As we ready ourselves to say goodbye to 2020, Arlington Magazine has its eyes set on 2021. The Magazine released its "Best of Arlington 2021" list this week and highlighted Lee Highway restaurants and shops. Make sure to check out these spots in the new year, you won't be disappointed.
Arlington Magazine's Best of Arlington 2021:
Del Ray - but versions infused with jalapeño or habañero also give the original a run for its money. The latter obviously turns up the heat. “Habañero will burn you down!” Michel says with a laugh. Bring it." –Rina Rapuano
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giving home cooks the opportunity to get in on bespoke crops ranging from artisanal lettuces and sunchokes to rare kinds of basil. Because the farm (being indoors) operates year-round, so does the CSA, which delivers to addresses throughout Northern Virginia and the District. Pierce also offers a la carte orders with curbside pickup and is currently in talks with his landlord about expanding his space. 'Sometimes the biggest opportunities come out of the biggest struggles,' he says. 'We hope this drives education around a more localized food system.'” –Jenny Sullivan
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Takeout: The Italian Store
*Wine Shop Runner Up
"Best of Arlington 2021" Runner Ups
With Hanukkah coming to a close and Christmas and Kwanzaa quickly approaching, now is the best time to pick up some last minute gifts while supporting Lee Highway businesses! Make sure to check out LHA's Holiday Gift Guide before heading out to do some holiday shopping.
What's new on the gift guide this week?
After 4 months of thoughtful discussion, public engagement, and communication with Lee Highway businesses, the Working Group On Renaming Lee Highway has selected its top choice and four alternatives for Lee Highway’s new name.
The Working Group’s preferred name is Mildred & Richard Loving Avenue, honoring the couple who fought for marriage equality for interracial couples.
legalized same sex marriage. For me, the name Loving has both Virginia and national significance and it encompasses justice.”
The name “Mildred & Richard Loving Avenue” not only tells the story of triumph over injustice but offers the opportunity to connect the Lee Highway corridor with other regional jurisdictions in the state of Virginia. The Lovings not only lived in the state, but the name relates to the Virginia state slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.” When travelers cross Key Bridge coming to Virginia from DC, they are met with the state slogan. It was the opinion of the Working Group that it made sense that the name “Loving” would be the first road traveled on in the state. The name also represents a desire of Arlington County for people to treat one another in a loving way.
public and student polls, “Loving” was the clear front runner, garnering 1,146 votes of the 3,646 votes cast. All four Advisory Groups supported the name as well, suggesting it would provide the corridor with a sense of place, would support future branding endeavors, is an easy name to pronounce and spell, and tells a great story.
In addition to Mildred and Richard Loving Avenue, the Working Group supported four alternate name choices: John M. Langston Boulevard, Ella Baker Boulevard, Dr. Edward T. Morton Avenue, and Main Street.
John M. Langston was an American abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician who was the first Black person elected to Congress from Virginia. His ties to Arlington date back to 1867 when he was the Inspector General of the Freedman's Bureau, the managing agency over Freedman's Village which was the contraband camp for formerly enslaved people in Arlington. Lee Highway also runs right past the old segregated John M Langston Elementary School.
the story of the dark [racial] history of Arlington County as well as the County’s brightest time - when the four students who went to Langston Elementary were the first four students to integrate the state of Virginia. The name tells the whole story of how Arlington has evolved and grown over the years.”
Ella Josephine Baker, also known as the Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement, was a native daughter of Virginia, born in Norfolk on December 13, 1903. She was a civil rights pioneer who championed the ordinary citizen. Her expert organizational skills were instrumental in the fight for racial equity and she mentored many emerging civil rights leaders, such as John Lewis.
Dr. Edward Morton, the first Black physician in North Arlington, was a powerful early voice for racial equality in the County, and specifically on Lee Highway. His home and medical practice were located at 4842 Lee Highway, the site that currently is the McDonald’s Restaurant. Dr. Morton was a leader in the Hall's Hill neighborhood, was a candidate for County Board in the 1930s, and promoted Black Empowerment.
The Lee Highway Alliance and Plan Lee Highway have been working to bring communities together through community-based grassroots planning, support of local businesses, and recognizing local history and identity through heritage-based education. The name “Main Street” represents the diversity that makes the 4.6 mile corridor unique.
The LHA board approved of the name choices on December 10 and will present the Working Group’s recommendations to the Arlington County Board next week. The County Board will then submit the recommendation to either the Commonwealth Transportation Board or the Virginia General Assemblyfor approval and implementation.
Thank you to the 25 dedicated members of the Working Group for their time and commitment to this process, to the Arlington County Board, and to the Arlington community for welcoming and participating in the renaming effort.
This holiday season may look different from other years, but it won't stop us from supporting our local economy and Lee Highway businesses by shopping local! Make sure to check out LHA's Holiday Gift Guide before heading out to do some holiday shopping.
What's new on the gift guide this week?
After four spirited and thoughtful public meetings held between September and December, LHA’s Working Group On Renaming Lee Highway is closing in on its top choice for a new name.
At its December 2nd meeting, the Working Group identified 10 names still in the running: Dogwood, Ella Baker, Edward Morton, Green Way, James E. Browne, John Glenn, John M. Langston, Justice, Main Street, and Mildred & Richard Loving.
The Working Group will make its final choice at its December 9th meeting. The meeting will be held via Zoom from 6:30-8:30pm and will be open to the public. The first choice and four alternatives will then move to the Arlington County Board, which will decide which name to send to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) or the Virginia General Assembly for implementation.
When discussing the top 10 names, Wilma Jones, president of the John M. Langston Citizens Association and a Working Group member, explained, “having three names in the top 10 [Langston, Browne, and Morton] that are important to the community I live in [Hall’s Hill] makes me proud.”
Lynn Coates, a member of the Working Group, noted the significance of these names to the community, saying “I feel resonance with them.” She mentioned Ella Baker and “the importance of the vote, and the work she did.” Baker was a Black civil rights and human rights activist who promoted grassroots organizing.
In explaining his preference for the name Mildred and Richard Loving,Benjamin Keeney, the vice president of the North Highlands Citizens Association and a Working Group member, explained that he and his wife “could not be legally married (in Virginia) if not for the Lovings." The Lovings were an interracial couple in Virginia whose 1967 Supreme Court case changed the law to allow interracial marriage.
Working Group member Sandi Chesrown noted that the name Main Street was strongly supported in the community polling and it “aligns with Plan Lee Highway and the recommendations of the Branding and Business Advisory Groups. It is timeless, easy to spell and remember, and provides a sense of place and prosperity.”
Ginger Brown, LHA’s Executive Director, supported the name John M. Langston and noted, “It ticks all the boxes” of a name with strong local connection and national contribution, is easy to remember and communicate, and can help brand the corridor. Langston served as Inspector General of Freedman’s Village and was the first Black person elected to Congress from Virginia.
“Enduring” names were mentioned by some. Mike Hogan, a resident along the corridor, said he “grew up near Democracy Boulevard [in Montgomery County. MD], and sees the same enduring quality in the name ‘Justice.’”
Branding was an important consideration for the group as well. “The new name for Lee Highway will be the new name not just for a major road, but for a major road that is home to many businesses” said Working Group member Maia Potok-Holmes. “We must consider marketing and branding when making our final decision - for the survival of our businesses and for how we want our community to be perceived.”
The Working Group’s efforts to engage with the Arlington community elicited 186 name suggestions over the past four months. That list was narrowed based on:
Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol praised the Working Group for “the extensive outreach [they] have done.” About 65 volunteers helped LHA implement the project.
The Working Group made a special effort to reach out to Lee Highway businesses to hear their perspectives. Annie Moyer, co-owner of Sun & Moon Yoga Studio and a member of the Working Group, noted, “As a small-business owner on Lee Highway, I see [this renaming work] as a great testament to operating with clarity, compassion and kindness.”
The push to improve Lee Highway began in 2013, when several neighborhoods along the corridor agreed to partner with Arlington County on revisioning and replanning. LHA began discussing changing the entire name—both Lee and Highway—in 2017 to be in accord with their guiding principles. “Neither ‘Lee’ nor ‘Highway’ reflects what we see as the future for this corridor,” said Brown.