Friday, February 26, 2016

Looking Glass Lounge is back open after a fire a few weeks ago

You may have noticed that Looking Glass at 3634 Georgia has been closed for a few weeks. They had a small kitchen fire in late January that was quickly extinguished but caused some damage, and repairs and permits took longer than they expected.

But as of yesterday, they're back open and ready.
Looking Glass is one of my favorite spots: good bar food, relaxed neighborhoody vibe, friendly bartenders and in general a great spot. If you haven't been, check them out, and if you have, head back there!

Nice sign now up for the Midlands Beer Garden coming to 3333 Georgia, Walls of Books


A friend spotted a nice new sign for the shopping center where The Midlands and Walls of Books are. The Midlands is the new beer garden coming to 3333 Georgia from the Kangaroo Boxing Club folks this spring, while Walls of Books is already open.

It's a pretty great looking sign, and I like how it's more branding for the Park View neighborhood, which is getting to be more well known. A few years ago if you mentioned Park View, people would mostly say "where?"

And there's a blank space at the bottom, which is hopeful to me. There's a lot of empty spaces in that shopping center.

Here's the site from Google Streetview. Midlands will be taking the leftmost space and Walls of Books is in the corner. The Post Office is on the far right.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eat or drink at Slash Run today, help a cancer research charity!

Here's a great way to help cancer research, and all you have to do is eat or drink at Slash Run! Local resident Brittany Kademian has organized a fundraiser at the Petworth restaurant for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a research and treatment nonprofit.

The deal is simple: go today between 5pm and midnight and they'll donate 15% of all proceeds. Today is also trivia night there starting at 9!

If you haven't been, Slash Run at 201 Upshur Street NW is great. It's run by the same folks who have El Chucho and the coming soon Little Coco's, and specializes in awesome burgers and whiskey. They also have really good schnitzel sandwiches and a killer jukebox. Drink whiskey, eat burgers, help charity? I can get behind that.

Slash Run worth a visit, and what better time than today?

Here's more from Brittany about the fundraiser.
Dana-Farber is a world leader in cancer research and treatment, renowned for using its discoveries to improve the treatment of adults and children with cancer. It is the founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is also a federally designated Center for AIDS Research and a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is the only cancer center in the country ranked in the top 4 for both adult and pediatric cancer programs.

I am doing this fundraiser with Slash Run because I am running the Boston Marathon this April to help raise money for this cause through the “Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge” program. My personal goal is to raise $10,000 for Dana-Farber in honor and memory of loved ones with cancer, and also to help with cancer research and cancer care for those that need it most.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fundraiser to help seniors at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus go on their senior trip, pay for graduation expenses


If you're like me, you have fond memories from graduating high school: prom, the cap and gown, the graduation ceremony, getting your diploma, and maybe even a senior trip where you celebrate the end of high school with your friends and see something new. 

The Columbia Heights Educational Campus at 14th and Irving, which includes Bell Multicultural High School, is coming up on their graduation, and some students need a little help paying for their expenses. Senior class president Saba Amare more than 80% of seniors at Bell receive free or reduced lunch and receive other public benefits. That makes it hard for them to pay for all of the fees.

Felix Breedlove, an educational aide at the school, reached out to tell me about a fundraiser the senior class is holding to help students who need it pay for these expenses. It sounds like a great way to help local students get the full high school experience. Here's the link to the fundraiser.

Here's the note from Amare:
Hello,

We are the Senior Class Student Government representatives at Bell Multicultural High School, a public school in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington D.C. This year, our graduating class has been working tremendously, in order to raise enough money to decrease the cost of our senior fees of $300/per student. This total only accounts for the each students Cap and Gown, Graduation Announcements, Yearbook, 1-Prom Ticket, Senior Class T-Shirt, and a Senior lunch. This amount is extremely expensive, considering this total does not include the Senior Trip to New Jersey and New York, currently priced at $350/per person. 
Although our Senior Class fees have decreased over the years through fundraisers, donations, and etc., we refuse to simply sit around and pout! Although, this looks perfect in our heads, unfortunately we are struggling economically, and thus apprehensive about the possibilities of graduating with this debt. More than 80% of students in the senior class receive free/reduced lunch and receive other public benefits. The economic instability of many of the students’ households further hinder the affordability of these fees.

As Student Government representatives, our job is to voice the concern of our peers and figure out solutions. That is why we are reaching out to people who are compelled to support us! School Bake sales are just not cutting the costs lower enough and considering we have to pay these fees by May 20th, we do not have much time!

Hopefully you can support the 211 students graduating this year, by your generous donations! Any amount is of service, as it accumulates, and inevitably makes a vast difference. On behalf of the Bell Multicultural Class of 2016, I would like to say THANK YOU in advance! 
Best,
Senior Class President
Saba Amare
Here's more from Felix:
The current senior class is in the process of arranging a fundraiser for those students who face certain financial limitations, so that they may have the opportunity to participate in the Senior Class Prom, graduation expenses and the Senior Class Trip to the NYC/NJ area. Please refer to the following website for more information: https://www.gofundme.com/griffins_2016 
The fundraiser is for the entire senior class, which constitutes of 211-students. The fund-raiser shall cover expenses for those students who face financial difficulties and/or challenges. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

More on Jamaican restaurant coming to 14th & Meridian: opening early March, will serve brunch



Looks like the new Jamaican restaurant coming to the old Getaway space at 14th and Meridian is almost ready to open. A reader sends in that she spoke with workers there and they're planning to open the first week of March. They're going to use both floors, like the Getaway (and Social before them) and they have a nice bar on the ground floor.

The other neat thing is that they'll serve brunch. I'll be interested to check that out. Jamaican food is pretty delicious, but I've never had Jamaican brunch.

They also said they're not connected with Sweet Mango, the recently closed Jamaican spot at Georgia and New Hampshire.

This space (the ground and first floors) was the Getaway, a 60s-70s car chase themed restaurant and bar which was pretty solid but closed after a few years. Before that, it was Social, which was kind of odd and didn't last long.

I wish these folks better luck! I'll definitely be excited to try it.

(Below is a photo from a few months ago while still under construction.)


Friday, February 19, 2016

Meet Your Neighbors: Romeo Morgan of Morgan's Seafood


Interview and photos by Alex Rego

Meet Romeo.

At the corner of Kenyon Street and Georgia Avenue NW sits humble and historic Morgan’s Seafood. And outside Morgan’s Seafood sits Romeo Morgan; greeting each and every passerby.

“It’s easier to say HELLO than it is to say HELL-NO,” Romeo touts.

We sat down over a bowl of his aunt’s venison chili to discuss the history of Morgan’s, his plans for the future, and his views on the neighborhood.

Romeo says Morgan’s Seafood, in its eighty-third year of business, is the longest standing black owned business in the District. Started by Romeo’s great-uncle Maurice Morgan; Romeo has been around the business since he was a kid, but officially took over twenty years ago. And he says no, despite the neighborhood rumors, Romeo was NOT adopted.

Everything available at Morgan’s Seafood is fresh. Everything is bought fresh, cooked fresh and served fresh. Even the sauces are made on site. He refuses to use anything out of a can or use any artificial preservatives. In order to cater to vegetarians he has eliminated the use of meat in his vegetable recipes. According to Romeo the number one sellers are the crab cakes and fried shrimp, but his favorite is the fried trout.

“We have a special blend batter that is made for us, along with the oil that I have perfected over the years; what that does when we fry the fish is it doesn’t give it that oily taste. And the batter is a nice light batter so it actually allows all the natural flavors of the fish, or whichever seafood we are cooking, to stay in the food rather than frying it out of the food into the batter.”


(Editor's note: the steamed crabs are also delicious.)

As President of the Georgia Avenue Business Alliance (GABA), Romeo fights for the historic and culturally significant aspects of Georgia Ave. and the surrounding areas. He uses his experience as a teacher, a shop owner, a construction worker, a mechanic, a photographer and a volunteer to help mold the potential of businesses in the area. Working alongside the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force, the Alliance has been able to help over one hundred small businesses in the area get grants for renovation. He also helped with the Georgia Avenue WinterFest last year, attended by over three hundred people.

“We are all about trying to bring the community together, and making sure that small businesses can survive in the city without big business and developers buying everybody out.”

However, the city doesn’t seem to be on his side; he said there have been several developments in the last few years aimed at making it hard for current owners in the area to profit from their businesses. For example, he said a street sign talking about the history of the area and specifically the restaurant (depicting Maurice Morgan) was taken down without consulting or even notifying Romeo.

“The history is going to be here whether the sign is up or not,” Romeo declared. That is certainly true glancing at the walls decked with pictures and old documents. The best thing you can do as a member of the Columbia Heights community, according to Romeo, is to not get engrossed in what is shiny and new; instead invest in your neighbors and be successful together. Give your business to those who have earned it, not by being new and hip, but by lasting decades building upon family recipes and the history of the city. Hold the city accountable for whom it gives its grants and permits to.


When I asked him about all the developments and changes around Columbia Heights in the last decade or so he replied frankly, “It doesn’t matter to me [if you are] black or white, the only problem I have with some of the new residents is that when I speak to them, a lot of the younger ones look at me like why the h*** are you talking to me?!?”

People entering the community without having respect for those who built it is a major pet peeve to the guy who hopes his superlative would be “Friendliest Neighbor in the City.”

His message to the youth of the neighborhood is to not let the attitudes of some affect your own attitude about the community. While there is no excuse for ignorance, it’s even worse to let that turn into hatred.

“My thing is, God said I’ll give you love and joy everlasting. If you don’t share your love and joy with people, nobody will ever know it. Some people may be having a bad day and just saying hello with a smile can change that.” Romeo said many of his customers and friends come from these exchanges; He’s even had a woman tell him that he was the reason she decided not to end her life that day. “You have to treat people the way you want to be treated; if you want joy, you have to give joy.”

Not only has he witnessed a change in demographics, with that has come a change in spending habits. Many of the younger people moving into the neighborhood don’t go out during the week. They would rather save their money and spend it at the bars on the weekends. He says the community used to eat out a lot, supporting the small businesses in the area. This means a change in hours of operation for those businesses that can handle it. Changing from weeknight dinners to late night munchies.


“Growing up, this was a whole different neighborhood. Anything you wanted you could get on Georgia Ave. And now what do you see? A bunch of vacant buildings.”

Despite his roots in the city, he calls himself a “country boy” because of his love for fishing and hunting. He also has a second residence in Marlboro, MD, where he raises chickens and ducks. On the property is a kennel that he uses to house rescued dogs; rehabilitating up to sixteen dogs at a time taken out of shelters and eventually given to good families.

He can’t escape to the country but once or twice a week, but the lifestyle has inspired him to open up a new Morgan’s on the water in Galesville, MD, at 1004 Main Street. It will be half liquor store, half restaurant. And while the liquor store will be opening up in a few months, Romeo has big renovation plans for the restaurant side that will keep it closed until about September. Romeo plans to have a shuttle bus service to take DC residents to the new location overlooking the yacht harbour. He wants to give community members the chance to escape the city every now and then. But for now, your freshest seafood is right around the corner on Georgia Avenue; and it comes with free conversation and a smile.

“Morgan’s is here; we are not going anywhere; we sell fresh seafood, fresh food. Come in and try some! Have a cold beer while you’re at it!”  he chuckled.

Morgan's is open 11am-12am Monday through Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays until 2am.

Upon his request Romeo and I took a selfie together; I encourage you all to go in and take your own selfie with him. #meetyourRomeo #MorgansSeafood #SupportGABA


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pet costume contest, prizes at Mardi Paws pet festival this Saturday


This sounds like fun: the Community Wellness Alliance, a health nonprofit, has organized a pet festival on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 2-4 pm. There will be a pet costume contest, which sounds hilarious, plus other giveaways. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WMATA meeting Thursday: got issues? Suggest a 14th Street express bus?


If you'd like there to be a 14th Street express bus, like the ones on 16th and Georgia, here's your chance to advocate for it. WMATA is holding a community meeting on Feb. 18th, and it would be a great place to advocate for it

Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm a big proponent of adding an express bus on 14th Street: it's not unusual for it to take 45 minutes to get downtown from our area due to stops on every block, congestion and the like.

And maybe there are other issues you have too!

The meeting is at 10am Thursday, Feb. 18 at the Wilson Building (14th and Pennsylvania NW) at 10am. 

Here's an email from ANC4C commissioner Zach Teutsch about the 14th Street express bus. He make some great points.
Neighbors, 

If you've ever taken the 14th Street buses very far, I am sure you've noticed that they stop...a lot. Perhaps you've wondered why there isn't an express option, like there is on 16th. If you get on the 54 at Buchanan street and get off at I Street, it takes 26 stops. The S9 covers the same distance with ​9 stops. ​Many people in Petworth, 16th Street Heights, Columbia Heights, and other neighborhoods around here need to travel downtown and it's time we had a faster public transit way to do it. 

If you think we should have express bus service on 14th Street, tell the City Council! There will be two great opportunities to testify on this topic:
  • [WMATA] Performance Oversight Committee Hearing – February 18, 2016
  • Budget Committee – April 25, 2016
Please let me know if you can attend and advocate for our community!

Several months ago, ANC 4C passed a resolution in support of funding express bus service on 14th Street. WMATA has studied and endorsed express service, in their 2012 analysis of the line, but it hasn't been funded. 

The study recommending this express service (link: http://www.metrobus-studies.com/52-53-54/14th%20Street%20Line%20Study_Final%20Summary%20Report_10192012.pdf) was conducted in 2011 and 2012. The key recommendation for express service, is discussed in detail, beginning on page 33. Additional related materials are available here (http://www.metrobus-studies.com/52-53-54/52-53-54.htm).
Though it was already a good idea in 2012, the need for improved bus service along 14th street has become much more urgent since the study was conducted as unprecedented development has occurred along the 14th street corridor.

Residents and businesses would benefit tremendously from faster service, more service, and better service. The city as a whole would benefit from this investment, better employment opportunities for people seeking jobs, less traffic congestion on important north-south streets, and a broadening tax base which can support better services for all District residents. Adding this service would be relatively inexpensive (about $1.3M). It may even generate more revenue in increased commerce than it costs to fund.

These buses are needed for longtime residents and new residents as well. This would be a huge (and cheap) win for DC.

Please let me know if you'd like to help make this a reality!

Best,
Zach

Cool: learn to make or fix anything at the Mt. Pleasant Library every Sunday


This is pretty neat: the Mt. Pleasant Library has a new weekly event called Make/Fix Anything where you can come with questions or problems and they'll help you figure out how to make or fix anything (anything legal, that is.)

The weekly event is kind of a drop-in clinic for making things, for all ages, and sounds like a lot of fun as well as being useful.

It's every Sunday until March 20th from 1:30-4:30 pm. Here's more:
Make/Fix Anything Project! Library kickoff Sunday

You (Yes, YOU!) can make or fix nearly anything. Its true! Ultimately these abilities result from a superpower that lies within each of us: the ability to self instruct. Matt McEntee wants to learn and help others learn. This is why he has made a practice of helping anyone make or fix nearly anything.*

Since its inception in 2013, the practice has functioned broadly, spanning broken bicycles to broken hearts. McEntee has helped people in public parks, coffee shops, art shows, and online. The Make/Fix Anything Project will help you make or fix nearly anything... for free!

The Make/Fix Anything Project takes place in Conference Room 1 on Sundays through 3/20/2016. Come by Mt. Pleasant Library between 1:30-4:30 p.m. and try your hand at making and fixing.

* - McEntee reserves the right to refuse assistance for projects deemed unethical. For instance he may help you make a rocket ship but probably not a machine gun.
  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

&pizza on the Civic Plaza applying for liquor license, patio seating


This sounds good to me: &pizza, the fast casual pizza chain is coming to the old 826DC on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (14th/Park/Kenyon) has applied for a liquor license, according to the city.

Their application includes a sidewalk cafe with 32 seats, plus 46 inside. I think eating pizza and having a beer or wine on the plaza on a nice night sounds pretty good to me.

They're aiming for sometime early this year to open, so presumably pretty soon.

h/t to Helder Gil for tweeting it

11th and Park Dog Park cleanup rescheduled for Feb. 20


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new local nonprofit, 11th and Bark, which was planning a cleanup of the 11th and Park Dog Park. However, due to bad weather, that was cancelled and rescheduled: it's now going to be Feb. 20.

So if you have a dog, or just want to help out, check it out!

And you can sign up for 11th and Bark here It sounds like a good cause, the park could certainly use some TLC.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Upcoming meetings on Georgia Avenue issues: Pleasant Plains Civic Assoc., Georgia Ave. Main Street, community groups, more

If you live on or around Georgia Avenue, or are interested in issues there, here's a rundown of upcoming community meetings compiled by the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force. Check them out!

The Main Streets sounds particularly interesting, the idea is to form a group to help local businesses, much like Adams Morgan Main Street and others.

 
Pleasant Plains Civic Association – Tomorrow!
The monthly Pleasant Plains Civic Association meeting will be tomorrow – Saturday February 13th at 12:00 at the Banneker Recreation Center at 2500 Georgia Avenue NW. On the agenda is Danny Silbert from the Best Kids Mentoring Program, Denise Blackson from the Office of the People’ Counsel Energy Efficiency Workshop, and updates on important community developments.  
 
Monday February 15th at 6:00: Emergence Community Arts Collective Volunteer Orientation
Volunteer jobs come in all forms – weekly, monthly, project oriented, skilled, unskilled, long term or short term.  If you would like to be an ECAC volunteer, you are invited to attend an orientation session on Monday February 15th at 6:00 at the ECAC – 733 Euclid St. NW
 
Monday February 22nd from 6:30 – 8:30Lower Georgia Avenue Main Streets Meeting
The next meeting to discuss the Georgia Avenue Main Streets will be on Monday February 22nd from 6:30 – 8:30 at the Esencias Panamenas Restaurant at 3322 Georgia Avenue NW.  At this meeting we will get updates and set key milestones. The notes from the February 1st meeting are available at https://sites.google.com/site/pleasantplainsdc/task-force/Georgia_Avenue_Main_Streets_Minutes_2-1-16.docx
 
Wednesday February 24th at 7:00pm: GACDTF Meeting
The next meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force will be Wednesday February 24th at 7:00pm at 2616 Georgia Avenue NW.  It will include a presentation from Michelle Stearns of Good Neighbor Fuels who provides workshops for high-school aged youth in STEM subjects, specifically applied chemistry with a practical application of a Biodiesel laboratory, where fuel is created out of waste veggie oil. 
 
Thursday February 25th Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting 6:30 – 8:00 Park View Rec Center

Metro escalator follies: some Columbia Heights, Georgia Ave escalators will be closed 35 to 45 weeks (!)

Oh, the Metro escalators, a source of unending frustration. The escalators on the east entrances of both the Columbia Heights Metro and Georgia Avenue Metro escalators are slated to be replaced, and the timeline is absurd: for Columbia Heights, they'll be closed for 35 weeks, while at Georgia Avenue-Petworth, they'll be shuttered for a ridiculous 45 weeks.

That's longer than it takes a human baby to gestate in the womb. You can get pregnant right now, carry the baby to full term, and celebrate its first month of life before the Georgia Avenue Metro escalators get replaced.

Honestly, given 45 weeks, I think scientists can invent a better form of transportation from the street level to the Metro. Maybe a teleporter or some kind of Alpine Slide. A fireman's pole would be fun.

Park View DC has more: Metro officials say the timelines are so long because the work can only happen when the stations are closed, which is about 4 hours a day. The current escalators are about 16 years old, though they say the normal lifespan of an escalator is 40 years.

It's stuff like this that makes me question why we even have escalators. New York City, which has hundreds of stations, only has stairs and elevators. Just build more stairs and elevators and let's be done with this tremendous waste of time, energy and money.

I think if you want to get endlessly rich, just start a DC-based escalator repair and streetcar firm. You will never not have work (or, put another way, you won't ever have to do any work.)

And even when these new escalators are put in, I would be shocked if they actually worked most of the time. I guess we'll find out in just under a year.

In the meantime, check out my joke Twitter account: Are the Columbia Heights Metro escalators working? It just tweets various forms of "no."

Photo by Victoria Pickering

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pinball league forming at Lyman's Tavern: sounds fun

Do you like pinball? If so, get yourself to Lyman's, which is forming a league.

I spoke to Lyman's owner Kevin the other day about it and it sounds like a lot of fun: you can join a team or just be a guest player, and they set it up so you'll play with people of the same level as you. If you're awesome at pinball, you'll play others as good, but if you're a novice, you'll be with other novices.  And you can win your own pinball machine, which sounds pretty great.

Registration is here and there's more info at FSPAzone.org.

The games are every Tuesday at 8:30 and guests and spectators are welcome too. If you haven't been, Lyman's is at 14th and Quincy, right next to the Red Derby, and is a great spot: relaxed, good vibe, and with tasty food. I'm a big fan of the pressed sandwiches with pulled pork, ham and jalapeƱos. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New nonprofit, 11th & Bark, organizing cleanup of the 11th & Park dog park on Saturday

This is pretty neat: a new nonprofit called 11th and Bark dedicated to its eponymous dog park has organized a cleanup of the park this Saturday from noon to 2 pm. The park could use some attention after the snow and such, and it sounds like a fun way to meet neighbors and other dog owners.

Here's more about 11th and Bark:
Who are we? 
11th and Bark is a DC registered nonprofit committed to assisting the people of Columbia Heights with establishing an official city off-leash dog park. 
We are working to make the lot at 11th Street and Park Road NW a city dog park with substantial upgrades to its amenities such as improved fencing, landscaping, a water source and more. 
To find out more or to pledge your support, go to 11andbark.org

Monday, February 8, 2016

Little Coco's, the Italian place from the El Chucho folks, making progress at 14th and Randolph


I've been eagerly awaiting Little Coco's, the Italian restaurant coming to the old Rib Pit Lounge space at 14th and Randolph from the folks behind El Chucho, Quarry House and Jackie's/Sidebar. It's been in the works since about 2014, but they've had a lot of permitting delays -- not unusual for DC bars and restaurants.

And today, a reader sent me this picture of some work going on. It looks like they're adding a bay window, or maybe a covered patio. Great to see it coming along, I'm excited for it.

The Post wrote about the place earlier, saying it was an Italian version of El Chucho, with about 70 seats total inside and outside. Owner Jackie Greenbaum told me dishes will include pizza, entrees and homemade pastas with a similar floor plan to El Chucho. The pizzas may include interesting combos like olive-oil poached tuna and artichokes, snails and garlic, and butternut squash with pear and taleggio, a type of Italian cheese.

They'll also have frozen negronis, shaved ice, and affordable Italian beer and wine.

I'm excited for it. I'll update when I hear more.

UPDATE: Owner Jackie Greenbaum commented below that they have all their permits, and she told me the next steps are "construction construction construction for the next few months." Good news!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Results: what you think about what we're missing in the neighborhood

A few weeks ago, after Walls of Books opened, I posed the question of what are we missing in the neighborhood? 

I did a little survey and about 25 people responded with about 70 ideas -- some of them funny, some of them sarcastic, some of them things we already have, and a lot of them really interesting.

So here are the results. They were grouped roughly into food and drink (the majority), retail and services and then more broad topics (less crime, no more national chains like bank branches, 7-Eleven and cell phone stores.)

Lots of folks suggested a deli or bakery, specifically a Jewish, Italian or Greek one with good sandwiches. I think that would be great. A number of people also suggested a coffee shop around 14th and Spring, which is something I had mentioned in the post -- to me, that means it really would be a good thing to have.

A brewery was mentioned by three people, which would be awesome, especially on Georgia, and three mentioned a higher-end neighborhood restaurant -- three people said specifically something like Red Hen, a nice restaurant in Bloomingdale. Another good idea was fast casual near the Petworth Metro, like Taylor Gourmet. That empty space in the new building there is sadly under utilized, though it seems like it's making progress.

A few people also mentioned more types of eateries: multiple people mentioned ramen, plus others suggested sushi, Indian, BBQ, Greek and Ethiopian. Yes to all that.

As for non-food, multiple people mentioned a movie theater or venue like the Source or Studio Theatre. Maybe Suns Cinema in Mt. Pleasant, which is still nascent, could address that.

A couple people mentioned a running store, which sounds good, and others mentioned evening Spanish-language classes "so i can be a better member of my neighborhood," which is a great idea and admirable. Someone mentioned Salt & Sundry, which is a fancy kitchen store, and others suggested a paper store and small, interesting retail.

In the comments and in the survey, two people mentioned retail in Park View -- to me, Georgia Avenue could really have some interesting retail and food destination -- there are so many empty buildings and lots of new housing going in.

Someone also suggested child care, which is a good one. Two people also suggested a full-service gym. There was also Trader Joe's, a florist, and a local ice cream shop.

As for bigger ideas, some seemed kind of bitter: "less public housing, less crime, better restaurants" and some more tangible like more retail and fewer chains.

There were a couple of sarcastic responses too, and a couple of funny ones: lasers, a 300 foot cotton candy statue of Hall and Oates, and your mom.

Here's the full list of responses. Each person could put up to three. What do you think? Good ideas? Anything else you'd suggest? I'm planning to send this to a few local developers and business owners I know to see if it spurs any ideas, too.
Trader Joe's
Movie theater
Diner (because remember when Slim's was going to open?)

less public housing
less crime
better restaurants

brewery
mini-golf
theater venue (like Studio/the Source, etc) 
Good bread bakery/sandwich shop
Running Store
Local ice cream shop

Indian food in Columbia Heights (DCUSA area)
Non-chain deli sandwich shop in Columbia Heights (DCUSA area)
Evening Spanish language classes so i can be a better member of my neighborhood
Upscale neighborhood restaurant like Red Hen
coffee/bakery 
Jewish or Italian Deli, BBQ, Ramen, Paper Store, Salt & Sundry
A good, traditional deli (not subway or panera)
Coffee shop at 14th and Spring 
brewery on Georgia above NH, or 14th n of Spring
A higher-end neighborhood restaurant like Red Hen or Mintwood Place; more fast casual near the Petworth metro, like a Taylor Gourmet
women’s clothing/boutique 
gym
daycare
barber 
Affordable food between the blocks where Target and Florida ave are.
300' Cotton Candy Statue of John Oates
Trampoline Basketball against local Bears, Raccoons, & Opossumes
Your Mom

lasers
frazzles
more lasers

coffee shop - like your idea at 14th & Spring
another restaurant or two
honestly I would take any business, even a 9-5 office, to fill in some of the vacants! surprised more nonprofits don't take advantage of the cheaper rent

bike shop
full-service gym
ramen shop

small interesting retail
Dairy Queen

Green spaces  
barber shops/braiding salons
corner stores that sell crap
areas for folks to loiter 
Developers interested in renting to non-national chains
local restaurants, higher end retail
no more bank branches, CVS and 7-Eleven

Movie theater
bike shop
book store

Salad Place
florist
minority owned business

theater north of Shaw
gym

Retail in Park View
Bakery

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Beer garden and restaurant coming to Georgia Avenue from Kangaroo Boxing Club folks!

 

Whoa!! The folks behind Kangaroo Boxing Club on 11th Street are opening a beer garden in Park View, at 3333 Georgia Avenue NW! This is the same shopping center as the US Post Office and the new Walls of Books used bookstore.

Eater reports they'll have a restaurant and outdoor beer garden, so I assume they'll be inside the shopping center and then in the parking lot.

The spot is going to be called the Midlands, and from their website they say they'll have 15-30 beers and "totally not pretentious" sandwiches.
Patrons will have draft selections of greater than 15 and less than 30 taps, wine of the fermented grape variety, featuring red, white and pink. The menu will feature hand-crafted, gourmet, chef-driven, small-batch sandwiches from the future, that are totally not pretentious.
Here's the space now: it's the second from the left, next to Beau Nails, which I believe is closed.

Eater says they're aiming for spring. Awesome. What with Alfie's just opening down the street and Walls of Books a couple of weeks ago, Georgia really seems to be heating up.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

City studying how to improve travel between Columbia Heights and Brookland, NoMa: buses, bikes, new Circulator, more


If you've ever tried to get from Columbia Heights to the newly happening areas of Brookland or NoMa you may have found it's a pain -- aside from a cab or Bikeshare, there's no great direct route -- the H buses mostly run for commuting hours.

The city is working to fix that, undertaking a study on transportation between Wards 1 and 5.

Calling it the DC Crosstown study, they had their first public meeting yesterday, and Park View DC has the rundown: a lot of people asked for dedicated bus lanes, enhanced pedestrian crossings, and protected bike lanes, for example.

There's also an interactive map where you can give your comments about things you'd like to see changed or added. It's pretty neat -- I added that I'd like more buses to Brookland, for example. Others talked about dangerous intersections, bad traffic, and a lack of public space. (It doesn't seem to work on Safari, though.)

The city is also looking to create a new Circulator route that goes to NoMa, and last year asked for help on which route: two of them include Columbia Heights as the destination -- one route runs from NoMa up to the Washington Hospital Center then over to Columbia Heights, while another ran from NoMa up Florida, 9th and 11th to Monroe Street. That comment period is over, so we'll see if Columbia Heights is the winner.

Nice to see the city focusing on this. Now if only we could get some way to get to H Street easily.

Valentine's party this Thursday at Willow, the neat clothing and gift shop on Upshur

A bit ago I wrote about Willow at 843 Upshur, which has all kinds of neat clothes, gifts and more for adults and kids -- it's a great spot. If you haven't been, you should go.

And here's a good excuse to go: they're hosting a Valentine's Day party all day tomorrow on  Thursday, February 4. It sounds fun: there's deals on clothing, a happy hour with chocolate adult drinks, more more. Read on!

You're invited to our
Valentine’s Day Party! 
Thursday, February 4  - All Day - 12pm-8pm

Mini Valentine's Day Photo Session with local DC photographer Paola Nazati Photography
Decorating Station where you can make your own Valentines
Chocolate Treats ALL DAY!
6-8pm HAPPY HOUR with an array of adult chocolate drinks
20% off Winter Clothing Racks
New Inventory

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Alfie's, new Thai pop-up from Food Network's Alex McCoy, opens today in Mothership space

 

Great news! Alex McCoy, who was a finalist on Food Network Star, will open Alfie's today in the old Mothership space at 3301 Georgia Avenue NW.  McCoy was previously chef at Duke's Grocery.

The place is technically a pop-up for roughly nine months, but McCoy tells Washingtonian that he may stay in Park View if it's going really well. Otherwise, they plan to move to 845 Upshur Street NW, which was their original plan. That space, formerly China American Inn, required more work than they anticipated.

The Washingtonian and Petworth News report the menu sounds pretty diverse (and delicious) with various curries from different regions, laab salads (Thip Khao has something similar) plus an Aussie burger, referencing the many Australian expats in the country. They'll also have fermented Issan sausage, which is from northern Thailand. Other dishes include goat stew, khao soi beef rib in curry noodles, and Thai grilled chicken, plus rotating seasonal dishes, vegetarian items and snacks like fried grasshoppers, durian chips, and cashews stuffed with peppers.

From the descriptions, it sounds pretty spicy, but thankfully there will be lots of beer and cocktails to help cut the spice. They'll have Asian beers and regionally-inspired cocktails, like one with herbs, coconut milk and Mekhong whiskey, and a Tiger beer shandy with house made ginger, cardamon, lemon grass, cilantro root and lemon juice simple syrup. Yowsers.

From the Washingtonian and Petworth News articles, the space looks pretty much like it did in the Mothership days, with some nice touches.

It sounds pretty great. I hope to go soon.

They're open Tuesday-Saturday, 5-10 pm, and there are 39 seats. They also take reservations.



Photos from their Instagram

Monday, February 1, 2016

Restaurant coming to the old Getaway space will be Jamaican


Some more news about the restaurant and bar coming to the space where the Getaway used to be at 14th and Meridian: it's going to be a Jamaican place. A reader stopped by the other day and chatted with workers, who had just painted a Jamaican flag on the wall.

Sounds good to me: we are experiencing a lack of Jamaican food after Sweet Mango at Georgia and New Hampshire closed.

A couple of weeks ago I found out from other workers that it would indeed be a bar and restaurant. Presumably it would be in the basement and first floor, like the old Getaway and Social.

When I hear more, I'll update. Here's the building.