Monday, October 31, 2011

Hit and run on the 28th or 29th on Fairmont -- did you see anything?

Just got this note from a reader. This sucks.
I live on Fairmont between 13th and 14th, and managed to find street parking in front of my building Friday afternoon.  I came down to my car Saturday afternoon around 3pm and found that someone had smashed so hard into my car that the front bumper, the grill and various under carriage bits had come off my car.  No note obviously, because we live in the end of times, but I wondered if anyone heard or saw something sometime that evening (28th) or morning (29th).  It is a 2005 silver acura tsx.  I have attached 2 photos.  I just need a witness who saw this hit and run, even if you didn't get details.
Would really appreciate anything anyone may have seen.
If you saw anything, you can either call email me and I'll pass on your info to the person with the car, or (probably better) contact Officer Anderson Liriano @ (202) 576-8222 (# for the 3rd District Substation on Park), re: police report 159-137.

11th Street Halloween Extravaganza tonight!

I posted about this last week, but in case you missed it, the North Columbia Heights Civic Association put together a nice 11th Street Halloween event tonight:

Be sure to drop by 11th Street, between Monroe and Kenyon, from 5-6:30 P.M. on October 31st for a Halloween Extravaganza,  including costume parades for kids and dogs, contests, holiday decorations, and giveaways from local businesses.

Schedule of Events:
5:30: Kids Costume Parade and Contest
6:15: Dog Costume Parade and Contest
5-6:30: Trick or Treating, Giveaways and Contests Throughout 11th Street
Participating Businesses:
Wonderland Ballroom
Room 11
Meridian Pint
Mr. Larry’s Pet and Grooming Store
El Rinconsito Deportivo
Jackie’s (future business)
Diner (future business)
Bloombars
Columbia Heights Coffee
Redrocks
826DC

Check out some local high school football: Cardozo's season is over soon

I've been talking with some friends about going to check out a football game at our neighborhood high school, Cardozo at 13th and Clifton. (Banneker doesn't have a team and Bell's season is over.) Might be a fun thing to do on Friday night.

The Clerks aren't having a great season, they're 1-7 with their only win coming 6-0 over KIPP College Prep. The last game of the season is this Friday the 4th, so it'll be your last chance to go before next year.

As for their nickname, I'm not really sure where it came from. I thought the school was named for Benjamin Cardozo, the Supreme Court Justice, so it would kind of make sense to be law clerk, but it's actually named for Francis L. Cardozo, the first African American to hold a statewide office in the US. I can't find anything on their website about it.

Has anybody been? Got any tips? It might be a fun way to spend Friday night and support some local kids. The band is pretty cool too.

And if you really want to get into the spirit, you can buy your own Cardozo gear here.

UPDATE: Here's what commenter jcm says about the "Clerks" name:
The original school founded by Francis Cardozo was a business prep school for segregated black students during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I'm not sure whether the business prep program still existed when they moved into the current building, which was originally whites-only Central High School, but that's why they're called the clerks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Are you giving out candy? When?

Halloween is almost upon us, which means trick-or-treating. We got a fair amount of kids last year on 13th Street, but your results may vary.

If you're giving out candy, where? (roughly) Do you see many kids? And how late do they show up until?

One neat thing you might want to do next year with your neighbors is organize who is going to give out candy -- the folks on the Spring-Perry listserve did just that, with a list of houses and flyers for doors telling kids (and parents) they're giving out candy. It sounds like that area, Spring Road, Spring Place and Perry Place, would be a good stop for trick-or-treaters.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Take free cabs this weekend with Sober Ride

Halloween is upon us, and that means people out there are going to drink.

However, instead of driving drunk or trying to stumble home, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering the Sober Ride service, where you call them and any cab ride up to $30 is free from 10 pm on Saturday the 29th through 6 am Sunday the 30th. Sounds like a great program.

Here's more on the program. You can call 1-800-200-TAXI to call for a Sober Ride cab.

Hat tip to DCist.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween party tonight Saturday at Acre 121

Here's something that sounds fun if you're looking for something to do or want to get into the Halloween spirit:
Come in to Acre 121 this Saturday for our Halloween S.O.S. Party!  It will be Halloween with a New Orleans voo-doo twist, featuring music from NOLA jazz/funk band The Potholes Brass Band to get everybody moving on the dance floor. The event is FREE but be sure to get dressed up because first prize in our costume contest is $200! We will be serving Louisiana’s own Abita Light ($4), Abita Purple Haze ($5), and the limited edition Abita S.O.S. ($5) – a portion of the sales from this event will benefit the charitable fund, Save Our Shores which aides in the restoration of the Gulf Coast region.  Our guest M.C. will also be holding raffles and giving away some great swag!!
And here's the link to the event. 

UPDATE: This is on Saturday.

Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting tonight

Check it out:
Greetings,
 
The next meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force is tonight, Wednesday October 26th from 7-9 at the G II Restaurant at 2632 Georgia Avenue (corner of Georgia and Fairmont).
 
On the agenda for tonight is:
- The Howard University Campus Plan
- Proposal for a Class A Liquor License at King's Deli at 3651 Georgia Avenue
- Updates on the Georgia Avenue Window Walk and other projects
 
If you can't make it but want to be on the mailing list, email Sylvia at sylvia@ecacollective.org or call (202) 462-2285.
 
Sylvia

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tell Capital Bikeshare where more stations should go

Capital Bikeshare, the DC bike sharing service that started last year, is a great service.

However, there are some capacity issues, especially in the mornings (no bikes in Columbia Heights, full stations downtown) and in the evenings (the opposite problem.) That means it can be tough to find bikes and tough to drop them off -- i.e. dock-blocking. Since we're uphill from downtown, that problem makes sense, but it can be an issue even when it's not rush hour. A few times I've had to ride to numerous stations to drop off my bike.

The CaBi folks recognize this, and want your help telling them where new stations should go. They've launched a web map where you can add your suggestions for new locations and comments on others' suggestions, including a thumbs-up and thumbs-down option. Pretty cool stuff. I voted for more on 11th Street in our neighborhood, for example, to take advantage of the bike lanes, and in the gaps in areas downtown, like Thomas Circle. But don't take my word for it, vote yourself!

Of course, part of that is a problem with a lack of vans to transport the bikes back and forth, which they're tried to address with reverse rider rewards, but more stations should help.

So vote! And tell us in the comments where you think there should be more stations.

Sherman Avenue reconstruction schedule

Time for some updates on the Sherman Ave streetscape improvements, which I've written about many times before. There's a lot of things to be finished by December, when the next phase will start. See the list below.

The project is sorely needed, as Sherman is a pretty dumpy street. The progress so far is looking good. Here's southbound Sherman part of the way done:

Sherman Anticipated

Monday, October 24, 2011

Before and after houses -- in the same photo


Just spotted this great photo by Flickr user Rock Creek, who takes a lot of photos documenting the neighborhood. Pretty wild to see two identical houses look so different. This is from October 8th at the corner of Sherman and Girard. Here's the same location in Google Streetview, presumably from awhile ago.

Art in abandoned buildings: Georgia Ave. Window Walk

I was looking at the minutes from the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force's last meeting (here) and saw something interesting: the mention of Georgia Avenue Window Walks. I asked for more info and received the link to their site. It's a cool idea: artists put their work in the windows of abandoned or vacant buildings, and there's also a bit about the building's history.

According to Sylvia Robinson of the Task Force, who is interviewed in a recent Washington Post article on Georgia Avenue development and the Task Force, the project's goal is to improve the appearance of the eyesores and to increase a sense of community in the area.

A couple days ago I walked by the first site at 2702 Georgia Avenue NW, seen above. There's the art itself then some about the building: in this case, the building was the home of is next door to Guild International, which sells fraternity and sorority items; always important for Howard U next door. The building is owned by Guild but is not currently in use. The info on the project is pictured below (here's the bigger version). If you're an artist interested in having your work displayed, email georgiavenuewindowwalk@gmail.com.

Nice to see cool projects like this. More to come on them and on the Task Force.

11th Street Halloween Extravaganza coming soon: parades, trick or treating, giveaways

This sounds awesome. The folks with the North Columbia Heights Civic Association have put together the first 11th Street Halloween Extravaganza, to be held on the afternoon and evening of the 31st. Really happy to see this.

Here's the details so far, with more to come. Check their website for updates.

Schedule of Events:5:30: Kids Costume Parade and Contest
6:15: Dog Costume Parade and Contest
5-6:30: Trick or Treating, Giveaways and Contests Throughout 11th Street
Participating Businesses:Wonderland Ballroom
Room 11
Meridian Pint
Mr. Larry’s Pet and Grooming Store
El Rinconsito Deportivo
Jackie’s (future business)
Diner (future business)
Bloombars
Columbia Heights Coffee
[Others TBA]

Friday, October 21, 2011

Late night eats: McDonald's on Georgia Ave open til 3 am

Yesterday I was near Howard and stopped into the McDonald's at 2328 Georgia Avenue for a bite. I noticed something on the door: they're open every day until 3 am.

While Mickey D's isn't the greatest food, it's always good to have another late night option along with IHOP and so on. Any other good late night options you'd recommend?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Construction underway on new Mexican place on 11th near Lamont

You may recall a few months ago when I wrote about Jackie Greenbaum's coming Mexican place on 11th just north of Lamont (next to Mr. Larry's Pet Store.) Ms. Greenbaum also runs the Quarry House, Jackie's Restaurant, and Sidebar in Silver Spring, and was looking to open a casual, neighborhoody Mexican spot with about 36 seats and a roof deck. 


The other day I heard from Jackie via Facebook:
construction started, hopefully be done in a couple months... Ran into a couple wrinkles but everything's ok. Looking forward to opening.
Nice!


The place itself sounds great: there will always be a $5 margarita, and the rest of the food will be inexpensive, traditional Mexican snacks and street food. There's no name yet, and they already have their liquor license and hours set, so that's a hurdle already over.


At the neighborhood meeting where she presented at a few months ago (also mentioned above), she spoke a lot about doing things in the neighborhood, like helping with the dog park, and also spoke convincingly about making sure everything outside the restaurant is neat and tidy.


Sounds like a great person and a great business, really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Howard U. Homecoming this weekend: parade, street closures, etc.

It's time for Howard University's Homecoming, the biggest event of the year for the school. Here's some info:

Howard University wants to remind the community about the Howard University homecoming activities which started yesterday, Sunday, Oct. 16 with a gospel concert. Activities will run through Saturday, Oct. 22 with a football game. A parade is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10 AM with roving street closures. The parade route and additional information is attached.

You can expected lots of vehicle and foot traffic along the Georgia Avenue and Sherman Avenue corridors ALL DAY on Saturday, Oct. 22. Street parking throughout the neighborhood might be at a premium on that day.

For more information and/or questions, please contact:

Steven G. Johnson
Howard University

Office of Protocol and Events
Howard Center
2225 Georgia Avenue, NW, Suite 330
Washington, DC 20059
Office: 202.238.2551
 
Howard University Homecoming

The Washingtonian on Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant

Washingtonian magazine recently had a spread on the best of Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant.

Personally I was interested to see what they have to say, while TBD.com news editor Ryan Kearney tweeted that it "signals the beginning of the end of the hood." That's interesting, but I don't agree, the neighborhood is already pretty well known, even by Washingtonian readers, I'd assume. I don't think this will suddenly flood the neighborhood with new people. But on to the articles: they write about places to eat, bars and nightlife, local favorites of some residents, and places to live (which are 4 new condo buildings.)

The lists are all pretty thorough and decent, though I was surprised they didn't mention Columbia Heights Coffee or Meridian Hill Park. They don't mention the Red Derby under nightlife, but that's fine with me as it's crowded enough, and Meridian Pint owner John Andrade does mention it in his "local favorites" section.

Also included in the local favorites section is Washington Post writer Monica Hesse's picks. No mention of where she thinks quasi- and post-hipsters hang out. What do you think? Good list, symbolic of things to come? Or just another best of?

Monday, October 17, 2011

First thoughts on Panera: it's good, they're friendly

So before Panera opened in DCUSA, I was pretty unfamiliar. I don't think I've ever been, but most of the comments were very positive, that they had good coffee, sandwiches, and bagels -- including a cinnamon crunch bagel which basically sounds like a cinnamon roll (and has 410 calories).

I've gone there a couple times, and I must say, I like it. So far I got a turkey sandwich and a Cuban panini. Both times the sandwiches were tasty, with good, fresh-tasting ingredients and good bread. The folks working there have always been really friendly, engaging even. That's kind of surprising for customer service in DC. In the case of the panini, they were out of foccacia bread (it was almost closing time) so they apologized gave me a free drink without me asking. The folks making the sandwiches were joking around with customers too. I also got a mocha, which was fine.

You may recall that I was kind of worried about all the chains coming in the past, but if they're all like this, I don't see a problem. What are your thoughts about Panera?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Is Metro minimizing "Petworth"? Should they add "Park View"?

Is Metro looking to change the name of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro? An reader on the Petworth Yahoo Listserve spotted that in the proposed Metro map, it says "Georgia Ave" with "Petworth" in small letters underneath.

I can't link to the discussion because I am not (yet) a member, but basically some folks say that's a dumb name and should be changed.

Georgia Avenue is a very long street and actually goes well into Maryland, it doesn't make sense to use it for a specific neighborhood. Would there be a 16th Street Metro? Pennsylvania Avenue? No. (I know there are New York Ave. and Rhode Island Ave. Metro stations, but I think those are kind of dumb names too.)

A few readers make the point that the Metro station should have Park View in the name, and considering the streets are also mentioned on the new map, Georgia Avenue is redundant. The Park View name was mentioned before and supported by the ANC. Here's resident Brian's post on the matter:
The WMATA goals for updating the maps are to reduce redundancies, increase consistencies and improve location descriptions without adding more word space.  These goals are not achieved with the current draft map.
Redundant - WMATA uses 4 words to describe the stop: Georgia, Petworth, Georgia, New Hampshire.  There is no need to use the descriptor Georgia twice when we only have four words to work with.  One instance of Georgia should be removed to reduce redundancy.
Consistent - Each metro location stop shows the intersecting streets on third line.  We should keep Georgia Avenue as a description of the street in the third line and remove it from the title to ensure consistency across all station stops.
Description - Since we removed one word from the stop name, we can add another word that describes the neighborhood metro stop without increasing word space.  Adding Park View would increase the descriptive nature of the station stop without increasing the space on the map.
Changing the Stop from:
Georgia Av [sic]
Petworth
Georgia Ave & New Hampshire Ave
To
Petworth – Park View (or put Park View on second line)
Georgia Ave & New Hampshire Ave
would meet WMATAs goals in updating the station maps.
(Full disclosure, Brian is my buddy, but it's a good point in any case.)

Your thoughts?

Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trails launches this Saturday!

This is pretty great. You may have seen my previous post about signs for the new Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail going up. They're all up now and there's an official launch event this Saturday the 15th.

The official name is Lift Every Voice: Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail, and here's the full press release, and a bit about it:
On this 12th DC Neighborhood Heritage Trail, walkers can journey to the first African American liberal arts university, President Abraham Lincoln’s commuter route, a German beer garden, Zora Neale Hurston’s boarding house, and historic Griffith Stadium as they encounter stories of the grocers, barbers, poets, and bootleggers who called this neighborhood home. 
Cultural Tourism DC, the Georgia Ave./ Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail Working Group, and Howard University Hospital will host the trail’s official unveiling and neighborhood celebration on Saturday, October 15 at 11 am on the front lawn of the Howard University Hospital, at 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW. Howard University Hospital will host a Health and Wellness Fair with blood pressure screenings and information about hospital services and other free screenings offered by appointment, and the opening of a Griffith Stadium Exhibit.
Sounds really neat! The trail was organized by Cultural Tourism DC, a great group.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Know any good DC Government employees? Nominate them for an award

While some people give DC Government workers a lot of grief, there are a definitely a lot of folks there who do an excellent job every day. They might not always get credit for it however, but there's an awards program for a few outstanding folks. They're looking for help from the public, so if you know of somebody deserving, read below.
Help us celebrate the best in public service! Nominate yourself or someone you know for the 2012 Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Awards for Distinguished DC Government Employees. 
Established in 2000 and now in its eleventh year, Cafritz Awards recognize the extraordinary service and commitment of public servants who – often working behind the scenes – provide outstanding service to the residents of Washington, DC. The five winners selected will receive a $7,500 cash award and be publicly honored at a gala event next May. 
For more information or to nominate, visit www.cafritzawards.org or call 202-994-5390.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Neighborhood beautification event with City Blossoms on the 29th

There's a neat event coming up from City Blossoms, a nonprofit that teaches kids about healthy living, the environment, responsibility and more. They're having a flower bulb planting party from 4 to 6 at the children's community garden at the Girard Rec Center, 1480 Girard. Here's the flyer.



No more growlers at D'Vines

Free the beer!

You may recall that D'Vines, the beer and wine store on 14th, recently started selling beer in growlers -- basically, you could buy or bring in a growler, which is a big beer bottle with a resealable cap, and get fresh beer on draft.

However, it turns out that wasn't permitted under the retail liquor license D'Vines and their sister store DeVino's in Adams Morgan have. The city's Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration told them to stop and that only places with a Class D license for manufacturers could do that, like breweries.

Owner George Aguilar isn't giving up, however. He really likes the idea, both because the beer tastes good and is good for the environment as you'd be reusing bottles. He even set up a website and had planned to install more draft lines. He said he's going to advocate for allowing growlers to be sold and filled at retail liquor stores. I don't see why not.

Some of the City Paper commenters expressed concern that with growlers, people who drink on the street would be able to get more beer. However, that's not really the point. The main idea is to get fresh beer, and I would assume that freshness isn't the most important thing if you're drinking the cheap stuff. Plus 40s are already plenty big, and the growlers were required to have a shrink-wrapped top.

Picture from here

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CC's Liquors upgrades booze selection

I've long championed CC's Liquors at 14th and Newton Monroe as my favorite liquor store in the area -- the prices are reasonable (and certainly cheaper than Speedy's across the street,) they have a good selection, and the folks are nice.

Now it seems like they've increased the selection even more. I was in a couple of days ago and noticed a whole bunch of whiskey I hadn't seen before, like fancy varieties of Jim Beam, some more upmarket ones, and things I haven't even heard of. It looks like they have more vodka and gin too.

Nice to see this kind of thing. Give them a try.

Any other liquor stores you'd recommend?

ANC trying to censure Lenwood Johnson

You may recall a couple of weeks ago, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Lenwood Johnson went middle school on his fellow commissioners and constituents. He forwarded internal emails to listserves, called another commissioner a "lowlife" and when questioned about by a local resident, called the resident a "bitchass."

Aside from some hubbub on the local listerves, it seemed the matter died. Or maybe not.

Mike DeBonis with the Post reports that the other ANC commissioners are trying to censure Johnson for his outbursts and the fact that he forwarded emails that otherwise were internal. However, there aren't any rules that specifically pertain to that sort of thing, only conflict of interest, so they're working with the city to draft some. Johnson disagrees that either is really bad, noting that there was some profanity in the city council a bit ago.

Pretty ridiculous that this is actually needed, but I guess people get fired up over this stuff. Let's hope Mr. Johnson focuses more on the neighborhood and less on finding ways to insult others.

Friday, October 7, 2011

826DC one year anniversary celebration this coming Thursday

826DC, the cool non-profit that tutors kids on reading and writing, has been open on the Civic Plaza for a whole year. They're having a celebration on Thursday the 14th over at Bourbon in Adams Morgan. Nice to see them doing well, go spend some money and help them continue their cool programming!
826DC TURNS 1 YEAR OLD

(Washington, DC)- 826DC and the Museum of Unnatural History invite you to celebrate its first year in Columbia Heights at Bourbon in Adams Morgan.  The event will feature music by DJ C. Moreno. Admission is $5 and for ages 21 and older. Since opening its first physical center last October, 826DC has served more than 1200 students. This year, they plan to serve twice as many students in the Columbia Heights center as well as in schools across the city.

What: 826DC Turns 1! Featuring DJ C. Moreno

When: Thursday, October 13, 2011 8:30pm - 1:30am

Where: Bourbon, 2321 18th Street NW (Ages 21 and older)

Cost: $5. All proceeds support 826DC's completely free programs.

About 826DC: 826DC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.  The organization's services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.  With this in mind, 826DC provides drop-in tutoring, field trips, creative writing workshops, after-school tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications all free of charge. To find out more about the 826DC, visit www.826dc.org/<http://www.826dc.org/>.

Want an oceanfront Columbia Heights apartment?

Who doesn't?! A buddy discovered this bizarre ad on Craigslist:


Uh, what? Oceanfront view? 12th floor? I assume "intracostals" is supposed to be Intracoastal Waterway. Got to like that "music stereo" however.

And the craziest part: $1800 for a 3 bedroom!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's Vintage, Darling now has an online shop

The vintage options in the neighborhood are getting stronger. While Hella Tuff may have closed, Black Eyed Susie's is still going strong, and It's Vintage Darling now has an online shop to go with their brick-and-mortar store at 3423 14th St., NW.

Always nice to see retail shops in the area that aren't big chains doing well. Maybe 14th Street can be a vintage clothing destination, like 14th south of U is a hub for furniture.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New policy at Giant: all registers open from 4-8 pm

Looks like Giant has heard customer complaints.

The other day in the store I was given this flyer, which says there's a new "Tivoli Giant Promise": that every register will be open from 4-8 pm, and if one isn't, you'll get a free rotisserie chicken. There's also an asterisk, but the asterisk isn't explained, which is weird.

In any case, this sounds good to me. It's gotten better in the last year or so, but it can still be quite slow there, even if the lines are short. Hopefully this helps get people through quicker. I know I've been going to Target for basic grocery shopping a fair amount.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More earthquake damage in the neighborhood than originally thought?

As we all remember, we had that crazy 5.8 earthquake back in late August. There didn't seem to be much damage, at least in our area: a couple bricks here or there, some cracks in plaster. The Washington Monument was damaged, some gargoyles fell off the National Cathedral, but that was about it. We seemed to escape widespread damage.

However, the more I read and see, the more damage seems to be out there. There was the Mt. Rona Missionary Baptist Church at 11th and Monroe had lost some bricks, which didn't seem like a big deal. However, I walked by the other day and they had signs on the doors saying it was off limits no one was allowed inside because it was unsafe.

Houses seem to have issues too: A week or so ago I was at a house party in the neighborhood and noticed that the door was hard to open and close, it was grinding along the floor. I asked somebody and it turned out the place shifted on its foundation a bit, and entire doorframe was bent. A coworker was living in a group house and the landlord recently told them it was condemned due to the earthquake and they had to leave. Pretty crazy stuff.

I also just saw this notice on the Ward One listserve, which talks about damage at the Ella Jo Baker Cooperative, an affordable housing cooperative at 14th and V. They suffered about $15,000 of damage to the building, which caused 3 of the residents to have to move out. They're having a fundraiser for the repairs. Let's hope they get it.

So maybe there really has been a lot of damage, we just didn't hear about it or see it at first. Anyone else notice any damage around the area, or even to your own house or business?

Below is another shot from the Mt. Rona Church.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Columbia Heights Metro, others closed this weekend

How to get around this weekend
If you're traveling around town this weekend, get familiar with the bus lines or Capital Bikeshare locations: WMATA is closing the Columbia Heights, Shaw-Howard U, and U Street-Cardozo-African American Civil War Memorial Metro stations all weekend: from 10 pm on Friday the 8th to opening time on Tuesday the 11th.

They'll be installing some safety features, which is good, but your trip may take longer.

Another option for travel: you could be like the scooter commuter!

Giant house renovation on Girard -- no longer the crappiest block?

It looks like there's some progress on the crappiest block in the neighborhood, the north side of the 1300 block of Girard. The bungalow-type house that used to be the Asian-American LEAD is now getting turned into a really big building, I presume condos (there are no permits posted or accessible that I could see.)

The place looks a good 3 or 4 times bigger than the old house, which is being preserved to some extent. I wonder if they'll keep that mural?

In any case, it's pretty interesting. I don't remember seeing this kind of project elsewhere in the neighborhood, or around the city. I don't really mind the size since there isn't much else on the block and it seemed to be abandoned or empty for some time. Plus considering the demand for condos in the area, I'm sure they'll all be sold quickly.

Below is how it looked in late August. Quick work!

UPDATE: A commenter says the city told them it was an 8-unit condo.