more” that got the shop in trouble earlier this year.

The shop opened in 1994 as a newsstand, and in 1995 got authorization to operate a carry-out restaurant in conjunction with the newsstand. But as any one of the 150 patrons a day at the store may have noticed, half of the shop is a convenience store it was never authorized to operate.

A staff report on the zoning issue said that the unauthorized convenience store attracted patrons from nearby office and commercial buildings, hotels, and residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

During a routine inspection in June, inspectors cited the business for violation of its Special Use Permit for sale of alcohol. Further inspection found that the restaurant had expanded substantially beyond the carry-out restaurant and newsstand it was authorized for.

Deli, News & More is on tomorrow’s (Saturday) City Council docket as a consent item, meaning it will likely receive approval that will bring the store into alignment with its zoning, and locals can continue buying beer and necessities along with their news and deli sandwiches.

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Due to an emergency gas repair, Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES) announced on Twitter than a portion of the 1000 block of westbound King Street.

The block is between Patrick and Henry Streets, the north and southbound directions of Route 1 through Alexandria.

T&ES warned that drivers in Old Town near the closure should expect backups and seek alternate routes if possible.

Photo via Google Maps

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In celebration of Cider Week Virginia, Alexandria will host a cider festival next week.

Hosted by Historic Alexandria, the hard cider tasting event is set for Saturday, November 23 from 1-5 p.m. at the Lloyd House in Old Town (220 N. Washington Street).

Tickets begin at $45 and raise to $55 at the door, plus a $20 ticket option for non-drinkers. The outdoor festival will include 10 pours from different cideries, plus a take-home souvenir glass.

The event will be outdoors, so visitors are advised to dress for the cold. Mount Vernon-based American food truck Executive Orders will also be onsite.

In addition to the festival, Pizza Paradiso in Old Town (124 King Street) will be hosting two “Cider Tap Takeovers” on Thursday, November 21, and Sunday, November 24. The event will feature draft pours from various Virginia cideries including Lost Boy and Potters.

Photo via Historic Alexandria/Facebook

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A new restaurant is in the works for the former Eamonn’s and PX spot at 728 King Street.

Tentatively labeled as “The Handover,” the restaurant has filed permit applications this week, seeking to serve beer and wine in a space with a seating capacity of up to 100.

A lawyer listed as representing the company behind the application — Monarch Novelties LLC — could not be reached for comment. No phone number was listed.

Construction is currently underway inside the building, with crews refurbishing the floors on the upper level where PX once was.

PX, a local speakeasy popular with fans of craft cocktails — a number of local officials were regulars, too —¬†closed earlier this year, as did Eamonn’s, the fish and chip shop on the ground floor.

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This weekend, the Alexandria Choral Society and Fairfax Choral Society are coming together for a pair of performances this weekend with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.

The groups will perform Lili Boulanger’s Old Buddhist Prayer¬†and soloist Wolfgang Schmidt will perform a cello concerto, concluding with a performance of Dvorak Symphony #8.

The concerts are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. in the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall (4915 E. Campus Drive) and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m. in the George Washington Masonic Memorial (101 Callahan Drive).

Tickets are $25, or $5 for guests 18 and under. Military, senior and group discounts are also offered.

Additionally, a press release for the performances says patrons are encouraged to bring a canned or packaged food item for ALIVE!¬†— a local nonprofit that offers assistance those in poverty in Alexandria.

Photo via Alexandria Symphony Orchestra/Facebook

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The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) will be sending one of its research vessels to the Old Town waterfront while the crew does some work in D.C.

The 93-foot research vessel R/V Virginia is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, Dec. 8 and will remain docked until Wednesday, Dec. 11.

“The R/V Virginia allows VIMS scientists to monitor and study the Chesapeake Bay and its marine life much more effectively and expand the institute’s research footprint into the open waters of the coastal Atlantic from Maine to Florida,” according to a City Council docket item. “It offers flexibility in science outfitting, rapid turn-around for frequent use, and affordable operation.”

The vessel is adaptable to study of a variety of oceanographic fields, from the servicing of ocean observing systems to offshore-energy exploration and development surveys.

While docked, VIMS will host a dockside educational exhibit on the marine research work the ship does.

While docked in the City Marina, VIMS will host a dockside educational exhibit showcasing research conducted aboard the R/V Virginia. Visitors will also be able to speak with VIMS staff on board the vessel. VIMS will provide tours to the public for no fee on Sunday, December 8 from noon to 3 p.m. and on Monday, December 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Should attendance warrant, additional public tours will be added on Tuesday, December 10 & Wednesday, December 11. In addition to the public tours, VIMS will provide private tours for VIMS partners and stakeholders, and educational groups.

It’ll be a tight fit, with the tall ship Providence now occupying a permanent spot¬†on the waterfront, but Jack Browand, Division Chief, with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities said they were able to squeeze it into a spot.

The City Council waived the ship’s docking fee at the Wednesday, Nov. 6 City Council meeting.

Photo via Virginia Institute of Marine Science/Facebook.

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A little over one month after it launched, local news site ALXnow celebrated its launch with a party last night (Tuesday).

The event was hosted by McEnearney Associates — ALXnow’s launch sponsor — at the company’s Alexandria headquarters at 109 S. Pitt Street. The event featured appearances from city leaders and members of the local business community.

ALXnow is part of the Local News Now group, which started with ARLnow and includes Reston Now and Tysons Reporter — which launched last year. Local News Now also partners with D.C. community site PoPville and regional running publication RunWashington.

“We like to take everything Arlington does and do it better,” Mayor Justin Wilson quipped, of the city’s newest local news publication and its sister site to the north.

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Morning Notes

Wilson Skeptical of ‘National Landing’ Name — “For Alexandria Mayor¬†Justin Wilson, the term National Landing was always meant to help streamline the Amazon bid. He joked that he was a resister to the name, adding he still used Potomac Yard because that’s how his constituents know the area. ‘If we talk 10 years from now, will people be calling it National Landing? I don’t know. I doubt it,’ Wilson said.” [Washington Business Journal]

VT Grad Students Helping Plan Alexandria Campus — “Fresh off of four years in Blacksburg earning a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering at Virginia Tech, Logan Eisenbeiser moved to Northern Virginia last year to pursue his master of computer engineering at the university’s Falls Church campus. Little did he know that he would be helping to set the stage for future Hokies who also will study in Northern Virginia at Virginia Tech’s future Innovation Campus.” [Virginia Tech]

Unique House for Sale in Old Town — “The house’s attachment to a condominium complex is not its only unusual aspect. It once was the registration building for the Old Colony Motor Lodge. The motel, built in 1960, was designed by Charles A. Pearson to imitate buildings in Colonial Williamsburg and at the University of Virginia… The registration building was modeled after the 1782 Benjamin Waller House in Williamsburg.” [Washington Post]

ACPS Touts Dual-Language Program — “Our school division offers K-5 Spanish-English dual language programs at John Adams and Mount Vernon Community School… Look around these classrooms and you see the diversity that makes ACPS so special, and a program at work that teaches languages while also bridging gaps by the sharing of cultures.” [ACPS]

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