Friday, September 27, 2013

Councilmember Bowser parks illegally, ANC commish spots it and reports it


This is pretty funny: Ward 4 councilmember and DC mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser's car parked illegally the other day, and ANC 1A commissioner Patrick Flynn spotted it. Flynn documented the offense on SeeClickFix, a website where people can submit service requests and violations and the city will respond.

Flynn emailed the photo to me, with a note: "Council members are not above the law! Who does this mayoral candidate think she is!?" As you can see, the car with a Ward 4 council license plate is fully past the "no parking or standing anytime" sign.

Of course it's a pretty minor offense, but he makes a valid point.

And this isn't the first time we've spotted a councilmember parking illegally while in the midst of a campaign: there was a car with a Vincent Orange for Council sign parked illegally on 14th Street a while ago -- complete with a bullhorn blaring that Orange favors aggressive enforcement of DC laws. Sometimes you can't make this stuff up.

UPDATE: I've made a few attempts to contact the councilmember about this, and have not gotten a response. As a matter of fact, I've emailed the councilmember or her staff a few times about neighborhood issues and have never gotten a response. You'd think that someone who's job is to represent constituents would actually respond. I've always gotten quick responses from Jim Graham and Jack Evans when I've emailed them about things.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

First look at Petworth Citizen and Reading Room, the new place from Room 11 folks, opening Friday!




by Vicky Johnson

The Petworth Citizen and Reading Room at 829 Upshur Street NW opens Friday, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it's been open for decades. It's dark, warm, and feels comfortably lived-in, like a neighborhood bar should be. The name itself is a nod to a community newspaper from a century ago, and the shelving behind the bar was saved from the former inhabitant of the space, Island Cafe

The restaurant is owned by Paul Ruppert of Room 11 and the cocktails have same kind of innovative deliciousness found at Room 11. The cocktail list is split between signature and classic drinks, all of which are $10 or less, and there's also a punch bowl option, a cute little glass of the punch of the day. On this particular day the punch was heavy on the Hennessey and peach schnapps. It was wonderful and very strong. There are also beers on tap and by the can/bottle, and wine. 

We had the whipped gorgonzola toast - a good strong cheese, not for fans of weak cheese - and two of the sandwiches. The Roasted Beet Sandwich, roasted beets, goat cheese, and pesto on a pretzel roll. It was a lot of roll, but very good. The Chicken Sausage Sandwich was outstanding, though, battered and fried chicken sausage on soft, fluffy white bread (possibly with the crusts cut off - it was hard to tell). Next time we'll get the hushpuppies, I saw some come out of the kitchen and they looked tremendous. For dessert, we tried the waffle s'mores. A hot fresh waffle with melted chocolate and marshmallows. Our server mentioned that there might be a nutella version coming soon.

The Reading Room part of the name is, or will be, an actual reading room - a back room to be lined with lendable books and used as an event space for author readings, signings, etc. It was not ready at the time of our visit, but will be open within a few weeks.

One last thing - in the ladies' room, look up.

Best fundraiser ever: eat donut holes to help penguins at the Pinch

Do you like penguins or donuts? If so, you are in luck, and I think this might be the awesomest fundraiser of all time. Read on for more:

Antarctic penguins are the region's "canaries in the coal mine."  And for almost 20-years, Ron Naveen, a modern-day Dr. Dolittle, has been counting them, studying the health of three penguin species and their colonies.  His work, the Antarctic Site Inventory, has helped instruct polar policies and research of countless scientists and members of the Antarctic Treaty Organization.  

World-renown Besthesda-based film documentarians, Peter Getzels and Harriet Gordon, recently followed Ron Naveen and his Penguin Counters to the Antarctic, producing more than 70-hours of footage on their work and the amazing animals, sights and sounds of the Antarctic.  Now it is time to take the footage and create a movie to tell this important story.

The Penguin Counters Movie is a labor of love, not money.  To continue their work, Peter and Harriet have set up a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds necessary to put the movie together and submit it to film festivals worldwide.  October 10th is the final day for donations.  As with all Kickstarter campaigns, it is all or nothing.

The Pinch is very pleased to join this effort to help ensure the Penguin Counters story is told.  The weekends of  September 28th/29th and October 5th/6th, The Pinch will donate $5 for every order of donut holes to the Penguin Counters kickstarter campaign.

That's right.  If you eat donut holes, a penguin is counted.  Please help spread the word about the Donuts for Penguins weekends and stop on in for some yourself.

Saving Antarctica, Counting One Penguin at a Time.  Count yourself in!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the donut promotion.  Or you can contact Harriet Gordon directly (penguincounters@gmail.comwith questions about the movie or kickstarted campaign.  Links and contact info below.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New coffee shop coming to Tibet Shop at Georgia and Keefer, looks close to opening

A few weeks ago, I pointed out that there were no coffee shops in Park View, with a big gap from 11th Street to Warder and Randolph Street all the way down to Harvard. And now it looks like the gap will be filled.

The twitter account for MIP Real Estate let me know that there was a coffee shop coming to the Tibet Shop, the now closed shop at 3213 Georgia Avenue NW, at Keefer Place. Details are sketchy but the tweeter said "buildout is moving swiftly, it appears to be 2-3 weeks away but I don't know when they want to open."

It's definitely nice to see another shop, though it's too bad that it's in the Tibet Shop space. The shop was a little gift shop full of Tibetan, Himalayan and Far Eastern items, a branch of the shop of the same name in Adams Morgan. I stopped by early this year and really liked it, but it didn't seem like a good spot for a shop, given that there isn't much foot traffic there.

However, a coffee shop is better than the alternative -- this was also the location that Petworth Liquors was going to move into. Petworth Liquors is widely reviled in the neighborhood for allowing loiterers and drunks to hang out outside, who often harass passersby, and a recent ANC 1B meeting featured a number of angry neighbors voicing their opposition to the move from their current location at 3210 Georgia Ave NW. After that, and with a lack of ANC support, which voted against their request to move their license, they changed their mind on the move. The coffee shop seems to be the result.

The new coffee shop will be at 3213 Georgia Ave NW. I'll post more info as I get it!

New Metro logo, color scheme?


The other day I was checking out WMATA's site for some info, and noticed that things looked a little different -- in particular, they were blue.

It seems that WMATA has started to shift from a black and white color scheme for Metro to a blue and white one, with a slightly tweaked blue M logo -- namely it's blue and white rather than black and white, but the font is also a little different, a bit more bold and maybe even a different typeface -- hard to tell.

I haven't seen anything about this new logo and color scheme, but I like it. Of course, I'd prefer fewer delays and more functioning escalators.

You can see the blue scheme below:


Monday, September 23, 2013

Metro says escalators working better than ever: not sure that applies at Columbia Heights Metro

Metro's escalators have long been a scourge of our transit system: they're often broken, meaning long walks up (or down) the stairs. However, Metro is saying that lately, things have gotten much better. Metro says that 92% of escalators are working, the highest rate in 5 years.

That sounds good, but DCist reports on some other folks doing some data crunching: one Georgetown student reports that every 17 minutes, a new escalator goes out of service. Metro has 588 escalators, so while that's a lot, it's only a small percentage.

The student, who published his report on the blog Unsuck DC Metro, also argued that some outages weren't being reporter by Metro, meaning the actual rate should be lower. Metro's spokesperson refused to comment because their spokesperson because it was posted on Unsuck DC Metro -- a pretty lame and shortsighted reason.

So while 92% is a lot, I feel like the frequently broken Columbia Heights esclators aren't a shining beacon in the system -- it seems like the ones to the street level, especially on the east side, are often busted.

But then again, maybe I only notice when it's not working. What do you think?

Cool deal at the Heights: 2 burgers, pitcher of beer, half dozen oysters for $40

Deals at The Heights

If you've got a buddy or a date, this might be a good spot for you. The Heights has a new deal on every Tuesdays that I spotted in their window the other day: 2 burgers, a pitcher of beer and 6 oysters for $40.

Sounds like a good way to spend a weekday evening with a buddy. They have pretty solid burgers too.

The Heights is at 3115 14th St NW. Here's their website.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Full Columbia Heights Day schedule announced; it's Oct 5.!

It's almost party time. The 7th annual Columbia Heights Day is less than a month away, and they recently announced the full schedule of events and performances. There's music, a trivia contest (with Dalton who runs the Looking Glass Lounge's trivia, and is awesome at it,) a momo eating contest from Mad Momo's, lots of music and other performances, and a whole lot more.

There's also a whole stag for kids, plus lots of booths for craftspeople, local businesses and organizations, local pols, and a lot more. And back as before is the food truck row on Kenyon Street, which is always pretty awesome.

The whole shebang starts at 10am with a yoga workshop and runs until 5 pm. As mentioned, it's October 5th at the Tubman Elementary School field at 11th and Kenyon (across from Wonderland.)

Here's more info from their website, and they're always looking for volunteers and sponsors! It's an all-volunteer event, so help them out!

Columbia Heights Day Festival

13_WebPoster_Aug7th Annual Columbia Heights Day
October 5, 2013
10 am to 6 pm
Tubman Elementary Field
11th & Kenyon Streets NW, Washington, DC
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Main Stage
10:00 am — Kali Yoga Studio workshop
11:15 am — Tara Trinity
12:15 pm — Metropolitan Lady All-Stars
12:45 pm  — D.C. trivia contest with the Quizmaster of Georgia Avenue
1:15 pm — Inaugural mad momos Momo eating contest
2:00 pm — The Originators
3:00 pm — Megaphone Barons
4:00 pm — TBD
KidsZone Stage
1:00 pm — Genesis Dance Unlimited
1:30 pm — Ella
2:00 pm — International Capoeira Angola Foundation
3:00 pm — Afrika Abney (Professional West African Dancer/Instructor)
3:30 pm — GALA Hispanic Theatre
All performances are subject to change without prior notice.
Columbia Heights Day is a rain or shine event.
Other Activities
  • Check out dozen of local vendors
  • Petting zoo
  • Grab a snack at Food Truck row
  • Screen print your own t-shirt
  • Learn how to fix your bike with The Bike House (1 to 5 pm)
  • Plus, more to do all along 11th Street in Columbia Heights

Get Involved

Many thanks to our generous sponsors
  • Uber - Transportation Sponsor
  • DC Sustainable Energy Utility – Community Benefactor
  • ZipCar – Main Stage Underwriter
  • Wonderland Ballroom
  • Scout Properties

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Police ticketing bicyclists on 11th Street for running red lights

Better be careful if you're a biker. A reader sent me an email today saying that at about 8:45 am this morning, he saw MPD ticket about 4 bike riders on 11th Street for running red lights. He mentioned that another friend saw it too, and apparently this isn't the first time it's happened too.

For a bit of context, the reader added this "Yes, there was traffic, but I don't think anyone was doing anything reckless. I think everyone stopped at a red light, looked for traffic, and ran the light (without cutting anyone off)."
Of course, running a red light is illegal, though I must admit I do it occasionally if there isn't any traffic around. That's still dangerous, and certainly not recommended as there could be a car or pedestrian you don't see or one going fast that comes out of nowhere. Plus 11th Street has the big hill (like 14th and most others in our city) which always makes me nervous to ride down.

But in general, it seems that bikers need to be careful and obey traffic laws. I'm guessing this was the goal here by MPD, getting bikers to think twice.

And needless to say, that goes for cars and pedestrians too -- nobody is without fault in our area. I've seen bikers riding wildly but have also frequently seen people crossing in the middle of the block, Frogger-ing their way through traffic. I've also seen (and experienced) cars speeding through crosswalks, turning through them while pedestrians are crossing and the like.

I think in general, let's all be a little more careful out there.

Some people think UN and NATO troops are training in Columbia Heights

Well, here's something you don't hear every day. The other day on Twitter I saw someone say something about UN troops in Columbia Heights:

@bombecerise)
Really am trying to bake a b-day cake, but asap, gonna post links w/ UN troops and Park police training in DC. We SAW em in Columbia Heights

I asked for more info, as that's pretty strange, and she said it was on Georgia Avenue, and they were speaking something Slavic or Russian-sounding.

She also responded with a link to a document supposedly by something called the NATO Russia Council about NATO and Russia working together. However, that document doesn't mention DC or Columbia Heights. Then she included a link to a Youtube video of these supposed UN/NATO/NATO Russian Council troops walking in Columbia Heights with an MPD officer, saying that they are speaking something other than English. To me, though, the MPD officer clearly says "How'd that happen?" and the supposed "troops" are wearing the same uniforms as MPD trainees.



Other Twitter folks responding to @bombecerise seem to agree with her, and she replied to me that other "#tinfoil" media is reporting about this -- tinfoil meaning conspiracy theorists I guess. Of course, NATO and the UN are different things, and I don't see any Park Police anyway. I can't find the links she mentions online anywhere either, and she said in a response that there is "no msm [mainstream media] coverage, that's the point."

Even if NATO or the UN were training with MPD (which again, I don't see from these videos and links) what's the big deal? The US sends people overseas to train police all the time.

And if this really were some grand conspiracy (and there are a lot, like the UN being a secret plot for a one world government), why would whoever it is train people in the most densely populated neighborhood in the capital of the United States?

So, at least for the moment, I think our neighborhood is safe from the United Nations. Maybe you can call me a "sheeple." Here are a few of her tweets to me below.

(I should also note I'm not trying to make fun of this person. I just saw something unusual and looked into it. Everybody is free to believe whatever they want, I just happen to disagree.)

@newcolumbiahts (4) Would just be nice to have some "official" explanation rather than the uncomfortably out there.
Show Conversation
bombeceriseSep 16, 5:53pm via Web
@newcolumbiahts (3) And the supposition is there are joint NATO/NRC trainings happening with Park Police in DC and in other jurisdictions.
Show Conversation
bombeceriseSep 16, 5:51pm via Web
@newcolumbiahts (2) They speak something other than english youtube.com/watch?v=1VJuVM… There is a lot of#Tinfoil media reporting on this.
Show Conversation

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Family Day at President Lincoln's Cottage on Sept. 21: petting zoo, Civil War encampment, picnic, more

Chillin at the Old Soldiers' Home If you're interested in history, or just curious bouthe Armed Forces Retirement Home (aka the Old Soldiers' Home located just east of Park View and north of Howard University) check this out!

The Old Soldiers' Home is a big campus housing retired veterans, and it's been open since 1851 and has a lot of historic buildings and nice grounds, pictured here. It's usually closed to the public, so this is a rare opportunity!

I got a chance to visit it when they opened it for the 4th of July a couple of years ago (they opened it this 4th too) and it was really a nice, relaxing place.

Washington, D.C. – Join President Lincoln’s Cottage and the Armed Forces Retirement Home on Saturday, September 21st, 2013 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and enjoy these grounds as the Lincoln family did! Family members of all ages will enjoy the live entertainment and activities inspired by the Lincoln family and their life at the Soldiers’ Home. Activities are free unless otherwise noted.

  • Explore a Civil War Encampment: View the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers, better known as the Bucktails, who served as Lincoln's personal guards. 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Play at the Petting Zoo: Ride a pony, chase the peacocks, and play with animals at a petting zoo with Tad Lincoln's favorite pets. Pony rides are first come, first served. 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Arts and Crafts: Make cards for veterans and create your own top hat! 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Picnic on the Grounds: Locally-sourced caterers Eat and Smile will be on-site selling fresh salads and carnival favorites, like fried mac n' cheese and pulled pork sliders! Or pack your own picnic and enjoy lunch at the picnic tables or on the ample South Lawn.10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Climb Sherman Tower: Enjoy spectacular views of Washington, DC from the top of the Sherman Tower. First tour, 10:30 am; last tour, 2:00 pm.
  • Live Music: Listen to Civil War-era songs performed by the Parlor Strings. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Meet the Author: Kent Boese, author of Park View, will host a book signing. 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
  • Hear Civil War Stories: Watch a performance by FREED (Female RE-Enactors of Distinction) and learn about the experiences of African-American women during the Civil War. 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm.
  • Watch a Drill Team: A military drill team will perform their breath-taking routine. 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm.
  • Tour the Cottage: Enjoy a guided tour of the Lincoln family's seasonal retreat! Regular ticket prices apply; visit www.lincolncottage.org/tickets to purchase.* First tour, 10:00 am; last tour, 3:00 pm.
President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Entrance to the Cottage is through the Eagle Gate, located at the intersection of Rock Creek Church Road and Upshur Street, NW. Driving: The approximate street address for GPS devices is 140 Rock Creek Church Rd, NW. Free parking is available on site. Metro: The Georgia Ave/Petworth station (Green and Yellow lines) is .8 miles away. The H8 bus line has a stop at the Eagle Gate.
Family Day is sponsored by President Lincoln's Cottage and the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Reservations are requested but not required. RSVP: www.lincolncottage.org/FamilyDay2013

*Advanced reservations for Cottage Tours are strongly recommended, as they do sell out. Tickets may be purchased on our website: www.lincolncottage.org/tickets

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dodge City selling Mexican tortas starting today, expanding food menu

It's a little out of our area, but Dodge City, the small and fun bar at 917 U Street NW, is celebrating Mexican independence day by launching a new menu of tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and sides, plus drink specials. They'll sell the tortas for four weeks as sort of a guest-chef thing, then will be expanding their menu with new items. The tortas will be available Monday-Wednesday. Here's more! Makes me hungry. 
Dodge City is excited to announce a culinary pop up from our friends, Tortas Bandido! Starting Monday, September 16 (Mexican Independence Day) Tortas Bandido will be taking over our grill for the next four weeks. Chef Paul Challan will be serving his recipes of the Mexican sandwich every Mon.-Wed. 6-10 PM, with drink specials for our kick off! When the Bandido is not at the helm, Dodge City will be working on our newly expanding menu. Slip into 917 U St. NW and catch the Bandido before they're gone! 
Menu includes: 
TORTAS

$7 Chicken Club: Chicken, Ham, Chihuahua Cheese, Avocado, Black Beans, Pickled Jalapeños
$7 Cuban: Roasted Pork, Ham, Cheese, Chipotle Mustard, Spicy Pickle Relish
$7 Roasted Mushrooms: Garlic Roasted Cremini, Portabello, Oyster, Shitake Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Arugula, Garlic Chipotle Mojo 
SIDES
$3 Mexican Corn: Corn, Mexican Crema, Queso Fresco, Chili Powder, Lime Juice
$3 Chicharron, Mexican Crema, Hot Sauce, Cilantro, Lime Juice
http://dodgecitydc.com/
http://distilleryimage7.ak.instagram.com/6e9695881a6f11e38bfa1231390314d2_7.jpg

New ANC meeting blog, Short Articles About Long Meetings

Here's a new source of information about our area. Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings are often long and boring but have a lot of useful things in them, like new business permits, liquor licenses, and plans for residential buildings.

A new blog, Short Articles About Long Meetings, has launched to cover some ANCs in our area and some further afield: ANCs 1B, 2B and 2F. ANC 1B is southern Columbia Heights (up to Girard/Harvard/Irving depending on where you are, click the link for a map) and the other two are Dupont Circle and Logan Circle (map here.)

It's a good blog and has a lot of info, but unfortunately doesn't cover ANC 1A, which is northern Columbia Heights. We'll just have to rely on information on that from ANC 1A chair Kent Boese, who also runs the Park View DC blog (and occasionally on me, I go to the meetings when I can.)

I'd recommend you go to the meetings themselves too -- they can be entertaining, and I feel like many people who go are NIMBYs, so maybe a non-NIMBY contingent wouldn't be a bad thing, just to even out the topics of conversation.

The blog also has a Twitter account, @shortalongm.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Lots of news from ANC1A: Opposition to TGI Friday's liquor license, Looking Glass serve lunch, former Blue Banana adding patio, The Coupe's patio, more


Wow, a lot was going on in the recent ANC 1A meeting, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission that covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View.

Kent over at the great Park View DC blog (and ANC 1A chair) reported on the Thursday meeting, and a lot was of note.

For one, locals living in the Samuel Kelsey senior apartments above the incoming TGI Friday's at 14th and Monroe were opposed to the restaurant's liquor license application, and the ANC voted to protest it. This is actually not unusual, but will give the ANC more standing in the future to set hours and rules for the place.

And if you visit the Georgia Avenue bar and restaurant strip, there's some good news for you! The Looking Glass Lounge at 3464 Georgia Avenue NW is going to start serving lunch, and the currently-closed Blue Banana a few doors down has applied for a back patio. 

The lunch sounds like a great option if you work from home or are around during they day, and LGL's food is pretty solid! I'm a fan of the sandwiches especially. 

And if you recall, Blue Banana was a sports bar (which I liked, nice, laid-back place) but closed a few months ago with the idea to reopen as something else. They weren't using their back space at all, so this sounds like a great addition to the patio places there, like DC Reynolds' big patio and Looking Glass's cozy one.

And as for The Coupe, the ANC voted to support their application for a sidewalk cafe where they can serve booze. There was some opposition to this before at a previous ANC meeting (from a person who was in my opinion, totally unreasonable) but it sounds like common sense prevails. The Coupe isn't a place where people go to get wasted, and I don't think people getting coffee in the morning or pie (which is delicious) in the evening are going to do that on the patio, either. Here are the hours, from Kent's blog:
HOURS OF OPERATIONSSunday 8 am – 11 pm Monday through Thursday 7 am – 11 pm Friday 7 am – 1 am and Saturday 8 am – 1 amSALES /SERVICE AND CONSUMPTION FOR THE SIDEWALK CAFÉSunday through Thursday 10 am – 11 pm Friday and Saturday 10 am -1 am
What do you think about all these developments?

This weekend's yard sale roundup: lots of sales in our area


It's been a little while since I've written a yard sale roundup, a compendium of all the sales in our general area. So take a look and go pick up some goodies.
  • 1129 Euclid St NW, Saturday 9/14 9:30am-1PM: big moving sale with stereo, jewelry, books, kitchen items, sporting goods, school supplies, and a whole lot more. Craigslist ad.
  • 16th Street between Oak and Spring Pl, Sat 9-5, Sun 9-2. Another big moving sale, stereo, PS3 games, furniture, artwork, cookware, lots of books, tools. Craigslist ad.
  • 3110 13th Street NW, Sat 9am-2pm: 2500 books, all at $1 a book! Yowsers. Craigslist ad.
  • 1409 Longfellow St NW, Sun 7am-4pm. "LOTS of CUTE 20s-something women's clothing, books, DVDs, smaller furniture, etc." Craigslist ad.
  •  5110 14th. Street, NW, Saturday and Sunday. "tons of stuff that needs to go, including kitchenware, computers/laptop, TV, patio chairs, books, PC games and many others." Craigslist ad.
Know of any more? Leave them in the comments!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The House strip club on Georgia Ave getting facade construction, no more GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS signs

House facade renovations

The House, the seedy-looking strip club at 3530 Georgia Avenue NW, may be less seedy-looking in the future. The other day I was walking down Georgia and noticed their facade is covered in plywood and other construction material with a big sign that says "Pardon the construction, we are open" with a picture of a dancing girl on a pole. They've added some gables over the doors and even took down their big "OPEN NIGHTLY GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS" signs.

I have no idea what it will look like or their timeline on this, but I suppose if there's going to be a strip club on Georgia, it might as well be a decent-looking one. Who knows, maybe the place is even going a bit upscale! They did do interior renovations maybe a year ago, after all.

Here's the before version of their facade, with the sign.


El Chucho owners opening new cocktail bar on 18th Street

If you like El Chucho, the great Mexican food and cocktail spot at 11th and Lamont, you may need to venture to Adams Morgan. Co-owners Jackie Greenbaum and Gordon Banks are opening a new spot, Bar Charley, at 1825 18th Street NW, in the old Cajun Experience space.

While some cocktail bars can set you back, one of the ideas for Bar Charley is reasonably priced drinks: the Post reports that a rotating menu of classic cocktails like the Sazerac, Jack Rose and Old Fashioned for $8, plus a drink called an Orange Crush with house-infused orange vodka, and on-tap Mai Tais and Suffering Bastards for $7. You may recall that El Chucho has on-tap margaritas, and they are tasty, so I anticipate these on-tap drinks will be the same way.

The place looks pretty great too, Eater has a photo gallery of the inside.

Food-wise, they'll have small plates like shrimp and pork belly dumplings and a marrow and anchovie crostini, which Greenbaum tells the City Paper will be "our elote," after the delicious corn at El Chucho covered in herbs, cheese and cream.

There's a big roof deck too, plus a big wine list starting at $6 a glass, and beer ranging $4 Schlitz tallboys to a $24 pumpkin beer.

Here's their Yelp page, looking like good reviews so far.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Today is the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance; what are your memories from that day?

Today is the 12th anniversary of September 11, a day that changed many lives. DC Government's Serve DC, the office that encourages volunteerism, is helping to mark the day with a number of campaigns marking the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

For one, they had volunteers at a few Metro stations around town staffing #ThankUniforms booths, where people can make their own honor cards to thank first responders, veterans and their families and share them on social media.

They're also promoting an online volunteer fair, where people can go and find opportunities to volunteer in town.

It's nice to see something like this from the city on a day that was frightening, emotional and really changed the world.

I'm going to share my 9/11 story here, and encourage you to do so in the comments. It's kind of cathartic, and I like hearing other people's stories.

I was a student at GW on 9/11 and was woken up when my mom left a message on my answering machine checking in with me (those still existed.) There were also anti-World Bank and IMF protests scheduled around then, which happen basically on campus, so I thought she was referring to that and fell back asleep. A bit later my roommate woke me up and told me to come watch the TV. It was shocking. 

Not having any family or friends in New York at the time, I went to find a way to get back in touch with my parents as the phone lines were busy. I saw a kid in the hall with a cell phone (still somewhat uncommon then) and asked to borrow it, but it was still busy. Then I went to a friend's room and was able to connect to the internet and I used my GW email to contact my uncle, who was online a lot. 

From then, I headed to the school newspaper where I worked, the GW Hatchet, to see what I could do. The walk across campus to the newspaper's office was one of the only times I've been legitimately scared in DC, as it just seemed like something could happen at any time. Along the way a young man rode by on his bike yelling something in a foreign language, which added to the tension. I also remember it being strangely quiet, as planes had been grounded and there wasn't much traffic on campus -- unusual, since Foggy Bottom is right in the middle of the city.


At the office, they basically said "go out and talk to people." One of the first people I talked to on campus was a student whose sister worked at the Gap store in basement of the World Trade Center, but she got out safely and contacted a relative. There were also a lot of office workers on campus, ironically based on my morning phone call, from the IMF, World Bank and other downtown offices that had been evacuated after the attacks -- it was unclear at the time what the targets were, so everyone was being cautious. I chatted with a few, they were basically just milling around, drinking coffee, sitting on benches outside dorms and looking stunned.

Classes had been canceled, and I heard a number of rumors from students, things like bomb threats on campus and a ridiculous one that GW had evacuated the basketball team to Virginia. I didn't believe it, as if that were the first thing GW wanted to protect, but figured I should check it out. I went to the athletic department office, across the street from the Smith Center basketball arena, and a single staffer was in the office with the lights turned off, looking at his computer. I asked him about the rumor and he said no, they're practicing across the street. I went outside I saw a few basketball players, which quashed that rumor.

At some point I went back to the newspaper office to update while other Hatchet staffers had headed across the bridge to photograph and report on the attack on the Pentagon. I went to GW's housing office to talk to an administrator. I later learned that the person I spoke to had a close relative die in the World Trade Center. Then I went to administration building to speak to GW's media person to talk about the university's response and plans going forward.

I must have eaten at some point, and wrote that story and a few others up for the Hatchet. It seems the main article isn't loading properly, but two others I wrote or co-wrote are. At the time, many people were comparing the attacks to Pearl Harbor, and I wrote a piece looking at GW's response to Pearl Harbor. Interestingly, they only mentioned the attack once in passing, mainly focusing on the responses. I also wrote a sadder piece about GW alumni among the victims, including the World Trade Center's head of security.

I must have gone back to my room and watched TV and maybe slept a bit, but later that night I wasn't sleepy and started to wander around campus. The DC National Guard had been deployed, so it was strange to see camouflage Hummers parked on corners downtown, and I chatted with some of the soldiers. A few days later, other seemingly scary incidents happened, like one where a truck drove up a closed road at the Pentagon. The drivers had UAE passports and a number of various visas and real and fake ID cards, including GW student IDs. As far as I know, nothing came of that, but it's indicative of the heightened concerns about security.

Anyway, that was long. That's my story, what's yours?

Trivia night at Looking Glass on Thursday to benefit the Petworth Community Market

If you like beer, trivia or farmer's markets, you're in luck: on Thursday starting at 7, the Looking Glass Lounge is hosting a trivia night to benefit the Petworth Community Market. The market, which takes place every Friday from 4-8 pm at 9th and Upshur, is one of the few that happen during the week.

Some of the questions will be fruit- and vegetable-related, and there's a suggested $10 donation, with the money going to pay for equipment, staff and more for the market.

So bone up (ha) on your fruits and veggies and get to Looking Glass!

Here's more details from their Facebook event:
Put your fruit and veggie knowledge to the test at the first-ever Petworth Community Market TRIVIA NIGHT! 
What vegetable's name means "the large pearl?"
Are eggplants a fruit or a vegetable?
Thursday, September 12 
at the Looking Glass Lounge (3634 Georgia Ave NW)
Sign-in opens at 6 / Trivia starts at 7 
$10 suggested donation 
Funds raised at trivia night will help pay for equipment, staff, and bonus dollars at the Petworth Community Market.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Meridian Pint wins slow food award

Meridian Pint, the American craft beer bar and restaurant that aims to get as much of its food from local farmers as possible, has just won an award -- the amusingly named Snail of Approval from Slow Food DC. Nice to see them being awarded, I've always liked that place and their food does seem healthier than other spots.

Meridian Pint's neighbor Maple previously won the award.

Meridian Pint is located at 3400 11th Street NW and Maple is at 3418 11th Street NW.
                                                           

Photo
Slow Food DC Announces Snail of Approval Winners  
Slow Food DC unveiled today the 2013 Snail of Approval award recipients. All winners will be recognized in the Third Annual Snail of Approval Awards Party at Jackson 20 Restaurant and Tavern in Old Town, Alexandria on Sunday, September 22. Slow Food DC celebrates 84 total number of winners this year.
Slow Food DC (SFDC) Snail of Approvals recognize eateries and artisans who contribute good, clean, fair food to our community and spread awareness of the Slow Food philosophy and those establishments who support it. The award is SFDC’s way of acknowledging providers who are transforming the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the City of Washington, DC and surrounding areas.
Nominations are examined by: the degree to which the establishment’s activities are aligned with the Slow Food DC mission in promoting and celebrating local, seasonal, and sustainable food sources; how much it is working to preserve the culinary traditions of the region’s ethnically and culturally diverse populations; and how it is supporting the right of all people to enjoy good, clean, fair food.  There is no limit to the number of establishments that can receive the Snail of Approval.
Tickets to the awards event at Jackson 20 Restaurant and Tavern are on sale now: $48 for Slow Food members, $55 for non-members. See http://snail3.eventbrite.com for tickets and http://www.slowfooddc.org/snail-of-approval-directory   for more about the program, winners, and celebration.
2013 Additions to the Snail of Approval Winners:
  • Green Hat Gin
  • Green Pig Bistro
  • Hometown Harvest
  • Meridian Pint
  • Rappahannock Oyster Co.
  • Relay Foods
  • Smith Meadows
  • South Mountain Creamery
  • Vermilion
  • Vigilante Coffee Company
About Slow Food DC
The Slow Food DC (SFDC) chapter is a community that promotes and celebrates local, seasonal, and sustainable food sources; works to preserve the culinary traditions of the region’s ethnically and culturally diverse populations; and supports the right of all people to enjoy good, clean, fair food.
SFDC represents the national capitol area, including Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Members come from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds. SFDC organizes dinners, tastings, tours, lectures, and community outreach events providing SFDC members an opportunity to explore the richness of our region’s culinary heritage in addition to the diverse array of food and drink from around the world represented in our foodshed. Slow Food DC’s goal is to connect eaters with the biodiverse and sustainable food producers, as well as increase public awareness of slow eating.

The North Face in Georgetown offering free bikes for college students

Free bike

You always spot interesting stuff outside DCUSA. The other day I was walking past and noticed a couple of orange and white fixed-gear bikes with big North Face logos on them.

A college-aged girl was unlocking hers and I asked her about it: she said it was a deal where The North Face gives them a free bike for the semester with the caveat that they have to post pictures of the bike on social media -- so basically it's a free bike for free advertising. Seems like a pretty awesome deal for young people.

The bike also has the address for the Georgetown store on it, 3333 M Street NW. It's a pretty interesting idea, but the first time I've spotted them around the area.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Columbia Heights 1968 riots featured in the film "The Butler"

A reader tipped me off to an interesting historical nugget: Columbia Heights is featured in the new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker. The movie focuses on a White House butler who served many presidents and witnesses a lot of historical events throughout the 20th century.

Specifically, the neighborhood is briefly shown in a segment on the 1968 riots in the city that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The riots decimated 14th Street, U Street NW, 7th Street NW, H Street NE, 8th Street SE and other major commercial corridors in the city.

Some of those streets have only recently recovered, though some, like 14th, U and H Street, are bustling again.

The scene is pictured in this trailer for the movie near the 1:30 mark. I haven't seen it, have you? Can you tell us more about the scenes in the comments?



And this isn't the first time that our neighborhood has been on TV or in movies: BonesLie to Me, and Cupcake Wars all featured our neighborhood, as did In the Line of Fire, the movie with Clint Eastwood as a Secret Service Agent, Syriana (Jeffrey Wright's character runs on the 13th Street hill). And of course, D.C. Cab with Mr. T, Adam Baldwin, Gary Busey and Bill Maher had a number of scenes, including a food fight, at the Florida Avenue Grill.

Map from Greater Greater Washington

Friday, September 6, 2013

Kangaroo Boxing Club planning second floor space, aiming at Spring 2014


Kangaroo Boxing Club, the barbeque spot and bar on 11th just north of Park, is looking to expand by building a second floor. PoP included a flyer on the addition, which will allow the folks to serve ribs. Full plans, like number of seats, hours, if there's an outdoor area will be announced at the Sept 11th ANC 1A meeting at Tubman Elementary School, which is at 7 pm. You can also email info@kangaroodc.com for more info.

PoP reports construction will begin in February 2014 and they hope to open the space in spring 2014.

I think this is a good thing, as often KBC is often pretty packed. I also hope, from a personal standpoint, that they'll use one of the spaces (either upstairs or downstairs) for Michigan games, as the bar is a University of Michigan fan hub. I've been a couple of times when it converts from normal restaurant to Michigan gameday bar, which is kind of frustrating when you just want to enjoy a meal with some friends and not have a ton of rowdy people. Then again, I guess the other option is to be aware that during game times it's going to be busy. (And the games are certainly popular, so they should continue them.)