Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't forget, town hall with Chief Lanier, Jim Graham's staff to discuss recent crime

Don't forget tonight's town hall meeting on the recent string of shootings in the neighborhood: 
As discussed in our last Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting, we have a date of Wednesday July 27th at 6pm for a dialog on the Caribbean Carnival with MPD Chief Lanier, Carnival Executive Director Loughton Sargeant, a representative from Councilmember Jim Graham's Office, and the community.
Note that this is the date for our regular Task Force meeting, but it will begin one hour earlier at 6pm to accommodate the Chief's schedule.  She will only be available until 6:50.  Councilmember Graham will be out of the country but will be represented.  We will also invite Councilmember Bowser.
The meeting will be at the G II Restaurant at 2632 Georgia Avenue.
For background on some of the issues regarding this year's Carnival, you can listen to a Town Hall meeting on the Carnival conducted Saturday July 16th broadcast live on WPFW.  The archived show can be heard for the next 13 days by going to http://www.wpfw.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=500 and scrolling down to "Caribbeana" broadcast on Saturday, July 16, 2011 7:00 pm. 
The Town Hall was hosted by WPFW's Gloria Minot, with panelists Paul Quander, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice, Councilmember Bowser, Councilmember Graham, MPD Assistant Chief Lamar Green,  Claude Barrington of the DC Caribbean Carnival and others.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Belated, but cool, 4th of July fireworks video



So the 4th of July was a few weeks ago, but I recently got this cool video from a reader of some of the sidewalk fireworks at 13th and Otis. Must have been pretty crazy to be in one of those cars driving by.

You'll note the parked cars have a tarp or blanket or something over them. I guess that's good!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Affordable condo project on Clifon finished, some units still for sale

A reader tipped me off to this: the Cardozo Court condo building at 1343 Clifton, which is run by housing non-profit Manna, Inc. and is only available to people making less than 60% of the area's median income, is finished. Some of the units are still for sale.

I wrote about the project before, and some people seemed less than thrilled. Personally I think this is a good thing to allow people to become homeowners and help keep the neighborhood economically diverse.

Silent auction on the 27th to benefit homless kids tutoring program

Sounds like a nice event, this Wednesday at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, right off Meridian Hill Park.
Project Northstar of the Martin Pollak Project Hosts a Silent Auction Event
What: Project Northstar, a tutoring and mentoring program for homeless youth in Washington, DC, will host a silent auction event to raise funds for another night of tutoring! We will provide a complimentary open bar, snacks, and delicious desserts. Please come out to support Project Northstar, make a donation, and bid on items such as a signed Redskins football, a night at the W Hotel, theatre tickets, restaurant gift certificates and much more!
When: Wendesday, July 27th, 6-9pm
Where: The Josephine Butler Parks Center
2437 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009 

RSVP: ehelmer@mppi.org

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pete's Apizza is planning to deliver pizzas with a Segway

No, seriously. Pete's Apizza is planning to deliver pizzas via those two-wheeled vehicles that carry tourists around downtown and make police officers look like goofs: the Segway.

They already do it at their Clarendon, Virginia location because there wasn't anywhere to park. I assume it's the same situation at the location in the Highland Park building. There's even a video of the Segway with a pizza carrier. Pretty funny.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Would you buy produce at 7-Eleven?

Yeah,  me neither. But apparently that's what's happening according to the Washington DC Economic Partnership:
"Think is just good for slurpees? Think again. Check out their new “fresh produce” concept at H St & Columbia Heights locations"
Like the WDCEP says, I mostly think of 7-Eleven for Slurpees, drinks, chips, and crappy hot dogs and taquitos. And with Target, Giant and the Farmer's Market, I'm not sure there's a real lack of produce. But hey, we'll see I guess.

In case you missed it, the 7-Eleven in our hood is at the corner of 14th and Columbia.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

UNHCR Humanitarian of the Year at the Dunes gallery on July 21

Yet another cool event at the Dunes, the gallery/art space above The Getaway at 14th and Meridian: this time it's Rose Mapendo, UNHCR's Humanitarian of the Year. She's a Tutsi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who was forced into a death camp during the Hutu-Tutsi conflicts in the area. 

In the death camp she gave birth to twins, and was later moved to another camp then handed over the Red Cross and evacuated with her family to the US. She later started up a resettlement NGO. A pretty amazing story, here's more.
She's be speaking at the Dunes to kickoff the Congolese Women's Peace Summit. Tickets are $20 to benefit the summit and there will be cocktails and DJs.


Discover Your Resolve

Town hall with MPD Chief Lanier about the Caribbean Carnival

Upcoming event from the Georgia Avenue Task Force in the aftermath of the shooting of 4 people at the Caribbean Carnival a few weekends ago. Definitely sounds interesting.
As discussed in our last Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting, we have a date of Wednesday July 27th at 6pm for a dialog on the Caribbean Carnival with MPD Chief Lanier, Carnival Executive Director Loughton Sargeant, a representative from Councilmember Jim Graham's Office, and the community.
 
Note that this is the date for our regular Task Force meeting, but it will begin one hour earlier at 6pm to accommodate the Chief's schedule.  She will only be available until 6:50.  Councilmember Graham will be out of the country but will be represented.  We will also invite Councilmember Bowser.
 
The meeting will be at the G II Restaurant at 2632 Georgia Avenue.
 
For background on some of the issues regarding this year's Carnival, you can listen to a Town Hall meeting on the Carnival conducted Saturday July 16th broadcast live on WPFW.  The archived show can be heard for the next 13 days by going to http://www.wpfw.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=500 and scrolling down to "Caribbeana" broadcast on Saturday, July 16, 2011 7:00 pm.  The Town Hall was hosted by WPFW's Gloria Minot, with panelists Paul Quander, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice, Councilmember Bowser, Councilmember Graham, MPD Assistant Chief Lamar Green,  Claude Barrington of the DC Caribbean Carnival and others.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jobs for kids: graffiti removal

Two birds, one stone. Jim Graham has started a program of jobs for kids in Ward 1, where they go around cleaning graffiti. Right now it's 4 kids who have removed 130 instances of graffiti around the ward, and they're also working with kids from the Columbia Heights Youth Club.

Nice to see this, as gang graffiti is a big problem in the area (I see LC and CTU all over the place, for example.)

If you see graffiti, report it to 311 or 311.dc.gov, and call Jim Graham's office at 724.8181 -- he says he'll alert the Ward 1 graffiti team as well.

Community meeting on crime this Tuesday at 6:30

As you've probably read or heard, there's been a rash of violent crime lately in the neighborhood. I just got this from ANC commish Lisa Kralovic, nice to see it. I won't be able to make it, but if you go please comment on what happened.
Please join Councilmember Graham, MPD, and ANC 1A for a community meeting to discuss the recent violence on the blocks of 1400 Spring Road, 1500 Spring Place, and 1400 Parkwood Place.

6:30 PM
Tuesday, July 19
La Cabana Restaurant, 3614 14th St NW (between Spring Road and Perry Place NW)
The Washington Times has an article saying that the triple shooting that occurred on Parkwood was apparently due to an early-morning craps game, and that the street is well-known for illegal gambling. Hmm.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Learn about urban foraging this afternoon: as in eating plants off the sidewalk

This sounds awesome. A buddy forwarded me a link to an event today at 3 pm with "Wildman" Steve Brill called "Backroad Urban Foraging" where you'll be looking for plants and weeds that you can eat. Take it away, Wildman: 
Instead of dodging beserk motorscooter cops racing down the sidewalks to chase down Vietnam War protesters and innocent students alike, we'll be checking out overgrown areas and thickets, looking for wineberries, blackberries, and elderberries, all different-tasting, and all delicious.
He also mentions lots of roots, mushrooms, and medicinal herbs. I'm not sure I'd actually eat them, but it does sound like a fascinating tour. It costs $15 and you can RSVP here. I hope he does one during the weekend.

The tour starts at 16th and Columbia.

Vintage clothing sale and open bar at the Dunes gallery on Sunday

This sounds pretty cool. Lots of neat events at The Dunes lately!
Get Trunk at The Dunes Gallery with The Quarter Life and Pretty People Vintage, Sunday, July 17th

WASHINGTON, DC, July 12, 2011: Vintage loving blogger, The Quarter Life and recently opened Old Town shop Pretty People Vintage are joining forces and setting up shop at The Dunes Gallery, located just off 14th Street, four blocks north of the Columbia Heights Metro.

The shops will be open 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 17th. The Dunes’ bar will be open, serving summer appropriate rum filled drinks. The shops will be accepting credit cards to make your shopping experience more convenient.

The Dunes is located on the top floor of 1402 Meridian Place NW (Meridian Place entrance of the building.)

What's up at BloomBars in the coming week?

Here's what's happening at neighborhood art space BloomBars in the coming week:
Unless otherwise noted in the event link, all events have a suggested donation of $10, are appropriate for all ages, and are located at BloomBars, 3222 11th St NW. Please let me know if you have specific questions about anything!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lots of crime recently: 4 shootings in 4 days, Wonderland robbed at gunpoint

Pretty serious and sad times lately in the neighborhood, as there have been 4 shootings in 4 days, including a triple shooting with 2 killed, on the 1400 block of Parkwood, and one at 10:40 pm on Tuesday in the 1400 block of Spring Road when a man was shot after an attempted robbery. This is very worrisome, and makes you wonder if they're connected.

In addition, three masked men with guns came into Wonderland at about 1:30 am on Wednesday and robbed an employee. No one was hurt and MPD responded quickly, catching one of the robbers shortly thereafter. Let's hope he says who the others were.

Surprisingly I  haven't heard much from the Mayor about these incidents. Let's hope he notices this and focuses on it. Four shootings in 4 days is serious.

Weekly happy hour to be hosted at The Dunes gallery

The Dunes, the new art gallery space above The Getaway at 14th and Meridian, just got a liquor license. And thanks to that, they're hosting a new bi-weekly happy hour:
Announcing: Open Hours, a post-work social club at The Dunes in Columbia Heights

WASHINGTON, DC, July 7, 2011: Announcing Open Hours, a post-work social club and happy hour hosted at The Dunes, a mixed media venue in Columbia Heights, just four blocks north of the Columbia Heights Metro. Open Hours offers a refined happy hour.

Each week will feature a seasonal drink menu featuring hand-crafted cocktails, served by ReadysetDC’s Justin Young and Peter Chang and every evening there will be music by local talent (DJs, Bands, and streaming recordings by local talent).  Guests also will be able to view the monthly art exhibits curated by The Dunes.

You must register to attend and registration is free. Members will receive a menu every Monday listing the drinks of the week. To register visit http://openhoursdc.com/.


Entry is free and a cash/credit bar is on site. Open Hours occurs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Dunes is located on the top floor of 1402 Meridian Place NW (Meridian Place entrance of the building.)

Visit http://openhoursdc.com/ for more information
Join Open Hours on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OpenHoursDC
Art and booze, sounds pretty solid to me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting a parking ticket for an expired sticker... and an up to date sticker.

Got this from a reader. Pretty funny:
I received this morning a peculiar ticket on my car, after living in the neighborhood for 22 years, currently on Monroe Street, I have never thought that this was an official "ticketable offense".  Maybe the powers that be in city government be need to make up for some cash for a certain expense for a duo of leased SUVs.
I received a ticket "Expired Sticker".  Yes there is an expired sticker on my car, RIGHT NEXT TO A VALID STICKER.  Had I had a sharp razor at the time when applying the new sticker I most certainly would have removed the old one, but I did not.  So I left it, like many other cars do in the neighborhood - you know the ones that have 5 and 6 parking stickers growing up the side of the windshield to either prove they are long-time residents or trying to make their car less appealing for stealing.

Anybody else get similarly ridiculous tickets? Below are the stickers and the ticket, which is for "failure to remove expired sticker."

2nd anniversary open house tonight at Past Tense Yoga

Past Tense Yoga, located at 3253 Mt. Pleasant St. NW, is celebrating their 2nd anniversary with an open house tonight, including food and drink! Check it out:
Wednesday, July 13 from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. 

The Open House will feature a new photo installation by Stacey Vaeth, prizes and more. 
Food and drink will be provided by Acre 121, Lou's, Flying Fish Cafe and Honest Tea. 
We will also be joined by Zipcar and Mt. Pleasant Massage.

Yoga teacher training coming up at Quiet Mind

Want to be a yoga teacher? Check this out from Quiet Mind Yoga, at 3423 14th:
For the fifth year, the next YogaWorks Teacher 200HR Training program is starting in August at Quiet Mind Yoga in Washington, DC.  The YogaWorks method is a foundation for all styles of teaching.  It provides the basis for teaching in a smart and safe way. YogaWorks offers one of the most comprehensive teacher training programs in the country for aspiring teachers and serious students of yoga. YogaWorks' cohesive, multi-specialist approach to teacher training blends the best of the yoga traditions from the East and the West. Our mission is to provide you, as a yoga teacher, with the foundation to teach skillfully - with compassion, integrity, and safety - as you discover your own unique voice and style.
The cornerstone to the YogaWorks approach to teaching is the dynamic and conscious practice of asana.  YogaWorks' distinctive view of sequencing asana takes some inspiration from Ashtanga yoga and some from Iyengar yoga, integrating both into its own paradigm. To deepen their education, students in the YogaWorks teacher training will also study anatomy and physiology, explore yoga's philosophical underpinnings, practice meditation and pranayama, as well as investigate the subtle body and the science of Ayurveda. To view the full training. schedule and download an application, please visit us at http://www.yogaworks.com/TeacherTraining/ScheduleOfTrainings/Export/DC_Aug_2011.aspx

The next 200-hour program in DC will be taught by Heather Seagraves. The training will be AUGUST 1-26, 2011 at Quiet Mind Yoga!
 
Get a feel for our program by viewing our Teacher Training videos on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/YogaWorksTT Learn more about our instructor, Heather Seagraves, by visiting her website! www.heatherseagraves.com.

Quiet Mind Yoga offers a thoughtful reprieve from one’s daily routine by providing mindful yogaYoga is dedicated to providing an earth-friendly environment for yoga practice. We proudly provide mats, blankets and other yoga props from hugger mugger's earth elements line, and take steps to reduce waste everyday.
instruction in an inviting and comfortable environment. Classes offer detailed instruction that focus on the proper posture alignment, strengthening and fluid movement found in iyengar, ashtanga, anusara and vinyasa. Instructors place great emphasis on the need to relax and restore one’s mind and body, Leaving Quiet Mind students invigorated and radiating peace. Quiet Mind

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Deaf tuxedo cat found

Did you lose a cat? If so, check out below:
I noticed a young black & white cat in my alley (between Euclid and Clifton and 11th & 12th). He/she appears young. He/she is also deaf. I was able to trap the kitty to feed him/her (very hungry) and protect him/her during the big storm we are now having.. He/she is domesticated and friendly - not feral. However, I can not let him/her on my porch, where he/she is now, as someone may come and take him/her and harm him/her and tomorrow it is going to be very hot. I can't bring him/her in my house as I have a cat and they don't get along.

If you or you know of someone who lost this cat, let me know. If you want to adopt this cat, let me know. He/she is very, very cute and purrs when pet. 
Here's the link

One way traffic sign turned into "bone away"

The folks at DC Shit List, which is a blog pointing out things they don't like in DC, spotted this: a traffic sign at 11th and Kenyon, near Wonderland. The sign was changed from "One Way" to "Bone Away".

It's pretty dumb, but also sort of funny. I'm not nearly as offended as the Shit List folks, but hey, worth a mention at least.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Before and after housing tour to highlight struggles with affordable housing

Sounds interesting:

Tenant Advocates Host “Before and After Tour” of Affordable Housing Struggles in NW Neighborhoods

Reality Tour to Show Results of Gentrification and Community Organizing in Columbia Heights and Petworth

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, July 11th, residents of Columbia Heights and Petworth will open their homes to share stories of their struggles to preserve affordable housing in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. Washington, D.C. is the only city in the country with a unique law (the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, TOPA) that gives tenants the right to determine what happens to their apartment building when it is for sale. The Before and After Neighborhood Tour will visit four multi-family buildings (two where residents utilized TOPA to buy their buildings and convert them into affordable cooperatives, and two apartment buildings where tenants are trying to purchase) to meet with residents and hear their unique stories. DC’s tenant purchase program is one of the major focuses of this year’s Fourth Annual Citywide Tenant Town Hall, on Saturday, July 16th at 2:30 pm at First Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E St NW, near Judiciary Square).

WHAT: Before and After Neighborhood Tour of Columbia Heights and Petworth

Before: Hear from tenants in run-down apartment buildings that are for sale, who are organizing to prevent their displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods.

After: See newly renovated, affordable housing co-ops where long term neighborhood residents are now owners!

WHERE: 1st stop: 710 Jefferson St NW
2nd stop: Brightwood Gardens Cooperative – 941 Longfellow St NW
3rd stop: 1333 Euclid St NW
4th stop: Quest Cooperative – 1460 Euclid St NW

WHEN: Monday, July 11th, 5 to 7 PM
Meet at 710 Jefferson St NW at 5 pm; we’ll walk to 941 Longfellow St NW (2 blocks), then drive to 1333 Euclid St NW (or meet there at 6 PM), then walk to 1460 Euclid St NW (1 block).

WHO: Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), Save Our Safety Net, 710 Jefferson St NW Tenants’ Association, Brightwood Gardens Cooperative Association, 1333 Euclid St NW Tenants’ Association, Quest Cooperative Association.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Free yoga class Saturday at the Community Marketplace

The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is great: fresh produce, meat, cheese, bread and more, plus artisans, crafts, and other events. And this Saturday there's more, a free yoga class from Quiet Mind Yoga at 3423 14th Street NW:
What could be cooler than free yoga? Free outdoor yoga in your very own neighborhood!

Quiet Mind Yoga and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace
invite you to fend off the heat with a free yoga class!
Date: Saturday, July 9, 2011
Time: 9-10am
Place: Columbia Heights Community Marketplace (aka CH Festivus)
at the corner of Park Road and 14th Street, NW
What to bring: a yoga mat, water, an open mind and open heart

About Quiet Mind Yoga

Just one block north of the Tivoli center, Columbia Heights finally has a place for the community to take
a deep breath and relax... Quiet Mind Yoga offers a thoughtful reprieve from one’s daily routine by
providing mindful yoga instruction in an inviting and comfortable environment. Classes offer detailed
instruction that focus on the proper posture alignment, strengthening and fluid movement found in
iyengar, ashtanga, anusara and vinyasa. Instructors place great emphasis on the need to relax and
restore one’s mind and body, leaving quiet mind students invigorated and radiating peace.

Wanna buy the Park Triangle on the Civic Plaza?

Got $60 million? Then you can buy the Park Triangle, the apartment building that fronts on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza at 14th/Park/Kenyon (the building with Sticky Fingers, Frozenyo, etc.) The Biz Journal has a brief article on it but doesn't say why it's for sale -- maybe the company that owns it just built it as an investment? Not sure.

In any case, I hope they keep all the same retail stores in there and don't raise rents -- aside from maybe the cell phone store.

Domino's at 14th and Fairmont now open

Just got this photo from a tipster, the Domino's pizza in the Columbia Uptown apartments at 14th and Fairmont is open. I'm not a huge Domino's fan, but they do seem to have a lot of good carryout deals, judging from some commercials I've seen lately. And considering two of the three retail spaces in the building have been empty for a year or so, I'll take it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The "Harvard Brothel" - live tweeting a group house

Photo from their Yfrog
So this is interesting. The other day I was followed on Twitter by @HarvardBrothel, which is the Twitter for an 8-person group house on Harvard. Fitting the name, they post a lot about partying, going to bars, grilling and other various shenanigans. There's lots of photos of beer, people hanging out, people passed out, dogs, and other things.


It's kind of an interesting idea, I don't think I've ever seen a house have its own Twitter. They're basically live tweeting what happens at the house, with some various jokes and retweets thrown in.


What do you think, cool idea? Or lame?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How was your 4th?

Good I hope! I firmly believe that our neighborhood and the surrounding ones are the best places to watch 4th of July fireworks in the entire world -- you can see the Mall show, people come together, and there are tons of random people shooting off everything in all directions. I'm a fan.

How was watching it from Meridian Hill Park or Cardozo High School? Any other good spots?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Your weekly yard sale roundup

It seems like it's moving time lately, I've noticed a lot of U-Haul trucks and people carrying furniture and bags of things around the neighborhood. Oddly though, there aren't many yard sales that I can see.
  • "Big Moving Sale" at 2702 13th St NW, Saturday, 9-2: with men's clothes, books, baby items, posters, picture frames, kitchen items, small electronics and "Random interesting and weird items: giant cardboard rooster, oversize top hat for skiing, welding mask, etc." Link
  • Huge Vinyl Record Sale, rear of 1453 Chapin, Saturday. 100s of records. Link
  • Furniture, Costumes, Clothes, and Tchotchkes!, Saturday 10-4, 1303 Florida: Lots of Ikea furniture plus clothes (including kids' stuff), Christmas decorations, books, costumes and tchotchkes. Link

Do you have tips for a new resident?

Just got this email, any ideas? Favorite places, places to avoid, etc?
My wife and I just moved to Columbia Heights.  I was reading your blog and was wondering if you had any tips for new residents (bars, restaurants, crime, parking, etc.)  In the week we've been here, we've enjoyed some nice walks with our dog around the neighborhood and have been making a mental checklist of all the restaurants we're looking forward to trying out. 
At any rate, we're glad to be part of the neighborhood and would appreciate any insights the neighbors may have.  Everyone that we've met so far has been extremely nice and super helpful.