Friday, January 31, 2014

Chickass, the store with the funniest name, now sells butt-enhancing pants


A while ago, I wrote about Chickass, a hilariously-named clothing store at 14th and Parkwood. The store seems to be aimed at Latin Americans, and the name is sort of a double entendre -- "chicas" meaning girls in Spanish, and of course, butts: their store displays are mostly mannequins with big backsides in tight pants.

They recently moved down the street (the old store was replaced by a cell phone store called Simple Mobile) but they have upped the ante on their display -- as well as the usual lower-half-of-the-body mannequins, they are also marketing some kind of thing that makes your butt look really big. Named something like Veres, it seems to be a pad you put in pants. However, to me it really looks more like you have three-fourths of a basketball in your pants. I think if I saw a woman like that, I would be worried that something bad medically had happened to her.

But hey, if you're going to call your store Chickass, you might as well go all out.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Coupe no longer 24 hours, changing to focus on wine

The Coupe Seating Area

It was fun while it lasted. The Coupe, the all-night diner, bar and coffee spot at 11th and Park, announced recently that they're no longer going to be 24 hours.

They'll now be open from 6am to midnight from Sun-Thurs, and 6am-1am on Friday and Saturday. And aside from shorter hours, they're going to focus more on having a good wine selection rather than just being a general bar -- they'll still have some beers and a full bar with a focus on martini and champagne-based cocktails, but wine will be the main show here. PoP reports that the menu will evolve to more of a cafe than a diner -- too bad, I liked their breakfast stuff.

Interestingly, in DCist's post about it, general manager Maxwell Hessman said "We're working on making The Coupe a little more focused." To me, that's a reference to continued complaints about poor service and average food at the spot, with which it's been dogged since opening.

As for why the change, Hessman told PoP:
The Coupe management has decided to move away from the 24 hour cycle for one very basic reason, after a year and half the sales are not there to support our large scale operation late night. We labored over this decision for quite some time and feel it is in the best interest for our company and our customers. We will still be open from early morning to late night to provide each and every guests a wonderful experience.
I've always liked the place for lunch, coffee or an after the bar meal, but it still only has 3 stars from 300 Yelp reviews with the highest number of reviews being 2 stars -- meaning lots of people really don't like it.

What do you think? Good thing?

Photo by Mr. T in DC

Pres. Obama visits the Coupe for lunch earlier this month!

(Note: I had this scheduled to post on Jan 13. It didn't post for some reason. My apologies.)

If you were around on Friday the 10th, you may have noticed a lot of hubbub around lunchtime -- turns out President Obama was in the neighborhood, lunching at The Coupe with some young people.

The young people were working on promoting health insurance and the AP implies that the administration decided on our neighborhood for the event because it's popular with young folks.

A friend on Instagram snapped the above shot of POTUS, who was eating chili and drinking tea, according to DCist.

I've lost track of the number of times the President has visited our hood, which I believe to be his favorite neighborhood. He's visited Bannker, Bell, Capital City Charter and Tubman Schools, plus working out at Washington Sports Club. In addition, the First Lady has had a number of events in the area, like at Tubman Elementary, CentroNia, and the Columbia Heights Youth Club, and Vice President Biden and his granddaughters ate at Pete's Apizza (which the President also mentioned in a speech on small business.)

Here's all the posts I've written about the administration visiting the area. (And that's not to mention other famous folks like Fidel Castro, Questlove, Cate Blanchett at Target, Jessica Alba and Keri Russell, Chris Rock, Dave Eggers and Lady Gaga -- sort of. Plus a ton more.)

Pretty cool to see some presidential props for the area. Maybe soon we'll see the First Couple having some margaritas at El Chucho or VP Biden chilling at Wonderland.

AP photo - Susan Walsh

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Examiner thinks the mall shooting happened in Columbia Heights

A few days ago there was a tragic and shocking shooting in Columbia, Maryland, where three people were killed inside a store.

I get Google Alerts for Columbia Heights, and it seems that the Examiner originally thought the shooting happened in Columbia Heights.

They've since fixed the story, but really, come on. There are a lot of places with Columbia in the name. (And it's also kind of weird to use this as a Katy Perry story, but it's coming from an entertainment reporter, so maybe that makes sense.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meth lab found in Columbia Heights, MPD looks for help to find more

Well, this is something you don't hear every day. A few weeks ago MPD raided an alleged meth lab in the neighborhood, inside an apartment on the 1300 block of Clifton. I was waiting to see what else came out, and I didn't see much.

However, the way it's been framed has been interesting. NBC4's story was that meth labs are popping up in DC's priciest areas -- those areas being Columbia Heights and Dupont, which had a meth lab bust in 2012.

I'm not sure I see two meth labs in 2 years as a trend, but it's interesting to see that where before the area was looked at as dangerous, now it's wealthy and surprising when there's something like this. Then again, maybe NBC4 is just trying to get more viewers by making the story sound scarier.

Something else that came out of this story, however, was that MPD is looking for tips from local residents to try to find more Walter White imitators out there. Here are some of the warning signs:
  • Dozens of decongestant pills
  • Large amounts of ripped apart lithium batteries
  • Multiple bottles of solvents like drain cleaner, nail polish remover or paint thinner
  • Bags of garden fertilizer
  • Smell of nail polish remover and cat urine
Some of those seem like they'd be hard to notice, but keep your eyes peeled.

Is Columbia Heights the taco-iest neighborhood in the city?

Columbia Heights seems to really like tacos -- in fact, I'd argue that it's the taco-iest neighborhood in the city. The place with the most taquerias. The taco capital, if you will.

This isn't a new trend -- Taqueria Distrito Federal at 14th and Oak opened in 2006 and was popular even before the neighborhood was popular, and since then we have at least a half dozen more, with the last bunch coming in the past few weeks.

Of course, part of this might be due to the area's large Hispanic population combined with people's love of everything in taco form. 

So here's my list and my argument that we have the most good tacos. If I left anything off, let everybody know in the comments.
  • Taqueria Distrito Federal -- the granddaddy of them all. You could argue that without this place, there wouldn't be El Centro DF, El Chucho, and a lot of the city's hipper taco spots. They have a big selection and are still going strong 8 years after opening.
  • Mama Chuy -- run by a brother and sister using family recipes, this spot at Georgia and Fairmont has great tacos and sopes (flat tacos) plus a lot more. Relaxed vibe and good margaritas, too. Check them out if you haven't been.
  • El Chucho -- not technically a taqueria but more of a Mexican street food spot, this is a hip spot with good, traditional Mexican grub with an interesting kick, like the huitlacoche chicken flautas (that is, chicken with a smoky-tasting fungus) and the sandwiches you have to use gloves to eat. The tacos are good too though.
  • Milk Cult -- the pop-up shop located in Park View Patio has fantastic breakfast tacos and good coffee. A clever use of an unused space (the bar is closed during the daytime), let's hope they stay forever.
  • Pica Taco -- on the south side Florida Ave at 14th, Yelpers like this local chain's barbacoa (goat) and fish tacos.
  • Three Salsas -- a new place at 14th and Oak (just down from Taqueria DF) has gotten good comments on this blog.
  • Taqueria Habanero -- coming at some point to 14th and Spring.
  • Alero -- another local chain, I've actually never been to this one, but the patio is popular on warm days.
  • Lime Fresh Mex (RIP) -- I liked this DCUSA spot, which had great fish tacos and surprisingly good margaritas for a fast casual spot. It closed abruptly a few weeks ago.
  • And then there are the Salvadoran places that also have tacos -- El Rinconcito II, Pollomio, and on and on.
So what do you think, are we the biggest taco fans? Not counting Lime Fresh (or Chipotle) and sort of counting Alero, that's still a whole lot of great taco places in our area. And did I miss any? Which is your favorite?

(And there's also the April Fool's post I did one year, where Wonderland is getting replaced by a Taco Bell.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

New taqueria coming to 14th north of Spring



I don't have many details yet, but this weekend I spotted a sign for a new taqueria coming to 14th Street NW just north of Spring Road (on the same block as the Red Derby.)

The place is called Taqueria Habanero and the sign says "coming soon" in Spanish.

Sounds good to me -- more tacos is ways a good thing, and there aren't a ton of food options up in this next of the woods -- though Susana's Pupuserias, a little takeout spot, across the street is awesome, and the Derb' has some solid options and good deals.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bravo Lounge, new neighborhood bar at 2917 Georgia Ave NW, is awesome

On the snow day, my buddy suggested we check out his new favorite neighborhood spot, a little neighborhood bar called Bravo Lounge. Located at Georgia and Hobart (near Columbia) I'm glad we did, it was a cool spot. It's just a small, no-frills, relaxed neighborhood spot. And sometimes that's all you need.

The place is basically one big room with a bar along one end. There's a few dark wood tables in the middle and some booths along the windows, which fill two sides of the bar (it's on the street corner.) It has a dark, relaxed vibe and 38 seats. Their alcohol license has finger/snack foods too, so it sounds like you can get a bite there. And like many other new spots on Georgia, they have a buy one-get one free deal until 9pm -- call that the DC Reynolds Rule, maybe.

The place has been open since mid-December, and right now they're only open Thursday-Sunday. They have a patio space too, but it's a little chilly for that now. Park View DC has a little bit more.

The space used to be Enterprise Jazz, a place which sounded neat but didn't last very long. The City Paper wrote about their strange saga, including that Enterprise's owner, Charletta Lewis, sued building owner Michael Ressom for discrimination and over building modifications. Interestingly, the discrimination argument by Lewis's lawyers was that Ressom discriminated against them because he was Ethiopian and not African-American. The lawsuit was dismissed when Lewis declined to file certain paperwork, and Enterprise's owners said they hoped to open elsewhere.

That owner, Michael Ressom, still owns it the building, but the bar seems to be run by different folks. I'm not certain, but judging from the CP article, Bravo seemed to have bought a lot of their furniture and fixtures, which is nice, dark wood furniture and a red bar back. The place also used to house Jim Graham's campaign headquarters in 2006.

But anyway, that interesting tidbit aside, it's a nice little spot. Sometimes you just want to have a drink and chat, and this is a great spot for it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Know your Neighborhood happy hour tonight at Acre 121

This sounds like a fun event from InTheCapital, a local company that's launching a neighborhood guide for Columbia Heights. You also get a beer stein and appetizers once you buy a ticket! That's pretty awesome. Check it out!
InTheCapital Announces Know Your Neighborhood Happy Hour: Columbia Heights Edition

Washington D.C. – InTheCapital, a D.C.-based digital media and events company reinventing local news through a community-driven platform will host its second Know Your Neighborhood Happy Hour in Columbia Heights. The event will be held at Acre 121 on January 22, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The happy hour will celebrate the launch of InTheCapital’s Columbia Heights Neighborhood Guide, a comprehensive review of the neighborhood’s housing, amenities, nightlife and more. With the purchase of a $5 ticket online, event attendees will receive a liter-stein to take home, complementary appetizers and a special on $6 liter-drafts of Heineken.

At the event, meet the InTheCapital writers behind the Neighborhood Guide, Anthony Sodd and Sophie Pyle. Take a look at the full Columbia Heights Neighborhood Guide and past guides, including Dupont Circle, on www.inthecapital.streetwise.co.

The Know Your Neighborhood Happy Hour would not be possible without the support of our presenting sponsor, DC Home Buzz as well as beverage partners, Acre 121 and Heineken.

To learn more about the Know Your Neighborhood Happy Hour: Columbia Heights Edition and buy tickets, visit www.knowcolumbiaheights.eventbrite.com.


About InTheCapital
InTheCapital is a digital news platform and Streetwise Media property reinventing the model of local news by combining a fast, edgy and opinionated editorial team with community publishing channels. A subsidiary of the prestigious American City Business Journals, InTheCapital is the preeminent digital media property for Washington’s business leaders, cultural influencers, and working professionals.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow! Help create a snow-people army at Meridian Hill Park, today at 4 pm!

It's snowy, which means some fun people have some fun ideas -- get a bunch of people together to create an army of snow people at Meridian Hill Park -- maybe snowmen, snow ladies, snow kids, snow animals, whatever!

Here's what's going around Facebook:
4pm sharp, Meridian Hill Park (near Joan of Arc), be there and help create an army of snowpeople! Bring warm clothes and carrots, coal or other snowperson accessories.
There's actually a fair amount of snow, and more to come! The Joan of Arc statue is basically in the middle, just north of the sports fields and above the stairs.

So let's do it! Bring your warm clothes and your friends.

If you recall, during Snowpocalypse there was a big (and super fun) snowball fight at the same place, including some idiot in a horse head mask (me.)  It was a blast, and along with lots of sledding down the steps, a pretty great time for adults and kids alike. (Someone even brought a keg, but I'd recommend against that. You know, laws and stuff.)



Here's me in the horse mask trying to get the two sides to throw snowballs at me (it worked.)


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tim Burton movie series coming to Mt. Pleasant Library starting this Saturday

If you enjoy the movies of Tim Burton, that master of sort of weird, sort of stylized movies, then check out our local public library. They're starting a series this Saturday, with Beetlejuice, followed by more films the next few weeks. Pretty cool way to get folks to the local book-borrowing spot.
Our series of movies directed by Tim Burton continues Saturday January 18th! Our second Tim Burton movie in this series devoted to the director’s work is from 1988. What do you and your recently-deceased wife do when some pesky live people move into your home? Call Beetlejuice, he’ll take care of it—but that’s not all he has in mind. Starring Alex Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Michael Keaton. This movie is rated PG.


On Saturday February 1st, we’ll be screening our third movie in the Tim Burton’s movie mini-series; his 1994 biographical love letter to director Edward D. Wood, Jr., a.k.a. Ed Wood, known for his consistently bad movies, including Bride of the Monster, Night of the Ghouls, and Necromania: A Tale of Weird Love! Starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Patricia Arquette. This movie is rated R.


Saturday February 15th, we’ll be screening our last movie in the Tim Burton movie mini-series is his 2012 fantasy about a boy and his dog….who dies and is brought back to life again. When Victor’s beloved dog and star of his home movies is hit by a car, Victor brings the Frankenweenie back to life. But the dog has more than starring in home movies in mind. Starring the voices of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, and Martin Landau. This movie is rated PG.


All movies will be screened in the large meeting room on the main floor of the library. The Mount Pleasant Library is located at 3160 16th Street NW, at the corner of 16th and Lamont Streets. Nearest Metro: Columbia Heights. For more information, please call (202) 671-3121.
Update: this happens at 2 pm. Here's the calendar link

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Mexican takeout restaurant, 3 Salsas, opens at 3459 14th Street NW



Muy bien! The other day a reader wrote saying she saw a new Mexican place coming to 3459 14th Street NW, next to Zeba Bar. The spot is called 3 Salsas, and is take-out onlu. The tipster also sent some photos she took of the owner giving out free samples, which she said were "yummy."

Sounds pretty awesome, I'm a fan of Mexican food and takeout, will definitely check it out soon.

If you've been, let us know what you think in the comments!






Friday, January 10, 2014

The CH community marketplace is closed for winter, here are some alternatives

The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, our great local farmers market (and artisans market) is closed for the winter (as are a lot of other local ones), but that doesn't mean you still can't get local produce, meat, cheese and the like from other farmers. Here's a few other options before our local market opens again in the Spring.

The first place I'd suggest is Smucker Farms at 14th and V, which carries lots of produce and other items from central Pennsylvania and elsewhere -- there's meat, veggies, and lots of other food items from Amish and other farmers from up that way. Even if you don't buy anything, it's a fun place to browse.

Some other options are the Yes! Organic Markets at 4100 Georgia Ave NW and at 2123 14th Street NW. I've never been to the 14th Street one, but the Georgia Avenue location is great, they have a big selection of produce and meat, plus lots of other healthy stuff. It's not cheap, but is pretty cool.

Then of course there's always Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, which are a step up from Target and Giant.

If you have other options, let us know in the comments! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Street Booze: little Corona and water on Spring Road NW

Street booze. Spring Rd

Time for another Street Booze, where we document random booze bottles strewn about the neighborhood.

 You know, maybe sometimes you just want a little bit of beer and want to stay hydrated. Maybe that's the case here on Spring Road NW between 13th and 14th, where I spotted a Coronita beer and a bottle of water. Coronita is kind of an interesting thing, it's a pony, or small 7 ounce bottle rather than the regular 12 ounce bottle.

Curious about more Street Booze? Check out the archive.

Yikes: power goes out for some local residents

With the Antarctic weather out there, the worst possible thing I can think of would be if my power went out -- and that's what happened yesterday to some 2100 customers around the 20009 and 20010 zip codes. It seems to have been fixed for most, but some folks are still reporting brownouts, and Pepco's coverage map still showed about 200 people without power in those areas as of last night.

Yesterday ANC commisioner Patrick Flynn tweeted that his power went out, and other local residents said the same thing. Thankfully after about 2 hours it was repaired, but later he reported periodic brownouts.

Pepco, to their credit, was responsive both on Twitter and with crews on the scene, and they also said that if residents report power outages, to either use their mobile app or call 1-877-737-2662 to report on them.

And if you are without power, be careful. Here are some tips for what to do if your power goes out in the winter, and make sure you have some supplies (which are good to have, power outage or not):
  • A flashlight with extra batteries (placed where you can find it in the dark)
  • A battery-powered radio and fresh batteries
  • Canned foods that require no cooking
  • A manual can opener
  • First aid supplies
  • Extra fuses
  • A battery-powered or wind-up clock
List from Duke Energy

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Three Kings Day parade on Sunday featuring live animals, celebrating the Epiphany

I feel like I always miss this holiday somehow, but on Sunday, the Gala Hispanic Theatre had their annual Three Kings Day procession.

The procession, which is common in Latin American countries, features people dressed like the three wise men, plus live animals like a donkey and camel. Three Kings Day is the day when the magi arrived bringing gifts for Jesus.

There, the Three Kings Day is a more important holiday than Christmas, according to WTOP, and the procession symbolizes Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay. They then arrive at a Nativity scene, and there's also a show at the theatre.

Pretty neat to see this as one of my traditions in our diverse neighborhood.

Photo by Jim Gilmore

Monday, January 6, 2014

City adds more buses to 14th Street, Georgia Avenue routes

This is good news. WMATA recently announced that they're adding some buses to a number of lines around the city, including our area: 14th Street and Georgia Ave NW. Here's the rundown:
  • Saturday service will be increased on the 52, 53, 54, 14th Street route to reduce crowding.
  • Increased service on the 70-Georgia Avenue-7th Street route weekdays from 7 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • MetroExtra 79 service seven days a week between Archives and Silver Spring.
Sounds like good stuff.

It doesn't address some bigger more structural issues on 14th Street, like bus bunching, stops every block, and congestion around DCUSA, but hey, every little bit helps.

DCist has a little more.

Friday, January 3, 2014

City installs new traffic cameras: see where they are!


New traffic camera Recently the city installed a number of new traffic cameras: rather than speed, these cameras focus on drivers blocking the box (being stopped across intersections), driving through crosswalks, and not coming to a complete stop at stop signs.

You may have seen them, they're big and blocky and on the side of the road, rather than the small ones that catch speeders. I spotted the one here on 11th near Lamont. They're a good thing to improve traffic flow and protect pedestrians, but they also mean that drivers need to be careful.

There were a few snafus with the roll out, namely that the city didn't give enough notice, so they've pushed back issuing tickets until February 1.

But in the meantime, you can check out the city's interactive map of where they are. In Columbia Heights, there's only a few, but some can be moved, so you may need to check back occasionally.






Thursday, January 2, 2014

New pizza place, Custom Fuel Pizza*Salads, opening at 2301 Georgia


If you like pizza and live near Howard U, you are about to be in luck. Custom Fuel Pizza*Salads, a budding local chain, is opening up a location at Georgia and Bryant on January 7th.

Located across from McDonald's, The place sounds like &pizza, which itself is sort of like Chipotle: you stand in line, choose a crust, sauce, toppings and such, and the pizza rolls through an oven, or you can choose an already designed pizza. They deliver too.

Aside from pizza, they also have a lot of salads, plus beer, wine and margaritas (at least in the downtown location, not sure about the booze at this location.) Here's their full menu, with lots of different kinds of salads and pizza.

Right now there's only one other location at 1747 Penn. Ave NW, but they're opening this one and another one in Harlem as well owned by former New York Knicks stars John Starks and Anthony Mason.

The pizza itself looks pretty tasty (at least on their website, pictured above) and the interior of the downtown one looks pretty cool too. I bet this place will be popular with Howard students, and also fills a gap in pizza places -- there really aren't any nearby aside from Red Rocks up at 11th and Park.

You can read more at their website or follow them on Twitter.

Hat tip to Park View DC. Here's the location: