Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Help out with the Women's March on Saturday: help direct folks to the route or help along the route

There are a lot of Jan. 21 post-Women's March activities in our area, like the fundraiser at Midlands, a comedy show fundraiser for the ACLU at Wonderland and other happy hours at local spots like the Red Derby and others, and many local businesses are donating proceeds from the weekend to nonprofits. But there's also opportunities to help directly with the march.

Organizers are expecting hundreds of thousands of people to attend, many from outside the city, so they can use the help.

Here's a note I got from a friend who's helping to organize it:
And, if you'd like to volunteer there are two options right now to support the march directly. You could be a local ambassador or a marshall. Ambos are placed in key locations to direct crowd to/from the march. Marshalls are along the march route.

If you're interested to take a local ambo shift, email wmwlocalambassadors(at)gmail[dot]com. They'll send you the link to select a shift. There's also a training you can take, but it's offered online and isn't required.
If you're interested in seeing how else you can help, there's a form here to get signed up.

New York magazine has a great guide for preparing for the march too if you're an attendee. They also have a guide for where to go to the bathroom -- not always the easiest at a big event.

Metro adding wifi at all underground stations starting in summer, SafeTrack to start on Green line in April

This is good news! DCist reports that WMATA is adding wifi to all underground Metro stations starting in summer 2017 and finishing in 2018. So far 6 stations already have it: Metro Center, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station, Archives and L’Enfant Plaza.

Pretty good news, especially as waits will get longer as the Green line portion of SafeTrack begins in April. That part of the work will result in single-tracking between College Park and Greenbelt, and probably longer waits for the rest of us. Work on the far southern portion of the Yellow line begins in March, so that might have some effects for us too.

Thankfully though, the Green and Yellow lines have a lot less work scheduled than the other lines, I assume because the Green line is newer.

Anybody know any good phone games to play while waiting for the train?

Photo by Kai Hendry

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Midlands beer garden hosting Farewell Obama taco fiesta on Jan. 20, post-Women's March fundraiser Jan. 21

There's a lot going on this weekend at the Midlands, the newish beer garden at 3333 Georgia Avenue. They're having a farewell party for the Obamas and Joe Biden on the 20th, plus a post-Women's March fundraiser for the House of Ruth, which helps women and families leave domestic violence situations.

Here are the details for both. The Obama-Biden goodbye is a ticketed event with open bar, food, a raffle and more (tickets are $44, naturally, for Obama) plus live band performances and more.
Farewell President Obama & Diamond Joe Biden Rocking Taco Fiesta! OPEN BAR $44TICKETS: 
We’ll be honoring our 44th president with 2 bands, prepper raffle (prizes include Dart Board, Propane Pizza Oven, Freeze Dried Food, etc) and  cardboard cutouts of Obama & Biden, never-ending tacos and OPEN BAR from 7-11pm.  
1st Performance: Katie Chambers Cellist
2nd BAND: NATION (Who recently performed at Rockefeller Center
The second event is the post-march fundraiser -- all profits from Flying Dog drafts from 6-9pm will be donated to House of Ruth. Here's the Facebook invite and the info:
The Midlands would like to invite everyone to join us after the Women’s March to cover our windows & walls with your posters.

We also need your help to support the House of Ruth a local charity that helps women, children and families in greatest need and with very limited resources build safe, stable lives escaping domestic abuse and achieve safe housing, trauma recovery, mental health programs, addiction recovery, employment and abuse-free relationships.
All profits from Flying Dog Brewery drafts from 6P to 9P will be donated.

Fire Dancing performance by Revolutionary Motion 
The Midlands will also be hosting Photographer Debbie Baxter who is bringing her Nest Project to our space. The Nest is a project that stems from the notion that as a human race, the universal Feminine and Mother have been wounded for a very long time. And, it shows up in all kinds of ways, in both genders, through various forms of abuse, self loathing, body hating, and extreme amounts of violence and hate crimes. The mission is to get as many people as she can to allow a part of themselves to be held in The Nest reconnecting to The Mother and to The Mother Earth. And, to honor and awaken the inner Feminine and inner Mother within us all. Portraits on this night will be on first come first serve basis. The following day, Jan 22nd portraits will be available via an online sign up sheet.
There's other ways to help out too: a lot of local bars and restaurants are donating their profits to nonprofits over the inauguration weekend as part of All in Service DC. There are dozens of spots in the area that are participating -- the list is growing every day!


Friday, January 13, 2017

Mezcalero, new Mexican spot open at 14th and Spring with 17 tacos, has 50+ mezcals, brunch and more

A while ago I wrote about how our neighborhood is the taco-est in the city, and now it's getting even more: the Washingtonian reports that Mezcalero Cocina Mexicano has just opened at 3714 14th Street NW, near the Red Derby and next to Taqueria Habanero.

The spot was opened by Alfredo Solis, who runs El Sol in Logan Circle, a mostly take-out spot. He is from Mexico City and was also the executive chef at Fuego, according to their article.

The spot will have a lot of Mexican style street good, 17 types of tacos, tortas, enchiladas, fajitas and other traditional Mexican dishes, plus different types of ceviche, oysters, mole, stew and more. They'll have a three course prix-fixe brunch too for $18. The full menu, which is quite large, is here.

There will also be cocktails ranging from $8 to $12 with things like prickly pear and tamarind margaritas, with the drinks from Arturo Zaloga who formerly worked at Marvin.

As for competing with the popular neighboring Taqueria Habanero, Solis tells DCist that he thinks there's enough business for both places. I hope he's right!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More local bars and restaurants join All In Service DC to donate proceeds to local nonprofits: Wonderland, Citizen, Slim's, Sun's, more

Last week we first heard about All in Service DC, the project where local bars and restaurants donate part of their proceeds over Inauguration Weekend to local charities and nonprofits. A few local places were participating: Room 11, the Coupe, Thip Khao and Maple.

And now more spots in our area have signed up: Petworth Citizen, Slim's Diner, Wonderland and Sun's Cinema, and I hear others are interested too. Sun's is supporting Ayuda, Slim's We Are Family DC, Petworth Citizen 826DC, and Wonderland Community Of Hope.

There's a bunch of other places participating too around U Street, Adams Morgan and elsewhere.

It's a great way to help out nonprofits doing good work.

Here's more:
ALL IN SERVICE DC celebrates DC’s diversity by giving back to local organizations that keep our community thriving.
This inauguration weekend, eat and drink in DC for good.

The events of the inauguration present a vital opportunity to serve our nation’s capital by creating inclusive spaces, in service not only to our guests, but also to our community. These are the fundamentals of hospitality, and it is in this spirit that we invite you to join us.
Pretty cool effort. And if you know folks who work at other local bars or restaurants, encourage them to get involved!

Letena, the Ethiopian spot on Park Road, is very tasty

The other day I finally checked out Letena, the new Ethiopian restaurant on Park Road between 14th and 15th -- and it was good.

I originally thought it was a fast casual-type place, similar to Chipotle or &pizza where you go to a counter and pick options, but it's really just a quicker regular sit-down restaurant.

I got a meat platter with a buddy, plus Ethiopian coffee and extra injera, and it was a good amount of food for a good price: about $30 with tax and tip for the two of us. A bit more than a fast food place, to be sure, but $15 for a big, tasty Ethiopian lunch isn't too bad.

The items were really good too, well-seasoned, a bit spicy and very fresh tasting. I'll definitely go back, and they currently have a 5-star rating on Yelp from 41 reviews -- pretty impressive!

Currently they serve lunch and dinner with the same menu for both, but will soon be expanding to coffee, pastries and breakfast with coffee starting at 7am and breakfast from 8:30-11:30am. They're  open from 11 am to 9 pm. Coffee comes from Counter Culture, a local roaster.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Columbia Heights Initiative, Councilmember Nadeau launch Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant Main Street tomorrow

A few weeks ago, we heard that the city is launching their latest Main Street organization to cover Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant, through the Columbia Heights Initiative -- the same folks who put on Columbia Heights Day and a do a lot of other local projects.

The city's Main Street program provides funding for neighborhood projects like supporting businesses, maintaining the character of the area and more. Previously Brianne Dornbush of the Columbia Heights Initiative talked about the plans for the $200,000 that come with the grant:
As for general plans, we will continue to host community events that bring people together, work with local businesses to connect them with resources and support to grow and thrive in the neighborhood, and work to continue to build unique partnership across sectors. We will be working with both Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights to serve and connect both neighborhoods- while maintaining and celebrating their distinct identities.
Council member Nadeau, Ms. Dornbush and city officials will be doing a press conference tomorrow at 10 a at the Civic Plaza to announce the launch of the group. Here's the details:

District Officials, Community Leaders to Launch DC’s Newest Main Street Organization Covering Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant

Ward 1 DC Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, DSLBD Director Ana Harvey, Columbia Heights Initiative will officially launch new organization to support local businesses and improve the commercial corridors

WASHINGTON – District officials and community leaders will officially launch the District’s newest Main Street organization which will cover Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant at a ceremony Wednesday, January 11 at 10 a.m. on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza.

The official designation ceremony will be held by Councilmember Nadeau, Department of Small and Local Business Development Director Ana Harvey, Columbia Heights Initiative Executive Director Brianne Dornbush, and community leaders. After Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau worked to secure funding, late last year the District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development awarded the Columbia Heights Initiative a $200,000 grant to establish the Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street. The grant will be matched by private funds.

Main Street organizations help major neighborhood corridors thrive by supporting capacity building, business retention, program design and implementation, and commercial-revitalization planning to maintain the traditional and unique character of the distinct neighborhoods.

In addition, Councilmember Nadeau recently secured funding for and supported the expansion of the Ward 1 Clean Team, which will now bring additional resources to keep Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant cleaner as the neighborhoods continue to grow. 

WHAT: Press conference officially launching the new Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street Organization
WHO: Ward 1 DC Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, DSLBD Director Ana Harvey, Columbia Heights Initiative Executive Director Brianne Dornbush, Ward 1 Clean Team
WHERE: Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (14th and Park St. NW)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
RSVP: RSVPs are not required, but are appreciated. RSVP to Tom Fazzini,, office: (202) 724-8180, mobile: (202) 262-8998

About Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau

In her many years of service to the community, Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) has brought perspectives from a career that spans the non-profit, public and private sectors. She is committed to strengthening our schools, increasing affordable housing and promoting government transparency and the highest ethical standards. She serves as the Chair of the Council’s Human Services Committee. Prior to joining the Council, she was a strategic advisor to faith-based, Democratic and environmental non-profits, and is a former ANC. Follow her on Twitter @brianneknadeau or at

Neighborhood cleanup this Saturday at Park and Warder

Here's another opportunity to meet your neighbors and clean up our area -- Georgia Avenue Thrive has organized their latest cleanup for this Saturday. The weather should be nice.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Georgia Avenue Thrive meeting this Monday at Small Fry: beautification, public safety, come suggest your ideas!

Georgia Avenue Thrive, the active nonproft in our area, has their next meeting this Monday (today) from 7-8:30 pm at Small Fry -- now with Sundevich sandwiches

There will be lots of updates from the various committees in the group and they're also asking for your ideas. Here are the details:
Hope everyone had great end of 2016 and are up for making 2017 as good as we can in the Georgia Ave neighborhood! 

Please join us for Georgia Ave Thrive's monthly meeting THIS MONDAY, JAN. 9, 2017, 7-8:30PM, at SMALL FRY (3212 Georgia Ave NW, beside the awesome District Dogs). Come early for dinner or plan to chew and chat during our meeting from Small Fry's delicious new menu (lots of salad and sandwich options from the tried and true SUNdeVich favorites). Or hang out for a post-meeting debrief at their sister neighborhood bar Union Drinkery next door!

These meetings are a great way to learn how to be a part of upcoming neighborhood activities. We are just figuring out 2017 priorities so great opportunity to come pitch your own ideas for local community building with your neighbors!

Here is the agenda:

I.    Welcome and Introductions
II.   Beautification Committee (Matt McFarland)
        * How can monthly street clean-ups strengthen volunteer outreach? 
          (e.g., info flyer, Thrive t-shirts, business sponsorships for "thank you" / acknowledgement)
        * Brainstorm other committee activities (e.g., murals, fireboxes, snow shoveling to help neighbors)
V.   Public Safety Committee (Jason Cohen)
        * Intro new chairperson
        * Update on Neighborhood Watch and Security Cameras program
        * Police Liaison update (Liz Furgurson)
III.  Local Biz Support Committee (Maarit Moran)
        * Intro new chairperson 
        * Input on possible activities / priorities
IV.  Placemaking Committee (Jordan Pearlstein)
        * Update on community dinner activity
        * Possible other activities (e.g., movie night)
VI.  Fundraising (Liz Furgurson)
        * Current cash on hand (?)
        * Fiscal sponsorship
        * Selling t-shirts
        * Other fundraising suggestions
        * Georgia Ave Thrive 501(c)(3) status?
VI.   Announcements (anyone!)
We will also need a volunteer to facilitate next meeting in February!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Union Drinkery and Small Fry on Georgia now serving full Sundevich menu!

Oh man, this is awesome. Union Drinkery, the relaxed neighborhood bar at 3216 Georgia, and Small Fry, the BBQ spot next door, will now be serving the full menu from beloved sandwich spot Sundevich.

The same folks own them all, so it makes sense. I know a lot of folks are big fans of Sundevich, and I'm also a big fan of Union Drinkery -- it's a cozy, cool spot with reasonably priced drinks, a lot like A&D, their other bar in the Mt. Vernon Square area.

They recently posted about it on Twitter. Good news! I believe they'll also still offer the Small Fry menu, which includes BBQ, scotch eggs, poutine, veggies and more.

Photo from Google Street View. That's Union Drinkery on the right.