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In Northern Virginia “Two Marines Moving” Can Take You Where You Need to Go

Whether you are buying or selling a house, the odds on needing a mover are pretty high. And why not? Leave the heavy lifting to someone else.

We love the story behind Two Marines Moving, a Virginia based company born of hard work and hard earned business lessons.

Yes, these are real Marines

Yes, these are real Marines

Consider these three takeaways from founder and president (and former Iraq War infantryman) Nick Baucom in a recent Washington Post article.

“Perseverance. I had a business that did not succeed. It was maddening, frightening and depressing. I didn’t let any of that stop me. I learned from my lessons, haven’t repeated them, and now I have a company that made Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest-growing companies in America.

Leverage. I could grow Two Marines Moving at an even faster pace than our current trajectory by taking on debt or investors, but doing so would invite a host of new problems. We grow organically, reinvesting our profits in the company.

Proficiency. I didn’t know how to do every job of everyone I employed with the construction business. I didn’t know the details of carpentry, plumbing, etc. Now, I know how to do every job that is done at Two Marines Moving . . . mover, driver, sales consultant, dispatcher, recruiter, marketer.”

moving-truck1

Two Marines Moving can take you anyplace in the Metro area and many places on the East Coast.  The only caveat?  The move must start in the DC area.

Prices are on the high end of movers but Baucom pays a living wage, another tribute to the integrity with which he runs his company.

Not quite ready to move yet but need to store furniture?  Two Marines Moving can help you with that too in a newly launched phase of the business.

We aren’t planning to move anytime soon but when we do, it’s a sure bet we’ll call Two Marines Moving.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

 

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Metroway is Up and Running on Rt. 1 in Del Ray and Potomac Yard

If you regularly travel the Rt 1 corridor from Alexandria to Washington, you have been an eyewitness to the on-going construction saga that is the new Metroway  or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

And if motoring our way in not part of your routine, well, you’re in for a big surprise.

Buses Only

Buses Only

 

Starting yesterday, August 24, new Metro buses now occupy the center lane of Rt 1 between East Glebe and foot of the Monroe Street bridge.

The remainder of the route, which circulates between the Braddock Rd and Crystal City Metro stations, will take place in mixed traffic.

 

Phase 11 plans (Spring 2015) include connecting the Pentagon City Metro, along with new transit stops on Fayette and at 33rd Street and Crystal Drive.  Ultimately the long awaited Potomac Yard Metro will join the circuit too.

As much as we have complained about the construction, we are pleasantly pleased with the final product.

Lots of seating and protection from the elements

Lots of seating and protection from the elements

 

The stations are sleek, the pathways well marked and the landscaping, while years from maturity, is well done and thoughtful.

Landscaping

Landscaping

The Washington Post, in a long article, quoted Eric Randall, a senior transportation engineer at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments as saying: ““A lot of people will be looking to this project as a test concept to find out what lessons they can learn from it.

This is the first BRT in the region. It offers us an opportunity to apply some concepts for the first time — things like off-board fare collection, a design of bus stops with higher platforms and custom design shelters, a new branding and frequency of buses.”

An unexpected, but much welcomed outcome, is the relative ease with which one can now cross Rt 1 on foot or bike.  We love using Potomac Yard Park for long walks but had taken to actually driving our car to Potomac Avenue rather than negotiating the 12 lanes of oncoming traffic – a scary, scary proposition.

The bus lanes have changed that, creating both a buffer and midway stopping point.  Pedestrians and bikers will still need to be cautious but we now walk to Potomac Ave on a daily basis.

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The impact of Metroway on real estate in Del Ray and Potomac Yard will probably not be felt immediately the long view is quite optimistic.

As the commercial sites (like the new 70,000 Giant) begin to take shape in Potomac Yard the Metroway is a bonus for hourly wage workers who rely heavily on public transportation.

We’re always excited about ‘what’s next’ for Del Ray and  all of Alexandria and this is right at the top of the list.

Want to know more about this great area?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s talk.

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity 

 

 

 

 

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In Alexandria, Del Ray’s First Urban Garden Tour

Last  Saturday we had the distinct pleasure of being part of Del Ray’s First Urban Garden Tour. 

Community Gardens at GW Middle School

Community Gardens at GW Middle School

Organized by Katie Briscoe and Leslie Duss, the creative geniuses behind DIY Del Ray the tour was a way to showcase how the ‘farm to table’ movement can happen in your own back – or – front yard.

 

Tour de Del Ray

Tour de Del Ray

 

We started at the GW Middle School Community Gardens and then moved on to five private gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

Bikes were recommended as the preferred method of transportation and it was fun to watch as the mini “Tour de France” spread out through the streets of Del Ray.

 

 

 

Bees!

Bees!

 

We saw functioning bee hives, beautiful strawberry patches, passion fruit vines, heavily laden fig trees, asparagus beds, corn, potato/sweet potato beds, towers of beans, staircases laden with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and well, the list goes on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our favorite  stops was a shared open garden on Duncan.  Here, three homeowners have turned their yards into a common space that provides food for their families all year long.  They have been so successful, they are looking to expand their efforts with efforts with a local CMA – you donate the land and they’ll do the work!

Carrots

Carrots

Corn

Corn

Click here to read more about their plans and what opportunity there might be for you to get involved.

It was a great day to be out and about but what I really loved is that I felt like we were seeing the Del Ray we all know and love.

Imperfect, sometimes messy, always interesting.

Can’t wait for next year!

Virginia

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Scriptorium in Old Town is Closing After 38 Years

We are sad to say that one of our favorite Old Town stores, Scriptorium, is closing at the end of August after 38 years in the same location.

X-Store-Sign

As owner Judy Shavin, a model of manners and decorum noted, “It’s just time.”

Judy Shavin

Judy Shavin

 

In a missive sent to all her customers,  Judy noted that she will entertain serious buyers  with the hope that someone would “carry on the traditions of proper etiquette, good taste and personalized service.”

But, if you are interested, there is no time to waste!

In stock merchandise is already half price and fixtures and props will go on sale August 19.

Thank you Judy for being an oasis of civility in a world that is often sadly lacking.  We’ll miss you!

The very best on your new Florida adventure

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Del Ray’s Garden Contessa is Closing on Mt. Vernon Avenue

The Garden Contessa on Del Ray’s Mt. Vernon Avenue is closing after some 6 years in business.

IMG_0456

According to the website, vintage art, mirrors and lamps will now be sold on ETSY under the name ContessasHome, launching in October 2014.

From now until at least the end of August most items are on sale. Spend $50 and receive 35% off with cash or check. Spend $50 and take 30# off with credit cards.

It's a Sale!

It’s a Sale!

Just an FYI – we’ve heard the Contessa really does not like those pesky credit cards so be prepared . . .

Sorry to lose any business on Mt. Vernon Avenue but we don’t think this well located building (next to the Post Office at the corner of East Howell and Mt.Vernon) – with a great alley space – will be vacant long.

Want to know more about commercial locations in Del Ray? Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s take a tour.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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Frolick Dogs Canine Sports Club is Alexandria’s Newest Dog Business

 

Welcome to Frolick Dogs Canine Sports Club, Alexandria’s newest dog centric business.

Kevin Gilliam

Kevin Gilliam

Just about a year and a half ago, Kevin Gilliam was at the Royal restaurant having lunch with some of his colleagues from the Old Town School for Dogs.

He casually mentioned that he had an idea for a new dog business, got an enthusiastic response and well, the rest is history,

Located just off Duke Street on Colvin Road, Frolick is literally a sports club  for dogs with treadmills, balance balls, cross-training and an agility course of hurdles, tunnels and balance beams.  The 6000 sq ft facility also includes self-washing stations and an upstairs day care/boarding area.

Double Hurdles

Double Hurdles

Kevin, along with his wife Kim, has a strong background in dog training. He is committed to providing the best experience possible and strengthening the bond between pet and owner.

A looong tunnel

A looong tunnel

Because we took Molly Louise, our rotten spoiled poodle, with us, we got to see first hand just how Kevin relates to animals, especially as he coached us on how to work the hurdles and tunnels.  Once she got over her ‘first time jitters’, Molly was jumping, walking the balance beam and zipping through that bright yellow tunnel like she had been doing it all her life.  What fun!

For us Frolick is going to be a great go to spot on horridly hot summer days or the frigid, dark days of winter when we just can’t bear to play outside.  The private agility classes are another thing we’re looking forward to trying.

Jumping rings

Jumping rings

And for my clients?  What a great new service to recommend, especially for apartment dwellers and condominium owners.

Day and monthly passes are available for both the gym and boarding.   Boarding dogs have automatic use of the gym and are supervised by Kevin and Kim.  Owners who  want only to use the gym must accompany their dogs.

The Gilliam’s also want to educate owners and plan a series of wellness seminars throughout the year.  Topics will include food choices, early detection of breed specific ailments, first aid vs a trip to the vet, holistic treatments, etc.

Just as we were leaving, and almost as an aside, I noted that the building had an attached garage.  Kevin said that when looking for space, a garage was non-negotiable. Why?  Because he wants to serve disabled veterans (a topic near and dear to my heart) and their companion dogs who may need special accommodations  getting in or out of their vehicles.

Frolick Dogs

Frolick Dogs

Establishing a foundation for retired Alexandria police dogs is another long-term goal.

Any way you look at it Kevin and Kim are bringing a great new service to Alexandria’s dog loving community and we look forward to supporting them.

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alexandria Neighborhoods: Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria in Zip Codes 22301 and 22314

Want to go house hunting before the big rains move in today? Check out these open houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria for zip codes 22301 and 22304.

openhousestarburst

Click here for more information:

http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-246834652-144

Michael

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Public Transportation Gets a Boost with Metroway on Alexandria’s Rt 1 Corridor

Public transportation on Alexandria’s Rt 1 corridor will get a boost when the Metroway opens in mid-August.

Also known as bus rapid transit, the Metroway represents a new way of thinking about public transportation.

Out the front door and on to the bus

Out the front door and on to the bus

The service will use bus-only lanes along a five-mile stretch between Crystal City in Arlington, Potomac Yard and Alexandria.

The buses will be frequent and the stops will offer shelters, benches, lighting and landscaping.

Shelter - Under Construction

Shelter – Under Construction

Crosswalks

Crosswalks

Early Landscaping

Early Landscaping

The first section of the Metroway to open is on Rt. 1 at Swann Avenue to just south of East Howell.

Metroway

Metroway

At that point, the buses will detour into regular traffic lanes to cross the Monroe Street bridge and make their way to the Braddock Rd Metro.

Ultimately the completed route will incorporate bus-only lanes on Potomac Avenue and Crystal Drive as well as other sections of Rt. 1.

It’s easy to be skeptical about this project, particularly if, like us, you live in Del Ray just blocks from the construction.  But, we’re eager to see what happens once the system is up and rolling.

One thing we have noticed – the bus lanes provide a nice buffer against 8 lanes of traffic when trying to cross Rt. 1 as a pedestrian or biker.  And given the popularity of Potomac Yard Park that’s no small matter.

 

Michael

Real Estate with Integrity

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A Tomato Plant Grows in Del Ray

This volunteer tomato plant is one of several that have sprung up in the garden this summer – the result of spreading ‘homemade’ compost that ‘cooked’ over the winter.

 

Volunteer Tomato

Volunteer Tomato

There are a few blossoms and two or three teensy tiny green tomatoes so, for the forseeable future I’ll still be getting my tomatoes at the Del Ray Farmers Market.

See you there on Saturday!

Michael

PS – In the interest of full disclosure  the ‘tomato man’ is no longer at the Farmer’s Market but almost every vendor has a beautiful selection of these summer beauties.

 

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Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria in Zip Codes 22301 and 22414 for July 20

It’s a big weekend for Open Houses in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town Alexandria (zip codes 22301 and 22314) with some 60 houses available to see.  And just over 11 of those are in the million dollar range!

openhousestarburst

Click here to see what’s available zip codes 22301 and 22314 :
http://mrislistings.mris.com/DE.asp?k=1211710XXR2T&p=DE-245958373-591.

Want to know more about these listings?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and I’ll give you all the details.

Michael

 

Real Estate with Integrity

 

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