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Living in Alexandria’s Del Ray Neighborhood is Pure Poetry!

Living in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood is pure poetry – especially if you are at the corner of East Windsor and DeWitt Avenues.

Neighbor and friend Renee Adams, a long time Del Ray resident, has created a year round “poetry fence“  for children and adults.

Born of her own love of poetry, her English major background, her years at the Library of Congress and the inclusion of poems in her now grown sons’ lunch boxes,  Renee offers poems to the entire community.

The Poetry Fence

The Poetry Fence

Changed weekly, the poems reflect the seasons, holidays or other interesting themes.

There are poetry boards for both children and adults and passers by are encouraged to leave their own poems for others to enjoy.

The long fence that supports the poetry boards is almost as interesting.

Studded with bits of colored glass and marbles, the fence allows a glimpse into a garden that is an advanced certified wildlife habitat, attracting birds, bees and monarch butterflies.

Want to see for yourself?  This wonderful outdoor space will be part of the 2014 Del Ray House & Garden Tour on Saturday, May 10 – poetry for the soul.

See you then,

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: A Show of Hands Closes in Del Ray

A Show of Hands, Del Ray’s premier outlet for local artists,  will close today after nine years of serving the community.

A Show of Hands

A Show of Hands

In a letter to friends and customers, owners Pat Miller and Maria Wasowski cited the serve winter and the Federal Government shutdown as contributing factors in their decision.

When Pat and Maria opened the store in 2005, their dream was to represent the diversity of local artists by providing them with a venue to showcase and sell their work.  All items were unique and handcrafted and the shop quickly become the place to get a one-of-a-kind gift or piece of jewelry.

A Show of Hands won the Heart of Del Ray award in 2009 and in 2010 Pat and Maria were named Small Business Philanthropist of the Year.

Ironically, even as Del Ray remains one of the hottest real estate markets in the Northern Virginia area, the loss of this special place is a reminder of how important it is to shop and support local, independently owned businesses.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods – Sunday in Del Ray

shoppingcart2

We know the where – East Monroe – we just don’t know the who, the what or the why – but we like the whimsy!

shoppingcart1

See you in the neighborhood,

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods – Baseball in Del Ray

I am a huge sports fan.  I like the stories, the statistics, the ups and downs, the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”.  In fact, as someone close to me once said “if it sweats and wears a number, he’ll watch it.

Courtesy of Mark Briscoe

Courtesy of Mark Briscoe

That being said, my lovely wife Virginia, early in our marriage asked me a terrifying question.  “If you could watch just one sport, what would it be?”

My answer was easy and I didn’t hesitate.

BASEBALL, always and forever, BASEBALL.

Imagine my delight then when I opened my email to read DIYDelRay’s latest post, It’s Baseball Season in Del Ray.  I couldn’t have written it any better myself so please enjoy.

And when you’re ready to start house hunting here in Del Ray, give me a call at 703.927.4554.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Del Ray Begins Historic Preservation Process

Historic preservation is a touchstone for many Virginia communities and our own neighborhood of Del Ray is no different.

The City of Alexandria is now beginning a process that would lead to greater recognition of Del Ray’s historic buildings, particularly its Art Deco and Streamline Moderne structures.

The term Streamline Modern was new to me but it refers to a late type of Art Deco design that emerged in the 1930s emphasizing curving forms, long horizontal lines, and some nautical elements.

Steamline

Steamline Modern at Bean Creative

Currently, Alexandria has two neighborhoods that are formally recognized by the Historic Preservation Office – Old Town Alexandria and the Parker-Gray District.

In fact, Old Town Alexandria, established in 1946,  is the third oldest historic district in the United States.  Parker-Gray is a relative new comer with recognition coming in 2010.

Neighborhood and business support is vital to this effort.  A kick off meeting will take place tonight at 7pm at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center.  For future meetings be sure and check the DRCA Web site.

What a great opportunity to get involved!

Michael

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: 2014 Spring Clean Up in Del Ray, March 22 and March 29

Residents of Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood have March 22 and March  29 to do their spring cleaning.  Spring Clean Up for Del Ray residents living east of Mt. Vernon is Saturday, March 22.  For residents west of Mt. Vernon and north of Braddock, Spring Clean Up is Saturday, March 29.

2014 Spring Clean Up Map

Spring Clean Up is sponsored by the City of Alexandria and is a great way to get rid of all those things that just don’t fit in a garbage can:

Appliances including stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, hot water heaters, freezers and dish washers will incur a $20 per item fee.

Not eligible for pick up:

Spring Clean Up is also a scavenger hunter’s dream.

We’ve picked up some great, large clay urns, an iron headboard, and garden tools.  My wife is still mourning the one that got away though – a metal dress makers form that would have been stunning in the garden.

Plan on roaming the streets later tonight, you never know what you’ll find.

Michael

 

 

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Alexandria Neighborhoods – Del Ray Takes Care of Its Own in the Snow

This morning, instead of Erin Go Braugh, it was Erin Go Snow for Alexandria’s Del Ray Neighborhood!  With the largest March snowfall since 1992, residents woke to at least 7.5 inches of snow.

But never fear, Del Ray is famous for taking care of its own in the snow.  A few years back I posted the picture below of what quite literally became a snow shoveling party on our block.

The Crew of 400 East Howell

The Crew of 400 East Howell

Neighbors conspired to make sure that everyone could get out and had safe sidewalks so we could get to the grocery and the shops on Mt. Vernon.  Our neighbor Freeman, who was always the ringleader in this endeavor, has left us for that greater home in the sky, but his memory endures as new neighbors pick up and pitch in.

A more formal program, Snow Buddies, also exists through Volunteer Alexandria where individuals can sign up to help house bound or elderly residents who might not have other resources.

As for our own driveway, we got an unexpected treat from one of those new neighbors.  Thank you Andrew!

cleansidewalkMarch2014

 

Del Ray is a very good place to live . . .

Michael

 

 

 

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City of Alexandria Property Assessments Continue to Increase

According to the City of Alexandria, real property assessments here are performing similarly to those in other close-in Northern Virginia markets.  On a year-to-year basis, residential values posted an increase of 4.80%, while commercial property values increased by 1.93%.

The total 2014 locally assessed real property tax base increased 3.56% from 2013.  This marks the fourth year in a row that assessed values have increased over two consecutive years of declining  values from 2009 to 2010.

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For Del Ray in particular, improving market conditions for homeowners are due to:

Want to know more about what is available in the Del Ray market?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554.

Michael

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Alexandria Neighborhoods – Gardening in Del Ray

Adrian Higgins is a long time Washington area gardening guru. He also writes a weekly column in the Washington Post’s Local Living section where each week he offers a “tip” to correspond to a year round schedule of garden and yard maintenance.

I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when I read Thursday’s “Tip of the Week” – especially after I looked out our backdoor:

“Last year’s growth of lirope or lily turf should be removed now before the season’s new leaves emerge. Hedge shears are the best tool for this job. The clippings can be added to the compost pile, but discard old leaves that have been damaged by de-icing salt.”

LiropeInSnowJPG

Personally I am going to wait until the snow is GONE and then pull out my hedge trimmer.  As for the damaged leaves, well, they just may end up in the compost too.

See you in the garden,

Michael

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Del Ray Pizzeria Wins 2014 Heart of Del Ray Award

 

Del Ray Pizzeria, at 2214 Mt Vernon, is the 2014 winner of the Heart of Del Ray award.  Sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association (DRBA), the award is a way to recognize members of the Del Ray business community.

 

While the award may be given by the DRBA, it is the citizens of Del Ray who do the voting.  Anyone is free to nominate a business but the list is eventually culled to 5 formal nominees. 

DRPizzerizaHeartofDelRay

The voting process then goes live via social media and a very active race to the finish ensues.  This year over 800 votes were cast with Del Ray Pizzeria taking home the prize and the right to wear their heart on their sleeve – or the window as the case may be.

 

Previous winners include A Show of Hands, the Greener Cleaner, and the Neighborhood Pharmacy.

See you in the neighborhood,

Michael

 

 

 

 

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