Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Neighborhood #3 - Power Out?

Looks like Pepco is reporting some power outages in the 20009 and 20011 zip codes and I've heard some reports from pals around town - anybody affected?

And here's the video of that reference:

Black Hebrew Israelites in the hood

Black Hebrew Israelites
Originally uploaded by squidpants
For the past few days, I've seen the Black Hebrew Israelites at the Columbia Heights Metro. The group, which has various names, is a religious group who believe they are descended from ancient Israelites. They use a loudspeaker to preach and sometimes say bad stuff about white people. I often see them at the Gallery Place Metro, and they caused a stink in Capitol Hill when neighbors tried (unsuccessfully) to get them to turn down the volume.

Here's the Wikipedia page about the group.

Anybody see them? I didn't catch much when I saw them.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Eve in Columbia Heights

A reader sent in a good suggestion the other day: a rundown on New Year's Eve events in the neighborhood. So here you go:

--Wonderland has DJ Meistro from 10pm to midnight. UPDATE: a reader said she talked to the owner, and it's $25/couple or $15/person cover, and there's a High Life toast at midnight

--CommonWealth has two events - a "Tarts and Vicars" fancy dress party with no cover, costume prizes, and a champagne toast, and a three course New Year's roast from 5pm to 8 pm at $25 per person.

--Busboys & Poets has an open bar, DJ, "high-end reception foods" and will also have a shuttle to the other Busboys at 5th and K. Tickets are $49 in advance and $59 at the door.

--The Heights has a few prix-fixe packages, with reservations required.

--Tonic in Mt. Pleasant is having a "White Winter Party," where folks dress up in "elegant and sexy" white clothes. I'm not sure about a cover, but I presume there will be one. They're also having a big brunch on New Year's Day.

--De'vines has all sparkling wine 10% off on the 31st.

--Red Derby is having pink champagne at midnight.

--Red Rocks Pizza has their regular menu, and they're taking reservations for parties of 6 or more.

Where do you plan to go? Got any other suggestions?

Columbia Heights streetscape plan website

Just saw this via the Columbia Heights Yahoo group, the Columbia Heights Streetscape plan has a website, complete with maps, a pretty useful FAQ, and an updates page. For example:
December 12, 2008 Update
Residents of the 1600 Block of Park Road NW are now eligible for Zone 1 Residential Parking Permits. Click here for more information.

December 8, 2008 Update
DC Department of Transportation Begins Road Construction on Park Road NW. Click here for more information.

Photo from the website

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sankofa Bookstore and Cafe

The other day I was going to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Georgia Ave (which is pretty handy, by the way) and wanted some coffee. I saw a place on Georgia just south of Girard called Sankofa, and stopped in. It's a nice little spot. It's an African bookstore with a little cafe and it's about a year old according to the barista. The guy was friendly and gave me a tasty Americano for the same price as a regular coffee, and they also had day-old muffins for a buck. I picked up a chocolate one and it was very tasty. They also had sandwiches and stuff, plus other drinks, and rent films as well.

Anyway, pay them a visit. They're at 2714 Georgia Ave NW, between Fairmont and Girard. Here's their website and their Yelp page (which has the wrong address).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bored? Check out Columbia Heights on Facebook

Good ol' CH has a number of different Facebook groups and apps, so give them a look if you have some time to kill.

--The Neighborhoods application has Columbia Heights, but it's kind of boring

--Columbia Heights Day

--Some folks started a fake "white yuppie hipster" gang, the Whipsters

--There's a Columbia Heights DC group

Anybody else do Columbia Heights stuff on Facebook?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Funny truck ad

So I've seen this ad at various places around the neighborhood for some time. What I noticed about it is the drawing -- it looks like someone used Microsoft Paint or Word to draw the truck. I kind of like that.

This particular sign was on the Bank of America ATM on Georgia Ave, near the Looking Glass Lounge.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New restaurant coming to 14th and Meridian?

A reader sent me a tip yesterday -- they were talking to a construction foreman at a building being renovated just north of the Allegro Spaces, apartments on 14th Street between Newton Street and Meridian Place, and the foreman said there would be a restaurant in the building. I'll look into it, it's the first I've heard of it.

And if you too have a tip about anything, let me know! newcolumbiaheights(at)gmail(dot)com

Cops busting Columbia Heights criminals

There's been a number of crimes recently in the neighborhood, but the police have been arresting the perpetrators too, which is good to see. To wit:

--MPD arrested a man who killed a person and shot a 5-year old in a house on the 600 block of Kenyon Street NW.

--MPD also arrested a man for a stabbing death at 14th and Newton NW

--Police also arrested a woman for a stabbing on the Metro

Scary to see these things, but it's good their getting arrested.

Renting your place out for Inauguration?

Is anyone planning to rent their place out for Inauguration? Has anybody already rented theirs? We've been considering renting ours out, as have some friends, but we have yet to hear of anyone actually doing it. Let me know in the comments!

And I also saw this pretty funny ad for a place in the neighborhood, a "CHEAP ASS DRUNKEN HOSTEL" at 11th and Girard. $250 all you can drink! That sounds like a recipe for disaster for the people who live there. (Hat tip to Express Night Out for this one.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Charity event tonight at Wonderland

There's a volunteer appreciation/charity event tonight at Wonderland that sounds pretty cool, it's for Capitol Letters, a new non-profit that will teach kids creative writing and is doing an anthology at Cardozo High School. There will be cupcakes, a bad holiday sweater costume, and DJ Gavin Holland is spinning. Sounds cool, go pay them a visit and donate a few bucks!

It starts at 7:30, and here's the info from their blog:

Be watchful of your cars!

Just wanted to remind folks to watch out for their cars - this weekend my friend was visiting and her convertible's soft top was cut into. A few things were stolen, though it could have been worse, but it's still a pretty bad thing to happen. Some things to remember might be to move your car every few hours, even if you don't have to do, or park it within view of your house, if possible.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Photos of the new Nevin Kelly gallery

The folks at the Nevin Kelly art gallery, which recently moved from U Street to the Highland Park building, just put some photos up on their blog. I'm curious to see the place on their opening.

Pan Lourdes now open

Just got a tip from a reader that the Pan Lourdes bakery/coffee shop at 14th and Newton Streets NW is now open. The reader says "I had several things, and they're mostly a step up from the standard Latino bakeries in the area."

As I suspected in the previous post I wrote about it, the baked goods come from the Pan Lourdes bakery in Mt. Rainer, Maryland.

Let me know how it is!

(The photo is from September, they may have a nicer sign now.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Royal Blue to open in "next couple of months"?

I just got a tip from a new City Paper blog, Housing Complex, which has a post on Royal Blue, the Mediterranean restaurant on the east side of 14th Street near Starbucks. The joint which has been in the works for awhile, but there's finally some news.

City Paper writer Ruth Samuelson spoke to the space's owner:
"I guess they had some issues with their build out. But I’ve been in there recently and talked to the construction guys and they’re very, very far along," he says . "I would be shocked if it wasn't ready in terms of the build-out to be opened in the next couple of months."
I like food, so I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reggae/dub show tonight at Wonderland

Just got this from a buddy, the reggae band Lucky Dub is playing at Wonderland tonight at 9 pm. They're partially from Columbia Heights, so go support the locals!

Here's their Myspace.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bus service meeting on Thursday

After complaining about the crummy 14th Street bus earlier, I just learned about a Metrobus service meeting for the general public. Councilman Jim Graham posted the message to some listserves:
Dear Friends:

The Washington Metropolitan Areas Transit Authority and the Department of Transportation want to enhance bus service throughout the District. To do so they are conducting a neighborhood circulation study.

The study includes a series of community meetings at which residents can give their input on neighborhood bus service. The second round of meetings is coming up.

A meeting will be held in Ward One on Thursday, December 11, at Trinity AME Zion Church at 3505 16th Street NW. There will be an open house at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will being at 7 p.m.

The location is handicapped accessible, but if you have special needs or questions, please call 202-561-3700 or visit
Sounds awesome. I'll try to make it, and whether I do or not, please complain about the 14th Street bus stopping too often.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nevin Kelly art gallery moves to the neighborhood

I just saw this on DCist, the Nevin Kelly gallery has moved from U Street to the Highland Park building at 1400 Irving St NW. The gallery folks told DCist that "they will be open by appointment only until the new year, when they'll host an open house to introduce everyone to their new digs, followed by regular business hours again."

The gallery doesn't have a storefront and are in one of the first floor units, and they hope to use the building's common areas and such as reception and exhibition space. Seems like kind of a weird set-up, but I have yet to see it, so who knows.

This is the first art gallery in the neighborhood (if you don't count BloomBars, which is more of an art space), and I hope we can see more.

Here's their website.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Toy drive at MPD stations

MPD is having a holiday toy drive until the 23rd, with drop off boxes at their stations around the city. The ones in our area are the Third District station at 1620 V St NW and the 3rd District substation at 750 Park Road NW.

Here's more info, and a press release:
The Metropolitan Police Department and the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) are partnering to bring underprivileged children toys this holiday season. Each district station will have a box at the station desk for the new, unwrapped, toys. The age range should be geared toward children 2-12 years of age. The toys will be collected until Dec 23.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

DoS playing Wonderland tonight

If you're interested in seeing some music tonight, former Band in the Neighborhood DoS are playing Wonderland, opening up for Swift Technique, a hip hop group from Philly. Stop by, sure to be a good time.

CH serial robber turns himself in

I realized I forgot to post this, the teenager who committed 20 robberies in Columbia Heights turned himself in on November 26th, according to the Post. He called the police and they picked him up at 13th and Irving, and MPD did more investigation and charged him as an adult.

The guy, who is 18, is named Michael Richardson, and apparently he's still in custody, so there's something positive.

Girard Street Park to close tomorrow for renovations

Looks like the city's Department of Parks and Rec is about to start work on the renovations to the Girard Street Park at at 14th and Girard. South Columbia Heights Neighborhood Association president Sedrick Muhammad posted a letter from the DPR director posted an email saying they'll be closing to the public tomorrow. DPR expects the park to be done in early summer.

I posted about the park before, DPR says "Amenities of the new Girard Street Park will include seat walls, landscaping, game tables, lighting, and an outdoor basketball court with new rubberized play surface. Additional new park features include a play fountain, new fencing, access to the basketball court for persons with disabilities, and two bathrooms."

Anybody see a stolen Honda?

Saw this on the Adams Morgan listserve, keep your eyes peeled!
Stolen Vehicle

My vehicle was stolen sometime last night (Monday) between 9 pm and 12 am. It was parked at Monroe NW close to 14th Street. Nothing particularly valuable was inside and we do not have comprehensive insurance. If you happen to see a 2000 Silver Honda, 2 door, license plate CT 6166 with DC plates around please call the police.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Drink and eat late at night during Inauguration Weekend

The Post reports on what may be the awesomest news ever, that bars and restaurants in DC will be open 24 hours for Inauguration Weekend from January 17th to 20th. Last call will be 5 am (it's usually around 2 am) and you can buy food all night at the bars. Sounds pretty great to me -- I will definitely take advantage of it at Wonderland, the Red Derby, etc.

Some folks might not like it (like those who live around Wonderland) but I'm guessing the bar owners will keep the crowds as quiet as they can. Of course, people already aren't allowed to go out onto the patio after midnight at Wonderland.


I saw this awhile at Fairmont and 11th. I liked how the colors matched up.

What's new in the neighborhood? Got any tips? Let me know in the comments or via email, newcolumbiaheights(at)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Taking the Bus: 14th Street

This second installment of Taking the Bus, my series on buses in the neighborhood, focuses on the 14th Street Buses, the 52, 53, and 54, which go from Takoma down 14th Street to downtown/L'Enfant. In short, I hate them.

I've taken this bus heading south during rush hour and not during rush hour, and it's always a pain. They don't come very regularly, and they make so many stops (often every block) that it's practically faster to walk. I've started taking them for work during rush hour, and it's terrible - it takes about half an hour to go from 14th and Euclid St NW, roughly, to 14th and F. That's less than 2 miles. I could roll down the hill faster.

The line also sometimes has a problem with bunching, where a bunch of buses show up at once - of course, when you aren't waiting for 10 minutes or more for it to show up, especially when it isn't rush hour. Hopefully, they'll take out some of the stops or add an express - stopping every block increases the time it takes exponentially, because aside for waiting for people to get on and off, you catch more red lights that way. It stinks.

The bus seems like a good idea, but you're better off walking to 16th or 11th and catching those buses, or taking the Metro. Here's the map and schedule of the 14th Street buses.