Friday, March 27, 2015

New restaurant, Provision No. 14 making progress in the old Diego space at 14th and V

There's a new restaurant coming to the corner of 14th and V: Provision 14. It's going to occupy the space that used to be Diego, a very short-lived Mexican restaurant that closed, then re-opened, then closed again.

According to the Washingtonian, the new spot will be focused on communal dining and drinking, like big wine-bottle sized cocktails to share, shareable food and rotating snack boards. Sounds interesting.

There's 57 seats in the main floor, plus a bar, with a 60 person outdoor patio and 80 seats upstairs with another bar. There will also be 20 beers on tap.

The owners, Naeem Mohd, Mike Bramson and Alex Lopez have worked in the restaurant and events scene for a while, Washingtonian reports that Mohd bought the Mad Rose Tavern in Arlington.
I hope they do better than Diego, which I never got to try due to it seemingly never being open.

They're looking at an April opening and passing by the other day, they seemed to be pretty far along.

(Please excuse the dirty bus window picture.)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chief Ike's Mambo Room is closing on Sunday

This week some bad news came out: Chief Ike's Mambo Room, the storied bar on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan, is closing on Sunday.

The bar, which has been open since 1992, was once the closest bar to Columbia Heights, back before Wonderland opened in 2004. Columbia Heightsters of the day used to trek down towards Adams Morgan to get a drink or two.

The owner, Al Jirikowic, told the Express he was closing the bar and retiring, because “Adams Morgan is no longer where the hot, cool people go. It’s all becoming strollerified now.”

You might not imagine it now if you've visited lately, but the spot was pretty hip. Jirikowic said to the Post that people like George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh would come in, and it achieved some national notoriety when the Bush daughters were busted there for underage drinking.

The place had crazy decor, paintings of Dwight Eisenhower dressed like a Native American (hence the name,) the bar covered in who knows what, little cubby holes and hidden parts of the bar, and it hosted all kinds of events -- for example, my favorite local band of the time, the Assrockers, a mock metal band, played there a bunch of times.

Both the article about the bar closing and the Post columnist Clinton Yates point out that the bar had been declining for some time -- there wasn't the same vibe. But at the same time, maybe part of that is because of the changing neighborhood.

Yates's column is pretty interesting; he talks about the disappearance of a lot of popular older places, to be replaced by "$14 drinks and small plates." He continues:
D.C. is becoming a place where if you’re not in a very specific (read: high) income bracket, being a child-free adult living in the city just isn’t that fun anymore. 
For years, I lamented seeing vestiges of my childhood stripped away from the visual vocabulary of the city I grew up in. It was a bleak but understandable process of change that tugged at my young heart. But as the places that I still actively care about as a grown-up continue to shut their doors one by one, I find myself wondering if this next bubble will ever burst.
Heavy stuff.

I have fond memories of the bar too, I lived behind the Safeway in Adams Morgan in 2003 and 2004 and spent many nights at Chief Ike's. It was one of the cooler, crazier bars around, but in a who knows what will happen way as opposed to the getting-in-fights-over-Jumbo-Slice crazy on the 18th Street strip of bars.

There was also the less well-known upstairs bar-within-a-bar, the Cosmo Lounge. It was a relaxed bar with a couple cool bartenders and a chill, quiet vibe. It closed a few years ago.

And now, the whole bar is no more. Jirkowic talks about writing a personal history of the city: if it includes 1% of what happened at the bar, it'd be a hell of a read.

Top photo by rockcreek, bottom photo by dcjohn

Update: Wonderland wasn't the first bar ever, but the first bar with a wide clientele.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Get free screenings, learn about preventative care at community health fair this Saturday at YMCA

This sounds like a good event to get some check-ups or learn more about preventing illnesses from happening in the first place. It's this Saturday at the YMCA on W between 13th and 14th.
This an event open to the community and a great opportunity for those who can’t make it to regular doctor visits to speak with one of the students about preventative care and get screenings

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Some ANC commisioners oppose, then support, the Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market; all is well again

If you are a fan of the popular Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market, don't worry: it's still happening.

Earlier today I saw a tweet from PoP about a meeting on the Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market: apparently the popular market might be in trouble, as three ANC commissioners, Arturo, Rosa, and Franko, suddenly declined to support giving a permit to the market.

Normally the market receives a permit easily from the ANC, which allows it to remai open.

A meeting was called tonight for supporters of the market, and people were upset.

Turns out, it's all been worked out: ANC 1D commish Adam Hoey said there was a "a mix of valid concerns, misinformation, debate over process and poor communication" but now the objecting commissioners have agreed to support the popular market once again.

Here's his full note with all the explanations:
ANC 1D Commissioners, Mount Pleasant Residents & Stakeholders,

A group of commissioners from ANC 1D (Frank Agbro, Rosa Rivas, Arturo Griffiths) met with Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market owner Robert Frazier and Commissioner Adam Hoey on Sunday afternoon to discuss their concerns and learn more about the market as it seeks to renew its DPR permit for Lamont Park for the 2015 season now in its 12th year.

For the last several years, ANC 1D in cooperation with DPR, has required an initial review of permit applications before they are formally approved and granted by DPR. This process generally involves a submission of a DPR permit application followed by a separate letter sent to the ANC 1D email group for review by all commissioners. If there is no objection then the permit is approved and sent to DPR. In some unique cases (ex. a festival), a group may come before the ANC to present its event plan which addresses DPR/ANC guidelines and neighborhood impacts.

Over the last 2 weeks we've encountered a mix of valid concerns, misinformation, debate over process and poor communication regarding this permit renewal process. I'm pleased to announce that with some constructive face-to-face dialog, the permit is nowunanimously approved by ANC 1D commissioners.

The discussion include the following topics:

1. Inclusiveness and support for Mount Pleasant's Latin American and African American communities as well as other cultures and minority groups at the Farmers' Market

This includes making minorities and people from diverse backgrounds feel more welcome to shop in the market by providing language support and other assistance especially in Spanish. Some members of the community have had difficulty shopping with some vendors. The market currently has some bilingual vendors staff but additional materials could be provided with translations of produce, baked goods and other items names.

2. Realization of the mission of the Farmers' Market, what is is and the future potential for other markets in the neighborhood

While some neighborhoods have large community markets, this market has traditionally been a farmer's market focused on fresh, locally grown produce from local area farmers occupying a small space in Lamont Park. Some have expressed interest in other types of markets and goods which could be purchased from our local businesses or from a new separate market.

3. A review of the ANC 1D DPR permit process

This includes ensuring that the ANC permit approval process is clear, consistent, fair and transparent and that new commissioners are educated on this process. Specifically ANC 1D will work to further clarify when groups should appear in person before the ANC at a business meeting or informal meeting and when a simple letter is sufficient.

Overall, ANC 1D will continue to work in 2015 to improve its communications and outreach to our diverse Mount Pleasant community including sharing available resources and reporting progress on these topics. As a best practice commissioners have also agreed on the importance of face-to-face dialog and informal meetings when discussing complex topics instead of relaying on email.

Kind regards,
Adam Hoey & ANC 1D Commissioners
Thanks to Twitter user @bicyclebug for the heads-up that it was resolved.

Free community brunch this Sunday hosted by Create Church

If you're interested in learning about a new church, or just wanted some free grub, here's an event this Sunday hosted by Create Church. Sounds fun.

More Osprey and helicopter sightings over the neighborhood: maybe it's for the Afghan president at Camp David?

Yesterday and the day before, we heard a lot of very loud, very low aircraft noise in Columbia Heights, which turned out to be at least one V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, presumably from the military. It was so loud that it shook my windows.

And today I have a theory as to why. Twitter user @suburbanfoodnrd reported seeing the Osprey yesterday headed north along Interstate 270 in Maryland accompanied by four of what look like the helicopter that serves as Marine One, the President's helicopter.

Also, the President of Afghanistan is in town and is meeting with the Secretary of State and others at Camp David in Maryland, which is in that direction.

So maybe the Osprey and other helicopters are ferrying back and forth US and Afghan officials? That's my guess.

Playback the Tape, fun found VHS footage event, now every month at Petworth Citizen: next show March 26

I've written a few times about Playback the Tape, the fun event showing screening of vintage VHS clips that takes place every month: they find or are given VHS tapes and organize a screening around some theme at a bar or restaurant. There's vintage hilarity and weirdness (often complete with the original commercials.)

In October I went to a hilarious Halloween event (complete with Garfield's Halloween special) at the Mothership, and since then they've had events at various places around town.

However, they now have a permanent home at Petworth Citizen at 829 Upshur Street NW. The first show there is "The Birds and the Bees" with shows on sex-ed and sexual politics. Sounds like a fun one. They're also giving out free Sticky Fingers cupcakes to the first 20 folks.

Here's their full press release.

March 20, 2015 - Washington, DC –
Following a full year venue-hopping month after month,PLAYBACKTHETAPE celebrates its first anniversary with a now-permanent home venue in the Reading Room at Petworth Citizen, and a regular schedule of shows on the fourth Thursday of every month.
Kicking off the second season is a One Year Anniversary Show called“The Birds and the Bees,” featuring an assemblage of recorded television specials demonstrating an evolving view of sexual education, politics, and liberation on TV from the 1980s through the 1990s. Plus,free first anniversary celebration cupcakes for the first 20 attendees, compliments of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats.
What:    PLAYBACKTHETAPE presents: The Birds and the Bees
When:    Thursday, March 26th @ 8:00 p.m.
Where:    Petworth Citizen’s Reading Room – 829 Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC
Tickets:    Free (all ages)
The program includes four home-recorded television specials, each complete with vintage commercials and ancillary content captured from original broadcast:
  • "Hickory Hideout" (1984) – episode of locally-produced kids show teaching where babies come from
  • "Cathy" (1987) – animated special based on the newspaper comic; Cathy and her boyfriend decide to see other people (NEVER RELEASED ON VIDEO)
  • "Seinfeld" The Mango episode (1993) – Elaine opens up about faking orgasms
  • Barbara Walters Special (2000) – interview segment grilling Ricky Martin about his sexuality
Plus, special thanks to our sponsor, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, who is providing complimentary first anniversary celebration cupcakes to the first 20 attendees!
Always free, all ages, and always nerd-tastic, PLAYBACKTHETAPE is a monthly mashup of informal academia and cheeky nostalgia, using donated, rescued, and submitted VHS content as its springboard. Submission guidelines and more information can all be found at

Monday, March 23, 2015

Big, loud, low Osprey aircraft over Columbia Heights this morning

Helicopters over Columbia Heights aren't rare, with many police, military, or civilian birds (or Marine One) traversing the skies on a regular basis. However, today was unusual, in that a very loud, very low aircraft seemed to be circling the area. It was so loud that my windows were shaking, which I can't remember happening before.

Twitter user @grahammcdonald snapped a picture of the machine, which is a V-22 Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft. That means it can take off like a helicopter but its twin rotors can tilt so it can fly like a plane as well.

They're used frequently in the military, like in Afghanistan to transport troops, and there's also one in the Presidential helicopter fleet.

It's unclear what that one was doing in the skies above our neighborhood -- exercises, perhaps? Though another one was spotted last Thursday as well near the Pentagon, with a guess that it was for a funeral at Arlington Cemetery.

Weird. Did you see (or hear) the Osprey today?

Photo by @grahammcdonald

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Run with the dogs! Help the Washington Humane Society's dogs get exercise (and get some yourself!)

This is pretty awesome -- there's a group called the People and Animal Cardio Klub (PACK) which works with the Washington Humane Society: you join the club and then run with the dogs, so they get some needed exercise, and you do too! 

You pay just $10 to join, fill out the form, and after some orientation and an interview, you can help out. 

It sounds like a great idea, and helps a great organization find homes for dogs. Rock Creek Park seems like a great spot for it too.

Here's more from their website:

By jogging alongside other dogs and people, adoptable dogs gain:
  • Exploration of new scenery and fresh air
  • A positive outlet to channel tension and energy
  • An opportunity to stretch muscles, improve cardio health, & strengthen bones
  • Stability and socialization that a pack (human & canine) provides
  • An additional opportunity to be seen by potential adopters
  • Training that may continue to develop with a new family
PACK volunteers gain:
  • New friendships
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • A volunteer opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of DC animals
H/T to Active Life DC for the heads-up

Photos from Pack's Facebook page.

Weekly comedy show at Petworth Citizen and Reading Room, every Sunday starting March 22

This sounds like a neat thing to check out: starting March 22, the Petworth Citizen and Reading Room at 829 Upshur Street NW will be hosting the Reading Room Comedy Show. The event runs form 7:30 to 9:30 pm, with host Chris Brandt and other comedians in the Reading Room, their neat little events space.

The Citizen also hosts a lot of other neat events, including talks and an upcoming Playback the Tape event with vintage VHS tapes -- I really enjoyed one of their events a few months back at the Mothership (RIP.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New pop-up restaurant at Eatsplace on Georgia Ave: seafood and spring veggie spot Delilah

Eatsplace, the "pop-uppery" or restaurant incubator located at 3607 Georgia Ave NW, has announced a new restaurant: Capital Taste Presents: Delilah, which uses spring vegetables, ingredients from local farmers, seafood and meat. Sounds like a tasty, fresh and healthy place, and there are lots of vegetarian or vegan options.

Previously the spot has hosted a Southern restaurant, an Asian dumpling house, a biscuit restaurant and more.

Here's more from them, and here's their website.

EatsPlace, the food incubator and pop-uppery, announces its next chef in resident. Capital Taste Presents: Delilah. Delilah will make abundant use of early spring vegetables, seafood and meat to highlight the freshness of the season, such as butternut ravioli, Nantucket Bay scallops, green papaya and grilled skirt steak. Dessert will include peanut butter and chocolate napoleons and caramel apple fritters. 

Chef Mackenzie Kitburi is the owner and executive chef of Capital Taste. The much-buzzed about young chef has been busy on the underground dining scene. Past events from Capital Taste include a field to plate dinner at East Lynn Farm, a Thai inspired dinner series dedicated to Kitburi’s late aunt and numerous other underground dinners. Kitburi seeks out personal relationships with local farmers and purveyors is proud of using local and sustainable ingredients.

Chef Kitburi's residency at EatsPlace will start Thursday March 12 at 5:30 pm and continue  through Saturday, April 4, 2015.

Delilah: 5:30 – 10 pm Thursday
Delilah: 5:30 – 10 pm Friday
Delilah: 11:30 – 2:30 /  5:30 – 10 pm Saturday
Closed for private events Sunday 
New pop-up TBA Monday
New pop-up TBA Tuesday
New pop-up TBA Wednesday

Capital Taste Presents: Delilah at EatsPlace
Nantucket Bay Scallops, Avocado Purée, Grapefruit  7
[v] Green Papaya, Quinoa, Tomato Confit, Yuzu Aioli  7

[v] Cauliflower, Green Curry, Virginia Fuji Apple  10
[v] Mushroom Salad, Lychee, Chinese Sausage, Peanut Soil  10
[v] Artichoke Soup, Smoked Mussels, Radishes, Lemon  11
Prosciutto, Fennel, Mixed Greens, Almond Milk Gel  12
[v] Spring Pea Risotto, Caramelized Onion, Bacon Compote  12

[v] Butternut Ravioli, Boquerones, Young Coconut  16
Half Roasted Chicken, Plantain Puree, Yuca, Poblano  17
Seared Salmon, Fava Beans, Farro, Cucumber Broth  19
Black Bass, Beet Puree, Glazed Carrots, Parsnips  22
Grilled Skirt Steak, Smoked Potato Puree, Asparagus  24

Peanut Butter Chocolate Napoleon Caramel, Peanuts 6
Peach Upside Down Cake, Lemon Thyme Ice Cream, Peach Sauce  6
Caramel Apple Fritters, Honey Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce 8
*[v]= available as a vegetarian/vegan option

Order alcohol, get free boozy cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day from Klink

A few weeks ago I wrote about Klink, the new alcohol delivery service that will bring booze to your door, and which serves our area. (They also sell beer, wine, champagne, mixers and bags of ice.)

Now, for St. Patrick's Day, they're holding a special deal: if you order today or the 18th, you'll get a free car bomb Crunkcake, a boozy cupcake with Guiness chocolate cake infused with Bailey's and Jameson -- and if you use my blog's code when you order, NCHBlog, you'll get free delivery on your order too.

They've also just started delivering Crunkcakes in our area, so you can order those too -- the first one is the Bite the Bulleit flavor.

Might be a good option if you're having a St. Paddy's Day party, or just need something. (I also think this could come in handy for when a party is running low.

You can order online or on their iOS or Android app.