Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bar Otsukare hosting sake pop-up this weekend at Crane & Turtle with DJs

This sounds awesome -- Bar Otsukare, the Japanese whiskey pop-up from local cocktail experts Eddie Kim and Jesse Selvagn, is hosting a sake-focused pop-up this weekend at Crane & Turtle on Upshur. They're pouring a number of nama sakes, the first sakes made in Japan each spring. The event is called Sake Akachōchin, the word for the red lanterns outside bars in Japan.

The event will also feature Japanese beers, cheese "bento" boxes, Japanese pickles and shochu, plus DJs on each night.

Saturday's music is by Eau Claire (who is awesome) and DJ Brian Billion, and Sunday is DJ Ayescold and DJ CYD.

The pop-up is part of Crane & Turtle's Passion Project Pop-up Week, where staff host pop-ups in the restaurant on topics they're passionate about. As you may recall, Crane & Turtle closed last week, but the Room 11 folks still own the space.

Bar Otsukare co-organizer Eddie told me they plan to host more events in the future too.

Here's more from their Facebook page. Sounds really cool:
Come celebrate the return of Spring and Bar Otsukare with a night of nama sakes -- Japan’s first sakes of spring -- art, and music to cap off Crane & Turtle’s Passion Project Pop-up Week. Fresh, lively, vivacious, they’re as close as you can get from drinking straight from the tanks. 
When: Saturday April 30 & Sunday May 1
6pm - 2am
Where: Crane & Turtle
828 Upshur Street, NW 
Open to the public. NO reservations necessary 
Named after the red lanterns (akachōchin) that mark the entrances to Japan’s bars and restaurants, Sake Akachōchin is inspired from intimate sake bars in NYC and Japan -- sometimes tiny establishments where some hundreds of sakes are served in the most unpretentious and unassumingway possible. Throughout both nights there will be live DJs and visual art to accompany the nights’ festivities 
In addition to the 25+ varieties of nama (unpasteurized) sakes that will be available by the glass, shochu and beer will be available upon request. There will be food offerings as well in the form of cheese bento boxes, curated with the help of cheesemonger Angelica Ames, and served with Japanese pickles and accoutrements to taste alongside the sakes.
I've written about Bar Otsukare before a few times, they've done some neat events at Crane & Turtle and elsewhere. Definitely worth a visit.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Barre Bootcamp to benefit La Clinica del Pueblo this Saturday

La Clinica del Pueblo, a non-profit organization that provides healthcare and social services to immigrants and Latinos in the DC area, is hosting a Barre Bootcamp this weekend as a fundraiser.  It's a cool opportunity to get some exercise and help a local organization.

Here's more info from them. The class is $10, which goes to La Clinica.
What is Barre Bootcamp?
Barre classes include components of pilates, yoga, and ballet. The bootcamp activities will make you sweat! Join us. 
Where: All Souls Church - 1500 Harvard St NW, Washington, DC
When: Saturday, April 30
Time: From 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
We will have great rafle prizes!
All levels are welcome.
Event details are here and tickets are here

Cool new Park View mural at Georgia and Morton

This is pretty neat: the other day I saw a new mural for Park View on the former Murry's Grocery building at Georgia and Morton.

The mural, by Victory Dance Creative, is simple but beautiful script of the neighborhood name. Victory Dance does a lot of interesting stuff around the area, including cool neighborhood posters which were on sale at Columbia Heights Day.

I love seeing this kind of thing -- wayfinding and neighborhood pride. (Although I'd argue Park View starts on the other side of Georgia, but some say it starts at Sherman and goes east.)

In any case, it's awesome.

Top photo from Kent Boese's Twitter, bottom from me, featuring my buddy hamming it up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Got old prescription drugs? Get rid of them safely on Saturday

UPDATE: Make sure to check this site first. I went to the Fourth District Substation and the lady said they rotate which stations take the drugs on which weeks.

If you're like me, you probably have a few expired prescriptions laying around -- maybe antibiotics or other things that you don't need anymore. However, you shouldn't just throw them away or flush them down the drain, they can damage the water supply and and plants and animals that depend on that (including us!) Or worse yet, someone could get a hold of them.

So the government is holding what they're calling the National Take Back Initiative, helping local organizations collect those old medicines for safe disposal. In DC, the Metropolitan Police Department and the University of the District of Columbia are locations where you can drop off your medicines, no questions asked. They'll be open on Saturday from 10am-2pm. Here are the locations where they'll be accepting old medicines:
  • First District Station (101 M Street SW)
  • First District Sub Station (500 E Street SE)
  • Second District Station (3320 Idaho Avenue NW)
  • Third District Station (1620 V Street NW)
  • Fourth District Station (6001 Georgia Avenue NW)
  • Fourth District Sub Station (750 Park Road NW)
  • Fifth District Station (1805 Bladensburg Road NE)
  • Sixth District Station (100 42nd Street NE)
  • Seventh District Station (2455 Alabama Avenue SE)
  • UDC Van Ness Street Entrance (4200 Connecticut Ave NW)
There are also other sites around the area you can find here.

Here's more about the event: 
It's a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet! Protect our kids, families and environment by properly disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines. Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and flushed or trashed medicines can end up polluting our waters. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high - over half of teens abusing medicines get them from a family member or friend, including the home medicine cabinet, and often without their knowledge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Funk Parade is back: Sat. May 7 on U Street

The third annual Funk Parade is coming in a few weeks: Saturday, May 7th on U Street. The event, which started as a Kickstarter three years ago, features a fair with vendors, food, music and more, a really fun participatory parade, and a music festival around town in the evening.

Their website, Facebook and Facebook invite don't have a ton of details on what will be there exactly or when, but previous years there were beer gardens, lots of vendors selling crafts, food and more, performances by all kinds of artists, lots of freebies, politicians, and bands all over the place. It was really fun. I would assume this year will be similar.

The "day fair" where a lot of that will take place is noon-7pm on U Street, the parade itself is 2-5pm, and the music festival is 7-10 pm. In previous years, the music festival was in lots of venues around the area, I expect it will be the same way this year.

I'll update when I hear more info -- but mark your calendars!

Here's a list of bands that will perform, from their website:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bloombars hosting Prince tribute concert tonight, musicians and artists needed

Local arts space Bloombars will be hosting a tribute event for Prince tonight, from 8pm to 1:30 am. So far there are nine performers for the night, and they're looking for more musicians and artists to perform.

If you'd like to help out, email

There's already almost 400 people interested on the invite and another 100 who say they're attending, so it sounds like it will be big. And given the range of Prince's music, it sounds like it will be a lot of fun, too.

Bloombars is at 3222 11th Street NW, next to Wonderland and Bad Saint.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Red Derby taking donations for their Mother's Day Drive, supporting the District Alliance for Safe Housing

Here's a nice way to give to a great local organization, the District Alliance for Safe Housing, a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The Red Derby at 14th and Quincy has sponsored a lot of fundraisers and drives, and this time around they're collecting items and donations to help the moms at DASH. 

You can donate small gifts, gift cards, or money at the Derby until May 1. Stop by, have some drinks and help out!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Help plan the Georgia Avenue Summer Fest with Georgia Avenue Thrive, a great local nonprofit

Last December, neighborhood nonprofit Georgia Avenue Thrive put on an awesome Winter Fest with local vendors, food, music, arts and a lot more, drawing 1,200 attendees to the former Murry's Grocery space. The event went really well, and now they're putting together a Summer Fest -- and you can help!

They're hosting a planning meeting Monday, April 25th and 7 pm at Walls of Books, 3325 Georgia Avenue next to the Post Office.

The group, recently renamed from the Georgia Avenue/Lamont Street Public Safety Task Force is getting active in the neighborhood, planning events, working with local businesses, organizing beautification like cleanups and planting trees and flowers, and working with local residents.

Here's more on the event and about the group itself and a few photos from the Georgia Avenue Winter Fest.

After a successful Georgia Ave Winter Fest in December 2015 that drew dozens of local vendors, performers, service provides and over 1200 attendees, Georgia Avenue Thrive will host the Georgia Ave Summer Fest on July 23, 2016. This family-friendly event will include local performers, vendors, city and NGO services, and kids activities. 

The purpose of these Georgia Ave Festivals is to:
  • Support local businesses, artists, performers, and makers by highlighting their good work while providing a fun and direct connection between them and the neighbors and visitors of lower Georgia Avenue.
  • Ensure members of the lower Georgia Avenue community are aware of and can access relevant city and NGO services.
  • Create a vibrant and beautiful space for all residents, businesses and visitors of lower Georgia Avenue to connect, have fun, and support each other.
We need help from people like you to make this event a success. If you'd like help plan the Georgia Avenue Summer Fest, join us for our first planning meeting on Monday, April 25th at 7pm at Walls of Books (3325 Georgia Avenue NW). 

Georgia Avenue Thrive (formerly the Georgia Avenue/Lamont Street Public Safety Task Force initially was created by neighbors and business owners in the summer of 2015 in response to increased crime in the area. After helping the community address immediate public safety concerns, the Task Force evolved into an organization focused on building an inclusive, connected, and vibrant community for the neighbors, businesses, and visitors of lower Georgia Avenue. To this end, Georgia Avenue Thrive works on four main issue areas: 
  • Placemaking activities, which rely on community assets, inspiration and potential to use public and vacant spaces to promote community engagement, happiness, and well-being. Most recently the Placemaking Committee, with the support of numerous other individuals and organizations, organized the Georgia Avenue Winter Festival.
  • Beautification efforts to create inspiring public spaces. These efforts include monthly clean-ups (the first Saturday morning of each month), support to local businesses for graffiti removal; tree and flower planting, and public art projects.
  • Support to Local Businesses 
  • Family and Community Services, in partnership with the non-profit Collaborative Solutions for Communities, to ensure residents and business owners are aware of and can access relevant government and NGO services.
Georgia Avenue Thrive also continues to liaise with the police department and other city officials on issues of public safety along lower Georgia Avenue.

City installs DIY bike repair stations at Banneker Rec Center, Reeves Center, more

This is an awesome idea: given the large number of bike commuters and bike riders in general in the city, DC Government's Department of General Services has started to install self-service bike repair stations around town. Two of them are in our area: at the Banneker Rec Center and 2700 Georgia Avenue NW and at the Reeves Center at 14th and U.

The eight stations include an air pump and eight retractable tools. The city affirms their goal is not to replace bike shops but to make it easy for riders to do quick fixes during their trips.

Nice to see the city becoming more bike-friendly and, dare I say it, even innovative!

Here's their full press release:
 The Department of General Service’s Sustainability and Energy division is making sure that District bikers have access to all the tools needed to make their rides trouble-free. “We have purchased and assembled eight bike repair stations,and anticipate they will serve as a great tool for quick bike fixes for the city’s many bike riders and commuters,” said Sustainability + Energy Associate Director Mark Chambers. “These stations play an important role in highlighting DGS’ support for and commitment to the creation of a highly sustainable district, especially as it relates to multimodal transit, “ he added. 
The bike stations are equipped with an air pump and eight retractable tools. The Sustainability + Energy team did thorough research about the locations where the stations would be best used and are most needed, consulting with many experts on this topic. As a result, the team has coordinated the installation of the first eight stations at: Banneker Recreation Center, Takoma Aquatic Center, Rosedale Recreation Center, Francis Gregory Library, Reeves Center, Tenley Friendship Neighborhood Library, Penn Center and the Department of Employment Services, with the installation of many more in the near future. The stations are not intended to replace the function of bike shops, but rather work in conjunction to provide easily accessible tools for quick fixes in areas that may not be close to many bike shops or areas that have yet to develop a strong biking support structure. 
In the past week since being installed, DGS has already received positive feedback on the stations, observing that they are already getting good use and having received requests to install more. 
If people feel like their environment supports their desire to bike, they are more likely to do so; and that’s a win for our residents and for the District,” commented DGS Director Christopher Weaver. 
The mission of the Department of General Services (DGS) is to elevate the quality of life for the District with superior construction, first-rate maintenance and expert real estate management. By building and maintaining safe and green state-of-the-art facilities which foster economic growth and elevate educational environments, our trusted and skillful employees create modern and vibrant communities across all of the District of Columbia. 
Photo from DCDGS's Twitter 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Duuuude, Room 11 and Paisley Fig with a special 4/20 menu: choco tacos, stuffed pretzels, biscuit calzones, more

Room 11 and their in-house pastry shop Paisley Fig are back with another doobie-themed April 20 menu: this time with "taco chocos" (a chocolate taco,) a cheesecake taco choco, cupcakes with marijuana-themed toppers for $4.20 (see below), stuffed pretzels and "bizones" --biscuit calzones.

It all sounds pretty awesome, and like something you could enjoy with or without the aid of somewhat-legal-in-DC herbal supplements.

These are only available today, so stop by soon or email to reserve your own.

Here's the full menu from the Washingtonian:
Taco Chocos: $11Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream, choco dipped waffle cone, potato chips and pretzels 
Cheesecake Taco Choco $11Banana Cheesecake with brownie bites in chocolate dipped waffle cone, pecans 
Cupcakes, $4.20 eachFinished with cupcake toppers marijuana inspired decor 
Bizones (biscuit calzones), $6 eachPlain buttermilk biscuit with sausage three cheese 
Stuffed Pretzels, $6 each

Anxo cider bar and Basque restaurant to begin 10 night pop-up at Crane & Turtle in May

Some good news from the sadly closed Crane & Turtle on Upshur: Anxo, the cider bar and Basque restaurant that's had pop-ups around the area (like at Colony Club) is beginning a 10-day pop-up at the Crane & Turtle space starting May 4.

They'll serve various ciders and Basque snacks, including various pintxos, or the Basque version of tapas. They'll include skewers, cod fritters, and stuffed squid with ink sauce, sherry vinegar and caramelized onions. Dishes will range from $5-$15. Sounds pretty delicious. As well as cider, they'll also have wines from the Basque region and a rotating drink list. The Post has the full story.

I'm glad to see the very nice Crane & Turtle space get some use, and I hope there are more events like this, or a new spot!

The Anxo folks are opening a proper restaurant at 300 Florida Ave NW sometime this summer.

Here's more from Anxo's website:
What: ANXO Cidery & Pinxtos bar is thrilled to take over Petworth's Crane & Turtle for a ten night pintxos residency. Led by Executive Chef Alex Vallcorba, the à la carte dinner service will feature pintxos of varying sizes, including dishes like Stuffed Squid on a bed of ink sauce with sherry vinegar caramelized onions, and Cod Fritters with Vizcaína sauce. 
From Chef Vallcorba: I'm from Spain and I grew up with this food. I love the simplicity of the plating-- three or four ingredients in one dish that speaks for itself. It's about spending time taking care of the ingredients. I want people to have an experience. Even if you haven't been to Basque Country or Spain you should feel like these flavors are true to that experience.   
For me, we're family. The restaurant is family. When I was growing up my father didn't let me leave the table until we finished our meal and also talked. It's about bringing people together. Yes, the cider and food are important. But I want people to come to ANXO, or Crane & Turtle, and give them that experience so that they want to come back. They're in a restaurant, but they're also in our home.  
In addition to pintxos, the pop-up's beverage menu will include an array of Basque cider, wine, cocktails and digestifs rotating frequently (sometimes daily) from Beverage Director Tim Prendergast. The evolving selection will reflect the vast geographical representation of ANXO's cider list.  
This event, along with the 5/22 edition of Txotx at Colony Club, will be the last ANXO pop-ups ahead of our opening at 300 Florida Ave NW. We are already actively hiring in anticipation.  
When:  5:00 – 10:00pm on:
Wednesday, May 4th – Sunday, May 8th &
Wednesday, May 11th – Sunday, May 15th
Wednesday, May 4th – Sunday, May 8th &Wednesday, May 11th – Sunday, May 15th 
Where: Crane & Turtle828 Upshur St. NW, DC, 20011 
Reservations: Reservations can be made Wednesday through Friday from noon to 3:00pm, effective immediately. Guests should call (202) 810-ANXO to make a reservation during those times. Reservations are for dining room seats, not the kitchen counter or patio (open weather permitting), which will be available to walk-up diners.  
Details: Pinxtos will range from $5 to $15. This event is family friendly but ID must be present to purchase alcohol. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Georgia Ave CVS selling crazy Oreos: cupcake, red velvet, cinnamon bun

Not exactly earth-shattering news, but if you need to get some sweets, or try something that might be awesome (or gross,) check out the CVS at Georgia and New Hampshire, I spotted a wide variety of new Oreos: a filled cupcake kind, red velvet (isn't that just chocolate?), cinnamon bun and "spring" ones, which apparently taste like normal Oreos but are yellow.

The cinnamon bun ones sound gross to me, but are apparently they are quite tasty.

Smucker Farms now serving breakfast and lunch, including Bullfrog Bagels

Smucker Farms, the farm store at 14th and W, has just recently started serving breakfast and lunch, including the very popular Bullfrog Bagels, as well as Compass Coffee, egg sandwiches, and side salads and soups to go.

The spot, at 2118 14th Street NW, carries lots of items direct from farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the heart of Amish country, as well as other farms in the area. Here's the full breakfast menu below, including egg frittatas on bagels and lots more. Sounds pretty delicious. Their Instagram said they'll release their lunch menu tomorrow.

Aside from those items, they have a lot of other great groceries -- produce, dairy, drinks, snacks, pasta and a lot more. It's a little more pricey than a regular grocery store, but you're getting fresh, handmade items and high quality stuff.

Photos from their Instagram.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cool little Ethiopian market at Georgia and Park: Gojo International Market

The other day I was walking down Georgia Avenue and stumbled upon Gojo International Market -- a convenience store with an Ethiopian bent. They have a lot of interesting things, from your usual snacks and drinks to lots of Ethiopian food, coffee, snacks, hookah supplies, incense (including frankincense!) and even cups and coffee pots.

Among other things the nice lady working there pointed out, they have unroasted coffee beans, kolo, a roasted grain snack mix that's very popular in the country, big bags of injera, the spongy Ethiopian bread, and lots of dried grains, lentils and other Ethiopian staples. They also had neat little coffee cups with the flag on them and other cooking and coffee making supplies.

Pretty neat little shop, and with a visit! I was heading somewhere but I'm definitely going to try the kolo next time.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Columbia Heights Farmers Market is now open for the season!

It's that time again! The Columbia Heights Farmers Market has reopened today, and they'll be on the Civic Plaza from 9am-1pm every Saturday. They have all kinds of food (produce, fruit, meat, dairy, eggs, bread and more) plus coffee, snacks, pastries, and a lot of craftspeople. 

It's a great spot, so check it out. The weekday markets won't start for a few months.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wonderland's 12th Annual Sundress Festival and block party is May 1!

The official beginning of Columbia Heights summer is almost here: Wonderland's Sundress Fest. The fest, in its 12 year, lets anybody who wears a sundress get discounts all day long. They even have extras that you can put on, for men and women.

The event has gotten bigger over the years, so they're closing down Kenyon Street between 11th and 13th for it for food trucks, bands, a beer tent and more. And around 4 pm there's the Mr. and Miss Sundress Fest pageant.

The event also benefits DC Central Kitchen, so it's a good reason to head down, check out the chest hair and enjoy a few drinks or a nice afternoon on the patio.

Here's the Facebook invite for it. It's always a blast.

Photos from Wonderland's Facebook page

Caps playoffs deals at Lou's this week: discounts on food, beer, more

The Washington Capitals are in the NHL playoffs again and Lou's City Bar at 14th and Irving has lots of deals for it: $2 off local beer, cheap Modelo buckets and free shooters if our home team wins.

Check out all the details above.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mapping segregation talk at Petworth Library tonight: How real estate developers shaped the racial landscape of Ward 4

Last year I wrote about a fascinating talk at the Mt. Pleasant Library: historians and researchers had been working to understand historic residential segregation in the city. In many places (including DC) real estate developers, bankers and sometimes the government enforced racial segregation by not selling to minorities in some areas, or by only selling to minorities in others. This was called redlining, as in the lines drawn on the map to determine who could live where. 

There were also other methods such as "covenants" and deeds placed on houses that would not allow the owners to sell to minority groups. Often this meant that front buyers would be involved, so African Americans could get around the covenants and buy where they wanted. (See above for a screenshot of an interactive map of some of those restrictive covenants and deeds.)

Eventually these practices were outlawed, but the legacy of them still exists. And since that presentation in the summer, the historians working on the project have learned a lot more. There's a talk tonight by them talking about what they've learned, including maps, documents and more. Should be fascinating. The historians also published a "story map" about what they learned, which is worth reading. 
How real estate developers shaped the racial landscape of Ward 4 
Thursday, April 14, 7 pm – Petworth Library, Georgia Avenue & Upshur Street, NW
Mapping Segregation in Washington DC is a public history project documenting the historic segregation of DC’s housing and schools, playgrounds, and other public spaces.

Last summer we unveiled our first story map, which highlights DC's central role in the struggle to abolish restricted housing nationwide and shows how the city’s racial geography was shaped by segregation. See

Come and find out what we’ve been doing since then. Learn how restricted housing shaped neighborhoods in Ward 4. Maps tell stories words cannot! 
Mapping Segregation in Washington DC was launched in 2014 by Prologue DC in collaboration with GIS specialist Brian Kraft of JMT Technology Group. It has been funded in part by the DC Preservation League and Humanities DC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Neighborhood cleanup and cookout coming Apr. 23!

The Columbia Heights Initiative, the group behind the Columbia Heights Day fest and a lot more neat neighborhood events, have put together a neighborhood cleanup and cookout, scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 23 from 10am-noon.

Following the cookout, starting around noon, there will be a cookout for participants at the Initiative's office, which is upstairs from Meridian Pint.

Sounds like a fun opportunity to help out, meet your neighbors and enjoy some grub. They plan to start holding them monthly, which is a great idea.

Here's more from them, and their Facebook invite. (The free drinks have already been claimed, which is great, at least 25 people have already signed up!)
We love our neighborhood and want to show our streets some love. That's why on Saturday, April 23rd from 10am to 12pm the Columbia Heights Initiative will host it's first Community Clean Up & Cookout! 
Meet us at 10am at the Columbia Heights Initiative Office at 3400 11th St. NW. Suite 200. From there we will set out to our clean up location(s). We may have two designated clean up areas if we have enough volunteers.

We would love if you could bring your own tools to use or consider donating equipment so we can keep cleaning! We need: rakes, shovels, outdoor brooms, trash bags, latex gloves, work gloves, and yard waste bags. 
Following the clean up meet us back at the office for a cookout. We'll provide hot dogs and chips. Feel free to bring something to share! 
Sign up for our Community Clean-Up list here:
The first 25 people who sign up (using the link above) and participate will receive a coupon for a free drink at The Coupe! 
This is the first of many more monthly clean ups and hangouts. Come and join in the good clean fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wow: man breaks into Five Guys, cooks himself a burger then leaves

The Hambuglar is on the loose in Columbia Heights, and the police want your help catching him.

No, seriously. A man snuck into the Five Guys at 14th and Irving by following a delivery man and then hiding, then when the delivery guy left, he got himself a soda then got on the grill and cooked himself up a burger. Then he left. He didn't seem to take any money, and judging by the video released by MPD, he knew his way around the grill.

He also seems to be on the phone at one point. I imagine he's saying "Not much, bro. Just making a burger."

The burger in question appears to have been a double with cheese, and shockingly he did not cook up some fries too. It's unknown if he ate the free peanuts.

The incident happened on March 18 between 3:10 and 5:10am, but was just made public the other day.

Pretty amazing. You have to wonder what this guy was thinking -- was he just that hungry? Maybe drunk? Maybe he's a spy for another burger franchise? It doesn't seem like he made any effort to conceal his face from security cameras.

If you happen to know this burger bandit, please contact MPD at 202-727-9099. He's wanted for burglary. Hamburglary.

h/t Wash Biz

Monday, April 11, 2016

Columbia Heights does ok in the City Paper's Best of: runner-up for best neighborhood

The City Paper just came out with their Best of DC readers' poll, and Columbia Heights did pretty well, but not as well as previous years: maybe that speaks to the increase in numbers of neighborhoods that are popular these days. But our neighborhood did finish as a runner-up for best neighborhood to live in. I agree!

Food-wise, only Thip Khao, Pho 14 and Wonderland won anything: Thip Khao won best Asian restaurant, which makes sense, it's always packed, Pho 14 won best pho and best Vietnamese and Wonderland won for best singles bar. I would have thought they'd do better at neighborhood bar, or maybe somewhere like DC Reynolds or Looking Glass, although DC Reynolds was the runner-up for happy hour.

Other local spots earned runner-up nods too: Bad Saint for new restaurant, Pho Viet for pho, Meridian Pint was the runner up on craft beer selection, Beau Thai on Asian restaurant, Twisted Horn on Upshur for new bar and the Raven was runner-up on dive bar. The relatively new Esencias Panameñas on Georgia was the runner-up for Latin Americna food -- I'll have to go. Pete's Apizza was runner-up for slice of pizza, Florida Avenue Grill for soul food, and Lou's City Bar for sports bar.

And not totally local, but &pizza won for best downtown lunch, fast casual, late night eats (which is surprising to me) and best restaurant when you pay. It is tasty, but maybe that just speaks to the number of locations.

In the arts and culture categories, BloomBars won best arts and culture nonprofit, which is great, but otherwise our area was shut out.

For goods and services, the super nice Josephine Butler Parks Center on 15th facing Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park won for best event venue, and Yoga District and DSW which both have a location in our area, won for best yoga studio and shoe store, respectively. Children's Place was runner-up for kids clothes, Crossfit Petworth on Upshur for crossfit and Annie's Ace for hardware.

On the people and places section, there wasn't too much of note, but Columbia Heights did finish as a runner-up for best neighborhood to live in. Wonderland was a runner-up for best place to find a one-night stand, so there's that. Cove was the runner-up for coworking space. And in an upset, The Coupe finished as the runner-up for best place to bang in the bathroom -- last year, they were the champ. Maybe that notoriety spelled their demise as the premier location.

I think the Park at Fourteenth, a club downtown which looks like a condo building, must have stuffed the ballot box somehow, they won a ton of categories: hip-hop night, wings, alcoholic punch, happy hour, and night club. Seems fishy. Or maybe that place is just huge.

As for the staff picks, there are a zillion and they're not in an easily readable way online, so I'll need to peruse those more. Expect another post for that.

Ha: kids carve penis into sidewalk at Roosevelt High

It seems like wherever there is concrete, there will be kids carving things into it. The other day I was walking down Upshur Street past the Teddy Roosevelt High School soccer fields and noticed this gem. There's a penis, a few kids (I assume) names, and "Roosevelt same shit" next to the penis.

Ha. Thankfully I don't see enough of these to start a "Sidewalk Penis of the Day" column. I have seen other funny ones though, like "Cuddlebear" and a dinosaur who likes waffles. I mean, who doesn't?

Hardly breaking news here, but amusing in an extremely juvenile way.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Wow: Dad Bod pageant this Saturday at Acre 121

Are you like Leonardo DiCaprio? No, not an Oscar winner, but the owner of a dad bod?

Acre 121 is hosting a hilarious fundraiser this Saturday for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the form of a Dad Bod Pageant. You can enter or just watch and enjoy. It's $10 to get in (with all the money going to the Society) and you'll also get discounts on drinks and food like $5 for select drafts, wine and well drinks.

Acre 121 describes it thusly:
What is a dad bod you may ask? It's a male body type that is best described as "softly round"; a nice balance between working out and keeping a beer gut.
If you'd like to participate as a pageant contestant, email The winner gets a three month membership to Vida Fitness.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Beer garden The Midlands coming to Georgia Ave. launches fundraiser campaign

I've been pretty excited for the Midlands, the new beer garden from the Kangaroo Boxing Club coming to Georgia Avenue -- I wrote about it a few times in the past.

They'll be in the Park View Shopping Center at 3333 Georgia (also where Walls of Books and the post office is) and just launched a fundraiser to help pay for buildout and such, and backers will get swag -- glasses, discounts, t-shirts and even a keg party if you donate a lot.

They plan to have about 30 taps of beer, plus wine, sandwiches and the like.

They've already got $1000 out of their goal for $15,000, so it looks like people are excited.

Here's more from their Indiegogo page:
Summer 2016 is right around the corner and The Midlands Beer Garden is few short months away from enjoying DC's summer nights under the stars with a cold beer, glass of wine, sandwiches and friends.  
As we navigate DC's permitting process and prepare for construction we thought we'd try to raise a little extra capital to help our build-out costs and at the same time offer some fun rewards to those who are as excited as we are to get this party started! So, take a look! From glassware and Midlands gear to keg parties and even the opportunity to design your own bathroom! There is something in there for everyone.
Thanks for taking the time to visit and we can't wait for summertime!
- Robin, Trent, Peyton & Tony
Please join our Facebook page for the most current updates! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Keep up to date: lots of neighborhood meetings coming up on Hebrew Home, Bruce Monroe, Georgia Avenue and more

There's a lot of meetings coming up in our area this coming week, so here's a rundown put together by the Georgia Ave. Community Development Task Force. Check them out and have your voice heard (or just go meet your neighbors and learn what's new!)
Wednesday April 6th at 7pm: Park View United Neighborhood Coalition meeting at the Park View Rec Center – Main Streets and neighborhood priorities are on the agenda 
Thursday April 7th at 6:30pm: ANC 1B meeting at the DC Housing Finance Agency – 815 Florida Avenue NW (Florida & 9th) – The Bruce Monroe Surplus resolution is on the agenda 
Saturday April 9th from 12-2: Pleasant Plains Civic Association Meeting at the Banneker Rec Center, 2500 Georgia Avenue NW: PEPCO Updates, Dedicated bus lanes on Georgia Ave, and project updates are on the agenda. Also, discounted tickets to the “In Honor Of” Gala May 24th will be available for $25, and two tickets will be raffled at this meeting. 
Saturday, April 9th from 11am – 1pm: Our RFP Meeting for Hebrew Home: Community meeting to express your views on the future of the Old Hebrew Home at 1125 Spring Rd. NW. The meeting is at the Raymond Rec Center – 3725 10th St. NW. If you're coming, please let the city know here: 
Monday April 11th at 7:00pm: Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting at 2616 Georgia Avenue NW. 965 Florida Ave Updates, Main Street Updates, and the Bruce Monroe Surplus resolution is on the agenda. 
Wednesday April 13th at 7:00pm: ANC 1A meeting at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School – 3101 13th St. NW – The Bruce Monroe Surplus resolution is on the agenda:

New local business the Cookie Jar DC makes edible cookie dough for delivery, pickup

This is a great idea: local resident Lindsay Larner has started a clever new business, The Cookie Jar DC, which makes cookie dough that's ready to eat. I have fond memories of sticking my finger in the dough as a kid, but you didn't want to get in trouble. The idea here though is that you're supposed to eat the dough!

The Cookie Jar DC makes eggless, edible dough in big or small jars, with flavors like classic chocolate chip, peanut butter, mint chocolate chip, sugar cookie with sprinkles and oatmeal raisin. Larner makes the dough locally at Union Kitchen and it's available for sale sale at some retailers, for delivery as well as pickup from a few locations around town, including one at 14th and W. She's also catered a few events, had pop-ups around town and had orders from around the country.

Here's more from Lindsay on how she came up with the idea:
I wanted to start my own business and do something creative. I love cookies, but I love cookie dough even more. Technically, eating raw cookie dough isn't good for you because you can get Salmonella. Most of us have our mom or dad's voice in our heads telling us "don't eat the raw cookie dough, you'll get sick!" But I couldn't find an option—at least not in DC—for edible cookie dough that was safe to eat. I started playing around in the kitchen, and I ended up with a delicious edible cookie dough product in several different flavors. Not only is it edible because it doesn't contain eggs, but it has all of the other traditional cookie dough ingredients. It's the real deal.  
Sounds awesome to me. I'm definitely going to try it. 

Great video by local musician Tarica June about gentrification, education and more; filmed in our area

See why hundreds in DC (and beyond) are discussing the new video for Tarica June's politically-charged song "But Anyway".
Posted by Tarica June on Saturday, March 5, 2016

I've been meaning to post this for a while: Tarica June, a local rapper, recently released a video for her song "But Anyway" that was filmed in our neighborhood. It's a pretty political song, focusing on gentrification, juvenile justice, jobs for youth, local politicians and other issues.

And it shows local places all over the area: the Petworth Metro, Howard U., Upshur Rec Center, the mural on Kenyon Street, Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, Highlands Cafe in Brightwood, the 7th Street skate park and a lot more.

The song, which features samples from the DNA remix of Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" and Spandau Ballet's "True," is from her 2014 mixtape S.O.C. Mixtape Vol. 1.

It's definitely worth a watch and a listen.

It's on Youtube too, but I think the Facebook video has better sound quality.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meet Your Neighbors: Davino Richardson Jr. of the new coffee shop and whiskey bar pop-up Duality Bar

This is the third in our Meet Your Neighbors series by Alex Rego. Check out the first two here.

Meet Davino. For years he has led a split life: day and night, uppers and downers, barista and bartender.

But now he is working to bring his two passions together with his new concept Duality Bar, an espresso and whiskey pairing experience. Davino has been hosting Duality pop-ups around the city for a few months and is settling down on U Street's Bin 1301.

While Davino is raising his two daughters Blesyn and Faith in Maryland, he spends the rest of his time here in the neighborhood.

“I feel as if I am part of the community, I work, eat and play here. Much to some of my friends' dismay, I spend most of my time on U Street.”

Davino has been working in the U Street corridor for almost a decade at various restaurants, cafes, and bars. From Busboys and Poets to wine bar Bin 1301, Davino used all of his experiences to craft his concept for The Duality Bar.

“We are in what the coffee community calls the 'Third Wave.' My idea is to usher in the 'Fourth Wave,' which is focused on pairings. All of the new coffee shops opening, including Starbucks, are introducing beer and wine on their menus, but no one is blending the options or putting pairings in the forefront.”

The Third Wave of coffee brought us high-quality beans and fair trade and revived old brewing methods like the pour-over. Davino’s idea of a new kind of coffee experience will bring local roasted Brazilian espresso and Colombian beans to a French press and pair them with whiskeys and bourbons from around the world. The coffee is from DC Gold Cup, owned by DC native Jeremy Murray and roasted in Hyattsville.

The Duality Bar is all about keeping it local; Davino plans to have baked goods from Firehook Bakery of Dupont Circle including scones, muffins, and croissant sandwiches. In addition to the pairings menu, Duality Bar will offer sensibly priced lattes, cocktails, and combo specials.

The Duality Bar will be setting up shop in Bin 1301 from 6am to 3pm Monday through Friday and taking over during brunch hours. With Davino’s chill vibe, plenty of patio seating, and wifi, Duality aims to satisfy both the lonely blogger and the business brunchers.

“I love the U Street corridor! It is an amazing neighborhood that embraces outsiders like me, as long as you have something to offer back. The duality of being from NY and thriving in DC allows me to use both cultures to make this a successful venture.”

Davino hopes to give back to the community and the people that have supported and inspired him in this last decade. By starting his business here, he hopes to bring more jobs to the area and to shine a light on the diversity of the community.

Duality Bar opened this Friday, April 1st at 6 am.

To find out more about Davino and the Duality Bar connect with him via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, @thedualitybar.