Monday, January 31, 2011

New vintage clothing store, Black Eyed Susie's, opens at 14th and Meridian

The vintage options in the neighborhood are increasing. First Hella Tuff, and just read that a new used clothing shop, Black-Eyed Susie's has opened at 14th and Meridian. The spot opened on January 13th, and is open Thursday through Sunday -- here's the full hours.

They'll buy used clothing and accessories, and here's their mission:
Located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, Black-Eyed Susie's provides the community with affordable, gently used clothing and accessories for men and women. Black-Eyed Susie's will provide an opportunity for individuals to buy and sell wearable, in-fashion and current with the trend clothing and accessories.
Anybody been?

Interesting idea from a reader:

Got this email from a reader the other day. What do you think?
What if you purchase (or want to purchase) something that is too heavy to carry several blocks…like several bags of groceries or a boxed bookcase or tv stand?  Maybe you cannot afford a taxi and don’t have a car.  I live 8 blocks north of DCUSA. I have to push these things home in a shopping cart. Unfortunately my work hours only allow me to shop on the weekends (during daylight hours) which by then the sale items are mostly picked over or non-existent

So for all you folks who think this is silly and wasteful, form an escort service for shoppers and seniors to help then get their purchases home safely.

Stymied shopper…

Friday, January 28, 2011

Who's shoveling, who isn't?

A reader wrote in about places where the sidewalks aren't getting shoveled -- namely the CVS at 14th and Irving and the 14th and Girard Street Park, which is DC property. I've also noticed that some houses, especially ones on the corner, haven't shoveled their sidewalks. Maybe there's a good reason, like the residents are elderly, but folks really should be shoveling and helping those who can't. Renters are also required to shovel.

The law is that you're supposed to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to your property within 8 hours of daylight after the snow stops.

SnowCampaign_IsYourSidewalkShovel

El Rinconcito Deportivo to serve brunch starting next week

A friend stopped by El Rinconcito Deportivo, a small Mexican/Salvadorean place on 11th between Lamont and Irving, and the owner said they'd be serving brunch beginning next week. I'm hungry thinking about Latin American brunch.

I've never been, but a lot of friends have a lot of good things to say about the food there, plus Yelpers like it.

Anyone else care to add their favorites/comments on the place? 

The (hopefully) final word on which bus routes run in snow

Photo by faceless b
Turns out the map I made yesterday does not actually show WMATA's snow emergency routes. Despite being called the same thing, and getting the link to the map from a few people, WMATA actually has their own snow emergency routes, which I eventually found here. Neither WMATA or DDOT actually provided a map or description in their press releases about buses only running on emergency routes.

The map could still be used for whether you have to move your car, however -- as snow emergency routes are required to be open -- if you park there, you'll get a ticket.

So in short, if there's a snow emergency, the 52, 54, and S2 buses will still be running in the neighborhood. The rest won't be.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Metrobuses are back on normal routes

Metro Tweeted earlier that Metrobuses are back on normal routes. The roads look pretty clear, so let's hope the commute is ok on the way home.

I took the Metro yesterday from downtown at about 6:30 and had no delays, but I heard bad things from some folks.

More snow maps: track where snow plows have gone

Another snow-related map, this one from DC Government's GIS shop (my former employer): just put in your address and hit "start" and it'll show you where plows have been. You can also see the view from traffic cameras. Actually looks like traffic cameras are down.

Check it out. 

And as mentioned before, I created a smartphone-enabled Snow Emergency Routes map earlier.

A web (and smartphone-enabled) map of DC Snow Emergency Routes

UPDATE: Turns out these are not WMATA's snow emergency routes. Despite being called the same thing, and getting the link from a few people, WMATA actually has their own snow emergency routes, which I eventually found here. This map could still be used for whether you have to move your car, however -- as snow emergency routes are the first ones plowed and if you don't move your car you'll get a ticket. Sorry for the confusion, they don't really make it easy to find.

This morning, Metrobuses were only running on Snow Emergency Routes. It took me awhile to find a map, and when I did, I could only see the far upper left corner on my iPhone. Not too useful. So I created this Google Maps mashup of the Snow Emergency Routes. I drew them on my own (couldn't find them on DC's data catalog) so I'm not claiming they're 100% accurate -- let me know if you find any I missed.


View DC Snow Emergency Routes in a larger map


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1300 block of Kenyon: most interesting houses in the neighborhood?

The other day I was walking down Kenyon and noticed just how diverse and interesting the housing stock is -- there's all kinds of different rowhouses, really showing the variety of the neighborhood in a small spot.

Starting the corner of 13th, the north side of Kenyon features a row of duplex stone houses, which you don't see too often. On the south side, there's a Queen Anne (I guess) style house with a Tudor-ish wood addition I really like (note: I'm no architectural expert, feel free to correct me.)

Then a few doors down from that, there's a couple of rowhouses, one with an unusually big second floor window and art in the yard next to a bright purple one. Past the alley, there's some taller and also brightly-painted houses: green, maroon, and teal. Then you've got a funky, flat modern house with a round window (I'm never sure if that house is done or not).

Back on the north side, there's some smallish apartment buildings and then a stucco house with a porch. That house looks a lot like one I saw on a walking tour a few months ago. That house, on the west side 13th near Monroe, was said to have been one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood. Maybe this house on Kenyon is as old. It looks old, anyway. Past that house, there's a row of identical rowhouses with bay windows and porches and one bright green one in the middle. Then there's some more apartment buildings.

Back on the south side, there's a bunch of three story rowhouses, all with different kinds of brick or paint and various kinds of rooflines, plus some with arches over their door, and then you've got Kenyon Square, a big modern condo building. It's almost Columbia Heights in a brief one block walk.

Check out Google Streetview below or walk it yourself!


View Larger Map

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bryan Weaver, Patrick Mara enter at-large council race

Just when you thought we were done with local elections for awhile, there's more. The at-large council seat, which is currently filled temporarily by Sekou Biddle, will be up for election on April 26. Among others, former Ward 1 council candidate and current ANC commish Bryan Weaver is in the race, as is school board member (and Meridian Pint part-owner) Patrick Mara. Biddle is also running for the permanent seat.


In the last election, I endorsed Mara and really like Weaver (and in fact hoped he'd run for this, so I'm glad he is.) Both seem like good guys. Mara is a moderate Republican and Weaver is involved with local nonprofits that help kids.

Bryan Weaver made some news with his clever videos last time around, and Patrick Mara made a new one:



Dave Eggers spotted in the neighborhood

Dave Eggers by kittell
This happened a couple of weeks ago, but I just saw it: author Dave Eggers was in the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. Eggers wrote A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, among other things, and he was visiting 826DC, the non-profit tutoring spot on the Civic Plaza. He founded the 826 nonprofit that runs 826DC and the Museum of Unnatural History.

826 also compiled a book called I Live Real Close to Where You Used to Live: Kids' Letters to Michelle Obama (and to Sasha, Malia and Bo).

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Sherman Ave streetscape upgrades underway

The Sherman Avenue streetscape improvements, which include pedestrian and traffic safety improvements, improved sidewalks, more street trees and better street lighting, are moving along. From the Columbia Heights Yahoo listserve:
The barriers in the middle of Sherman Avenue from Fairmont Street to Barry Place are Step 1 in Phase 1 of the Maintenance of Traffic plan.  Essentially, the contractor is preparing for the next activities to begin, which for the next two weeks will be the continued utility activities for water and electrical.  There may be temporary lane closures while the contractor is making the utility connections at the man-holes.  The barriers are there to help keep both the construction workers and the traveling public safe during this phase.
DDOT will be distributing quarterly newsletters about the project to people who live along Sherman Avenue.
Here's what I wrote about it before, and here's DDOT's site for the project.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bands in the Neighborhood: Lightfoot

This latest installment of Bands in the Neighborhood is on Lightfoot, fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, who also runs the Hella Tuff vintage store in the neighborhood.

The band plays next on January 27 with Paperhaus and Lubec at Asylum in Adams Morgan -- here's more. Axum Level X Lounge (1934 9th Street, NW) at 10 PM. They have some videos as well, check them out.

If you have a band in the neighborhood, let me know. 

What's your musical background?
Limited.  Ha.  I really only got into music about a year ago. I'm a total newbie!  But I think it's better this way, to be self taught and motivated.  I'm not jaded by doing years of piano scales. 

How did you come up with the band name?
Lightfoot is actually a town in Virgina and it is located halfway between my past and my previously planned future.  But it's also a mantra, "to be tender and step lightly".   

Do you consider Lightfoot more of a band or a solo project?
Lightfoot was a solo project and I still consider myself to be "Lightfoot".  But over the last 6 months it has developed into a tightly knit band.  I wouldn't love the music I'm making without my bandmates.  I am still the primary songwriter however, my bandmates really bring out the best of my compositions.  But at the end of the day, if I had to move or my bandmates left me, I'd keep playing as Lightfoot, because it's part of who I am. 

How many members live in Columbia Heights? Whereabouts? (roughly)
Right now just me!  But we all rehearse in the Hella Tuff Basement Boutique and Studio (which is in CoHi) and we all hangout in CoHi after rehearsals.  We used to hit up Froyo all summer long, now my boys are into Ihop. 

I know you practice on Fairmont, do you play any gigs in the neighborhood?
We've played house parties and such and I've played Wonderland solo.  But there really aren't any venues in CoHi yet.  Some one needs to open one! 

Working on any records?
I am writing and recording ideas now.  I hope to release some singles and an ep this spring.  As far as recording goes I'm more concerned with quality over quantity. 

Any crazy or terrible tour stories?
A lady never kisses and tells. 

What’s your take on the music scene in Columbia Heights and in DC?
I feel like a lot of people live in CoHi but there aren't enough rehearsal spots or places to gig at.  We're really lucky to be in our spot.  I know too many bands with no where permanent to rehearse. 

And if you had to rename your band for something Columbia Heights-related, what would it be?
Oh, goodness, this is a hard one. Um?  Probably "Irving Found" because the key necklace I have been wearing for nearly 5 years now (look through any photo of me and it will be there) was found amidst broken glass and dirt on Irving and 13th.  I was much younger hearted then, still settling into the city, unsure of almost everything and taking a late night walk.  The key found me and I've been wearing it around my neck ever since. Like Lightfoot, it's become part of who I am.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Work progressing on pet store at 11th and Lamont

A few months ago I wrote about a pet store, Mr. Larry's, which is coming to 11th and Lamont. From his emails and comments, he seems like a really nice guy who is dedicated to pets. The other day I spotted a new sign and some lights in the windows, so it looks like things are coming along. He was looking at February 1, 2011, so we'll see how that looks.

There's also this sign, saying there's a master groomer coming as well.

Here's more from Mr. Larry, who posted this in the comments on the previous post:
Thanks for the "head-up" and your support! Target date is Feb. 1st 2011........Working on interior and new window front this month. I will carry 80% all-natural/organic food and of course my neighbors "favorites" and USA products. I'm very excited for this opportunity! Thanks againn for your support! Welcome any suggestions and feedback. I can be reached at e-mail sgtlarryb@aol.com Remember 10% of all sales goes to Pet 2 Vet, please check their web site!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Broken bike rack at Park and 14th to be fixed

About a week ago I wrote about the broken bike rack and handrail on Park Road near the Sticky Fingers, where a car ran off the road and broke them. They had sat broken for a few months. It looks like the bike rack may actually be getting fixed soon, though the handrail is on private property so it's their responsibility.

I emailed Jim Graham, who emailed DDOT. Jim Sebastian of DDOT replied on January 12th that "DDOT will be replacing the bike racks within the next two weeks." So we'll see!

Where's all the street-level retail on 14th?

Retail/office space for lease at View 14, 14/Fla.
Over the past couple of years, a number of new condo and apartment buildings have been built on 14th Street in southern Columbia Heights and the U Street area, from about W Street to Clifton. Most of them have included spaces for street level retail, and as you go farther north those spaces are empty. And more new buildings with more retail are to come.

Around W and V Streets there's the Yes Organic Market and Eatonville, but that's pretty much it; the other spots in those buildings and in others like View 14 are empty. Solea at 14th and Florida has street level retail, all of which is now offices for the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, a non-profit which tries to bring the area together via sports.

This sounds like a worthy cause, but it's maybe not the most vibrant tenant. Or is it?

I think part of this is a chicken-and-egg problem. There isn't much foot traffic because there isn't much to do, but in order to get more businesses (and thus more things to do), you'd need more foot traffic. Restaurants are good for foot traffic, of course, but you don't see much from one or two isolated ones. I don't see people walking around from Eatonville, they basically go there to eat then leave.

So how do you get more people? Offices will provide some daytime traffic, as those folks need to eat and conceivably could shop or get drinks after work, but there'd need to be more offices to generate enough traffic for lots of businesses, and of course those would be empty on the weekends. Banks, dry cleaners, cell phone stores and such, which seem to be easy tenants to get, wouldn't provide much foot traffic.

It's almost like there needs to be a critical mass of interesting stores and restaurants to generate that traffic. I'm not sure I see that happening for some time. Thoughts from anyone else? It's a confusing and complicated issue.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Graham renews push to name park "Barack Hussein Obama Park"

Last year I wrote about Jim Graham's idea to rename the 14th and Girard Street Park (that's the official name) to Barack Hussein Obama Park. Nothing happened with that, but he's now reintroducing the bill to the DC Council. We'll see what comes of it. In 2009, "Graham stressed that Obama's middle name would also be included in the park's name. (During the campaign, Obama shied away from highlighting his middle name, but he used it when he was sworn in)."

In case it wasn't clear, this is the little park at the corner that was recently renovated.

I like the name personally. Any who knows, maybe the President will visit, as he has before. Your thoughts?

Tivoli restaurant space getting divided in two

Yesterday I noticed a permit in the window of the space at 14th and Park where sushi place Nori was and before that a Mayorga coffee shop (which later switched to a Korean menu).

The space, which is divided into a front and back separated by a hall, plus an upstairs balcony area, has seemed like bad news, no restaurant succeeded there. The permit may be working to address that, dividing the lower level into a retail space and the upper level into an office. Both Nori and Mayorga had a small front space and a bigger back space, with the balcony area. It made for an awkward layout at both places.

Plus since it says retail, maybe they're not looking for a restaurant anymore. That might make it easier to find something lasting, too. Let's hope it's not a bank, dry cleaners, or cell phone store.

UPDATE: A commenter reminded me that Z-Burger was rumored to be moving into the space. Haven't heard anything since the first rumor, however.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Hopefully you have the day off, but even if not, remember the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. to our country. Here's the full "I Have a Dream" speech if you haven't seen it.



There are some things going on today for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, so check them out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Community service on MLK Day: see what's happening in your area

This Monday is Martin Luther King Day, and also the National Day of Service. There's a website, MLKDay.gov, where you can see what sorts of projects there are near you.

The Ward 1 MLK Day of Service seems like the closest to us, but there are plenty others around.

Anything else you're doing for the holiday/day of service?

Brooklyn Beer dinner at RedRocks on Tuesday

Looking for something to do after the long weekend? RedRocks at 11th and Park is hosting a five course beer dinner, and every course is paired with a different Brooklyn Brewery beer.

The dinner was developed with Brooklyn's Junior Acevedo, RedRocks General Manager Joe Lennon and Chef Elias Beltran. Sounds pretty cool, and there are more details here. You have to RSVP ahead of time on that site.

Estate sale this weekend on Girard

Just got this note about an estate sale:
Estate Sale from a residence of 50 years.
The Girard House
744 Girard St NW Apt 210
Wash DC  20001
Sat Jan 15 and Sun Jan 16 10:00am to 3:00pm
Art Deco Bed, chest of drawers and 2 night tables.  Sleep sofa.   Dining table and chairs.  LOTS of jewelry.  33 RPM records.   2 Mink stoles.  Lots of other clothes.  Coffee table.  End table.  Elfa Shelf
Call 202-607-7392 for more information.

New sports bar making progress on Irving: Lou's Bar and Grill

The space on Google Streetview, from a few years ago
I've gotten a few notes about construction on a space in the Highland Park building on Irving, next to CommonWealth. This morning I walked by and some guys were working. We chatted briefly about it, and they said it's going to be a sports bar of sorts, with 27 TVs.

Quite awhile ago we heard rumors of a sports bar, then in September there was an update in September that they were hoping for February 2011, and DCMud mentioned it briefly.

Not sure of the time span yet, but if I hear updates, I'll let you know. The windows are covered with brown paper so I couldn't see inside. I would guess February 2011 isn't going to happen, but who knows?

UPDATE: From ANC1B commish Lauren McKenzie, who posted this in the comments: "Their voluntary agreement was just approved at the ANC 1A meeting on Wednesday, and the builders indicated they hoped for a March 2011 opening. There's supposed to be summer garden as well - similar to Commonwealth."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ellwood Thompson's cancels lease. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Good riddance. DCist reports the Richmond organic grocer put out a press release that they've terminated their lease in DCUSA.

I don't know about you, but I was sick of hearing about them almost being super close to very nearly signing a lease -- for the last two years. Hopefully we can get something useful in there that actually wants to be there, realizes there are customers waiting and hoping, and doesn't jerk everyone around.

What would you like to see? Trader Joe's would be pretty great.

If you want to relive the futility, here's all the posts I've written over the years about this stupid store. For awhile there I believed them when they said they were close to opening, but considering each time I asked them they said they were almost there and never provided any details, it became obvious that they either didn't have the money or the ability to open the store. I'm annoyed that I wasted so much time writing about them.

Have fun in Richmond. We'll be spending our dollars somewhere else.

UPDATE: Wash Biz Journal reports that DCUSA's broker has been in touch with "several grocery operators" and "We believe it's a viable grocery opportunity and there are a number of groups interested," he said, though he would not specify which. "That's the direction we're planning on going in."

Hey, you, shovel your sidewalk

Although DC doesn't really enforce its 89-year old shoveling law, it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

It's really annoying (and dangerous, especially for older or frail people) to walk on icy, snowy sidewalks. I personally kind of like shoveling since it's good exercise, but really, you may prevent you or someone else from falling down and busting their butts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Impromptu snowball fight in the neighborhood

I recently got a fun story from a reader:

So I live more towards Mt. Pleasant and tonight I was on the bus reading a book and missed my stop so had to get off at Columbia Heights. As I rushed off bus and see this. I put down my bag & box I was carrying to take this picture and put my gloves on, and as I am finishing this guy throws a snow ball at me, so naturally I throw one back! So we had this little impromptu snow ball fight right outside the Columbia Heights Metro! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?!
I always like snow because it seems like it engenders more friendliness and neighborhood camaraderie than usual.

More on the new 14th and Florida condo building

Update on the new condo building at 14th and Florida: I received an email from R2L:Architects with some updated designs, pictured here. The ANC1B's November minutes have more on the building as well: it will be at the southeast corner where the used car lot is now. Mostly it's market rate with 30 units, but 8% will be affordable (2.4 units?).

The timeline is iffy since they're still in the approval and design process. It's planned to be 75 feet high with 2,500 square feet of retail or commercial space plus underground parking for 10 cars plus bikes. 

The ANC report says "The ground floor commercial space will also include projecting glass bays to help activate the street"  and "They propose retail use for the ground floor space.  They are studying how to make the retail most useful for the community."

Street Booze: Microbrew on Kenyon


Looks like 40s and cheap beer is out: maybe microbrews are the new street beer. Spotted this on Kenyon between 11th and 13th, it's a Whale's Tail Pale Ale, made by Cisco Brewers of Nantucket. We'll see if this sort of fancy stuff continues.

Want to see more Street Booze? Check out the archive.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New condos with retail coming to 14th and Florida

Thanks to Metrocentric, I learned that there's a new building with 30 condo units and street-level retail planned for 14th and Florida, from Douglas Development and R2L:Architects, although the project doesn't appear on any of their sites.

Not sure exactly where at the intersection this is going, but I hope it's the southeast corner with the empty used-car lot. I'm looking into it and will report more when I hear it.

Dead sharks on the sidewalk? What is going on in our neighborhood lately!?

In the past couple of weeks, readers and I have noticed a lot of things you don't see everyday on Columbia Heights sidewalks: a headless rooster, bent metal caused by a runaway car, wild animals for Three Kings' Day, Patron, paint-dripping graffiti, and more. But I think this is the weirdest yet.

A reader sent in two photos of dead sharks (or maybe some other kind of animal) that were spotted near the corner of Sherman and Harvard. They even kind of look like snakehead fish, the illegal, invasive "walking" fish that caused a stir in the DC area a few years ago, and even spawned (pun intended) a couple of movies.

But sharks? Why? Did somebody have pet sharks and want to get rid of them? So they just threw them on the side of the road? Maybe there was a fish tank that broke? Can you eat these? I don't know of any pet store nearby. So many unanswered questions.

What is going on in our neighborhood lately? It can be an unusual place sometimes with a lot of characters, but the amount of sidewalk stuff these past few weeks is surprising.

Readers, any possible explanations?

Breakdance crossing on Georgia Avenue

Just a random funny thing to start off your week: I spotted this sign last night outside the Looking Glass Lounge at about Georgia and Otis. Either people walking upside down are going to be crossing the street, or breakdancers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pantless people on the Metro on Sunday?

Photo by James Calder, used under a Creative Commons license
A lot of strange things happen on the Metro, but Sunday there may be some folks without pants. That's because Sunday is the 4th annual No Pants Metro Ride, with people gathering near L'Enfant Plaza then hopping on the train. A few stragglers may head up our way during or after the event.


Here's more info from the Facebook page, which has almost 900 people who say they're coming.

Are you planning on going? It's going to be cold!

History photo: Mt. Pleasant Banjo & Mandolin Club from the 1880s

Love these old history photos: this one was found by Flickr user Rock Creek from the Washington Star newspaper. The newspaper was from 1935 but the photo is from the 1880s. The Star went out of business in 1981.

I have a feeling this club would have a much younger membership today.

As you may recall, Mt. Pleasant back in the day stretched to 14th Street -- see the People's Drug Store at 14th and Irving, for example.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Want to see some free college basketball? Check out Howard

Last weekend I went to the GW-Howard game at Howard University's Burr Gymnasium. And it was free! There aren't any ticket booths, so basically you just walk in and sit down.

Burr, at Georgia and Gresham (between Harvard and Girard) isn't a big gym and Howard isn't a good team this year, but if you were looking to do something inexpensive or fun for the family, check it out.

The crowd was quite small for the GW game, but since it's such a small place you're really close to the action and can hear the coaches and players talking, which is interesting. That can be funny too, like when GW's coach begged a player to please make one shot fake a game, after which he can shoot as much as he wants.

There's a snack bar with hot dogs, popcorn, drinks and such, and during time outs there was a DJ playing hip hop and funk. Pretty fun time for a Sunday afternoon. 

Here's Howard's full schedule. The MEAC conference season is starting soon, when Howard will play other HBCUs in the mid-Atlantic: Hampton, Norfolk State, Maryland-Eastern Shore, etc.


Sign for new deal at Lafayette Federal Credit Union: "Looking at my butt"

Ah, juvenile humor. Got to love it. A reader posted this on Twitter, it's a sign in the Lafayette Federal Credit Union ATM kiosk on Kenyon Street. Looks like somebody had some fun.

This is the same bank that also offered "great rats" last year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Excessive morning construction noise at 14th and Irving constrution site?

Construction noise can annoying, but at 6 am it's terrible. I've heard from a reader who lives near the Upper Cardozo Health Center on 14th just south of Irving, and apparently they've been making lots of noise very, very early in the morning.

The reader did some research, and the ANC reported they're only allowed to do work between 7 am and 7 pm, and they didn't have an extended hours permit that would allow 6 am banging. Here's an intro to illegal construction, and page 17 of this document has the noise regulations.

The reader reports they weren't out there this morning, so maybe they stopped. Let's hope so!

Anyone else notice the loud banging and such in that area?

Map of things to do in the area

A reader sent this in, it's a web map he made tracking things to do: bars, restaurants, points of interest and so on. It's probably especially good for newcomers, but could be useful for anybody. Have a look:


View Pleasant Plains Tour in a larger map

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Three Kings' Day celebration this past Sunday: animals on the sidewalk

This past Sunday was Epiphany, also celebrated as Three Kings' Day. Latin American Catholics in the neighborhood (and around the world) celebrate it with a big procession of people dressed as the Three Wise Men, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, and more, complete with donkeys and sheep.

The procession goes down 14th and ended with a performance at the Gala Theatre, plus free churros and hot chocolate. A reader snapped this picture of the animals at 14th and Irving, and Mr. T in DC snapped some of the procession last year. The reader says more animals showed up a bit later.

Always like to see interesting cultural traditions like this.

Bent bike racks, trees, rails on Park: runaway car?


There's a strange sight on Park Road just across from the Giant: it looks like a runaway car or truck drove onto the sidewalk, bending a tree and bike racks and breaking a couple of hand rails. It's been that way for a few weeks now. I didn't hear about the wreck, but it's kind of annoying that it hasn't been fixed yet.

BloomBars was open late on New Year's Eve for folks who shouldn't drive/didn't have a ride

Pretty cool thing the folks at BloomBars, the nonprofit arts space on 11th, did on New Year's Eve:
Public Service Announcement: If you're hitting any of the above locations and either don't have a ride, can't/shouldn't drive, or can't find a cab please come to BloomBars, where we'll be screening audience-selected movies on our big-screen from 2:30 till 6:00 am.
Wish I would have known about it earlier, but still, a good idea. Did anybody take advantage of it?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Disturbing: Headless rooster found on Otis Place Ogden

It's the weekend of strange things on the sidewalk -- Patron, paint drippings as graffiti, and now a headless rooster. A reader sent this in, spotted on Otis Place Ogden between 14th and 16th. Strange stuff.

Apparently rooster sacrifice is done in the Santeria religion, which mixes Afro-Caribbean beliefs and Roman Catholicism: something similar happened in New Jersey a few months ago, for example. The roosters are sacrificed for saints or as an offering. 

Kind of disturbing, and also unsafe, since they probably have germs and could attract rats. 

Is this common? Has anybody else spotted this sort of thing in the neighborhood?

UPDATE: The reader confirms it was Ogden, not Otis.

Paint-dripped graffiti on the sidewalk

Lately I've noticed a lot of what appears to be dripped paint graffiti around the neighborhood. The biggest group is at 13th and Irving, but I've seen some other parts around 13th Street.

It's strange, because it's paint directly on the sidewalk, so I'm not sure how you'd remove it. With regular tags you can just paint over it, but that doesn't seem like an option here.

It looks like LC is the main culprit, as that's the tag I've seen the most of with this paint thing. I've seen that tag around the neighborhood for years, mostly on light posts and such. I figured it was some kind of gang tag, but considering it's here with lots of other tags, maybe it's just some tagger.

It seems like there's more graffiti in general around the neighborhood too.

As always, make sure to report graffiti to the city, via 311.dc.gov. To report things without an address, use "1300 block of Irving Street NW" or whatever block.

Street Booze: Patron on Columbia Road


Now here's some fancy street booze. Spotted this bottle of Patron tequila on Columbia Road right near the Bruce-Monroe Park. I would assume there aren't people sitting around swigging Patron, but who knows.

Want to see more Street Booze? Check out the archive.