Monday, November 30, 2009

Recommended: Enterprise Rent-a-Car on Georgia Ave

For Thanksgiving I needed to rent a car, so I used my old stand-by: the Enterprise Rent-a-Car location at Georgia and Girard. The place is usually cheaper than other rental car places, they almost always have cars (I rented a day before I needed it), and best of all, it's walking distance to most of the neighborhood. It's also close to the Georgia Ave shops and such if you need some snacks or coffee for your trip (like Sankofa Coffee).

It's a good alternative to Zipcar, especially for long periods of time, so I recommend it! Enterprise isn't on Orbitz, but here's the location's website.

(In case anybody was wondering, I don't get paid or anything for the various places I recommend, they're just things I think folks might find useful.)

Enterprise is located at 2730 Georgia Ave NW. Phone (202) 332-1716

Celebrate St. Andrew's Day at Room 11

Last week I wrote about Room 11's new Monday beer series. Today's version is a bit different: it's St. Andrew's Day, the national day of Scotland (like St. Patrick's Day for Ireland). I've always thought it was weird that nobody celebrated St. Andrew's Day, even though so many folks are Scottish.

But thankfully Room 11 is doing something, starting at 5 pm:
We'll have guest tap Brooklyn Winter Ale, a Scotch-style Ale (think dark rich and malty) on
draft while it lasts. From 8:30 to 10 pm Scottish gin Hendrick's will be offering free samples and free shoeshines! We'll also have Scotch whiskey and cocktail specials from Compass Box and we'll declare the winner of the Highland Bitters Scottish Cocktail Smackdown. Will the Mel Gibson (Hendrick's Martini with house-made Highland Bitters and a house-pickled onion) or the Liam Neeson (Compass Box Asyla with sweet and dry vermouth and house-made Highland Bitters) emerge victorious? Cast your vote by ordering one then feast on some delicious Scottish food specials from Chef Ben Gilligan.

Jim Graham launches re-election campaign

Jim Graham, the Ward One councilmember (which includes Columbia Heights) has launched his re-election campaign. In my opinion, he's done a good job, but he's also had some scandals in his office, with former chief of staff Ted Loza involved with some shady stuff.

I presume that Graham will win, but he does face some opposition: Adams Morgan ANC commissioner Bryan Weaver.

So far on the blog, there's been one pro-Graham comment and one anti-Graham comment. What do you think? More bowtie or new blood?

Photo by dbking

Lost Dog! Have you seen Bindi?

Sad story: got an email from some folks who lost their dog on Thanksgiving day at 14th and Newton. Bindi is a black and white Tibetan terrier. If you see Bindi, just call 202.365.7250 or 703.402.2973 or email me and I'll pass on the info. There's a reward as well.

Attached is a photo.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Is the BP gas station a drug dealer hangout?

Recently on the South Columbia Heights listserve there's been some discussion about the BP gas station at 14th and Euclid. Apparently a bunch of guys were loitering after the owners asked them to leave. The police responded and everybody left, but a few days later the same people were there, so the police banned them from the premises. The implication on the listserve is that the gas station is a hangout for drug dealers, which I'd never really heard before.

I have seen guys meet other guys there and pass them money, but I (perhaps naively) figured it was just some guy who owed some other guy money. But this is the first I've heard -- has anyone else heard about this?

I posed the question on the listserve and got a response from one person who had recently been to a meeting with MPD where the BP station and two other problem areas (1333 Euclid and 11th and Clifton) were discussed. MPD's Lt. Pearce gave her cell number and asked people to text her if they saw anything that concerns them, such as aggressive people, people doing drugs or under the influence, and so on, especially around those three problem areas. Her number is 202-498-9833.

Lt. Pearce then asked people to call 911 after alerting her even if it's not an emergency, as 911 calls are logged to see where more police presence is needed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

DC rapper Wale to appear at Target on Friday

In case Target wasn't crazy enough already, DC rapper Wale, who's featured Columbia Heights in two videos, will be at every Target in DC and PG County on Friday signing albums and giving away mixtapes. Since the only Target in DC is the one in our neighborhood, I expect he'll be there. His debut album, Attention Deficit, came out this month.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you're having a good one with friends or family. If you're going out to eat somewhere in the neighborhood, let me know how it is!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Friday is going to be crazy at DCUSA

I have a feeling that DCUSA is going to be completely bananas on Black Friday: I've seen ads on tv today for sales at both Best Buy and Target starting at 5 am, and a poster on Twitter just told me that they're setting up port-a-johns outside. I'm out of town for the holiday, but if you take any pictures or have any tales, please let me know in the comments.

Hopefully everybody has a good time and the city makes lots of dough from tax revenues!

Update: I also saw commercials for Radio Shack of all places too, with sales starting at 5:30 am.

Art on 14th Street: Cherif Mamadou

Walking down 14th near the Target a week or so ago I saw an artist selling his paintings, which is different from street vendors in the area. The artist's name is Cherif Mamadou, who's originally from the Ivory Coast via Paris but lives in DC now.

I've seen him before painting at the triangle park in Mt. Pleasant, he tends to paint quickly while listening to music. He said one of the goals is to get kids interested in art, which is a good one, and I've often seen kids watching him at work. He had a bunch of different works for sale, and he's a pretty friendly guy.

Here's a bunch of pictures of him working, and a video below.

Manny and Olga's coming to Georgia Ave?

Saw this the other day on Georgia Avenue, just south of the Looking Glass Lounge. Since they seem to be looking for a franchisee, which require a fair amount of cash, I would assume this is a ways off. The pizza from Manny & Olga's is ok, but they do deliver very late.

Free English classes for families

If you or anyone you know is looking for English classes, check this out -- there's a free family literacy program at the Carlos Rosario School at 1100 Harvard Street NW with all kinds of classes: English, computers, reading, etc.

Here's the flyer, in English, Spanish, Amharic, and Vietnamese. Spread the word!

Pictured: Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wild Post story about a wrongly convicted CH resident

The Post has a great article about a man who was wrongly convicted of a murder, jailed for 10 years, and recently exonerated. He then accepted a scholarship from the George Washington University and lives in Columbia Heights. There was a documentary made about him too. Interesting stuff, have a look.

I'd heard about this story before in the GW Hatchet, but I didn't know he lived in our area.

Recommended: Mom & Pop Antiques (& Records)

Mom & Pop Antiques
Originally uploaded by squidpants
The other day I was going to Looking Glass Lounge with some friends and we noticed the antique shop about a block down. It's called Mom & Pop Antiques and we decided to take a look. Now I'm not normally a fan of antique stores, but this one is neat.

There's a lot of interesting doo-dads, plus tons of cool old records (Tempations, Commodores, New Edition, etc). Lots of old school funk and R&B, mostly for $2, and the owner says they get new ones in all the time. The store isn't very big but there's a lot of things packed in there, so you could definitely spend some time. It's not super upscale or pricey like Goodwood, but it's not junky either -- just neat items. The owner was friendly and helpful as well.

Check it out! They're open 12-5 most days and closed Tuesdays.

Mom & Pop Antiques is at 3534 Georgia Ave NW, near Otis Place. Ph: (202) 722-0719

Drug bust on 1300 block of Columbia Road

Nice to see this especially since it's on the same block as the shooting of 9-year old Oscar Fuentes. Let's hope that means the block and gang problems associated with it are getting cleaned up. From the 3D Listserve:
The Metropolitan Police Department Third District announces the arrest of three adults in the 1300 block of Columbia Road, Northwest, following the execution of a search warrant on Saturday, November 21. There was a significant amount of drugs and money recovered as well as two handguns.

These three arrests are as a result of on-going drug investigations in the Columbia Heights Neighborhood.

Unicyclist in the neighborhood?

This is random -- the other day my friend said they saw a unicyclist going down 13th Street and that they've seen this before. Mopeds, scooters, and bikes I've seen, but unicycle, not so much. Plus that hill starting at 13th and Clifton would be pretty tough on one wheel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Street Booze: MD 20/20 on Irving Street

This is second installment of Street Booze, where I document the various bottles of booze found tossed around the neighborhood.

This one's a bottle of MD 20/20 (aka Mad Dog) with a plastic bag around it that I spotted on Irving between 13th and 14th (at night, hence the blurriness). Mad Dog is a fortified "wine" that's fruit flavored, and this one was "peaches and cream." I remember drinking this stuff in college and having it at parties as a joke.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, the MD stands for "Mogen David," the name of the company that makes it, and it's from Westfield, NY. Mogen David is Hebrew for Star (or shield) of David. Not sure what 20/20 means, since you won't seeing 20/20 after drinking it.

New beer series at Room 11 starting today

If you like beer (and especially stout) get over to Room 11 today. They've started a new Monday Night Beer Series where they tap a keg of something different and pair it with some food. Today's beer is Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and owner/bartender Dan Searing told the Post he might pair it with some blue cheese.

New monthly gay dance party at Wonderland

Have been meaning to write about this for awhile -- there's a gay dance party called Pink Sock starting up for the third Wednesday of every month at Wonderland. Doors open at 9:00 pm with no cover and there's a $5 shot and PBR special. The first one was on the 18th and I hear there was a big crowd, and the next will be December 17.

Their press release also notes that Wonderland used to be a longtime gay bar called Nob Hill. The release adds: "We're talking everything from Grace Jones to Prince, Madonna to Lady Gaga, Miss Kittin to MSTRKRFT. To further stimulate and entrance you, there will be accompanying visualizations and home-made music videos that are sure to delight and disturb."

Here's their website and Twitter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Strange column on Columbia Heights in the Post

Saw this the other day: Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak writes about Columbia Heights with a column called "Columbia Heights still has far to go." I agree with that premise, but the column itself is... strange. It almost reads like it was much, much longer but was cut down, leaving not much actual content. She talks to a couple kids who aren't surprised by the violence in the area, and then attempts to contrast Tynan Coffee and Tea with an unused playground.

Dvorak talks to one other person who says the new development isn't making crime drop, and Dvorak mentions statistics that crime is going up. And that's it. The column just sort of ends. It's odd, and I don't really know what to think. Obviously there's a lot that still can improve in Columbia Heights, especially involving kids and crime, but at the same time, this column lends nothing -- no suggestions, no ideas, no examples. Post commenters are pretty angry about it, calling it a "hit job" and such. Your thoughts?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Santa dog costumes at Target

Santa dog
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Sometimes Christmas decorations and displays coming early can be funny -- saw this the other day at our local Target, it's a Santa costume for dogs. They also had some other various amusing Christmas things for pets.

Mostly I'm against dog costumes because they are ridiculous, but this one is just too funny/weird to ignore.

MPD neighborhood meetings today

MPD's police service areas 302 and 308 are hosting meetings today. Here's the details:

--PSA 302: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM at Harriet Tubman Elementary School, 3101 13th Street NW

--PSA 308: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM at Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th Street NW

Here's a map of the PSAs if you're not sure which one you're in.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Open house for charity at Wonderland toninght

Neat event tonight at Wonderland, where you can learn about Greater DC Cares and Inner City Outings. Greater DC Cares is a group that matches volunteers with groups that need them, and Inner City Outings takes inner city kids on trips to nature.

Here's the details:
Wonderland Ballroom is hosting a Greater DC Cares/Inner City Outings Happy Hour from 5pm-8pm. Enjoy food and drink specials and learn more about our programs. Wonderland is located at 1101 Kenyon Ave St NW.

14th Street construction update

Originally uploaded by squidpants
As you've probably noticed, the 14th Street construction is continuing apace. The intersection of 14th and Irving is basically done, with new pavers, trees, benches, and it looks like an area for greenery. The civic plaza is done, and 14th and Park/Kenyon is the new focus, going north towards Monroe.

The streets are dug up along 14th and Park (pictured here), and sidewalk work isn't quite underway at that intersection. Sidewalk construction looks done at 14th and Kenyon. There's also been some street closures, more of which is on the Streetscape website.

Unfortunately future plans aren't described too well on the site, so stay tuned!

South Columbia Heights meeting tonight

The South Columbia Heights Neighborhood Association/MPD/ANC meeting is today at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, which is at 2437 15th St. NW. Along with usual neighborhood meeting trappings and the police readout, there's also going to be a report on speed humps going in on the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Clifton and Euclid Streets, plus construction at Cardozo Court, which is at 1343 Clifton Street NW.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best Buy Black Friday contest

As most stores in the area have let you know, Christmas is coming. Our local Best Buy is holding a Black Friday VIP (aka the day after Thanksgiving) contest, where the winner gets lots of goodies:
- 1 winner in the DC area will be selected to receive:
--- limo ride to the Columbia Heights store on the morning of Black Friday
--- $1000 Best Buy gift card
--- early admittance into the store to shop for door-buster items and more
--- Insignia Digital Camcorder to document the experience
To enter, submit before November 20th a 250 word entry on what you're most excited about for this year's Black Friday. Here's the link for entering.

Arrest made, more scary details in Oscar Fuentes case

Good news and bad news about the case of Oscar Fuentes, the 9-year old who was shot and killed in his family's apartment over the weekend. The Post reports an arrest was made, which is good. The scary news is that apparently the apartment building has 100 fire code violations and tenants say gang members control the building, even collecting rent from residents. That's insane and I hope something is done about that, and about the landlord.

There was a vigil last night, and there's a press conference going on now, so check back soon.

Top Chef contestant sighted at CommonWealth

Last night my buddy spotted Michael Isabella at CommonWealth. He's from DC and is the chef at Zaytinya. Cool to see famous folks in the hood, even if they're from DC.

Google Maps now has points of interest in the neighborhood

This is pretty cool -- I noticed on Google Maps that they have dots for bars, restaurants, shops and such.

It's pretty up to date also, Room 11 is on there. A couple spellings are off (El Rintinonto instead of El Rinconcito) but still, pretty cool.

Have a look.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In case you missed it, Chipotle opens Dec. 10!

I wrote about it on Saturday, but in case you missed it, Chipotle is opening on or about Dec. 10.

I snapped this sign this weekend, which says "we will be opening for business on or about Dec. 10" and they're hiring (come by M-F 9am to 5pm), and I also snapped a couple shots of the outside and interior.

Mural underway at 14th and Girard Street Park

Mural underway
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Looks like the mural at the 14th and Girard Street Park (aka Barack Hussein Obama Park) is coming along quickly. I snapped this the other day and this morning I noticed guys painting not just on the wall, but on the ground too -- the mural continues down towards the basketball court, which is pretty cool.

More on the Columbia Road shooting

The Post has a big article on the shooting of Oscar Fuentes, the 9-year old who was shot and killed in his family's apartment on the 1400 block of Columbia Road. It turns out the lock on the building's front door was damaged.

The Post article seems to imply that no one has been arrested, as MPD Chief Cathy Lanier says "I'm very confident that this case will close with an arrest and will close with an arrest shortly." However, Jim Graham said yesterday on the Columbia Heights listserve that some people have already been arrested. Maybe the Post quote was given before Graham's post.

Either way, it's a very sad story. If we learn anything from this crime, it's that if something is damaged or unsafe in your building, report it immediately to your landlord. If it doesn't get fixed quickly, move up the chain to your ANC comissioner or city council member. It's the landlord's responsibility to keep a place safe and well-maintained. Of course, just fixing the door doesn't mean this doesn't happen, but better safe than sorry.

Northwest Columbia Heights meeting today

Just got info on the Northwest Columbia Heights Citizens Association meeting today at the St. Stephens Church, 1525 Newtown Street NW. It's from 6:30 to 8:30 and will be in the downstairs cafeteria. According to the flyer, there will be "Small-group discussions of neighborhood safety and quality of life issues."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Child shot and killed Sat. night on Columbia Road

Sad news last night, a nine year old boy was shot and killed last night in his apartment. Streets were blocked off for hours and buses were rerouted. The good thing is that WUSA and others are reporting that some people are in custody. Police helicopters were out in the area last night, so let's hope they found everyone they were looking for. Here's Jim Graham on the tragedy:
Dear Friends, I have just returned from a tragic scene at 14th and Columbia. Just before 10 PM, a nine year old boy was shot dead in the presumed safety of his apartment at 1433 Columbia Road. AT this time, it appears that there was some kind of fight in the hallway, shots were fired, one of which entered the apartment and killed this boy. I have the name of the boy (who happens to be Latino) but I am not releasing it since I do not know whether the entire family has been notified.

Chief Lanier and Mayor Fenty--who were both on the scene-- stated that there are persons in custody.

MDP was out in force in the neighborhood, it being an All Hands on Deck weekend. Police were on the scene immediately.

More information will be available soon.

Our hearts and prayers go the family. I have sent messages that my office is prepared to do we can to help.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chipotle opening December 10!

Last night I snapped this sign on the Chipotle on 14th between Irving and Kenyon:

A bit hard to read, but it says they're hiring and "we will be opening for business on or about Dec. 10."

I also snapped a couple shots of the outside and interior.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Something to do this weekend: Check out the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail

Looking for something interesting to do this weekend? Why not check out the newly opened Columbia Heights Heritage Trail! You can get the trail booklets from the link or at local businesses.

Then stop by a local spot after you work up an appetite or thirst while walking and learning about our hood. It looks like there's some interesting stuff on the tour. Let me know if you take any pictures or learn anything wild.

House with crazy yard for sale

Walked by this place the other day -- it's at the corner of Monroe Street and Holmead, and I've always like the yard, which is full of random trinkets and stuff: plants, ceramic mushrooms, a mini pagoda, figurines, etc.

The house i for sale for $789,000, though I'm not sure if the yard stuff is included. There are 5 bedrooms and 4 baths, so presumably you'd have lots of room for knick-knacks.

Here's a close-up of some of the things in the yard:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hoppy beer sampling at D'Vines today through Sat

Built in tap at D'vines
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Just saw this on the Beerspotter Twitter: D'Vines on 14th Street is sampling Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA, a big, floral, hoppy beer, from today until Saturday. Stop by and check it out!

This is part of the store's beer tasting series, where they hook a keg up to the tap they installed in the wall (pictured).

D'Vines is at 3103 14th Street NW

Recommended: CC's Liquor Store

CCs Liquor Store
Originally uploaded by Mr. T in DC
The other day a friend new to the area asked me about liquor stores, and I recommended CC's Liquor Store at 14th and Newton over the others in the area. They seem to be a few dollars cheaper than Speedy Liquor across the street and Florida Liquors at 14th and Florida. The guy behind the counter is also pretty friendly and recognizes you once you've been in a few times, which is cool.

They have all the staples I buy, like pretty good selections of bourbon and rye, plus a decent beer selection and some fancier stuff like bitters and vermouth if that's what you're looking for. A big bottle of Evan Williams whiskey is $15.99, for example. I'm not really a wine guy, but they do have some as well. I'd bet D'Vines would be the wine spot, however. They also have the occasional interesting thing, like Quetzalteca brand aguardiente, a Guatemalan cane sugar alcohol similar to cacha├ža

The one thing they don't have a lot of is mixers, so I'd try Giant for that.

Anybody else with an opinion on the local booze establishments?

CC's is at 3401 14th St NW. Phone (202) 667-5050

Lost dog at Holmead and Newton

Uh oh! Have you seen this dog? Click the poster for a bigger version.

Bizarro ATM at 14th and Irving

Bizarro ATM
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Just noticed this the other day -- a big, green, freestanding ATM has appeared at the west entrance of the Columbia Heights Metro, next to Five Guys. It's for something called Signal Financial, but with the weird green glow it kind of reminds me more of a spaceship. Plus there's already graffiti on it. That took about two days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chipolte coming along nicely

Looks like the Chipotle on 14th Street is finally making some progress: the inside is pretty well along. Last I heard (which was months ago) it's supposed to be open in winter, so that sounds about right. We'll see!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

City eases poster restrictions

Originally uploaded by squidpants
Just saw this on DCist: the city has eased regulations regarding posters for events -- now they can be up any amount of time before the event, but must be taken down after 30 days. Before I've complained about the ANSWER posters that are up forever after the event. The group was fined a number of times for not removing posters.

The rule change stinks. If I've learned anything about poster putter-uppers, it's that they don't mind covering the neighborhood with posters and then not removing them.

Diapers on the street -- Not cool.

Not cool.
Originally uploaded by squidpants
I saw this the other day on 13th Street around Columbia: it's a bunch of dirty diapers. This is not cool.

There's a bag with them, but they couldn't wait to put them in a trash can? Come on.

Academy Award-nominee Richard Jenkins at Eatonville

Just got a tip from a reader that they saw actor Richard Jenkins, who's been in lots of things, including Six Feet Under, The Visitor, Step Brothers, Outside Providence, etc, eating dinner at Eatonville at 14th and W on Sunday. (That's him in the middle). Like I said, famous people are everywhere!

Here's Eatonville's website and Twitter.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Wale video filmed in Columbia Heights

Looks like Wale, the DC hip hop artist, likes using Columbia Heights as a backdrop for his video. A previous one, "Chillin'", featuring a green-screened Lady Gaga, was filmed partially at Cardozo High School and elsewhere in the neighborhood, and his newest is also in the area. "Pat Your Weave," which is technically video by go-go group UCB featuring Wale, but appears on some of Wale's mixtapes, features the Destiny De'Ve salon on 14th Street prominently. Check it out:

Here's Wale's Wikipedia page and Myspace page. His debut album comes out tomorrow and he has some pretty excellent mixtapes for free download on the Myspace page. "Pat Your Weave" is on one of the mixtapes.

Destiny De'Ve is at 3343 14th St NW, just north of Park Road.

Shooting last night at 11th and Clifton -- see anything?

ANC commish and South Columbia Heights Neighborhood Association prez Sedrick Muhammad posted this on the South CH list yesterday:
Confirmed Shooting Last Night

Dear Neighbors,

At approximately 10:50pm last night at 11th & Clifton Streets NW, an adult male was shot and transported to the hospital in serious condition. Let's help MPD close this case.

Please call Lt. Pearce with any information (202) 498-9833.

"I am art" stickers around the neighborhood

Originally uploaded by squidpants
Lately I've noticed a lot of these stickers around the neighborhood -- it's a guy in goggles with the caption "I AM ART". They're kind of neat, though I'm not art expert so I'm not sure who is depicted -- or if it's a famous person at all.

Anybody able to enlighten me?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Historic walking tour this Sunday

This sounds pretty cool: the DC Preservation League is having a walking tour of Holmead Village, the area bounded by 13th, 14th, Spring and Park Road. Holmead Village, built from 1907-1911, is "the largest tract of houses to be built in Washington until that time and the development that instituted front-porch row-houses as the predominant free-standing house type in Washington for the next three decades."

The area even has a listserve!

Anyway, the event is Sunday at noon, starting from the Tivoli. It's free to Citywide Conference attendees, $15 for DCPL Members and $20 for Non-Members.

There's only 25 spots. "To make a reservation or for more information contact Amanda at DCPL by phone at 202.783.5144 or by email at" Here's the whole ad (PDF).

Movies filmed in Columbia Heights?

The other day I was wondering about movies filmed in DC, and if any have been filmed in Columbia Heights. Off the top of my head, I thought of D.C. Cab and Syriana.

DC Cab is a pretty crummy (but amusingly crummy) Joel Schumacher movie about a cab company staffed by Mr. T, Gary Busey, Bill Maher, Adam Baldwin, and some wrestlers called the Barbarian Brothers. They have a food fight against another cab company inside Florida Avenue Grill, which is kind of funny. The other one is a little more subtle -- in Syriana, Jeffrey Wright's character is jogging up the hill on 13th Street next to Cardozo High School when a car stops to talk to him.

Doing a little research, I found a couple of neat things from the Post, which actually list addresses and such. It looks like 1412 Harvard Street NW is mentioned in The Day the Earth Stood Still, and parts of Dave are filmed in Mt. Pleasant. There's also a list of movies filmed in DC from Kitty Tours, but it's nor organized by area.

Know of any other movies filmed in Columbia Heights? Let me know in the comments.

And here's the intro of D.C. Cab. Enjoy?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The City Paper on affordable condos in the neighborhood

Saw an interesting post on the City Paper's Housing Complex blog about affordable condos in the Kenyon Square building in Columbia Heights and elsewhere. New condo buildings have some afforable units that are geared towards people making below the median income in the area. However, if those people sell their condos, they only get a fraction of the money back, and they can only sell to other low income people. After 11 years, for example, they get about half back, with the rest going to a city affordable housing fund.

I see the point of these rules, which is to discourage flipping and such, but as the post points out, sometimes people just need to move -- they have a family now or whatever reason. Local nonprofits are looking to change the rules. Interesting stuff.

ANC1B meeting today (Thursday)

ANC1b, the neighborhood commission that covers southern Columbia Heights, U Street, and part of Shaw, meets tonight at 7pm on the second floor of the Reeves Center (14th and U). Here's the agenda and a map of the ANC if you aren't sure whether you're in it or not.

Ellwood Thompson's tax relief bill passes

Lots of news about Ellwood Thompson's recently! Yesterday we heard from Ellwood Thompson's owner Rick Hood that the organic grocery store was looking for funding for construction from the city, and today we learn that the bill Jim Graham introduced giving them a tax break was passed by the city council on Tuesday. Should be interesting!

For those unfamiliar, the grocery store stocks mostly organic and locally grown products, and would be moving into the Irving Street side of DCUSA. Their plans have been on hold since April, saying it was due to the economy, and they've said they're looking for more funding.

Free bike lights Thursday at the Civic Plaza

This is pretty cool -- the Washington Area Bicyclists Association is giving out free bike lights tomorrow at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. They're also doing it at the plaza at 18th and Columbia in Adams Morgan. Go get one and be safe!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New mural planned for 14th and Girard Street Park

Nice to see more art coming into the neighborhood -- a mural is planned for the wall of the basketball court in the newly renovated 14th and Girard Street Park (aka the one that may be renamed Barack Hussein Obama Park). It was proposed by local nonprofit Words, Beats and Life and sponsored by the DC Commission on Arts & Humanities.

It's supposed to be finished this month.

(I cut it in half so you can see the whole thing.)

Ellwood Thompson's asking Fenty for funding?

I just got this comment on my blog, supposedly from Rick Hood, owner of Ellwood Thompson's, the organic supermarket that planned a store in DCUSA but then put it on hold. Here's the comment:
Ellwood Thompson’s will be appealing to Mayor Fenty for funds to begin construction at DCUSA. I’m told that the Mayor will be at Tubman Elem School tonight (Wed) for a forum to include discussion of “commercial development” starting at 7pm at the meeting of the North Columbia Heights Civic Association. He also can be contacted through under “contact the Mayor”. We need your support !

Rick Hood, Owner
Rick Hood is the name of owner (I Googled it) but I haven't heard this from anywhere else, so I'm asking the company spokespeople to confirm. As noted previously, Jim Graham proposed a bill giving Ellwood Thompson's a tax break.

Now I'm strongly in favor of the store coming to the neighborhood and I'm fine with tax breaks, but I'm less sure about asking the city for construction funds. Then again, that's kind of what happened with DCUSA.

Jim Graham to face some opposition this election

Looks like our longtime councilman might have a challenge this year -- Adams Morgan ANC commissioner Bryan Weaver is looking into running against Jim Graham, who has faced some scandals lately regarding his chief of staff Ted Loza, who allegedly took some bribes and did other creepy stuff (like forcing his mistress to get an abortion, allegedly).

Scandals aside, however, Graham is very active in the community and has a lot of support, so it'll be interesting to see. What do you think? No more Graham, or keep the bowtie around?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Astronaut in the neighborhood!

Just saw this on Twitter, there was an astronaut at the Columbia Heights Education Campus today speaking to kids: Jose Hernandez, who was on the most recent Space Shuttle trip to the International Space Station. Pretty cool, hope the kids enjoyed it.

Bikers in Columbia Heights -- friend or foe?

Just saw a looooong thread on the Columbia Heights listserve about bikes -- a pedestrian was nearly hit by a fast-moving bicyclist in a sidewalk who yelled "get out of my way." Then the discussion goes from there: should bicyclists obey traffic laws? Are laws biased against bikes in favor of cars? Did the biker know what he was doing?

Most people seem to think everybody should just be courteous, but even so there's going to be some reckless driver, biker, or walker who could cause problems for somebody. I was almost hit by a fast moving bicyclist in a crosswalk the other day, but I wasn't really looking, so that's partially my fault. But again, I was in a sidewalk when I was allowed to walk. It's a sticky situation.

Your thoughts? 14th and 11th Streets do have bike lanes, but even then, they'll have to cross sidewalks and other streets at some point.

Photo by St Stev. Not in Columbia Heights, unfortunately.

Community meeting with Mayor Fenty tonight Wednesday at Tubman School

His Baldness is coming to Tubman Elementary School tonight Wednesday for a "community forum," starting at 7 pm at the meeting of the North Columbia Heights Civic Association.

Their website says "This will be an open forum focusing on Columbia Heights-specific issues including crime, green / public spaces, commercial and infrastructure development, and schools."

Sounds good! Someone should ask about Ellwood Thompson's, though he might not know anything about it.

Photo by TerranceDC

Lose an iPod?

A good samaritan found an iPod in a green case on 13th between Otis and Spring on Saturday night and posted about it on the Columbia Heights listserve. If you think it's yours, email with a description of the picture on the back of the case to newcolumbiaheights(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll pass it on to the person who found it. That would stink, losing an iPod.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tynan Coffee & Tea has breakfast sandwiches

This weekend I went into Tynan Coffee & Tea looking for some breakfast, as I saw on their site that they had waffles, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast wraps. However, like the first time I went in, I didn't see any breakfast on the boards over the registers, just coffee drinks. There's also the case in front of the register but that only had drinks, salads and pre-made lunch sandwiches.

I picked up a turkey and havarti sandwich. They heated it up and it was very tasty, and then when waiting for my coffee, I noticed the board with all the food on it. It's to the left of all the registers and the rest of the menu, and it did in fact have breakfast sandwiches and wraps, plus waffles. I've heard the breakfast sandwiches are pretty good.

So if you were like me and missed the breakfast food, just look to the left.

Tynan is at 1400 Irving St NW, next to Five Guys

Cate Blanchett shops at Target

So I posted about Cate Blanchett being spotted at the Columbia Heights Metro, and I wondered why she was in the area. I followed up with the spotter on Twitter and it turns out she saw Ms. Blanchett shopping at Target. Another commenter saw her looking at ottomans in the furniture section.

Pretty funny and cool -- I would have thought that a famous movie actress would have an assistant or something to do stuff like that. I guess that just means that Columbia Heights is the coolest and attracts all the movie stars. Take that, Georgetown and fancy stores on lower 14th Street!

Construction moving to at 14th and Irving

Work at 14th and Irving
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Looks like the construction on sidewalks has moved down from 14th and Kenyon to 14th and Irving -- saw these guys out there this weekend. They're making the sidewalks wider and it looks like they're also adding benches -- though I'm not sure why anybody would chill outside the CVS unless they were waiting for somebody.