I began writing this post with complaints about the traffic in Tysons caused by the new Metro line construction, the back ups on Rt 66 and the sadness of seeing more acres of trees plowed down to make yet another drug store/ bank shopping complex. I am thinking often of the lack of beauty that is surrounding my daughter and me as we drive and walk around the greater Vienna area.
But that’s no way to spread hope and cheer, especially in this season!
So instead, I will focus on some things in the community that are giving me hope that our small town Vienna will maintain some character amidst urban sprawl and relentless development in 2011.
First up is Culinaria Cooking School. Drew actually discovered this a few weeks ago, but recently I wandered in while running errands just for a look. It’s right off Maple Avenue, on Pleasant Street – behind that lone Verizon store. What a treat this place is, all puns aside. Culinaria opened on November 1. It has the kind of kitchen you know you want – marble (granite?) counter tops, large range stove, warm wood colors. Two kitchens, in fact – one for demonstrations and one for cooking. Don’t worry – the demonstration kitchen allows for copious eating and drinking.
I met CEO and Vienna-enthusiast Stephen Sands, who eagerly told me about his new treasure. Culinaria’s course catalogue is chock full of classes that include wine pairings, regional cuisine, ladies lunch out, couples nights, baking, and even kids classes and camps. It’s very impressive considering the place just opened up. So who wants to meet me there for some cooking and test this place out?
Next up is Sweet Leaf Cafe. It will be on the corner of Glyndon Street and Maple Avenue (not open yet). Sweet Leaf seems to be a chain, but now it will be our chain! It boasts sandwiches, salads, ice cream and frozen yogurt, cupcakes, and coffee and drinks. When it rains it pours; Vienna has recently been inundated with a number of ice cream/ fro-yo places, and has a recently-opened cupcake place and coffee shop. Well, now we have choice. How nice for us.
A little off topic, but hopeful nonetheless, if you’re interested in a mini-excursion, I just discovered Northside Social Coffee & Wine near the Clarendon Metro stop. It’s a funky coffee shop that’s filled with a mix of patrons who are working on laptops, catching up with friends or getting out of the house with newborn babies. I had a delicious soup and sandwich and felt hip sitting in the large yet cozy space. The place has live music on Sundays and a wine maker dinner series.
Finally, I hope the new year brings more creativity to my household. I keep seeing crafts and activities for kids age one and up – that will be Bean this year! But I just saw these amazing pictures of one mom’s vision of how to have fun with her infant. You really should check out her blog – she’s asked not to copy her pictures in blogs, and I’m respecting that. The mom is Finnish and the blog is her “maternity leave hobby” – while her baby is taking her nap, she tries to imagine her dream and capture it.
What about your community gives you hope for the new year?