Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Crossfit gym opens at 12th and Upshur Street in Petworth

Upshur Street in southern Petworth is busy lately! I just got an email from the folks at CrossFit Petworth that they have opened at 1240 Upshur Street NW, right next to Annie's Ace Hardware. See below from more from them.

By my count this is at least the second new gym to open in the area, after Elevate on 14th near Clifton, plus seemingly new yoga studios all the time!
DC's Newest CrossFit gym, CrossFit Petworth, opened early September in the heart of DC's Petworth neighborhood.

Located at 1240 Upshur St NW, Crossfit Petworth shares the same building as the recently opened Annie's ACE Hardware store. At 9200 square feet, CrossFit Petworth is one of DC area's largest CrossFit gyms and is unusually large for a CF gym located in the city.

Thanks to it's size CrossFit Petworth will be able to offer more flexibility and variety of classes than most CrossFit gyms in DC. These include, in addition to regular CrossFit classes, Ladies only classes, Kids Classes, Open Gym access (at all hours) for members and classes for Seniors as well. The ability to hold multiple classes allows CF Petworth to bring new members up to speed in a gradual and controlled manner. These options help with anyone concerned or timid about jumping in and trying out CrossFit. CrossFit Petworth has worked to remove some of the barriers of entry to make starting CrossFit a little more accessible. Additionally the gym will be building a strength and Conditioning program to specifically work with local athletes at the High School and collegiate level. 

Quality of training is paramount at any CrossFit location. CrossFit Petworth's head coaches each have a minimum of 5 years experience coaching CrossFit, ensuring some of the highest quality training and safety for it's members.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Options for Internet without cable TV in our area?

Recently my house's cable and internet bill with Comcast has gotten extremely expensive, $250+. After hours of arguing with them over the phone, my housemate finally got them to cancel our subscription. Not a fun experience.

That means we need to find another option for Internet, ideally without cable TV -- mostly we watch Netflix and figure the rest of the things we'd like to watch would be streaming on Hulu, Roku or another service. Does anybody out there do something similar? What would you recommend?

We were thinking of getting a digital antenna to get local channels, then buying a Roku to watch other cable channels and things like Hulu. I'd like to have the NFL, Nats games, and college basketball, but that's not a dealbreaker.

As for internet, we were thinking of Verizon, since Comcast was driving my housemate insane and we don't want to give them any more money. But are there other options people would recommend? I've heard of Clear, which is Internet over 4G, but I'm not sure how good it is. I've also heard of smaller cable systems like RCN, which seems to be cheaper for just Internet, but I don't know anybody who has it, and their address check tool isn't working. It looks like DC Access, a local company, doesn't cover Columbia Heights.

Fundraiser for Petworth Community Market this Tuesday at Petworth Citizen featuring Warren Brown, other authors

The Petworth Community Market, the Saturday farmers market at 8th and Upshur, needs your help. The group, which runs the market and also offers matching dollars for people on WIC and SNAP (low income food programs) is hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday at Petworth Citizen at 829 Upshur Street NW.

The fundraiser includes book signings from Warren Brown of CakeLove and other local authors, plus happy hour deals at the Citizen. Read on for more!

The market itself runs until October 25th, so you have a few more opportunities to stop by.

The board of PCM is hosting our fall fundraiser at the Petworth Citizen Reading Room this Tuesday, September 30th, from 6-9 PM

Please join us for Farmers, Bakers, Cooks & Books, an event which will feature brief talks and signing of books by three local authors (a small business owner, a farmer, and a baker- all of great renown!

6:30 Nessa, The World's Gone Collard Greens
7:00 MK Barnet of Open Book Farm, Greenhorns
7:30 Warren Brown of CakeLove fame, CakeLove & Pie Love

Ten percent (10%) of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the market and its matching dollars program, which assists seniors and the USDA's WIC & SNAP programs. Plus, Petworth Citizen will feature a special cocktail for the evening made from ingredients from our very own Radix Farm for this event and into next month.

A five dollar donation will automatically enter you in a raffle to win great door prizes, including signed cookbooks by Marcella Kreibel (Comida Latina), Warren Brown (Pie Love), and Nessa (The World's Gone Collard Greens).

Come out, meet your neighbors, and learn more about your local community market! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Soldiers Home Fall Fun Fest coming up Oct. 5: music, antique cars, golf, crafts, beer, tours, more!

October is near, which means Oktoberfest celebrations are near. The Friends of the Old Soldiers Home is hosting a Fall Fun Fest, which events for families, kids and adults, on Sunday Oct. 5 at the Old Soldiers Home grounds, aka the Armed Forces Retirement Home. It's an impressive complex with lots of green, rolling hills. In the past the Friends group have had July 4th celebrations and other neat events there.

Here's more info and a schedule. Click the flyer above for more!
8 a.m.: Antique Car registration/refreshments
8 a.m.-2 p.m.: Army Hum V vehicle display
9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Antique Car Show
9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Medical Response vehicle display
9 a.m.: Public Golf Tournament
9 a.m.-11:45 a.m.: DJ Music Man Billy White
9:30-Noon: Quarters 1/Sherman Tower/Lincoln Cottage Tours
10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Information booths/exhibits
10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Resident Arts and Crafts Sales
11 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: Navy Drill Team performance
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: beer/bourbon tasting
11:45 a.m.: Model T Club demonstration
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Brass Quintet Band performance
12:15 p.m. Car Show Awards presentations
1 p.m.-4 p.m.: City of Memory Project digitizing memorabilia
1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Edelweiss Band/Bavarian-Austrian Dancers
1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Beer, Food Trucks, Children's Activities
1:30-4 p.m.: Pumpkin patch picking, painting, field games
1:30-2:30: PAL animal visit
1:30-3:30: Fishing Rodeo at ponds
1:30: Military Golf Tournament

NOTE: Car traffic may enter Randolph Gate only; foot traffic may enter Randolph or Upshur Gates

Activities by: Friends of the Soldiers Home, Armed Forces Retirement Home, President Lincoln's Cottage, Double Nickels Theater Co., Military District of Washington, Creative Minds Charter School, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Wounded Warriors, Trout Unlimited.

Friends of the Soldiers Home is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving to strengthen the bond between the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington and the surrounding community. Through service, education and engagement, Friends of the Soldiers Home connects citizens and veterans in a relationship that recognizes the sacrifice of military service and enhances quality of life for veteran and citizen alike.

facebook: friendsofsoldiers
twitter: friendssoldiers

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Whoa: Google Street View cameras go into Red Derby, Looking Glass, Red Rocks

This is pretty awesome: I just discovered that Google Street View cameras, which normally take pictures along roads, have ventured into some of our local bars and restaurants: the Red Derby, Looking Glass Lounge and Red Rocks. The images provide a 360 degree view of the places and look to have been taken early in the day -- most of them are fairly empty and very well lit (in fact, that's the brightest I've ever seen the Red Derby.) Like regular Street View, you can click to move around the inside of the buildings or pan around and inspect what's in there.

I wasn't able to see the cameras in windows or mirrors, but I assume it was just a guy with some equipment rather than one of Google's famous Street View cars or some other gizmo.

It's pretty neat to explore the bars, even though I've been to each many times. I haven't found other spots in the neighborhood with Street View (Wonderland is sadly missing) and the photos stay on the ground floor of each spot. They're a little older too, the dates for LGL and the Derby say 2010, with no date for Red Rocks.

I think it would be funny if the Street View person hung around at the bars and had a few drinks, maybe some tots at the Derb' or curly fries at LGL, then took some wobbly photos afterwards.

To see if a place has the "See Inside" feature or not, just look for it on Google Maps and there will be an option along with photos and Street View. The National Cathedral is another great example.

New taqueria at 14th and Spring, Taqueria Habanero

There's another taco option for those folks in northern Columbia Heights! A blog I'm not familiar with from the Park Triangle apartments at 14th and Kenyon has word that the new place, Taqueria Habanero, is now open at 3710 14th Street NW, just down from the Red Derby and Herman's Liquors. (In the middle, above)

This is by my count the third taco place on 14th in northern Columbia Heights, after the great Taqueria Distrito Federal, the granddad of Columbia Heights taco places and Three Salsas, the newer and also tasty takeout spot.

And that's not all, there's the other taco and Mexican places which led me to name Columbia Heights the taco-iest neighborhood in the city -- El Chucho, Mama Chuy, El Tio, Pica Taco at 14th and Florida, and so on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Register to vote today at the YWCA at 14th and Florida until 6pm

Today is National Voter Registration Day, and the DC Board of Elections is hosting a registration drive today until 6 pm at the YWCA, 2303 14th Street. Here's more details. Sounds like a great opportunity to get registered in DC (or at your current address if you've moved) so you can have a voice in your neighborhood.
The DC Board of Elections is currently registering DC residents on site at the YWCA National Capital Area (2303 14th Street NW) from 12:00pm- 6:00pm today.

Today, September 23rd is National Voter Registration Day and in 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. Today, volunteers, celebrities and organizations from all over the will "hit the streets" for National Voter Registration Day. #CelebrateNVRD (Pictures)
Photo from YWCA Twitter 

Petworth Citizen celebrates one year, deals all week

Petworth Citizen, the bar and restaurant from the Room 11 folks at 829 Upshur, is celebrating one year of being open. They have a lot of good deals this week:
Tuesday: Punch Night - we'll be running specials on 4 different punches all night long. 
Wednesday: Tiki Night - Dave & Charles will be serving up the tiki classics. 
Thursday: Pork & Pies - Porchetta & Pork Buns from Makoto. Pies from Room 11
Friday: Beer & Books - Bring a book for the Reading Room and get a draft beer for free! (Limit one freebie per customer.)
Petworth Citizen (which also has a free library and event space called the Reading Room) has some tasty brunch options, plus good cocktails and other food. They operate together with Crane & Turtle across the street, the Japanese spot also owned by the folks behind Room 11.

The folks are also hoping to start a bookstore on Upshur Street as well.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Less than helpful sign: "prepare to stop" in front of stop sign

This is amusing -- Twitter user Michael Hechter tweeted this to me, with the caption "Oh, stop."

Thank goodness the sign is there to warn us. He spotted this at Allison & Iowa in Petworth.

Columbia Heights Day updates schedule, expands to 11th Street

Columbia Heights Day, our neighborhood festival, is back for its 8th year on October 11th, and they're growing. This year the festival will take place at the Tubman Elementary School field like usual, and they're also taking over 11th Street NW from Park to Kenyon for what they're calling the 11th Street Festival.

I wrote about CH Day a couple of weeks ago, but the schedule has since changed a little so look below for the latest info. Sounds like it's going to be a big one, with events for kids and adults, lots of food, music, art, dancing, local vendors, politicians and more.

There are some fun events too, like the always popular pie eating contest, an adult tricycle race, a dunk tank, bocce, and screenprint your own t-shirt.

Street Festival Schedule – Stage lineup 

11:15-12:00   Uno, Dos, Tres con Andres (Bilingual Spanish Kids Entertainment)
12:15-1:00     Harambee with Baba Ras D. (Children’s Performers)
1:15-2:00       Brazilian Samba with Zezeh Brazil (Group Dance in Carnival Costumes)
2:05-2:45       Pie Eating Contest
3:00-3:30       Dogtoberfest Dog Show (Claws & Paws Pet Shop)
3:35-4:20       Tamica Love Jones (Jazz/R&B/Funk)
4:30-5:00       Rochelle Rice (Jazz/Blues)
5:15-6:00       School of Rock (An All Children’s Rock Group)

Festival Highlights

Adult Tricycle Race
Community Yoga & Zumba Classes
Face Painting
Family Fun Field
Gardening 101
Live Music & Dance Performances
Food by 11th Street Restaurants
Outdoor Movie Screening
Petting Zoo, Moon Bounce & a Dunk Tank
Pie Eating Contest by The Coupe

Family Fun Field Schedule

10:00 am    Community Yoga by Kali Yoga Studio
11:00 am    Zumba Class by instructor Ashley Bacon-Ward
11:40 am    Dance Performance by the Washington Dance Institute
12:00 pm    Family Fun Field Day Begins with 20+ Field Day Stations
12:00 pm    Arts & Crafts in the Tubman School Cafeteria (ongoing)
12:00 pm    Petting Zoo opens (closes at 4pm)
1:00 pm      Story Time in the Tubman School Library Begins (stories read every hour, on the hour)
2:00 pm      Gardening workshop
3:00 pm      Open house with Tubman School Principal, Amanda Delabar
6:30 pm      Outdoor Movie Screening (Title will be announced shortly)
8:00 pm      Family Fun Field Day Closes
All performances and activities are subject to change without prior notice.
Columbia Heights Day is a rain or shine event.

Other Activities

  • Check out dozen of local vendors
  • Screen print your own t-shirt with The Arcade
  • Learn how to fix your bike with The Bike House (12 to 3 pm)
  • Play bocce with DC Bocce
  • Plus, more to do all along 11th Street in Columbia Heights

Friday, September 19, 2014

Help save Rock Creek Park trees this Saturday!

Rock Creek Park trail loop-8

Rock Creek Park serves as a great place to visit, hike, picnic, explore or escape from the city for a bit -- and it needs your help. Every so often, English ivy builds up on trees, and the park needs volunteers to help cut the ivy off. Here's more info, everything you need will be provided!
Join Rock Creek Conservancy and National Park Service volunteers to save park trees from the chokehold of English ivy, an invasive vine that grows up tree trunks and eventually weakens and kills the tree. Volunteers will cut ivy from tree trunks using hand tools. Tools, gloves, and training on how to identify and cut English ivy will be provided. Ages 16 and up to use tools.

When: Saturday, September 20th from 10:00-12:00

Location: We will be working in the Piney Branch section of Rock Creek Park. Meet in the Crestwood neighborhood at the intersection of Shepherd Street and 18th Street, NW. Parking available. Nearest MetroRail access at Columbia Heights or Georgia Ave/Petworth Station.

What to Wear: Please wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Wear sturdy boots or sneakers, no sandals. Sunscreen and bug spray will be very helpful!

What to Bring: Bring water. Tools and gloves will be provided. Feel free to bring your own tools and gloves if you have them. Students can earn SSL hours, but please bring needed forms.

For more information or to sign-up for the event, visit Save Rock Creek Park Trees- Piney Branch North
Photo by TrailVoice

Try GoodShuffle, a home and garden item rental service: special deal for NCH readers!

A few months ago, I heard about GoodShuffle, a new service founded in DC that lets you rent tools and other home & garden equipment from your neighbors rather than buy your own. The idea is simple: why spend money on something you might only use once or twice?

The folks at GoodShuffle were nice enough to offer a discount code for New Columbia Heights readers, $10 off one rental until October 20th: just enter NCHB10 when you check out. Sounds like a good chance to give the service a shot.

Aside from tools, they have all kinds of other items you might need occasionally for your own use or for events you're putting on: tents, speakers, ladders, drills, cables, folding chairs, tables, grills, canopies, and so on. There's even photo booths for events (or just shenanigans, I suppose.) You choose the items you need, go pick them up, and pay the daily rate.

It's free to list your stuff too, though GoodShuffle takes a small percentage of each transaction from the owner of the item. Here's a video about it:

GoodShuffle "How It Works" from Erik Dreyer on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bruce Monroe Community Day on Saturday at Bruce Monroe Park

Just spotted this from the Georgia Ave. Community Development Task Force: They're hosting a community fest at the Bruce Monroe Park at Georgia Avenue and Irving Streets NW. Sounds fun. 

I went last year, there were some fun events, things to for kids, and food. (Plus we stopped by Mama Chuy before for some tacos, always a good bet.)
Don’t miss Bruce Monroe Community Day This Saturday at the Bruce Monroe Park

Join us this Saturday September 20th from 2-7 for food and fun.  This year’s Bruce Monroe Day will feature the Wilson Dance Team along with

-        Face Painting,
-        Fitness Fun – tennis, soccer, b-ball
-        Art Projects
-        Zumba
-        Raffles
-        Music
-        Pie Eating Contest
-        Hula Hoops

And Food from the Georgia Avenue businesses!

The Bruce Monroe Park is on Georgia Avenue between Columbia Rd. and Irving St. Come out and celebrate the new improvements done to the park!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washington Post editorial against statehood because of traffic tickets is the dumbest thing ever

Bears Crossing So this isn't Columbia Heights-specific, but I believe that voting DC representation in Congress will be good for the entire city, including our area.

Basically, the Post's Dana Milbank makes the argument that because he got tickets for running and stop sign and running a red light, DC doesn't deserve statehood. Honestly, that's the argument.

The bigger issue that Milbank introduces is that DC is very aggressive with traffic cameras, which he (and AAA, the car lobbying group) calls a "war on drivers." And he starts to make a valid point, but misses -- he mentions a DC Inspector General audit that found DC sometimes ticketed speeders even if they can't identify the correct car and that a study aimed to convince the public that the cameras are good for public safety rather than just for raising money didn't work.

Those are both things that should be fixed, obviously. However, rather than go into more detail about that, show ways to fix the system, or gather more information, Milbank sets off on writing about his personal experiences. He received a $50 ticket for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, and a $150 ticket for "a legal right on red after a slow-rolling stop" -- that is, not coming to a complete stop. Sure, people do these things all the time, but they're still illegal. Milbank is basically arguing, as the City Paper put it, that DC shouldn't enforce these laws, and because they do, DC shouldn't get statehood.
D.C. officials testified before a Senate committee Monday afternoon about their desire for statehood. I’m sympathetic, but statehood is not going to happen anytime soon — nor should it, if the government runs the place like a banana republic.
Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I wonder if Milbank got a ticket in Oregon or Delaware or some other place for doing the same thing, would he argue that their statehood should be taken away? No, because that's completely ridiculous.

He also doesn't quote anybody at DC government by name, he only quotes that IG audit and a AAA spokesperson, a group that lobbies for drivers and against traffic rules. He doesn't talk to anybody who might not like "slow-rolling stops" at red lights, like pedestrians or bicyclist groups.

He also complains that fighting tickets rarely works, citing his own denied appeals for incorrect parking tickets and mentions the caseload of the people who handle the appeals. However, he doesn't do any actual reporting here, he doesn't quote how many appeals are successful or unsuccessful, how long they take, or anything that would help (or hinder) his argument. I can use anecdotal evidence to show the opposite too: I personally fought a traffic camera ticket I received after selling my car, and won, and a friend successfully appealed numerous parking tickets she shouldn't have gotten. That doesn't mean it's not a pain to appeal, but again, Milbank doesn't say we should make that process better, he just whines about breaking the law twice.

To me, it seems like he's auditioning to work for the Examiner, or maybe to replace Ed Anger, the fictional maniac columnist for the Weekly World News, that paper you buy in the checkout line that reports on politicians being aliens, Bat Boy, and such. I think he would fit in well at either place with this quality of analysis and logic.

Photo by Adam Fagen

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ground broken on condos at 14th & Quincy, site of burned hotel

Looks like development on 14th around Spring in speeding up. Last year, the vacant former C&K Hotel at 14th and Qunicy burned down -- the hotel was a former transient hotel and site of drug use and prostitution. Earlier this year we heard that the replacement was to be  20 condo units with retail, possibly a 7-Eleven.

And today, I saw construction equipment working, breaking ground and digging in the area. I don't know many more details, but nice to see some work happening after a few months.

 This is the third project that's started recently in the area, along with apartments currently under construction at the corner of 14th and Spring (wrapping around the New Dodge Market) and condos on Spring between 13th and 14th. And amazingly enough, there's even progress at the perennially under construction Bacon Funeral Home building a few blocks down the street!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Outdoor movie on Wednesday: The Bayou, about a DC club where Mr. T was the bouncer, U2, Billy Joel, Ramones played

Bruce Springsteen at the Bayou in 1981
This sounds like a fun event: the final U Street Movie Series installment is this Wednesday, showing a local documentary on the Bayou, a former music club in Georgetown that hosted a ton of big names: U2, KISS, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Muddy Waters, The Ramones, Peter Tosh and more.

It sounds like a wild place (Mister T was the bouncer) and the doc sounds interesting. Here's more about the film and a short history of the club, which closed in 1998. Here's the details for the event.
Friends of Harrison Recreation Center and the U Street Neighborhood Association are proud to present the last movie of the Fifth Annual U Street Movie Series -- Harrison Field Under the Stars.This FREE summer movie series celebrates the musical and culturally diverse roots of the Greater U Street Corridor.Please join us and our generous sponsors/partners for this family friendly event, which benefits Harrison Recreation Center.

The Bayou: DC's Killer Joint
A decade since the last lusty notes stroked the irreverent, iconic Georgetown music hall, tales and echoes linger.... From murder to redemption, from jazz to rock and roll, from striptease to Kiss, from Mister T to misadventure ... the documentary, like The Bayou itself, will arouse the senses....

Foreigner made its club debut there.... The Bayou encompassed U2's first American show, Bono and mates opening for the Slickee Boys; Billy Joel's live cuts that shaped the album "Songs in the Attic"; Bruce Springsteen's unexpected appearance during a Robbin Thompson concert, and so much more .... Kiss had the amps so juiced that areas of the city lost electricity. (From Metro Teleproductions website (http://mtitv.com/BayouBlog/?page_id=2)

More information available at: https://www.facebook.com/ustreetmovieseries

Admission is free and donations are always welcome and appreciated

The Bayou: DC's Killer Joint (2013) -- FREE outdoor movie
Gates open at 7 with a DJ playing until film begins.
Timber Pizza food truck from Union Kitchen will donate a % of sales to Friends of Harrison Recreation Center.

Harrison Recreation Center -- 1330 V St. NW, Washington DC 20009 (Metro highly recommended)

September 17, 2014 -- Movie to begin after sundown (Sept. 24 -- rain date)

The Friends of Harrison Recreation Center (FOH) is an official partner of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).FOH works //with the community to improve the recreation center through capital improvements, design changes, and to enhance management and programming. 
Images from  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

100+ dirtbikes, ATVs go down 14th Street, Georgia Ave on Sunday night: part of annual ride

It was a noisy Sunday night in Columbia Heights: just before 8pm, about 100 young men on motorbikes and four-wheelers zipped down 14th Street NW, making a lot of engine noise as some did wheelies and other tricks. Few if any of the riders seemed to be wearing helmets or have their lights on.

They passed me going south at 7:54 pm at about 14th and Qunicy, then about five minutes later I saw another big group rolling south on Georgia at Upshur, but it wasn't clear to me if it was the same people as on 14th or a different group.

Apparently this was part of a big annual ride which also takes place in lots of cities, at least according to Twitter user @Aboogie301 who responded to me:

I'd seen something similar back in December, but this group was much, much bigger and seemed better behaved. In December some went on the sidewalks and such, at least when I saw them, they were on the street. However, that people tweeted at @popville that they blew through red lights and that one was hit by a car on H Street NE. Others said they went through Chinatown. Apparently this often happens on Sundays, but today was a special ride.

The scene was reminiscent of riders from Baltimore who were the subject of a documentary called 12 O'Clock Boys -- the name meaning doing a wheelie when they're perfectly vertical. Vice wrote about them a couple of years ago too.

It's kind of wild to see, but at the same time can be quite dangerous -- both for the riders and for everyone else, as riders going into other lanes or on sidewalks could cause hazards for others. I haven't heard anything from MPD about it and asked them for comment on the laws about riding fourwheelers or dirtbikes, but haven't heard back yet. When I asked Twitter user @aboogie301 if this is part of the 12 O'Clock Boys, he said no:
Here's the 12 O'Clock Boys trailer, which looks like what I saw today. Youtube has a lot of videos of different groups doing stunts like standing on the bikes while doing wheelies. From that and what Twitter user @aboogie301 said, there seem to be a lot of groups doing it, of which the 12 O'Clock Boys is just one.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Alcohol delivery services coming to Columbia Heights


Prepare for more ways to get alcohol. The city has recently approved a few businesses that will delivery alcohol to your door, just like if you ordered a pizza. Drizly, Klink and Ultra are the three services, and they include some of our area.

Drizly hasn't yet published their coverage map, though my place in northern Columbia Heights is included. According to DCist, they deliver to Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, but don't yet deliver to Mt. Pleasant, and it's unclear to me exactly how they define the areas they do cover -- would Columbia Heights include Park View and Pleasant Plains? Ultra includes the 20009 and 20010 zip codes, and Klink only says "Washington, DC" as well as Ann Arbor, Mich. and Orlando, Fla.

They all seem to only deliver when liquor stores are open, so no 3 am and the party is running out of booze salvation.

Drizly is a smartphone app, and prices seem a bit more expensive than in a shop, but not by much -- most craft beer seems a dollar or two more than retail, starting at about $10.99, while liquor starts at about $20 for things like Absolut Vodka or Dickel Whiskey. The selection seems to be enormous, hundreds of kinds of alcohol, and they have some really expensive stuff too: I saw a few $200+ old Scotch bottles. Ultra has similar prices and a huge selection as well but a $50 minimum, while Klink has similar prices but a much smaller selection, only about 20 items total and only one kind of beer.

I hope this doesn't affect our local liquor stores (I'm quite fond of CC's at 14th and Newton and Lion's on Georgia) but it sounds like Ultra and Drizly at least works with local shops.

It's an amazing world we're living in. Photo by Daniel Lobo

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New furniture and home decor shop, Mara Home, at 14th and V

There's a new addition to 14th Street's booming furniture corridor: Mara Home at 2213 14th Street NW, between W and Florida.

The shop, opened by Kathleen Mara, who founded the popular Homebody in Capitol Hill. Mara has a lot of modern furniture, textiles, rugs, decor and other home items in a nice open space. When I stopped in the other day, Mara told me she thought the area was a good one for home decor and furniture and had been wanting to open a new shop for some time. (She also said she was not related to Patrick Mara, the former Ward 1 council candidate.)

It was a pretty neat spot, and the other day they had a sign for 30% floor models -- they're getting in new stock and wanted to sell what they had.

Monday, September 8, 2014

G Sandwich Shop is awesome (but not cheap, but worth it)

A few weeks ago I stopped by G Sandwich Shop, the Mike Isabella-run spot at 14th and V, and it was pretty fantastic. I highly recommend it.

I tried the Calypso Chicken Curry, with Caribbean-style chicken plus pickled peppers, a tangy, thin yogurt sauce, cucumber and grilled pineapple on flatbread -- it sounds like an odd combo, but went together perfectly and the ingredients were cooked just right. My buddy got the Bullshot, a lot of rare roast beef with fried green tomatoes, bacon and celery slaw on a tasty sub roll: a lot heartier than mine but also quite delicious.

I also got a side of homemade potato chips, which were the right balance between soft and crunchy, and a watermelon-tarragon house made soda, which was also really good. (The mango, hops and coriander one sounds interesting too.) The sandwiches start at $9 up to about $14 for specials, plus $2 for the chips and $4 for the drink, so it's not a cheap lunch, but is a delicious one. They also have beer on tap. (If you get some of the free flavored water instead, you'll save a few bucks.)

It's an inviting space too, big and bright with murals on the walls and wood tables and chairs.

G is open for lunch 11am-5pm daily, plus a tasting menu 6-10pm on Wednesday-Saturday, and a "Sunday Gravy" $40 prix fixe, family-style meal from 6-10pm on Sundays. I haven't tried the two latter ones yet, but plan to.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Open house at Cove shared working space on Saturday & Sunday

Cove, the new shared working space located where the Dunes was previously at 14th and Meridian, is hosting an open house on Saturday and Sunday. 

I wrote about them a couple of weeks ago, it's a place where you can rent a space to work by the hour (or longer) with wifi, coffee and such. Here's more details:
I just wanted to share that cove is having an open house for its newest productive space this Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7, from 12-3pm each day. cove CoHi is located at 1402 Meridian Pl, NW. We will be giving tours of the space, signing up people for free trials, and serving light refreshments from our neighbor, Le Caprice.
Sounds interesting -- except for the CoHi part, one of my pet peeves

Two Kickstarters launching free mini-libraries in the area; help fund them!

This is pretty neat: two different folks have launched Kickstarters to build a Little Free Library, one in Columbia Heights at 11th and Kenyon (outside Tubman Elementary) and one in Petworth on Illinois Avenue NW just off Grant Circle.

The idea is to build a little box, put some books in there and people are free to check them out or put new ones in. Sounds like a cool idea and a way to get people reading more and build some community. The library boxes are for sale on this website.

The Petworth Kickstarter ends in 5 days and needs $230 our of $375 while the Columbia Heights one has 27 to go and needs $225 our of $500. I wrote to both organizers and they had all had nice things to say:

Swati in Petworth:
I lived on Capitol Hill previously and have seen a couple of the libraries there just by walking around. I thought it was a great idea - I love books and thought the idea of being able to pick one up while you are walking about in your own neighborhood was a great idea. We just purchased a house with a front yard, so this is the first time I've had the opportunity to put one up. The money is to purchase the library itself (after the Kickstarter campaign I've had someone from the neighborhood offer to help me build one; if that goes through, the money will go to materials). And any extra money will be used to purchase books for the library. I hope to have 2 shelves, one for children's books and one for adults. I'll probably fill the adult one with some fiction and non-fiction, but after that hoping that the community will actively participate and it will evolve into whatever everyone wants it to be. The purpose of the kickstarter campaign is not just to get monetary support but also to raise awareness, so community members will be aware of its location and hopefully enjoy the resource.
 Mike and Kate in Columbia Heights:
We first heard about the Little Free Library project online and read more about it on their website. We thought it would be a great thing to have in Columbia Heights as a way to build community and increase access to books, especially for young children since we live across from Tubman elementary school.

The money goes to the purchase of the library from the website ($300) and the other necessary materials for its installation. We're also planning to buy some starter books, although we would be grateful for donations -- especially books for children and teens.

The really terrific thing about this project is that it is what the community makes of it. It's take a book, leave a book. Our hope is that the community supports it and fills it with some great options. However, if the stock is dwindling, we're planning to supplement it as necessary.

It's wonderful that there is a similar project in Petworth. Hopefully more and more will pop up throughout our city.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thai Tanic II is now closed, Laotian restaurant Thip Khao opening there in the fall

A few weeks ago, we learned that Thip Khao, a Laotian restaurant from chef  Seng Luangrath, who runs the popular Bangkok Golden in Seven Corners, was coming to the Allegro building at 3462 14th Street NW. It would be replacing Thai Tanic II, the Thai spot. 

And it's making some progress -- a tipster emailed that Thai Tanic II is now closed, and the Thip Khao website reports that they're hoping for a fall opening.

The food sounds pretty awesome too: family-style dishes and other traditional items like laab (minced meat salad, pictured above) grilled meats, and a sticky rice serving basket, which is what Thip Khao translates to. For a hint at what the food would be, check out Chef Seng's website. Looks tasty.

There will also be cocktails: frozen drinks and Lao takes on classic drinks. This is all making me hungry and thirsty.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Columbia Heights Day announced: Saturday, Oct. 11 at Tubman School

Columbia Heights Day, our neighborhood's fun annual festival, is coming back for its 8th edition, and the organizers have announced the date: Saturday, October 11th at the Tubman Elementary School field, 11th and Kenyon.

Like previous years, there's a ton of events, arts, music, food and more, both for adults and kids. Here's the agenda so far. The adult tricycle races sound pretty awesome and the petting zoo and eating contests are popular events from previous years.

They're also looking for volunteers and sponsors, see that information below. The event is put on by the  Columbia Heights Day Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. I expect we'll hear more too -- last years had deals from local bars and restaurants after the event, for example.

2014 Festival Schedule & Information
Event: 8th Annual Columbia Heights Day Festival
Day: Saturday
Date: October 11, 2014
Festival Hours: 11am to 6pm
Location: On 11th St NW (from Park Rd to Kenyon St NW) & Harriet Tubman School Yard
Street Festival Schedule
12:00pm     Eidelweiss Bands begin – north stage
12:15pm     Harambe w/Baba Ras D. (kids performance) – south stage
12:45pm     Liz the singing Lizard (kids music) – south stage
1:00pm      Dog Show on the north stage
1:30pm      Emergence Community Arts Collective – south stage
2:00pm      Kids painted-face parade
2:15pm      Brazilian Samba – south stage
2:30pm      Dunk you local politician – dunk tank
2:45pm      Belly Dancing performance – north stage
3:00pm      Adult tricycle races – kids zone
4:00pm      Cup Cake eating contest – south stage
4:30pm      Pie Eating contest – north stage
4:45pm      Tamika Love Jones (jazz, R&B, funk) – south stage
5:00pm      Rochelle Rice (Jazz & Blues) – north stage
6:00pm      Festival closes
Family Fun Field Schedule
10:00am           Community Yoga
11:00am           Pre-Kindergarten Field Day activities
11:15am           Uno, Dos, Tres con Andreas – south stage
12:00-5:00pm  Local schools arts showcase
12:00-2:00pm  Harriet Tubman open house with Principle Amanda Delabar
12:00-2:00pm  1st-5th grade Field Day activities
2:00-5:00pm    Community school soccer tournament
All performances and activties are subject to change without prior notice.
Columbia Heights Day is a rain or shine event.
Other Activities
  • Check out dozen of local vendors
  • Screen print your own t-shirt with The Arcade
  • Learn how to fix your bike with The Bike House (12 to 3 pm)
  • Play bocce with DC Bocce
  • Plus, more to do all along 11th Street in Columbia Heights
Get Involved

Le Caprice on 14th now serving beer and wine, breakfast, lunch and dinner

Le Caprice, the fantastic French bakery and cafe at 3460 14th Street NW, is expanding their hours and offerings -- they're now open for lunch and dinner as well as breakfast, and are serving beer and wine for those.

Lunch and dinner offerings include salads, sandwiches (I had the brie and apple one the other day, pretty tasty) and both Mediterranean dishes like kebabs. Most will be made to order, but then closer to closing there will be pre-made offerings. Their website seems a little out of date, last time I was there there were a lot more things (you can also see their sandwich menu below.) The hours are Monday-Friday, 6:45am-8pm, Saturday 7:30am-8pm and Sundays and holidays 7:30am-7pm.

I've always liked the breakfast offerings, the breakfast sandwich on a homemade roll with egg, tomato, cheese and bacon is great, and their pastries are top notch. If you recall, the Erfani family that runs the shop moved from France, where they ran a bakery, so they know traditional French baking.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MPD to start issuing $75 tickets for littering

Littering is bad -- I think most people will agree on that. It's also illegal, and WJLA reports that MPD will start issuing $75 tickets for pedestrians and $100 for drivers they catch littering.

Someone could argue "doesn't MPD have better things to do?" but I assume this will be more in the usual course of their day rather than special littering stings or something.

And littering is sometimes a problem in our area, especially around the 7-Eleven and the Civic Plaza where people tend to congregate. That said, there are tons of trash cans around and folks generally seem to use them.

So, don't litter! You might get a ticket.