Blog :: 08-2017

2017 Labor Day Weekend in Reston

I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that Labor Day is this weekend! But it is, and that means one of my all-time favorite events is happening. That’s the annual Jazz & Blues Festival at Lake Anne on Saturday. On Monday, head to downtown Herndon for the annual Labor Day Festival. In between, enjoy your last weekend at the pool!

11th Annual Jazz & Blues Festival

11th Annual Jazz & Blues FestivalThis free music festival is fun for the whole family (and the dogs). Every year, the stellar entertainment features acclaimed artists. The performances take place from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday (September 2). The Lake Anne Merchants, Reston Community CenterReston Association and Aperture Reston Station sponsor this event. For the full schedule of events/times, visit www.lakeanneplaza.com. Here is the line up:

  • 1 p.m. Cheick Hamala Dibate
  • 2 p.m. Sam Gunderson
  • 3 p.m. John Lee & Michael Pavone
  • 4 p.m. Integriti Reeves
  • 5 p.m. Mykle Lyons – Sextet
  • 6 p.m. Gigi MacClaughlin
  • 7 p.m. Kriss Funn
  • 8 p.m. Crush Funk Brass

Herndon Labor Day Festival

Technically not Reston, but still close and a lot of fun. There is something for everyone on the Labor Day outing. The downtown Herndon festival features Virginia wine tastings, craft beers, great music, a craft show, outstanding sponsors, delicious food vendors and lawn games. The event is on Monday (September 4) from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Tastings and beer sales end at 4 p.m.) Visit the website for ticket prices and information.

 

Want to Live on Lake Thoreau? Try Purple Beech or Upper Lake

I love contemporary architecture and Lake Thoreau, so it’s no surprise that Purple Beech Drive and Upper Lake Drive are two one of my favorite streets in Reston. While on opposite sides of the lake both are typical Reston single family home communities with an organic, natural feel to the wood-sided homes. In addition to lake access, the homes are also on generous, wooded plots. You feel like you’re at a resort!

As with most single-family home communities, the sizes and layouts are all different. Typically, though, they are 4-bedroom, multi-level homes. They have beautiful wooded yards, and the entire neighborhood is well landscaped and attractive. Purple Beech is a cul-de-sac and Upper Lake is a horseshoe, which means both are quiet and peaceful—great places to let your children play outside and enjoy nature.

While not all of the homes have direct lakefront access to Lake Thoreau, they do all have full lake access and privileges. Imagine paddling on the lake during the summer, or enjoying a picnic on your own floating barge (a favorite among many people who live on Reston’s lakes). A lovely 2-mile walking path circles the lake. In nice whether, lake residents make full use of it, walking to South Lakes Village Center to enjoy a meal or simply going for a run.

Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lake High School are close by. Other nearby amenities include the Walker Nature Education Center, Reston Regional golf course, Reston Metro station (about 1 mile), Reston Town Center, pools and tennis courts.

These are the kind of streets you dream of: close to anything you want to do, but also perfect if you just want to hang out in your beautiful home.

Reston Townhomes Are Waiting for You

Reston townhomesI sometimes think that people visiting Reston may think condos and apartments are the only living options. Certainly in the Reston Town Center area where more condos are being built all the time it seems that way. But many long-time Reston residents associate Reston living with townhouses. That makes sense with close to a 140 separate townhouse clusters in Reston. Each has its own personality too.

Often when I’m working with new clients who aren’t from the area, they’ve never considered living in a townhouse. It’s a condo or single-family home. They perceive townhomes as dark and small with little privacy from neighbors. I just laugh a little. Because when they visit some of the townhome communities around here, they quickly change their minds.

Our townhome clusters are wildly varied from the comfortable and modest to over-the-top luxurious. Many are on lakes or a golf course. All have beautiful, well-kept common areas. What’s best for new homebuyers is that Reston townhomes offer a wide range of housing options for almost every price point. That means neighborhoods are often a combination of young families, singles, or couples who have downsized. It’s a wonderful, eclectic mix. And for busy professionals, there is the bonus of a lovely neighborhood that you don’t have to care for — your cluster maintains the common property.

If you’ve never considered townhome living because you’re worried about the size, the light or living in such close proximity, may I invite you to tour some Reston townhomes. In my opinion, we do it better than any other town. From the first communities built in Reston, Waterview and Hickory Clusters, to West Market built in 1998, Reston has perfected townhome living.

Explore the Public Art of Reston

A Bird in the Hand, public art RestonArt is part of the heart and soul of Reston. Since the beginning, public art was placed in the village centers, and it continues today. And the Greater Reston Arts Center and Jo Ann Rose Art Gallery at the RCC Lake Anne have places where the community has access to contemporary visual arts.

In my opinion, the art is one of the distinguishing features of Reston—among a very long list of amazing features.

Whether you want to go to a gallery, an art show or explore public art, Reston has something for you.

I think taking a walking tour of public art installations is particularly fun. Public Art Reston has a map you can download for just such an adventure. Okay, so it would really be several adventures if you were walking as the art is spread out around Reston.

For the many programs and installations GRACE sponsors, click these links: exhibitions, educational programming, and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. To find out about exhibits at the RCC, click here.

Photo: A Bird in the Hand by Patrick Dougherty was installed at Reston Town Center in 2015. www.stickwork.net Photo from the Public Art Reston website.

 

Three Great Communities off Wainwright Drive

I love wandering through the original Reston communities. I’m always struck by the differences in each neighborhood, even those adjacent to each other. Wainwright Drive in the Lake Anne area is a great example. The three townhome communities couldn’t be more different, despite all sharing an excellent location near Reston Town Center and Lake Anne and having been developed within years of each other.

Coleson Cluster

Coleson Cluster, Wainwright DriveMost people who know anything of Reston’s history know about Waterview Cluster — the iconic townhomes on Lake Anne. Few people know that award-winning architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith designed another community of townhomes with the same floor plan and style as nearby Waterview. Coleson Cluster was built during the mid 1960s and comprises 45 townhomes spread over four and a half acres of lush lawn and trees. The townhouses in this beautiful community have a charming mid-century modern meets cottage vibe. They are light and airy, with light and inviting interior spaces. With flat roofs, large windows and contemporary style, they range in size from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet.

Mediterranean Villa, Reston

Mediterranean Villa, Wainwright DriveContinuing the European feel is Mediterranean Villa. Developed in 1970, the Mediterranean Villa homes feature white stucco exteriors with tiled roofs, 2-car garages, and about 1900 to 2500 square feet of living space. It’s a small and tight-knit community of 37 homes sited on a quiet cul-de-sac. Yes, these patio homes are nestled among oaks and pines rather than the coast, but they are as bright and airy as you will find anywhere in the Mediterranean.

Wainwright Cluster

Wainwright Cluster, Wainwright DriveBoston-based PARD Team, a young multi-disciplinary group of urban planners, architects, researchers and designers designed Wainwright Cluster in 1966. The cluster was part of the PARD Team’s mission to meet "the new challenges created by the uncontrolled urbanization of our environment, recent discoveries in the fields of social research, and rapid changes in building technology."

These homes were designed for first time homeowners. There are six models varying in size and layout. However, spacious bedrooms, large closets, ample storage space, breakfast nooks, and ground floor powder rooms are standard in all of them. The homes also feature spacious carports, large storage sheds, well-equipped play areas and private outdoor patios. Grouped into neighborhood subclusters, each neighborhood group is situated around a common landscaped green. Large windows at the rear of each home provide panoramic views of the thickly wooded areas surrounding the subclusters.

All of these neighborhoods are ideally located. Just off North Shore Drive, both Reston Town Center and Lake Anne are an easy walk. In fact, the Reston Association paths in this area are among community favorites and you are guaranteed to run into friends as you walk. The neighborhood is also close to the Reston Metro, Dulles Toll Road and Dulles airport. The kids can walk to Lake Anne Elementary, which is just two blocks away. And the entire family can enjoy the Reston pools and tennis courts, also within walking distance.