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You got some chuckles, I guess, with your jibe at the Post for lazily returning again and again to gape at the wonders of Clarendon (“A Clarendon for Everyone,” 5/25).

But Arlington County planners did indeed achieve something there that has seemed valuable to all those Post reporters and to many regular visitors to Clarendon. All along Arlington’s Metro corridor, the county permitted the high density houses and shops that belong (ecologically and economically speaking) near Metro stations, that make fuller use of that gazillion-dollar investment and that make it feasible for residents to get most places without a car. And in Clarendon the county has largely contained the density within a narrow strip of a few blocks, while avoiding the aesthetic heartburn of its earlier mistakes in Rosslyn and Crystal City.

Sure, there’s a high density of hipness and chain commerce there, too, but that’s way outta control across this country. It’s also not exclusive to 2007. When I was a kid in Arlington, the commerce of Clarendon was totally dominated by three big chain stores: JC Penney, G.C. Murphy, and Sears.

I hope Tysons Corner will turn out as well, but I doubt it. Totally blind politicians are insisting on putting the Metro line on a bridge above what may become the largest city in Virginia, undercutting the chance that it will morph into an attractive urban area that doesn’t depend entirely on cars. It took 70 years for Manhattan to tire of the blight of its “el” lines and rip them out, but it won’t take that long for Virginians to realize what pennywise fools were running this place early in the 21st century.

Steve Behrens


In the May 11 Show & Tell, columnist Jessica Gould misstated the number of Jazz Band Masterclasses Jeff Antoniuk teaches at the National Music Center. The article says Antoniuk teaches two sessions a week. In fact, he teaches two classes some weeks and one class others, totaling six classes a month, he says.