Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fundraiser for Park View United Neighborhood Coalition tonight at DC Reynolds

If you want to help out the Park View UNC, an active local neighborhood group, all you have to do is have a drink at DC Reynolds! Sounds easy to me. Here are the details:
REMINDER! Join the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition TONIGHT at DC Reynolds for our 3rd annual Buy One - Give One Happy Hour Fundraiser. 
You can help the UNC, your local non-profit civic association, continue to work to improve our neighborhood, simply by coming out and having a drink with your friends and neighbors. All you have to do is:

1. Come to DC Reynolds (3628 Georgia Avenue NW)
2. Buy a drink from one of their friendly bartenders
3. The bartender will give you a receipt good for a 2nd drink. DON"T USE IT.
4. Drop your receipt in the jars provided on the bar. The UNC receives the value of your drink ticket!

Hope to see many of you there!
 The group hosts block parties, works with the police, organizes cleanups and a lot more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mulebone restaurant at 14th and V converts to coworking space during the day

This is pretty cool: Mulebone, the newish restaurant that replaced Eatonville at 14th and V, is now operating as a coworking space during the day called Share Space DC. The spot, owned by the Busboys and Poets folks, shifted its concept a bit and changed names about a year ago and now includes a vintage store. Share Space DC started operating last month.

Unlike some coworking spaces, there isn't a membership fee, they serve food from an all-day brunch menu, $3 unlimited refills of coffee, and they serve alcohol at the bar. There are also private meeting rooms available for a fee. And since it's a restaurant, you'll be sitting at the tables. (It's a pretty nice space, I might add.)

Clever idea -- why let a restaurant sit mostly empty during the day when you could use it for something that's in demand? I plan to check it out sometime. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Actor, TV host Nick Cannon enrolls at Howard U.

A photo posted by Nick Cannon (@nickcannon) on

Wow! Howard U. has a new famous student, as Nick Cannon just announced he has enrolled at the university, part of the class of 2020. Cannon is a singer, rapper, actor and TV host, and also was married to Mariah Carey for 6 years.

Cannon currently hosts America's Got Talent on NBC and also acted in shows on Nickelodeon and MTV like All That, Wild'n Out and the Nick Cannon Show, starred in movies like Drumline and had a few hit songs.

I wonder if Cannon has a place in the area? Maybe he lives in Columbia Heights? Or could just commute from Los Angeles, where America's Got Talent is filmed.

Other famous folks have attended or graduated from Howard, such as Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Ossie Davis, Marlon Wayans, Toni Morrison, Thurgood Marshall and a lot more.

He also extends a long line of famous folks to visit our area -- all of the Obamas, Hope Solo, Hannibal Burress (who performed at Wonderland!), Drake at Z-Burger, Questlove of the Roots, and even Fidel Castro -- plus a lot more.

Hat tip to DCist for letting me know about this.

Marshall's selling $8 RGIII Redskins jerseys, other players at a discount too

If you like the Redskins, or are an ironic person, get yourself to Marshall's in DCUSA: there's a whole rack of Robert Griffin III jerseys for $8 (or $10 for XL and above) -- presumably ones that didn't sell after RGIII went to the Browns.

They're actual, name brand jerseys too, not t-shirts, and when I was there they had white, red and the alternative maroon jerseys.

They also have some other players like Pierre Garcon, but those are more expensive, around $40 -- which is still a lot cheaper than regular prices. The rack had "shirseys", the t-shirts that look like jerseys, and other related Redskins paraphernalia as well. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pellet gun shootings from building at Columbia and Irving?

This is crazy: a resident emailed me asking if anyone else had heard about shootings from a pellet gun from the three-story building on the northeast corner of 14th and Columbia Irving.
My husband and I were walking past that building Friday evening when my husband was hit in the side. It came from a dark window, partially open on the bottom floor -- the second set of windows from the right. No police around (they seemed to have been chasing someone else down near Harvard Street at the time), so we didn't report it.

Then this morning (Saturday), I got hit -- same thing, same window. Plenty of people around, but neither time did I see anyone else get hit. I went looking for a policeman, but there were none to be found, so I didn't report it.

Just wondering if you've heard or seen anything else about this. The pellets don't hurt, but the person could hit someone in the eye or hit a child.
A crazy and scary situation. I hadn't heard of anything similar but figured I'd post it here in case someone else had. I also advised the reader to report this to the police, which they agreed to do.

At any neighborhood meeting, the police have always strongly recommended that people call the police if an incident occurs -- even if you don't think the police will catch the person or it's a minor incident. Each report that the police get will help them find patterns and changes which they can use to send police officers to trouble spots or change their strategy.

If people don't report a crime, the police won't know it exists -- again, even if you don't think they'll be able to catch the person, they'll know more about it if it happens again.

Pretty scary situation though, and dangerous (and very stupid by whoever is doing the shooting.) Has anyone else heard about this or experienced it? If so, please call the police immediately.

UPDATE: I messed up the location, it's the NE corner of 14th and Columbia as noted above now.

New bike route signs on Park Road for Howard, Columbia Heights

The other day I was walking down Park Road NW near Georgia Ave. and spotted some apparently brand new bike route signs -- city specified routes to different places in the city. These ones appear to be new, they aren't on the city's maps  (we are tile 17) or in its downloadable bike data.

I've seen others around the area that give the distances to places like Brookland, Takoma and Mt. Rainier, Maryland.

I can't find anything official about the routes, but folks online suggest they are good routes for biking: not much traffic, lower speed, not as many lights, and things like that.

Any favorite rides in the area you'd recommend? I keep wanting to ride my bike up to Denizens Brewing in Silver Spring.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday fun photos: tug-of-war at Park Road Community Church

There's been a lot of negative stories about our area lately -- and I firmly believe that our area is still awesome and getting more awesome every day. As part of that, I'm going to start posing some photos of neat things happening in our area.

And if you are a local photographer or have any neat photos you'd like me to feature, let me know!

These are from the Park Road Community Church's picnic a couple of weeks ago, taken by Flickr user Jon. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today in bogus Columbia Heights "news": we spend 62% on rent? According to only 3 apartments from one website, yes.

Another day, another dumb article about how Columbia Heights sucks. The latest installment comes from something called RadPad, which I think ought to suggest to you that perhaps they aren't the best at analyzing things.

Their study, which got picked up various places, claims breathlessly that Columbia Heights is the most expensive place in the city because residents here spend 62% of their income on rent. If that seems oddly high to you, you're not the only one.

Now I'm sure some people spend a whole lot on money on rent, and that is unfortunate. Affordability is an issue here, as it is in most of the city. But the study, if you want to call it that, has a lot of issues.

For one, it's actually about the 20010 zip code, which isn't just Columbia Heights: it's also Mt. Pleasant, Park View and over to the Washington Hospital Center. In fact, the zip code stretches from about Irving Street on the south to about Quincy on the north, which means it doesn't even include the southern half of Columbia Heights.

Also, their methodology is simplistic and pretty bad, to be diplomatic about it:
we examined thousands of active one-bedroom listings across zip codes in D.C. on our marketplace to get a median one-bedroom apartment price for each postal number. We then utilized 2015 U.S. Census Data with help from Income by Zip Code to get median household income numbers for each of the same zip codes. From there, we were able to calculate what percentage of monthly take home pay residents from each zip code (after taxes for a single filer) are spending on rent.
So let's break that down. They took the zip code's median household income from the Census, then calculated what they call take home pay by apparently using the average taxes for a single filer -- which is already apples to oranges: households (which are often more than one person) versus single person taxes, which are higher than if they were jointly filed.

But it gets worse! For the apartments, they used only those listed on their site, then of those, only the one bedroom apartments.

And if you look at their site, there are a total of 3 one-bedroom apartments in all of the 20010 zip code. Three!

See the map above -- just the ones between Quincy and Irving would count.  And even if you take out the "apartment" part of the filter, that's still just 8 one-bedroom places.

And that's not even to take into account that people live in all kinds of different arrangements in our area -- group houses, basement apartments, studios, two and three bedroom apartments, crummy townhouses, nice townhouses, new and old condos, subsidized apartments, and on and on. And none of those are included in this "analysis" (or even listed on their site.)

So basically, you are extrapolating the entire area -- three or four whole neighborhoods and more than 30,000 residents -- based on three (!) one-bedroom apartments from one website, and then using take home pay calculated with apples-to-oranges taxes. Now I'm no scientist, but that seems completely ridiculous.

So while the area is certainly expensive (which is an issue, again, like most of the city) please don't just take what some random site and their attention-grabbing headlines have to say at face value.

This is clickbait, basically.


Want more Capital Bikeshare stations? Tell them where!

If you're a Capital Bikeshare rider, you probably have some ideas for where new stations should go, and they want to hear from you. They have a cool site where you can suggest or agree with other suggestions on new station locations.

I just used it and it takes a little bit to get used to (if you double click to zoom it thinks you're marking a spot) but once you get it, it's pretty handy. I voted for 14th and Otis, which is a fairly big gap between two stations, and also at Upshur and Rock Creek Church near Slash Run and the Old Soldiers' Home entrance, where 23 other people suggested a station -- that seems to be the most popular location near us.

Other folks suggested places like Georgia and Park and 11th and Girard and 11th, which seem like good gap-fillers. 14th and Irving also has a ton of requests but the system recently installed a new station there, which is a good sign!

You can suggest as many stations as you'd like, so get to it!

Watermelon vendor sets up at Georgia and Park on the weekends

This is pretty awesome: it's summer, which means watermelon season, and for the past few weekends there has been a man selling watermelons from the back of his truck on Georgia Avenue, just north of Park Road (in front of the laundromat, under a tree.)

I haven't stopped yet to speak with him, but other folks who noticed it on Twitter are fans and say he's really nice.

Love seeing this kind of thing -- ice cream trucks, watermelons, food trucks, the ladies who sell taquitos and mangos, the coconut man at 14th and Spring, etc.

Then comes the important question with watermelon -- salt or no salt?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monthly neighborhood cleanup scheduled for this Saturday in Park View with free coffee from Colony Club

This is pretty cool -- a great way to clean up your neighborhood, meet some neighbors and enjoy some free coffee. Colony Club, a cool coffee shop and bar, is sponsoring the cleanup and donating a free cup of coffee to the first 15volunteers who give 90 minutes of their time.

The event, organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive, will provide gloves and bags, as well as graffiti removal supplies for those interested in that thanks to the city's Departments of Public Works.

Meet up starting at 10 am at Warder and Otis (just east of Georgia Avenue)!

Bad Saint named #2 best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit

Nice! Earlier we heard that 11th Street's Bad Saint was on Bon Appetit's list of best new restaurants (they also gave a shootout to Columbia Heights and Petworth as great dining destinations) and now the magazine has announced that it's the #2 best new restaurant in America -- not too shabby!

I've never been but friends who've gone have universally raved about it. The Filipino spot was started by Nick Pimentel and Genevieve Villamora with chef Tom Cunanan -- and actually started as a Kickstarter.

Bon Appetit also has a pretty delicious looking photo gallery of the spot too in their article on it.

Always like hearing good news about the neighborhood. Maybe our area is not so crummy after all, City Paper.

Bad Saint is located at 3226 11th Street NW, next to Wonderland. Here's their website.