Arlington Arlington County is bustling with activities, events and places to socialize.
Roberta Banning, communications and public relations coordinator for Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said there are plenty of things to do in Arlington in the upcoming months.
Banning said the parks and recreation is currently getting ready for the Festival Latina Americano, to name one event.
“This is our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month in Arlington,” Banning said. “It will take place on Sept. 30. There will be dancers and musicians representing a variety of different countries. It will be great for the families.”
There is no charge to attend this event either.
“It is a free event at Kenmore Middle School,” she said.
Another upcoming, free event in Arlington is Family Fun Day in the Park, which Banning said will be at Bluemont Park on Sept. 22 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m.
“It will be a great way to bring the family out,” Banning said. “There will be family and kids’ games. We are also encouraging people to ride their bikes or walk because Bluemont is a bike friendly park.”
She added that attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch and there will be grills at the park for people to cook their food.
There are also ongoing activities for Arlington’s residents, both old and new, according to Banning.
“On Aug. 15, fall registration began for classes starting Sept. 17,” Banning said. “There are classes throughout the county and they are a great way for newcomers to get involved, active and to meet new people.”
All of parks and recreation events are open to those new to the community as well as those who have lived here for years.
The online class catalog are on the Department of Parks and Recreation’s website, www.arlingtonva.us.
Maria Hurley, who has lived in Arlington with her husband Marvin since 1966, said she loves living in Arlington for several reasons.
“The traffic isn’t as bad as in other parts of Northern Virginia,” she said. “I love the convenience and how close it is to D.C. I love not being completely in suburbia, too. There are also so many nice restaurants in the Wilson Corridor.”
As a former real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, Hurley said Arlington is a great place to own property.
“Properties don’t lose their value like in other counties because of location, location, location,” Hurley said.
Marvin Hurley said he has also loved living in Arlington throughout the decades.
“[I like] living in Arlington because I am able to walk to so many places close by. I can walk to the Ballston metro. I am so close to Clarendon, the Courthouse and Rosslyn,” he said.
He said he has seen Arlington transform since 1960s.
“It has become more cosmopolitan,” Hurley said. “There are all types of ethnic restaurants and it had changed because there are so many interesting and diverse people now.”
In addition to the diversity, Maria Hurley said Arlington’s population now is much younger than it was in earlier decades.
“It is partly because of the construction of several new apartment buildings,” she said. “Because of this, there has been a rise in the number of restaurants and bars. Years ago, Arlington was more family-oriented. Now it’s too expensive for families to own property.”
Arlington resident Michelle DeBuck is one of those 20-something year olds who rents a unit in a Courthouse high-rise apartment. She said she also loves living in Arlington.
“Everyone around me is young and friendly and it is so easy to get into D.C.,” DeBuck said. “It is also really safe.”
She agreed with the Hurleys that there are plenty of options for diving into the social scene.
“If you live in Arlington, you can walk to dozens of great restaurants and bars,” DeBuck said.
She added that the bars and restaurants surrounding the Clarendon metro station are her favorite establishments in the area.
The only downside to living in Arlington, DeBuck said, is that it is a rather expensive place to live.
In addition to a rise in a younger population, Marvin Hurley said Arlington County has seen a transformation in public school buildings through reconstruction and modernization.
“Washington and Lee, Yorktown and Williamsburg High School are beautiful buildings now,” Hurley said.
Maria Hurley added that Virginia Hospital Center, the former Arlington Hospital, “is now a modern facility with the most advanced technologies and equipment and wonderful single rooms for patients.”
Both Marvin and Maria Hurley said they are never going to move away from Arlington.
“We have access to everything,” Marvin Hurley said. “For both the elderly and for young adults, Arlington is an exciting place to live.”