"There's no place like home. . . there's no place like home. . . there's no place like home." Home for The Belt Team is Vienna, Virginia. Please stop by frequently and share with us all the things about life in Vienna that make Vienna truly the best place to live.

Welcome to Vienna, Virginia

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vienna's Town Green

It's not a "Town Square", it's a "Town Green". And this spring & summer, it's the place to be. So be there or be square!

The Vienna Town Green was established in 2007 and has been a lovely addition to the landscape of "downtown Vienna". Just over 2 acres in size, you'll find it on Maple Avenue - right next to where the W&OD Trail crosses Route 123 - across the street from Whole Foods. The Green also backs up to the historic Freeman House and original Vienna Library (two more interesting sites in Vienna!)

The plaza sits right on Vienna's main thoroughfare and the highlight of the plaza is the fountains.
When the weather is warm, you'll see kids frolicking and even grownups dipping in a toe. (My dog likes it too!)

There's a lovely expanse of lawn that leads back from the fountains.

It's the perfect place for a family picnic after work or even a romantic date. And better yet, at the back of the lawn you'll find a small amphitheater.
This is the site of Vienna's "Concerts on the Green" series. And the concerts are FREE!

You'll find a huge variety of entertainment. There's something for everyone. So bring your blanket or chair, your picnic basket, your frisbee, your family & friends and enjoy! (And by the way, the Town of Vienna has a pilot project going on to try out free wi-fi at the Town Green. So bring your laptop and move your office outdoors this summer!)

Here's the Vienna "Summer on the Green" Concert Schedule:
(performances usually begin at 6:30PM)

May 14 - Bill Emerson & the Sweet Dixie Band
May 15 - Noon - JMHS Jazz Band
May 16 - US Navy Band Country Current
May 23 - Marshall Artz - Acoustic
May 21 - Splinters - Rock -
May 22 - Open Mic Night
June 4 - Alchemy - Acappella
June 6 - Cletus and Lori - Folk
June 11 - Annapolis Bluegrass
June 13- Kingsley Winter Band - Rock
June 18 - The Sunny Daze Band - Classic Rock to Motown
June 25 - Fat Chance - Rock
July 9 - Four Star Combo - Rockabilly and Honky Tonk
July 16 - Angela Hayes Quartet - Jazz/Vocals
June 20 - Randy Barrett - Mama Tried - Bluegrass
June 26 - Open Mic Night
June 27- Richard Walton Group
July 7 - Susan Savia - Singer/Guitarist
July 14 - Sarah Benett Swanner - Soulful Blues
July 21 - Doc Dikeman - Jazz
July 23 - US Navy Band - Cruisers - Rock
July 24 - Open Mic Night
July 11 - Blaskapelle Alte Kameraden
July 18 - The Tonics - Blues /Rock
July 25 - Vienna Community Band
July 30 - Craven Dogs - Rock
August 1 - Difficult Run Jazz Band
August 6 - US Navy Band Sea Chanters
August 8 - Dagmar and the Seductones – Roots Rock
August 13 - Elise Kress - Coleman’s Cross - Celtic
August 15 - Wayne Tympanick Quartet - Jazz/Dixieland
August 20 - US Navy Band – Commodores
August 21 - Open Mic Night
August 22 - Redstone - Classic Rock

We LOVE living in Vienna!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homes Selling Quickly In Vienna

In the past week, 40 homes in the Vienna Oakton area went under contract. Of those 40 homes, 20 sold in 10 days or less. WOW! Click here for a full Vienna Real Estate Update.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bazin's On Church

Last night we decided to take advantage of Bazin's suggestion to "Wine Down After Work".

Bazin's on Church is a fabulous upscale restaurant in Vienna. It's owned by Patrick & Julie Bazin. Patrick is former Executive Chef of the historic Occidental in Washington DC. It's a very inviting place - with soaring ceilings & expansive windows, gleaming wood & exposed brick and a contemporary look that manages to be warm & welcoming at the same time.

Bazin's has a very small bar (it seats maybe 10?) and if you visit the bar between 4:30 and 7:00 Tuesday to Thursday, you can try their wines-by-the-glass at half price. They have a very extensive list of wines by the glass. Most places have a chardonnay or two, a pinot grigio, maybe a merlot, a cab and a shiraz - but Bazin's offers 7 champagnes, 14 whites, 14 reds and 5 roses by the glass. (The full wine list is even more vast!) So if you're in a "rut" and always drink the same wine when you go out to dinner, it's a great way to try something new.

Last night's bartender was Chris. He's definitely an asset to Bazin's. With super friendly eyes and a low key, but still charming manner, he definitely made us feel welcome. And he was great about answering a million questions about the wines - both patient and knowledgeable. He doesn't just pour drinks, he's truly a professional bartender.

By about 7:30PM, the restaurant was full and there was a nice hum of families & friends catching up on their daily activities - maybe a few business diners, but mostly locals who appreciate having a fine dining restaurant so close to home. With all the wonderful dishes walking by the bar and the smells wafting temptingly through the air, we decided to have dinner at the bar too.

And all I can say is WOW. They do offer a special "Rush Hour Dinner" from 5-6Pm on Tuesday to Thursday (3 courses for $26.95), but we ordered off the regular dinner menu. Well, kind of. We started out with the baked fontina with toasted bread, garlic & thyme as an appetizer. It reminded me of being in Switzerland or Canada and ordering raclette, but with different flavors. Yum! And then we moved on to dinner. My husband ordered the veal medallions with bacon & a red wine sauce. And the risotto on the side was "to die for". I have no idea what it was, but it tasted like mac n cheese - except better because it was risotto .

I, on the other hand texted my girlfriend who comes to Bazin's a lot and asked her what to get. (Her father taught Emeril Lagasse how to cook in culinary school, so unlike me, she is a real "foodie"). Among other things (the miso sea bass and blue cheese flatiron steak), she recommended the lump crabmeat salad with avocado, cucumber, microgreens and a passion fruit vinaigrette. Well, that sounded great, but it's not on the dinner menu. She told me to ask if they would do it (it's on the lunch menu). So I did - - - and of course they said yes. And I'm so glad they did. You might think that all lump crabmeat salads are the same - but NOT this one. Oh yeah baby!

After dinner, we finished with a warm chocolate tart, chocolate sorbet & chantilly creme. Plus some coffee & more chantilly creme. And then it was time to roll on home . . . sated & satisfied.

And only 1 mile to the house!


More posts about restaurants in Vienna: Travel Around The World Right Here in Vienna

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Dog's Life

There used to be a tourism campaign in Virginia that had the slogan "Virginia Is For Lovers". Well, if Vienna had a slogan, maybe it would be "Vienna Is For Dogs". Ok, wait - let's re-think that!

At any rate, Vienna is a great place for dogs (and their owners) to live. So this week we have a guest blogger named Casey. Hope you enjoy seeing Vienna from Casey's point of view!



Hi! My name is Casey. I'm an 8 1/2 year old spaniel mix (basically a mutt). I've got a pretty sweet life, living in the heart of Vienna with my Mom. There's so much great stuff to do here! I thought I'd give you a peek into a day in my life:

9AM - Mom and I like to sleep in on the weekends, so we had a nice lazy morning. Got up and went for a walk around the block.

11AM - WooHoo! Mom just grabbed her car keys and my leash......does this mean we're going to the park? Huh? Huh? Can we Mom please???

11:04AM - Are we there yet?? Are we there yet?? Can't wait!!

11:05AM - Yippee! I love the Vienna Dog Park - it's an awesome spot to run and play, and make some new friends. As we're here today, more and more dogs show up. This is definitely the place to see and be seen if you're a Vienna dog!

Love hanging out with the big dogs and the little ones. And they even have a great water station for us to take a breather if we get tired out from all the running around.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the things to climb on, but some of the other dogs definitely enjoy them!

12PM - Guess I got a little dirty rolling around at the dog park. Plus I've got some other dogs' slobber on me. Time to hit the Vienna Pet Spaw!

I love coming here - it's like Cheers - where everyone knows your name. The owners always remember who I am when I stop by! You can tell they really love dogs. One of the owners, Carol, mentioned that she grew up in Vienna, and instead of babysitting she would pet-sit for neighborhood families instead. She owns the Spaw with her brother, Brian.

Even though I'm a little reluctant to get a "pawdicure", Carol is super gentle and manages to get all my nails trimmed and it didn't hurt a bit!

Mom gave me a bath - can't say I'm a huge fan of that either, but I do smell really good now! I like trying to lick the water when she's hosing me down to wash out the shampoo. The first time I came here, it was actually free, since I was a shelter dog. I'm like my Mom -I love free stuff!!

12:45PM- Time for a stroll along Church Street. Wow -it's such a gorgeous day outside! We wanted to grab lunch and sit outside at Sushi Yoshi, but too many other people had the same idea and all the outdoor tables were taken.

12:50 - Stopped at Great Harvest Bread Company - there are some really good smells coming from those open doors!

Mom stops in to grab a treat for me (and herself!). Not only do they sell super yummy bread (my Mom loves it), they also have dog treats! The owner sees me hanging around outside the door, and offers to bring me a bowl of water. What a great guy! As he said, "Dogs are people too!"

1:00 - Home to relax and have some lunch. And time for a nap.

1:30 - Ruff! Ruff! Ruff! For some reason I am compelled to bark like crazy whenever I see the mailman outside my door!

4:00 - Time to take my Mom for a walk.

Luckily, we live about a block and a half from the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail. There's great scenery, plenty of stuff to sniff along the route, and always new friends to meet along the way. I made several new friends out on the trail today.

4:45 - Home for nap #2

6:00 - Dinner

10:00 - One more walk before bedtime

11:00 - Bedtime. I'm pooped, but this sure was a fun day! Got to enjoy all that Vienna had to offer AND have some extra bonding time with my Mommy as a bonus. Next time maybe Mom will take me to Neilsen's Frozen Custard Store or Church Street Cellars!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Want To Go On A Safari?

Well, who wouldn't?!

My guess is that you don't have the time or the money to go to Africa this week, so instead we thought we'd tell you about a safari opportunity a little closer to home.

On Friday, April 16 at 7 pm Holy Comforter Episcopal Preschool will hold its annual auction and dinner at Westwood Country Club. The theme this year is "Safari Adventure". Along with a live auction, there will be a silent auction, games and raffle items.

Raffles include a Wine Lovers Basket, a $500 gift certificate to the Inn at Little Washington (yum!), an IPOD, and a Sony 40" flat screen HDTV. Some of the auction items include spa gift certificates, use of a beach house in Surf City, NJ, a golf outing at Trump National, babysitting & pet sitting services and Nationals tickets.

Tickets are available at the door ($35) or you can contact Holy Comforter Preschool at (703)938-3704. You'll only need to bring yourself, your friends, your checkbook for your auction items and cash for the bar.

Wow - a Safari Adventure right here in Vienna! Just think of all the wild animals you might meet! And even if you spend money, you'll really be saving since you won't have to pay for airfare!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Come and See!

Two fabulous homes will be held open in Vienna this weekend.

Stop in and see 10240 Dunfries Road :

and 201 Charles Street SE.

Vienna Open House Info

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Vienna - Tree City USA

In 1972, our family moved from California to Virginia. We had no idea how beautiful we would find Vienna! At first, we missed living near the ocean, where the climate didn't change much year-round. But over the years we have fallen in love with living in a place with four definite seasons.

In case you didn't know, Vienna has been named a "Tree City USA Community" for at least 9 years by the Arbor Day Foundation. I've seen the "Tree City" signs around town and always wondered what that was all about, so I finally looked it up.

To qualify as a Tree City USA Community, a town or city must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. You must (1) have a "tree board or department", (2) have a "tree care ordinance", (3) have a "community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2/per capita and (4) have an "Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation ".

Well - who knew?! I didn't know Vienna had a tree department, much less a forestry program. Did you? We even have an Arbor Day Tree Planting event scheduled for 6PM at the Vienna Community Center. Cool!

What I DID know is that Vienna has incredibly beautiful trees and lots of them. They give our town beauty & personality. Here are some of our favorite "tree shots" that we've taken around town at different times of the year:

Just another reason why we love living in Vienna!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Have You Met The Ghosts of Vienna?

I recently came across this quote from Dexter Perkins:

"History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity."

One of Vienna's many draws is that it is a town rich in history. And the quote above made me think about a stroll I took this weekend with my family around Vienna. As we wandered around town, enjoying the spring weather (finally!) and admiring the natural beauty, we came across a number of historical markers.

This one marks the entrance to Carter's Glen subdivision in Vienna (not far from the intersection of Nutley Street & Courthouse Road).

The marker marks the spot where the First Baptist Church of Vienna held baptismal services in the early-mid 1900's. The property was the homestead of Charles Carter. Charles Carter was the grandson of a freed slave.

We found another historic marker in Vienna at the corner of Tapawingo Road and Frederick Street SW.

This marker marks the graves of Colonel Broadwater and his son & grandson. Captain Broadwater (the Colonel's father) served as the first Sheriff of Fairfax County. Colonel Broadwater was also a Sheriff and Justice of Fairfax County and served with George Washington as a Burgess to the Convention at Williamsburg in 1774.

And we came across a third marker on Lynn Street SW.

There were two gravestones at this site - one for "James Hunter, M.D." and the other for "Sara A. Wife of Dr. James Hunter". Dr. Hunter's marker said he was "esteemed for those virtues which most adorn the character of man" and that "An honest man is the noblest work of God." Sounds like a guy I'd like to know!

One of these days, I'll get around to contacting Historic Vienna Inc or the Town of Vienna and finding out more about the people that these markers commemorate. But in the meantime, I'll be wondering about Vienna's ghosts . . . Dr James Hunter, Colonel Broadwater and Charles Carter.

Those would be great names for a game of Clue - wouldn't they?!

(Interested in other blog posts about Vienna history? Check out "How Old Is Vienna?" and "Happy Anniversary Vienna")

(P.S. - You might also enjoy the "Vienna Remembers World War II Exhibit" at the Freeman House Store & Museum. The exhibit has been extended through the end of April and is open Wed-Sat (Noon to 4PM) and Sundays (1PM to 5PM). )

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baseball At Waters Field

Growing up in Vienna for me meant being a baseball fan. The nights are too numerous to count when Dad would say "Honey, I think we need some milk".

So we'd hop in the car, head down to Vienna and look for the lights at Waters Field. Because if the lights were on, that meant a baseball game was being played. You never knew who might be playing - sometimes it was Babe Ruth, sometimes American Legion, sometimes just a pick-up game.

We'd catch a few innings . . .

And then it would be time to run over to High's, grab some milk, and head home.

Ah - those were the days!

If you like baseball (and who doesn't!), then the place to be tomorrow is Waters Field in Vienna! Three great games - three great match-ups - in the DC Sports Fan Private School Baseball Challenge. Here's who you'll see playing:

  • Noon: Paul VI vs. St. Stephen's/St. Agnes
  • 3:00 PM: St. Stephen's/St. Agnes vs. Flint Hill, 3:00
  • 6:00 PM: Paul VI vs. Flint Hill, 6:00

Each team playing won their respective conference last year (WCAC, MA & IAC) - so it will be a great day for baseball in Vienna!

(And if you need an excuse to get out of the house, just tell your spouse you need to pick up some milk. Highs is no longer there, but Safeway is just down the street!)

Other articles about baseball in Vienna: Madison Warhawk Baseball