Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Today is DC Emancipation Day: tour Lincoln's Cottage, dine at Petworth Citizen (plus parade and hip-hop show downtown)

Today is DC Emancipation Day, when Pres. Lincoln signed a bill freeing the slaves in DC. It's a local holiday which unfortunately few people celebrate, but which I think should be a bigger event. Today, as well as a parade downtown on Pennsylvania Avenue (starting at 11) and a hip-hop concert with Talib Kweli, Arrested Development, DJ Kool, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Raheem Devaugn and more, starting at 4 pm at Freedom Plaza, followed by a panel discussion with some of the performers at the Lincoln Theatre. You can get all the details here.

However, there are some local events too: tours of Lincoln's Cottage in the Old Soliders' Home, just east of our area, and dining out at Petworth Citizen, which will donate a portion of their sales to the cottage.

D.C. Emancipation Day at President Lincoln’s Cottage and Petworth Citizen
Commemorate the 152nd anniversary of emancipation in the District on April 16th by dining out at Petworth Citizen, in support of President Lincoln’s Cottage, “the Cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation.”

Washington, D.C. – On April 16, 2014, 152 years after President Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, President Lincoln’s Cottage and Petworth Citizen are partnering to honor Lincoln’s legacy here in Washington, D.C. From 4 pm until 1 am on Wednesday April 16, 2014, diners can visit Petworth Citizen, located at 829 Upshur Street NW Washington D.C. 20011, in honor of D.C. Emancipation Day. The restaurant will donate a portion of sales on that day to President Lincoln’s Cottage, “the Cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation.” “Lincoln lived and worked just up the road from the site of our restaurant, and we are thrilled to join with President Lincoln’s Cottage in celebrating this important holiday,” says Paul Ruppert, owner of Petworth Citizen.

President Lincoln’s Cottage, the Lincoln family’s seasonal home in Washington, D.C., is where Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation during the summer of 1862. Earlier that year, over 3,000 enslaved people in D.C. were freed when Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862. Today, April 16th is a city holiday known as D.C. Emancipation Day. Visitors who tour President Lincoln’s Cottage on April 16, 2014 will receive a free souvenir scroll of the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act. “Shortly after signing the Compensated Emancipation Act, President Lincoln moved to the Cottage, where he developed his transformative emancipation policy for the nation,” says Erin Carlson Mast, Executive Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage. “We are delighted to celebrate the 152nd anniversary of emancipation in D.C. with our generous community partner, Petworth Citizen, and we welcome visitors to tour the Cottage on D.C. Emancipation Day to learn more about Lincoln’s path to the Emancipation Proclamation.” Tours of President Lincoln’s Cottage are offered on the hour between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, and advanced reservations are recommended:

President Lincoln’s Cottage, “the Cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation,” is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. While living here for more than a quarter of his presidency, Abraham Lincoln bonded with soldiers and veterans, made crucial decisions about the Civil War, and, most notably, developed the Emancipation Proclamation his first summer in residence. His daily commute put him in regular contact with wounded soldiers and self-emancipated men, women, and children. Today, the site offers an intimate, never-before-seen view of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and private life, and new perspectives on the influential ideas Lincoln developed while living here.

The entrance is President Lincoln’s Cottage is at the intersection of Upshur St NW and Rock Creek Church Rd NW (approximate GPS address: 140 Rock Creek Church Rd NW). The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center is open 9:30am-4:30pm Monday-Saturday and 10:30am-4:30pm Sunday. Tours of President Lincoln’s Cottage are given daily on the hour, and all tours begin in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center. For more information on President Lincoln’s Cottage, visit: or call 202-829-0436.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places. President Lincoln’s Cottage is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit:

Petworth Citizen, located at 829 Upshur Street NW Washington DC 20011, is a neighborhood bar with great bar food and a literary focus. On April 16, 2014, Petworth Citizen will be open from 4:00 pm until 1:00 am. Dinner is served until 11:00 pm; a late night happy hour menu featuring small plates and drinks is available between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am.


Grace Church hosting neighborhood Easter party this Saturday

 Here's a nice event from Grace Meridian Hill Church. Sounds fun, and check out the flyers in English and Spanish.
One of Columbia Heights' neighborhood churches is having it's 5th annual Neighborhood Easter Party at Girard St. Park (15th and Girard, NW) this coming Saturday. It has become a fun neighborhood tradition over the last few years, bringing out 300+ neighbors for face painting, giant bubbles and activities, tons of food, painting, and of course an Easter Egg hunt.

When: Saturday April 19th 11am-1pm
Where: Girard St. Park (15th and Euclid)
Who: kids, adults, neighbors- all are welcome

What: face painting, mural making, food, sports and games, dance, Egg Hunt, photo booth, and more

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bike to Work Day is May 16th; meet next Wednesday to help with the Columbia Heights pit stop!

Bike to Work Day is a big annual event encouraging folks to ride their bicycles to and from work.

There are pit stops along the way with food, prizes, and the chance to meet other bikers. Columbia Heights has been selected to serve as the location for one of these pit stops, in the afternoon for folks returning home (and to celebrate and meet.) The organizers are looking for some help!

Here's a poster with more info on the day -- it sounds like fun!
You are invited to help plan the Columbia Heights "Bike-to-Work" Pit Stop Activities. Your assistance is needed to make this event a success.

Bike-to-Work Day '14

Columbia Heights afternoon (4-7pm) event, Friday, 16 May, 2014,

Columbia Heights Plaza at 14th Street and Park Road

While most of the pit stops are in the morning, in Columbia Heights it is in the afternoon - a great opportunity to meet other local bikers and celebrate bike-to-work day.

Co-ordination meeting
Mad Momo's
3605 14th St NW (just north of Perry Street)
7:30 pm - Wednesday, 23 April, 2014

Discuss event prep and suggestions,
Solicitation of local businesses for advertisement and prizes,
Volunteer opportunities and schedule

All are invited to come with ideas and suggestions for this great event. For more information contact Dan Hayes at:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pepco meets with the community about power outages; more outages coming April 14 and 21

Recently I wrote about the constant power outages in the area, which are annoying for residents and a big problem for businesses -- Kangaroo Boxing Club reports lots of lost revenue plus spoiled food. Then earlier in the week, Pepco met with community members, the ANC, Jim Graham and parts of the city government, thanks to constant pressure from ANC commissioners. The blog Park View DC has a full recap.

In short, Pepco apologized and tried to explain the outages. They provided a fact sheet on the outages that says basically Pepco is working to improve some of the infrastructure like cables, transformers and other components, and there need to be some outages for the workers to be able to improve them. However, Pepco is clearly not telling people ahead of time (or they're also having unexpected outages.) Pepco also doesn't seem to have a good idea of the age of the infrastructure or demand, but are working to get more info on both.

They said there will be three more planned outages, one on April 14, one on April 21, and one sometime in May (to be decided.) Yuk.

However, they are going to send out a mailer about the problem, which is good. They also included the map at right of recent "upgrades" i.e. where the outages have been because they are working on them.

Some neighbors complained about outages since 2003, to which Pepco said they understand the frustration. Commissioner Patrick Flynn, one of the main drivers of the conversation, pointed out that Pepco needs to do a better job communicating with the community, and residents agreed. Other residents suggested that Pepco should let everybody know what businesses are unaffected so people can seek shelter or charge their phones. Some of these outages occurred when the temperature was very low, making it a potentially dangerous situation for residents.

Kent Boese, ANC chair and the writer of the Park View DC blog, also said that Pepco will come to a future ANC meeting to discuss these issues. That's good to hear.

So, it sounds like they're working on it, but there are still some problems.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's officially the first day of short sleeve weather!

It's finally here -- the official first day of short sleeve weather. Ok, maybe it wasn't proclaimed by the mayor, but it is getting up to 70 degrees today and to me that signals honest to goodness, for realsies spring -- not March 22 spring or the is-it-seriously-snowing-today spring, but the best time in DC spring.

So what? So get out of your basement apartments and leave your cubes a little early and head outside to take advantage of our neighborhood. We're blessed with many outdoor (and almost outdoor) options.

For one, we have lots of nice open spaces: Meridian Hill Park, Rock Creek and its fields and hiking trails, people watching on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, even the big Bruce Monroe Park over on Georgia.

There's also a ton of outdoor dining and drinking spots: roof decks at Red Derby and El Chucho, patios at Wonderland, Red Rocks, Room 11, Looking Glass and DC Reynolds, and indoor-outdoor spots like Meridian Pint's main floor and the Coupe, with big windows that open to the world.

Plus a lot of us have porches or patios, good for relaxing and talking and enjoying the weather. You may even meet a neighbor or two, and they're probably more interesting than you thought.

Maybe I've had too much coffee today or something, but I'm excited for this weather. It's finally here.

Get free training for your nonprofit!

If you run or work at a non-profit, here's a great opportunity to get some leadership training!

The Advisory Board Company, which works with companies and non-profits to improve their operations, is offering a free leadership seminar on April 23. Details are below.
The Advisory Board Company has a message for your nonprofit readers: we want to train you for free.

For the first time in our 35–year history, the Advisory Board is offering nonprofit community organizations around the country the opportunity to participate in a leadership forum on April 23rd led by our foremost experts – normally valued at $2,000 per person – free of charge.

The Advisory Board was inspired to create the Community Impact Catalyst offering after repeatedly hearing from our nonprofit community partners how difficult it is to invest in professional development for staff. According to a recent survey by ProInspire, nine out of ten nonprofit managers believe that that leadership training will make them more effective in their roles, yet only half of them have received such training since assuming a role managing direct reports.

“Healthcare leaders, like non-profit leaders face all of the challenges of a traditional business – cost management, strategic planning, communication, technology adoption, revenue management, and so on”, said Mike Wagner, Executive Director of the Advisory Board’s Talent Development arm. “Plus, these leaders – both in  healthcare and in non-profits – face the added burden of never wanting to turn away a person in need…always needing to find a way to say “yes” to those who come to  them for help. 

“Historically, our work has supported healthcare leaders who are passionate about their mission, but  few of whom  have had  the advantage of advanced leadership education.  Non-profit  leaders face the same challenges, the same difficult dynamic, and we are confident that our research and our curriculum can help  them better lead their non-profit agencies and organizations.”

In 2013, the Advisory Board reached a milestone in corporate volunteerism that is rare and possibly even unique – a 100% employee participation rate incommunity service. Drawing on the staff creativity and passion that inspired this achievement, this year the firm’s Community Impact program is focused on providing community partners with professional services support that has the potential to generate transformative change on a larger scale.  

Session registration is open until April 22nd, and there are still a handful of spots available

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Some folks want to have a Funk Parade on U Street on May 3 -- help sponsor it!

This is a pretty awesome idea -- a group of people are trying to organize what they're calling the DC Funk Parade, to happen May 3 on U Street, complete with a street fair, a musical parade and a night of funk performances.

I like funk, and it's a cool reflection of DC's place in the funk pantheon, with artists like Chuck Brown (and all go-go music), Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds, and even Parliament/Funkadelic, who have a song about DC called "Chocolate City," members from the area, and actually have their Mothership in the Smithsonian.

They have an Indiegogo campaign (like Kickstarter) and are hoping to raise $12,000 more. They've already got some corporate support from local businesses like the Brixton, Tropicalia, Right Proper, the Satellite Room and more. So if you'd like to help, or better yet, run a local business and would like to sponsor them, check it out.

It sounds like a ton of fun. Here's a video about it, and more about the parade below. They also just announced some of the bands performing and the venues. The headliner is E.U., whose hit song was "Da Butt."

Funk Parade IndieGoGo Launch from Funk Parade on Vimeo.
Funk Parade is a celebration of what makes U Street great, what makes Washington DC great, what makes being alive such a groove. ‘Cause everybody’s got a little light under the sun.

It’s a one-of-a-kind day fair, parade and music festival for the U Street neighborhood, on May 3, 2014, the 211th anniversary of the city’s incorporation.

The Funk Parade Day Fair (noon-5): The neighborhood teems with music and performance, artists and vendors, food and art, workshops and spontaneous acts of soul.

The Mighty Funk Parade (5-7): The main event! Imagine a gyrating horde of dancers, a marching band behind them, and a drum corps. Hear beat-boxers and junkyard drummers, see pot-bangers and clappers and kids on their parents’ shoulders. Horn players wander in and out of the crowd, neighbors come out of their homes to join the procession. A thunderous syncopated army of groove, winding its way through the neighborhood, calling the city to the funk.

The Funk Parade Music Festival (7-10): Grooves from all corners of the human soul play in venues on and around U Street. The sounds of the city’s best acts call from every doorway.

One day, one spirit, one celebration of funk: the subatomic particle of love.

The Funk Parade — free your mind and your city will follow!

Construction job fair, lots of Georgia Ave community meetings coming up

It's a busy few weeks on Georgia Avenue. Here's a readout from the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force with lots of stuff going on:
The next meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force will be Monday April 14th at 7:00pm at 2632 Georgia Avenue NW (corner of GA and Fairmont).
The next ANC 1A Bruce-Monroe Task Force meeting on the long-term use of the site is scheduled for this Thursday, April 10th, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Cesar Chavez school located at 770 Kenyon.  The parking lot entrance is on Kenyon St. between Georgia and Sherman. Park anywhere (may be limited but there's some street parking), and enter the school through the back entrance which can be seen from the parking lot. Peter Marsden  will be standing at the door to let people in.
The next Georgia Avenue Business Alliance meeting will be Monday April 21st from 9:30 – 11:30 AM at the MPD 4D Community Room – 6001 Georgia Avenue NW
In Other News:
Construction Job Fair at All Souls
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 5:00-7:00 pm, All Souls Church Unitarian, 1500 Harvard St. NW, WDC 20009. All Souls is about to begin a major renovation project. The subcontractors involved (in demolition, steel, mechanical, electrical, etc.) will be on site this Thursday to discuss job opportunities and accept resumes. All workers will receive at least DC’s fair living wage. The job fair is open to all.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Holistic health clinic open house on April 16th

If you're looking to learn more about alternative medicine, acupuncture, and other kinds of health care, here's an opportunity. I received this email from an organizer, and you can see the press release here too.
I wanted to let you know about Sign of Jonah Partnerships in Health, a holistic clinic that's been serving the neighborhood for the last 25 years and is (finally!) expanding. We're hoping to get the word out about our services and an Open House coming up on Wednesday, April 16th. It would be great if you could mention it on the blog.

Sign of Jonah was first started in 1990, as an acupuncture clinic (in the basement of the Dorchester House just across the park from our current location) that served HIV+ and homeless individuals. Over the years, we've expanded our mission, our clientele and our services to offer not only acupuncture, but Western and Chinese herbal medicine, Reiki, and other holistic therapies on a sliding-scale basis to people of ALL ages, incomes, and backgrounds, and states of health. We're proud of the work we do and honored to serve our neighbors in the Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant neighborhoods.

We've also just relocated to beautiful new offices at the Josephine Butler Parks Center at 2437 15th St. NW and really hope to make it work there, so we can keep serving the local community! I'm attaching the invitation to our event on the 16th and would deeply appreciate anything you can to do help get the word out.

The story of the "Music Man," the guy with bike-mounted boombox in the neighborhood

One of my favorite sights in the neighborhood is the "Music Man," the older man who rides around on bike with a CD player and speaker attached playing old-school R&B songs. He's often seen around 14th and Park or Georgia Avenue and makes the neighborhood instantly more interesting and quirky. Aside from the music, he also has flashing lights attached to his bike and is a generally happy, excited guy. Sometimes he stops and dances around for a while and often chats with passersby.

And now the Washington Post has his story. Named George Whitlow, he's a 65-year old retiree and occasional bike messenger who actually has 8 bikes, though only one has the music rig. Why does he do it?
His goal is to get hyper-scheduled, ambitious, uptight D.C. to get loose and listen to music — together. His high season is spring and summer, when his audience stays longer. Sometimes, he’s invited to play at block parties: a DJ on wheels.
The idea came about to get people from listening to headphones, keeping away from each other, Bowling Alone style.
He first started rigging up his bikes with boomboxes a few years ago when he noticed all the iPods. He wanted to bring people together, listening to the same music, D.C.’s music. 
Whitlow wants us to interact, away from a computer. We date online. Watch movies on our smartphones. Go online to do “mindful meditation.” We sext. 
“I think those are antisocial,” Whitlow says.  
(Of course, you could argue that sexting works better when somebody else is involved.)

I'm not able to find a video of him, so if you have one or know of one, leave it in the comments!

Personally I think it's great he's getting some publicity, he's definitely a fun addition to the area. The fun police seems to be out in force in the WaPo comments, as they're mostly complaining about him. Pretty bizarre. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book release, talk at Petworth Citizen on Tuesday Wednesday: debut book of young adult sci-fi

If you know a young adult, or just like YA fiction, head to Petworth Citizen this Tuesday Wednesday for the release of The Six Days, a new novel of young adult fiction. The book is by Anna Carolyn McCormally and is published by Giant Squid Books, a group that publishes debut novels by new writers. A nice idea!

See below for more from them about the event.

I was at Petworth Citizen Friday night, it was a nice spot. I especially liked the Moscow mules, a vodka and ginger beer cocktail which comes in a copper cup.
Giant Squid Books is a YA imprint publishing debut authors through ebook and trade paperback platforms. We are not a traditional publisher, but we are also not a self-publishing service: we are the next step for authors who are thinking about self-publishing but want the editorial and promotional resources of an agency. It is our goal to promote new authors who are doing exciting things for the young adult literature world.

Our first book, THE SIX DAYS, came out on April 1. We are hosting a release party on April 9 at the Petworth Citizen at 7:30 PM. The book will be for sale in print and ebook form, there will be an author reading, and Rachel Miller of Giant Squid will give a talk about Giant Squid Books and a couple of their other projects (including a feminist sci-fi anthology featuring teen writers from DC!).

If you'd like to join the event on Facebook, here's the link: And our website is