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Waterview Cluster, North Reston

By Eve Thompson

Waterview Cluster in Reston, VA

Waterview Cluster is Reston’s most iconic neighborhood.

Whenever you see an article about Reston, the planned community or Reston appears in a history book, you will likely also see a picture of Waterview Cluster. It is perhaps the most iconic Reston neighborhood.

Built in 1965, many of the 75 two and three story townhouses on Lake Anne have beautiful water views with the remaining situated on lushly landscaped wooded lots. Award-winning architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith designed Waterview Cluster to feel like a French fishing village, and the exterior bricks painted in soft pastels and the charming balconies really do make it feel European.

The townhouses in this beautiful community have a charming mid-century modern meets cottage vibe. They are light and airy, with very inviting interior spaces. They range in size from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet. Residents affectionately call the homes “tall skinnies” or “short fats.” The mix of size and styles make for a unique and charming neighborhood. Waterview Cluster residents are unwavering in their affection for their neighborhood—they share a collective recognition that they live some place unique.

Like most of Reston, Waterview Cluster is very walk-able, with paved walkways leading to Lake Anne Village Center and Reston Town Center.

Fun on the Reston lakes

By Eve Thompson

Summer is almost over, but it’s not gone yet. While many of the Reston pools have closed for the season, there is plenty of water fun to be had. Take advantage of the next few weekends to get on the water!

Paddle boarding in Reston

Reston Lakes paddle boardingStandup paddle boarding (SUP) is taking the water sports world by storm. Called Hoe he’e nalu in the Hawaiian language (which is just a fun fact to know), paddle boarding started as an offshoot of surfing… only much, much easier. The concept is simple—you stand on a surf style board and use a long paddle to move across the water. You can do it on flat water, like the Reston lakes, or in the open water. It’s a fun sport anyone can enjoy.

And we are lucky in Reston to have a company that offers SUP workshops on our Reston lakes—Surf Reston. They offer workshops at Lake Anne, Lake Audubon, Lake Thoreau and Lake Newport. The company started as a way to build a community of individuals who enjoy paddling; they teach how to paddle responsibly and safely and give their customers the opportunities to connect with other enthusiasts. Sign up for one of their workshops today! Better yet, get a group of friends to do it together. It’s a blast.

Kayak and Canoe Rental

Until Labor Day weekend, you can enjoy a leisurely paddle around Lake Anne. Reston Association provides kayak, canoe, and paddle boat rentals by the hour. It’s a fun way to spend a summer evening! You can purchase tickets at Reston’s Used Book Shop, 1623 Washington Plaza (near the fountain). Contact the book shop by calling 703-435-9772. The cost is $6 per boat for 1-hour rental.

Hours of Operation are:
Thursdays, 4 – 8 p.m.
Fridays, 4 – 8 p.m.
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Enjoy these last few weeks of summer break. Maybe I’ll see you out on the lakes!

Vantage Hill, North Reston

By Eve Thompson

Most of the Reston condominiums built in the 1970’s look nondescript from the outside. There is no way around it—they are boxy and plain. But if you take the time to go inside, you will be pleasantly surprised. Vantage Hill is a wonderful example of this.

Vantage Hill sits on 15 beautifully wooded acres that have been designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. That’s 15 acres for 152 units or, more than 4,000 square feet per unit.

And then there are the spacious interiors. These may be condominiums, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up space. The units are generally 2 or 3 bedrooms with generous floor plans, ample closets and spacious kitchens. One of the beautiful things about these older condominiums is that most of them have been updated—new kitchens, new bathrooms, and new flooring. It’s the best of both worlds—the solid construction and beautiful landscape of the 70’s with the beautiful interiors and modern designs of today.

Utilities are included in the condo fees. Vantage Hill is located between Reston Town Center and Lake Anne Village Center, with an easy walk to either. It’s about a five-minute walk to Lake Anne Elementary School. Older children attend Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lake High School.

Labor Day Weekend 2015 in Reston, VA

By Eve Thompson

Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival 2014—a gorgeous day on the plaza.

Labor Day weekend—the last hurrah before summer officially ends. We celebrate the holiday in style here in Reston with the annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival—one of my absolute favorite events of the whole year. If you’re new to Reston, or have never made it down to Lake Anne for this event, make sure to put it on your calendar.

In fact, the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival is so much fun, it’s going to be an entire week this year. The fun starts August 30 and culminates on Saturday, September 5. And the best part is it is free. Fun for the whole family, this festival showcases talented local emerging artists and national jazz performers. Not only will there be great music, the Lake Anne merchants are featuring specials and there will be a fun featured film as part of the ongoing Summer Film Festival series.

Ready for a week of great music? Here is the full list of activities:

  • August 30 (sundown) – Summer Film Festival Series Movie “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” (1959 Classic)
  • September 1 (7-10 p.m.) – The Red Tree Solo (Café Montmartre)
  • September 1 (8 p.m.) – Jazz Trivia Night (Kalypso’s Sports Tavern)
  • September 1 (6-9 p.m.) – Mykle Lyons Trio (Plaza)
  • September 2 (8-10 p.m.) – The Caterpillars Duet (Café Montmartre)
  • September 2 (9:30 p.m.) – Jazz Karaoke Night (Kalypso’s Sports Tavern)
  • September 3 (7-9 p.m.) – Take A Break Concert Series featuring the Chris Vadala Quartet (Plaza)
  • September 4 (7:30-10:30 p.m.) – Cabernet (Café Montmartre)
  • September 4 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) — The Jason Kearse Trio (Plaza)

Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival Line Up

  • September 5
    1 p.m. Ted Garber
    2 p.m. Cissa Paz
    3 p.m. Integriti Reeves4 p.m. Nia Olabesi
    5 p.m. Mykle Lyons
    6 p.m. Texas Chainsaw
    7 p.m. Adrian Duke (Headliner)
    9:30 p.m. Post Festival Late Night with Sam Gunderson (Kalypso’s Sports Tavern)

Don’t forget about the merchants. Here are some of the specials you can expect:

  • Chesapeake Chocolates: Special Edition chocolate musical notes and instruments. Wine Tasting Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30p.m.
  • Reston’s Used Book Shop: 50% off all books about music
  • Small Change Kids Consignment Shop: Melissa & Doug musical toys 50% off
  • The Reston Museum: Music sale on local jazz performers Beverly Cosham, Menda Ahart and Felicia Crowley

But that’s only until Saturday, you say. You are right. So on Labor Day, head down the road to Herndon for the annual Herndon Labor Day Festival! It’s Monday, September 7, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn Street, Herndon, VA 20170). There will be tastings of Virginia wines and craft beers, great music, a craft show, sponsor gallery, and food vendors. The Herndon Parks and Recreation Department and the Herndon Woman’s Club produce this fun event.

  • Admission
    Wine, Craft Brew Tastings and Entertainment – $20
    (ID required to purchase tastings)
    Concert only or designated driver – $5
    Extra beer tastings – $2 per ticket- Cash only at gate
    – Children 12 and under free
    – No pets allowed
    Wine and craft brew tasting and selling of open containers ends at 4 p.m.
  • 2015 Participating Virginia Wineries
    Cardamon Family Vineyards
    Chateau O’Brien
    Desert Rose Ranch and Winery
    Horton Vineyards
    Mattaponi Winery
    Mountain Cove Vineyards
    Rebec Vineyards
    Rogers Ford Farm Winery
    Thistle Gate Vineyard
    Two Twisted Posts Winery
  • Featured Craft Brews
    Forge Brew Works, Belgian Blonde
    Mad Fox Brewery, Kӧlsch
    South Street Brewery, Satan’s Pony – Amber Ale
    O’Conner Brewing Co., El Guaop – IPA
    Brothers Craft Brewing, Great Outdoors- Pale Ale
    Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Vienna Lager
  • Food Vendors
    International Grill
    Island Smoothies and Coffee
    Italian
    Rito Loco
    Sherri’s Crab Cakes

Enjoy your last official weekend of summer. I know I’m looking forward to it!

Orchard Green Cluster, Reston, VA

By Eve Thompson

Orchard Green Cluster RestonWhen developing the “last remaining parcel of land in the prestigious Reston community of Lake Anne,” the plans had better be great. Designed by Berkus Group Architects, a company well known for producing environmentally sensitive designs, and developed by Miller & Smith, Orchard Green Cluster Reston VA is, indeed, a great design.

Backing into the trails that lead to Lake Anne and situated across the street from the Hook Road recreational area, Orchard Green Cluster is in prime spot for active Restonians. Built in 1983, these 50 townhomes come in four floor plans. They range in size from 1,900 square feet to 2,700 square. Some of the homes have garages, while other have carports and some have fireplaces (which are great on cold winter nights). All are well designed with ample space to grow and change as needed.

While Orchard Green Reston VA is walking distance to Lake Anne and Reston Town Center, it is also accessible to all the major roadways that take you wherever you want to go. Children attend Lake Anne Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School, South Lakes High School.

Mom and Pop: The Boutique Bake Shop

By Eve Thompson

The Boutique Bakeshop

Is your mouth watering yet? (Photo courtesy of The Boutique Bakeshop website.)

As a real estate agent and a lover of mom and pop businesses, I love it when I see young entrepreneurs making creative decisions to help them realize their dreams. That is one of two reasons why I love The Boutique Bakeshop. You just have to look at the pictures of some of their cakes and desserts to know the other reason I love them.

Yes, they are not based in Reston. But they are just a few miles down Baron Cameron (aka Rt. 606) in Herndon. You have to head that way if you’re going to Trader Joe’s or Mom’s Organic Market anyway, so you might as well stop in for a treat.

Aside from the amazing sweets, why do I think they are creative? Because the Boutique Bakeshop is a baker’s collective comprised of five very small businesses: Stephanie the Baker, Sweets by e, Sugar Pig Wholesale Sweets, The Itty-Bitty cake company, and Beau Monde Bakers.

Commercial real estate is very expensive, and none of these small businesses would be able to afford the rent alone — that’s a lot of cupcakes and pastries! But together, they can share a commercial kitchen, practice their art, be inspired by their peers, and showcase their talents through the public bakeshop. It’s a quadruple win. Read more about the inspiration for this collective here.

The small bakery in the storefront is a stroke of genius—it lets people try out the bakers’ treats before buying a whole cake (or whatever else is on the menu). They’ve got a comfy couch, a few tables, and good coffee. What more could you want? But don’t trust me. Go visit them today!

Address:
336 Elden Street
Herndon, VA 20170

(hint—it’s right behind the McDonald’s just before you get to the K-Mart/MOM’s shopping center)

Tweets from Eve:

After years of trying to be all things to all people I finally said ENOUGH! Reston, VA is what I know and love and this is where I add real value to my clients! So if you're looking to buy or sell in Reston, VA please give me a call.

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