Lake Anne

The Beauty of the Uplands Neighborhood, Reston, VA

uplands reston vaThe Uplands is the quintessential Reston neighborhood -- while it is convenient to all major roads, it feels like it is miles away from everything. As one of Reston's older neighborhoods, and one that borders Lake Fairfax Park, the wooded areas are well established. Uplands has a great layout with just two access points. While there is a convenient secret short cut over to Rt. 7, for the most part the people who travel on Ring Road live in Uplands.

The Uplands neighborhood includes both townhome clusters and single family homes in a wide variety of styles, from ranch styles houses to large contemporary and pretty much everything in between. One of the best features of Uplands is the toddler and young kid-oriented Uplands pool. Okay, adults enjoy playing in the pools fountains too.

There is also a huge recreation area that includes two tennis courts, a full sized basketball court, and a baseball diamond. For those who like walking their dogs in the woods, or just going for a great hike, there is easy access into Lake Fairfax park via Buttermilk Creek trail. And in the winter, Uplands has the best sledding hill around.

Uplands is about a five-minute drive to Reston Town Center, and same to the Reston Metro Station. But the neighborhood is so tranquil and beautiful, you may never want to leave. 

Heron House, Lake Anne, Reston, VA

Heron House, the original Reston condos build in 1966, are still among the most beautiful condominiums in Reston. Sure, I may be biased because I live in Heron House, but I've heard other people say this too.

Comprised of 46 condominiums all with concrete balconies, Heron House is Reston's original high-rise. It is situated on the edge of Lake Anne at the Southern end of Washington Plaza (which residents simply call Lake Anne). The condos have one to three bedrooms with commanding views of the lake and Reston. Sitting on the balcony sipping a glass of wine and looking at the fountain in the lake is one of my favorite things to do.

The contemporary condos are well designed to maximize every inch of space -- even the smaller one-bedroom units feel spacious. Perhaps it is the view, or perhaps it is the well thought out floor plans. Whatever the magic combination, it works. And Heron House has stood the test of time. The design is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. And most of the units have been upgraded with new kitchens and baths.

You never really have to leave the neighborhood -- Lake Anne boasts several great restaurants, the farmer's market, and festivals year round. It's a wonderful place to live! It's also only a one-mile walk along gorgeous trails to Reston Town Center (or a quick drive), and it's close to the Reston Station and Dulles Toll Road. What's not to love?

Spring Fun in Reston

Spring is in the air…finally. True, the weather may decide to turn again. But that won’t keep Restonians inside. It is time to get out and take advantage of all the fun activities happening around town. Here is a run down of what is on the immediate horizon in our neighborhood.

 

Reston Town Center

http://www.restontowncenter.com/events/all/

Want to get out and experience live music? You can every week — Thursdays at Tavern 64 and Friday’s at M&S Grill. On May 7, bring your dog out to the Pet Fiesta. It’s your chance to meet some great adoptable dogs, find fun dog-themed things you must have or just hang out with fun people.

May 21 and 22 is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival — one of my favorite events every year. There are more than 200 artists from across the Nation that come out to share their work, and they are all amazing (this is a juried festival, so they have to be good). In addition to the art, you can enjoy two days of live performances, acclaimed children’s activities, and more. $5 donation encouraged. Get tickets for the Friday night Festival Launch Party at GRACE.

Finally, Reston Concerts on the Town start June 4 and go through the summer on Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m.

Lake Anne Village Center

https://lakeanneplaza.com/calendar/2016/05/

Are you ready for the premier farmer’s market in Northern Virginia? What about the Reston Arts Market? It’s time. Starting May 7, the markets will be opens. Come on down every Saturday through November. And starting on May 19, you rent a paddleboat to explore Lake Anne.

Lake Fairfax Park

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/lakefairfax/

There is always a lot to do at Lake Fairfax Park, but I really had to mention Pirate Fest on April 16. I mean, it’s a PIRATE FESTIVAL. How fun is that? Pirate Fest is Saturday, April 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This festival celebrates Virginia's seafaring past. Join with Pyrates Royale singing traditional sea chanteys, tavern tunes and pirate ditties. Experience the life of a sailor first hand with our many fun activity stations. Wear your most dashing pirate clothes and enter our costume contest. Learn about global trade in the 18th century, and discover the luxury goods from international ports that compelled pirates to sail the seven seas.

This is just a small taste of what will be happening around town in April and May. Have fun!

The Clusters of Moorings Drive, Lake Anne Reston

moorings drive restonHave you ever parked on Moorings Drive on your way to the Reston Farmer’s Market and wondered what kind of houses the street leads to? Let me tell you — it’s a wonderful mix of the different styles of Reston town homes. This neighbor is not only charming, it’s quiet and close to everything.

The first cluster on your left is Brookshire, one of the first clusters built in Reston in 1964 and 65. It’s one of Reston’s smallest clusters and has an impressive ratio of green space to homes — 5 acres to 26 homes. Lush green foliage, magnificent old oak trees, interconnecting paths and recreational areas surround the cluster. These two and three bedroom townhomes feature an average of 1,500 square feet of living space.

Then comes Chatham Colony Cluster. This is also a small cluster, with about 45 homes that each has a wooded backyard. These colonial style townhomes have brick exteriors, shuttered windows, and two designated parking spaces. With three bedrooms and full basements, each home offers plenty of space for growing families and empty nesters alike. And like most Reston homes built in the 1970’s, each has beautiful hardwood floors and large windows.

Next on the tour is Wyndmere Cluster, the newest addition to this area. Like all of the townhome clusters off moorings, residents have access to Lake Anne.

Finally, there is Moorings Cluster, built between 1971 and 1972. These spacious three- to five-bedroom townhomes have fantastic views of Lake Anne (70% are direct lakefront properties). Unlike many lakeside townhouse communities, each of the 50 homes in this neighborhood has a garage.

All of these clusters off Moorings Drive have easy access to main roads and public transportation. This is the kind of neighborhood where you can take full advantage of everything Reston has to offer — you can walk to Lake Anne, jog on the nearby Reston Association paths, or be at Reston Town Center in a matter of minutes.

It’s also close to ballparks, pools, tennis courts, the sprinkler park (off North Shore Drive) and more. Many residents have small boats and canoes that they take out on Lake Anne, enjoying a leisurely paddle to the plaza for concerts, festivals and dining. In the summer, residents can walk to the popular Farmer’s Market and Reston Market. Neighborhood residents attend Reston’s Lake Anne Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School.

Brewing Beer, Building Community at the Lake Anne Brew House

Lake Anne Brew HouseCraft breweries — the American version of a neighborhood pub — are as hot as coffee shops, and I’m thrilled to have a new one at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston. The LAKE ANNE BREW HOUSE embodies everything that is romantic and wonderful about a small business. It has a product the community has been craving; it has committed owners who want to create the best brew house possible while fostering community; it is sited in a place that needs more of both of those things.

What they do: LAKE ANNE BREW HOUSE sells its small-batch, hand-crafted beers directly to loyal customers from our nano-brewery taproom. You won’t find this (delicious) beer anywhere else… unless you take a growler home with you.

Since the day the LAKE ANNE BREW HOUSE opened in May, Restonians have made sure they have a difficult time keeping the brews in stock.

The owners are a husband and wife team — Jason and Melissa Romano. Jason is no newcomer to this craft — in fact, he has received accolades for many of his signature recipes. The BREW HOUSE is a way to scale production to meet the demands of a growing craft beer drinking market.

Melissa is an Architect and designer, and that is obvious the minute you walk through the front doors. The space is beautiful.

Jason and Melissa have a shared goal: to provide an inviting location for the community to gather and appreciate a hand-crafted selection of exceptional beers.

And what, exactly, are those beers? Their flagship brews are Live-Work-Play IPA, Reston Red, Brown’s Chapel Brown Ale, Lake Anne Skinny Dip Kolsch, and Simon’s Stout. Due to their small capacity, they may run out of a listed beer before they have a chance to update their website or Facebook page. So, really, you just need to be there when they open on Thursdays to make sure you can get what you want.

Did I mention the patio? Yes, they have a great one right on the lake. There are few nicer ways to spend a gorgeous summer evening that with friends supporting a local, small business.

Their hours of operation are Thursdays 4pm – 10pm, Fridays 4pm – 11pm, Saturdays 10am – 11pm and Sundays 12pm – 5pm. To find it, use your GPS to 11401 North Shore Dr., Reston, VA 20190. Then just walk to the plaza and head toward the sound of laughter.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

Great Labor Day Weekend Plans in Reston

Are you planning on avoiding beach traffic and staying put this Labor Day weekend? I don't blame you. I don’t even plan to leave Lake Anne Plaza. In fact, one of the reasons my non-profit, Friends of Lake Anne, started the annual Jazz & Blues Festival was to bring great music to our favorite spot. Ten years later, it is one of the highlights of the summer, due in large part to the work our fellow sponsors (Lane Anne Merchants, the Reston Community Center, and Reston Association) do to make sure it is a stellar event.

So grab your suntan lotion and a lawn chair, and head down to Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday, September 3 from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

This year we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary! It seems like just yesterday that we hosted the first one. Over the years, we’ve had so much fun, we can’t just keep it to one day. So Lake Anne Jazz Week starts Friday, August 26 and will conclude on Saturday, September 3rd (Labor Day Weekend) with the 10th Annual Jazz & Blues Festival. 

You read that right—it’s a whole week! Throughout the week, we have a variety of jazz themed events from live music to a free feature film classic (Jazz on a Summer’s Day) on August 26 at 7:30 p.m. Now that I think about it, this would be a great week for your family staycation. Just a suggestion.

Jazz & Blues Festival Line Up (September 3)

  • 1:00PM Adrian Duke

  • 2:00PM Mykle Lyons Sextet
  • 3:00PM Chip Bubeck
  • 4:00PM Integriti Reeves
  • 5:00PM Clarence Penn
  • 6:00PM Sam Gunderson
  • 7:00PM Dixie Power Trio

Jazz Week Merchant Activities

There is always more to Jazz week than the music. The Lake Anne Merchants have a ball coming up with specials and fun things to do all week long.

  • Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More –
    September 1: Virginia Wine & Cheese Tasting (6:00 p.m. – 7 p.m.).
    September 3: Wine and Chocolate Tasting (2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Free.
  • PetMAC Pet Nutrition Center – Jazz up your pet with 35% off all collars, leashes and apparel
  • Reston Art Gallery – Browse locally created art at Reston Art Gallery & Studios at Lake Anne Plaza.  Get 10% off a variety of musically themed art in various media such as acrylics, oils, watercolors, pastels and even mobiles and collages. You may even get lucky and get to see the artist at work creating a masterpiece!  Refreshments will be served.
  • Reston Museum – 20% off special edition Robert E. Simon martini and Bloody Mary glasses, each one etched with the signature of Reston’s founder.
  • Reston’s Used Book Shop – 50% off on all jazz and blues themed books.
  • Samantha Hu, Medical Chi-Kung Therapy – Free consultations during Jazz Week.
  • small change Consignment – All musical toys 20% off during jazz week.
  • Kalypsos Sports Tavern – Acoustic music on the patio Friday and Sunday 5-8 pm. 
    Friday night “The Vandelays” at 9:30pm.
    Saturday Sam Gunderson performs immediately following his Jazz fest performance (9:30PM).  
    Look for a special menu for Jazz fest week as well as Jazz Week drink.

All this takes place Lake Anne Plaza (Waterfront) – 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston, VA 20190. If you see me walking around with my adorable French bulldog, stop and say hi! Or peek in the Lake Anne Coffee Shop — that’s where I spend most of my free time as we prepare to open our doors.

Halloween 2016 in Reston is Loads of Fun

Dogs Dressed For Halloween in RestonI will never tire of seeing children in their Halloween costumes, roaming the streets (or the plaza or the Reston Town Center) in search of the perfect treat. Or any treat. The joy is a pure delight. Second only, perhaps, to seeing dogs and cats dressed in adorably costumes, roaming the plaza in search of the perfect treat.

On Saturday, October 29, I’m going to get my fill of both. And you can too. I hope you can come out and enjoy two delightful Reston Halloween events.

Howl-o-Ween on the Plaza

Saturday, October 29, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Being this cute isn’t so ruff. Especially if you are a dog lover! Come down and see the dogs (and a few cats) of Reston in their How-o-Ween finery. There are games, there are contests, and there are treats for your furry friends. Festivities start at 1 and continue until 3. The costume contest starts at 1:30.

Trick or Treat at Reston Town Center

Saturday, October 29, noon to 4 p.m.

On your way to or from Howl-o-Ween, stop by Reston Town Center for a little trick-or-treating. Any child in wearing a costume (maybe one to match the dog?) can celebrate this special day by visiting participating retailers and the Information Center for treats and goodies. Look for the pumpkin flyer in the window. If you aren’t coming over to Howl-o-ween, be sure to enjoy a spooky, magical performance for all ages by Turley the Magician at 1 pm in Fountain Square.

Happy Halloween everyone!

So Grateful for All of You This Thankskgiving

Thanksgiving in RestonThanksgiving is upon us, and I have so very much to be grateful for this year. A little over a year ago, my family purchased the Lake Anne Coffee House and embarked on the adventure of our lives.

When I say adventure, I am not exaggerating. We completely renovated the space, and that was no small task. We encountered problems along the way (as anyone who has ever opened a retail business could have predicted), and that kept pushing our opening date back. And then the day came when we were ready.

In early November, we opened our doors. It’s a soft opening—we’re still playing with the menu and getting the finishing touches in place. But we are open and we are blown away by the support we are receiving from the community. Truly, it makes me cry. I am blessed to know so many wonderful people, and now to get to see them every day.

My daughters will be running the operation—Erin is an experienced restaurant manager and Megan is an exceptional chef. The Lake Anne Coffee House is in good hands.

My real estate office is located on the second floor (behind the wine bar), and I expect to meet many clients in the coffee shop or the wine bar. We’ll be launching our website soon. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving.

Welcome the New Year 2017

Glass of Wine - Celebrating New Years in RestonHere we are at the end of another year, which the holidays for the most part behind us. I must admit, I am really looking forward to New Year’s Eve. I think the coming year is going to be amazing. I’ll be ringing it in at my family’s coffee shop/wine bar that opened in November (the Lake Anne Coffee House and War Bar). I hope you join us, or perhaps visit one our Lake Anne neighbors.

Lake Anne Coffee House:

Ring in the new year with Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar! We are offering a rare vintage wine flight dating back to 1997 for $35. Chef Meagan will be offering a small plate of delicious bites paired with the flight (priced separately). We have a very limited amount of flights, so please reserve yours by pre paying at the Coffee House or calling 703-481-9766. Regular wine and food menu available, and a Champagne toast on the house for all who are with us at midnight!

We’ll also be open on New Year’s Day, so come sit by the fire with a fresh cup of coffee.

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern

Join Vicky and the gang for a great party! NO COVER! DJ Kram will be spinning the tunes, and they’ll have free party favors. Make it a whole evening with an optional 4-course meal. Make your reservations today: http://www.kalypsossportstavern.com/reservations

Lake Anne Brew House

They’re having a private event in the evening BUT will be open until 6:00 p.m. So I think you should wander down there in the afternoon for one of their amazing craft beers, go home and take a nap, and then come back down to party with us.

Lakeside Cluster, Lake Anne, Reston

lakeside cluster townhomeI’m partial to Lake Anne neighborhoods. I can’t help it; it’s my neighborhood and I think these little communities are beautiful. They’re also convenient to all the amenities Reston has to offer — including the restaurants at Lake Anne. Lakeside Cluster is one of these gorgeous communities.

Most of the attention around Lake Anne focuses on the famous Waterview Cluster. As a result, Lakeside Cluster doesn’t get as much attention. The community is okay with that. This is a friendly, quiet, unassuming neighborhood.

Lakeside Cluster has the same amenities all of the neighborhoods that border Reston’s Lake Anne share — access to the lake, a quick walk to Lake Anne Village Center, well-designed homes (many of which are direct lakefront).

These townhomes were built between 1965 and 1969. The 90 units are two and three levels with two to four bedrooms. They also have garages (which makes them different than most of their Lake Anne neighbors). All homes have lake access via a trail to the cluster dock, even if they are not direct lakefront property.

The Cluster couldn’t be positioned better. It is located on Greenbriar Road and Orchard Lane off Fairway Drive, which is the south shore of Lake Anne. Fairway Drive provides easy access to both North Shore Drive and Wiehle Avenue.

lakeside cluster dockFor families with children, the cluster is an easy walk to Lake Anne Elementary. Children also attend Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. For the parents, Lake Side Cluster is only 1.5 miles to the Reston Station Metro, and a short hop to Reston Town Center and the Toll Road. And, of course, a five minute walk to Lake Anne Village Center — home of the Lake Anne Brew House, Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar, Reston Farmer’s Market and several other awesome mom-and-pop restaurants.

Photos from the Lakeside Cluster website: https://www.lakesidecluster.org/