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Urban outdoors: Ballston to Clarendon hike

Urban hike from Ballston to Clarendon
Urban hike from Ballston to Clarendon
James George

It is hot with a little breeze today. The goal is to have a 3.5 mile round trip hike from Ballston to Clarendon. Clarendon is a great stop to refresh such as having strawberry lemonade at Le Pain Quotidien. One idea is to try to make as much of trip in the shade as is possible. That may require making a more circuitous route, but shade is better than too much sun.

St. George's Church in Ballston
St. George's

Along the way, there is always interesting architecture to see. Lots of new buildings are in progress. Some are only a couple of years old, while old churches have been around much longer.

Points of interest:

  • St. George’s Episcopal Church is one example of quaint architecture.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has its headquarters here in a sprawling campus.
  • George Mason Law School has an impressive new building.
  • There are some impressive swamp mallows growing where one might least expect them.
  • O’Sullivan's Irish Pub is already sporting the American flags.
  • Ballston Metro looks smart. If I didn’t think that I could walk the return, I might hop onto the train.
  • Eventide looks fresh with a building facelift a couple of years ago. There is rooftop service there.
  • The new park area next to the Clarendon Metro is functional for farmer’s market activity.
  • The Clarendon Ballroom is still a hot club for dancing.
  • One thing that is disappointing is the Arlington War Memorial. It looks like a dog pile.

“St. George’s had its beginnings in 1908, when Arlington was a collection of villages with a total population of only 8,000. First-generation immigrants from the United Kingdom, who lived in the villages of Ballston and Clarendon and worked as servants, tradesmen, and laborers, petitioned The Rev. William E. Callender, the Rector of The Falls Church, for clergy leadership. The first service of this new mission was held in 1909 on the porch of a private home; the first building was erected in 1911, and the first service was held on Christmas Eve, 1911. The congregation built a parish hall in 1916, but by 1933 increasing Sunday school attendance necessitated its replacement with the present building.

Welcome to St. George’s Church in Arlington, an inclusive, caring and multigenerational congregation. St. George’s bridges urban and suburban: our church is surrounded by high-rise offices and condominiums, but neighborhoods of single-family houses are only two blocks away. We are located at the Virginia Square Metro, station which connects us to the rest of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. This richness makes us a congregation from all walks and stages of life and we aspire to more fully reflect the diversity of our vibrant setting.”

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