Friday, July 29, 2016

Progress on the Midlands beer garden coming to Georgia Ave


Update: I emailed them and they sent out a message to their fundraiser supporters:
Hey Everyone! We apologize for the long silence, but we have been battling DCRA and just the other week received permission from the city to build out the inside. Right now Mike is working on his mural and the HVAC guys are about finished revamping the old system. Next week begins the meat of the work. Plumbing, electrical and the bar build. We'll start putting photos up on the Midlands Facebook page so you guys can see what we've been up to. We still don't have an opening date, but we hope to announce one soon Thank you again for your support and try to stay cool out there. It's hot! Andy Pants
Original post below:

The Midlands, the beer garden from the Kangaroo Boxing Club people at 3333 Georgia Avenue NW, looks like it's making some progress. There are new strings of lights, lots of furniture, and a new temporary sign with the address on it. Their website also is getting more on it, including a signup for information about their opening.

They had an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, with neat gifts like pint glasses that you get a discount with and also a carrying case for multiple glasses, and they raised almost $10,000.

The original plan was to be open in the spring, which has since passed. I'm excited for the spot. Here's their description from the website:
Trent Allen, Robin Webb and Peyton Sherwood from the Kangaroo Boxing Club have partnered together again for a new project opening this spring. “The Midlands” will be a restaurant with a large outdoor beer garden in the Park View neighborhood at
3333 Georgia Ave NW. 
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.
You can see the lights below, and their plan at bottom:


Thursday, July 28, 2016

14th Street near DCUSA has some of the highest pedestrian traffic in the city


This is interesting -- Bisnow, a business website, and Dochter & Alexander, a business analyst, have released a report that 14th Street in Columbia Heights, specifically around DCUSA, has some of the highest and most consistent foot traffic in the city:
“It’s the densest residential neighborhood in DC with a population density over 85,000/square mile and residents who make, on average, over $98k/year. It’s not surprising the pedestrian counts are on par with Georgetown and Galley Place,” Dave Dochter says. “The branding opportunity that exists with frontage on these busy high streets combined with the inflow of customers is part of the strategy of choosing a location for a flagship store."
That's good news for us, as there are a few empty storefronts in the area -- the one where Office Depot Staples used to be, plus a few on Park Road just around the corner.  (You have to sign up to get the full report, which also includes other areas.)

Let's hope that high traffic and density means something cool will come to the open spaces in the area. I'd like to see something like an H&M, Trader Joe's (obviously) or other cool big retail in the Office Depot Staples space. Any other ideas?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lao noodle popup Khao Poon coming to Thip Khao on Tuesdays in September

There's more Laotian food coming to Columbia Heights: Thip Khao will begin hosting the Khao Poon noodle shop on Tuesdays in September. Khao Poon, run by Thip Khao owner Seng Luangrath and former Doi Moi chef Deth Khaiaphone,  previously had a pop-up at Union Market.

The Washingtonian has the full story -- they're looking for a permanent space in Petworth, Brookland or a similar area.

The dishes will include noodle dishes like green curry with seafood and red curry chicken over vermicelli (which is what Khao Poon means in Lao.) There will also be Lao pho, which has different spices like lemongrass, ginger and galangal, which is like ginger. Other dishes will include starters like skewers, laab salads (also at Thip Khao) and vegetarian and vegan items.

Sounds pretty tasty, and September isn't too far away.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Free burgers at Z-Burger for Pokemon Go players


The new Pokemon Go app is taking over the world, and now that includes Z-Burger. The chain is offering free burgers to players level 5 and up from 11am-8pm today at the Columbia Heights and Tenleytown locations, according to Fox 5.

The options are a free single hamburger, veggie burger or turkey burger. They've also created a line of Pokemon shakes. But if you have too many you might evolve into an ill person. 

Bed Bath and Beyond selling cool DC map cutting boards


If you're in the market for a cutting board, or just like a cool DC thing, the Bed Bath and Beyond in DCUSA is selling cutting boards with a map of DC, showing each neighborhood. The map actually looks pretty accurate, and it's a handy thing.

It's not the biggest cutting board, maybe 6"x7" (I use it more as a trivet) but it's a neat thing to have. They have other places too online, and it also has a loop so you could just hang it on your wall as a decoration.

And of course, you can use one of the never-expiring BB&B coupons on it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Upcoming events: movie night, community review, neighborhood meetings and Panamanian food

The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force has sent out their most recent list of upcoming events, and there are some neat ones! Check it out. The Task Force has their meeting on the 27th as well.


Movie Night July 23rd
Georgia Avenue Thrive is hosting Movie Night with Zootopia  THIS SATURDAY, July 23, with storytime at 8pm and movie at 8:30pm at the Perch (formerly Murrys). Contact them if you'd like to volunteer or donate at georgiaavethrive@gmail.com  Donations are needed for misting fans to beat the heat.  For details or to donate visit https://www.crowdrise.com/georgia-avenue-thrive-movie-night---saturday-july-23-800pm/fundraiser/georgia-avenuethrive

Esencias Panamenas at 3322 Georgia Avenue celebrates one year on Saturday July 23rd from 11am – 11pm http://badwolfdc.blogspot.com/2016/07/columbia-heights-esencias-panamenas.html

The next meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force will be Wednesday July 27th at 7:00pm at 2616 Georgia Avenue NW.  Minutes from the July 11th Task Force meeting can be downloaded at https://sites.google.com/site/pleasantplainsdc/task-force/
Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting July 28th
The July 28th Park Morton Steering Committee meeting will be an open meeting at which comments on the PUD application will be heard.  The exact time and location is TBA.  A summary briefing can be viewed at https://sites.google.com/site/pleasantplainsdc/task-force/PM_Steering_Committee_PUDUpdate_05-26-2016_FINAL.pdf    and additional information can be found on the Park View UNC blog at https://parkviewdc.com/2016/05/24/park-morton-development-plan-for-morton-street-and-park-road-offers-mix-of-housing-types-styles/   and https://parkviewdc.com/2016/05/23/zoning-cases-filed-for-park-morton-development-effort/
National Night Out Tuesday August 2nd
The National Night Out campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from 9,500 communities from all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. Follow the link below for activities scheduled in Washington, DC for Tuesday, August 2, 2016.  http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/national-night-out-calendar-activities 

August 6th Community Review – Volunteers Needed!
The 4th Biennial Community Review will be Saturday August 6th from 9-4 at the Howard University School of Architecture.  Details are at www.ourgeorgiaavedc.org .  We need volunteers to help distribute 5,000 door hangers over the next week.  If you are able to distribute door to door to one or more blocks, please download this list: https://sites.google.com/site/pleasantplainsdc/task-force/and reply with the blocks you can distribute to.  Door hangers can be picked up at the ECAC – 733 Euclid St. NW.  You can also call Sylvia at (202) 462-2285 to coordinate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cool folk art go-karts on 1300 block of Irving


One of the many things I like about our neighborhood is that you'll always see something interesting if you walk around. The other day I was walking down the 1300 block of Irving and noticed two folk art cars, kind of go-karts, parked across the street from one another. One looks like an old-timey race car, the other more like a dune buggy or Big Wheel from the 80s.

They're both colorful and do seem to have engines, but don't seem to have moved in a while. I wonder what the story is with it -- just a neat art thing in your lawn? Big fans of Mario Kart?

If you want to see for yourself, they're towards 13th near the green standalone house.



Monday, July 18, 2016

Qualia Coffee has an Instagram account for its resident cat, Stewie



If you like cats or funny stuff, check out the Instagram account for Stewie, the cat that lives in Qualia Coffee. He often hangs out upstairs at Qualia (a good option if downstairs is packed) but also roams the roast coffee-scented downstairs too. Pretty funny for another Monday. Qualia is at 3917 Georgia Ave NW and has its own on-site roastery, as well as tasty bagels.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Five: Underrated places in our neighborhood

For this week's Friday Five, my series of five things I like right now in the area, I decided to do write about five places that I feel like are underrated -- awesome spots that just aren't as popular as I think they should be.

Heat da Spot Cafe, 3213 Georgia Ave NW

Heat da Spot is an awesome little coffee shop and cafe. It's got a nice, homey vibe with good coffee and delicious sandwiches -- I really like the spicy grilled chicken with cheese and veggies. The owners are super nice and they also have Ethiopian pastries most of the time and Ethiopian entrees on weekends. Definitely worth a visit or five.

The Airedale, 3605 14th Street NW

A fantastic European gastropub, the Airedale has the best fish and chips I've ever eaten, as well as really good traditional German, Belgian, British and French food like schnitzel, currywurst, croques madame and monsieur, and the Mitraillette, which is a Belgian sandwich with a burger patty, fries, brat and onions (all on the sandwich!) Plus they have rye whiskey and Angostura bitters soft serve. Also a good spot for watching soccer.

Bravo Bar, 2917 Georgia Ave NW

Bravo is a really chill little neighborhood spot at Georgia and Hobart with tasty bar food and a great happy hour -- $6 for a beer, shot and hot dog until 8 pm, then $6 for the beer and shot thereafter, as well as buy one, get one free. They also have really good pupusas.

El Tio, 3345 Georgia Ave NW

There are a lot of good Mexican options in the area, but sometimes you just want cheese Tex-Mex, and El Tio is a great spot for that. Lots of food, tasty margaritas and good service.

Salt and Pepper Grill, 2632 Georgia Ave NW

Salt and Pepper has a few locations around town serving Indian and Pakistani fare, and this one is my fave (also the closest.) They have a small dine-in and it's popular as a take out or delivery spot too, and it's really tasty. Spicy, herby, fresh and delicious.


Any places you'd recommend that should get more love?

Outdoor movie night coming to Georgia Ave: help the organizers make it happen with a small donation


Georgia Avenue Thrive, the all-volunteer community group active in and around the street, is hosting an outdoor movie night on July 23, featuring Zootopia, plus popcorn, water and a story time for kids before the movie. 

However, putting on an event like this costs money, and they need some help with some of the costs like equipment and space rental, insurance, licensing and more. They have a Crowdrise page to raise money for it, and any donations are tax deductible because they're a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. Please check it out and help them out if you can! It sounds like a great event.

Here's more about the event:
THE STORY:

Help us to bring the first ever (that we know of) outdoor movie night to Georgia Avenue in Park View. This is an activity brought to you by Georgia Avenue neighbors for Georgia Avenue neighbors -- especially kids, parents and friends of kids and parents! Come join us on Saturday evening, July 23, at 3400 Georgia Avenue NW. The family-friendly movie is FREE and so is the popcorn and water. Walls of Books (3325 Georgia Ave) will be hosting a storybook reading at 8pm and then movie starts at sundown (about 8:30pm).  
Georgia Ave Thrive is an all-volunteer group of neighbors that was initially created last summer in response to increased crime in the area. Now we work on building an inclusive, connected, and vibrant community for the neighbors, businesses, and visitors of Lower Georgia Avenue. Check us out on Facebook @ GeorgiaAvenueThrive. 
Georgia Avenue Thrive has partnered with Collaborative Solutions for Communities(CSC) http://wearecsc.org / a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to serve as our fiscal sponsor this event and all donations are fully tax deductible. Funds raised will offset the costs of equipment and space rental, licensing, insurance and other costs that directly support this event. 

Here's the link gain, and the details: https://www.crowdrise.com/georgia-avenue-thrive-movie-night---saturday-july-23-800pm/fundraiser/georgia-avenuethrive
MOVIE: ZootopiaDATE: July 23
STORYTIME START: 8pm, Hosted by Walls of BooksMOVIE START: 8:30pm (sunset)
LOCATION: Outside at The Perch, 3400 Georgia Ave (at Morton, the old Murry's parking lot)
Free popcorn provided!
Bring your own chair, blanket, pillow.
Thanks to CoHi for helping out with discounted equipment rental and set-up!
Thanks to the parents of Park Morton for making the touch decision on a movie!
And thanks to all of you who will help us make Georgia Avenue Thrive!!!
For more info, check us out on Facebook, email GeorgiaAveThrive@gmail.com or call (202)854-9119.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alfie's to be replaced by po'boy and New Orleans restaurant Tchoup's Market in early August


Alfie's, the popular Thai restaurant from Alex McCoy that's closing at the end of the month and moving downtown, will be replaced by Tchoup's Market in early August.

It will be a New Orleans restaurant featuring po'boys (sandwiches) and blue plate specials of lesser known New Orleans cuisine -- not just jambalaya and gumbo but other dishes popular in the diverse city.

The City Paper has the story with some more details:
“There's a massive Vietnamese community and Italian community,” McCoy says. “We want to show people not just the classics, but we'll have blue-plate specials every day that could be anything from Mandina's-style trout Almandine to a Vietnamese Creole dish called ya-ka-mein.” The latter is a beef noodle soup that originated with Chinese railway workers, according to McCoy.
They'll also have traditional New Orleans cocktails like the sazerac, as well as buckets of beer. The po'boys will have traditional Cajun or Creole ingredients like fried oysters and fried catfish as well as others: McCoy says po'boy shops in New Orleans often have all kinds of ingredients like pastrami or even burgers.

They're actually going to fly in Leidenheimer bread from New Orleans. (Let's hope they actually do this, unlike Taylor Gourmet, which claimed they shipped in bread from Philly but actually didn't.)

The name Tchoup's comes from Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, where McCoy's family lives. It's pronounced "Chops". The chef will be Ramin Coles, who previously worked at Black Market Bistro in Montgomery County.
Glad something is opening soon, and I look forward to trying it. Will still miss Alfie's though, great food and great drinks.

Summer events and fun from Councilmember Nadeau: Nats tix, meet and greet, more

Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau just sent out a list of events she's hosting or organizing this summer, and there are some neat ones: Ward 1 day at Nationals Park and Shakespeare Theatre (free tickets!) and the Citi Open (discounts), meet ups with the Councilmember at the Metro, farmer markets and coffee shops to talk about issues, and more. Check it out. Lots of opportunities for face time in case you have ideas or issues.

Ward 1 Night at the Citi Open

Monday, July 18, 2016
Starting at 2:00pm
Rock Creek Park Tennis Center
The Citi Open tennis tournament is offering 20% off tickets to Ward 1 residents for games on Monday, July 18. You must use the promotional code “WARD1” after following this link.

Ward 1 Day at the National Building Museum

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
9:00am-11:00am
National Building Musuem
401 F Street NW (Use the main F St NW doors between 4th and 5th St NW)
Ward 1 residents can join me from 9-11am for FREE admission to the National Building Museum including their new ICEBERGS installation. Residents will need a valid ID that shows their zip code for entry. The National Building Museum has all the details.

Brianne at the Columbia Heights Metro

Tuesday July 19, 2016
5:30pm-6:30pm
Columbia Heights Metro Station
14th and Irving St NW
Join me for informal office hours in the community to chat one-on-one about issues that matter to you. I’ll be outside the Columbia Heights Metro Station during rush hour to meet commuters, answer questions, and chat about the new Clean Team and Main Street Association funding I secured to help keep Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant cleaner and safer.

Brianne at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
5:30pm-6:30pm
Columbia Heights Civic Plaza
14th and Kenyon St NW
I’ll be at the farmers market for informal office hours in the community. Meet me there to chat about my work to help keep the plaza clean with new funding for a permanent Clean Team. 

Ward 1 Day at Nationals Park

Thursday, July 21, 2016
12:05pm
Nationals Park
We have a limited number of FREE tickets for Ward 1 residents. They are available on a first come, first served basis. If you’re interested, please contact Elizabeth Horen in my office at ehoren@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8181.

Brianne in Adams Morgan

Thursday, July 21, 2016
5:00pm-6:30pm
18th and Columbia Rd NW
I’ll be setting up shop at the intersection of 18th and Columbia for office hours in Adams Morgan. Drop by to meet me, chat about issues in the community and ask questions about what’s happening at the DC Council.

Brianne on Your Block

Friday, July 22, 2016
8:00am-9:30am
Tynan Coffee and Tea
1400 Irving St NW
Join me for informal office hours in the community to chat one-on-one about issues that matter to you. The event is one of my Brianne on Your Block events, which are regular opportunities for Ward 1 community members to meet me at locations across the ward. Participants will sign in as they arrive, and we’ll speak in informal conversations about topics of interest.

Brianne at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market

Saturday, July 23
11:00am-12:00pm
Lamont Park
Lamont and Mount Pleasant St NW
I’ll be at the farmers market for informal office hours in the community. Drop by to ask questions and chat about the new Clean Team and Main Street Association funding I secured to help keep Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant cleaner and safer.

Save the Date: Ward 1 Pool Party at Banneker

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
1:00pm-4:00pm
Banneker Recreation Center
I’ll be at Banneker pool to meet with residents and enjoy the sun. More details to come.

Ward 1 Night at the Shakespeare Theatre – The Tempest

Saturday, August 20, 2016
2:00pm
Sidney Harmon Hall
610 F St. NW
As part of the Shakespeare Theatre’s “Free for All” program, we have a limited number of FREE tickets available for a Saturday matinee performance of The Tempest. They are available on a first come, first served basis. If you’re interested, please contact Elizabeth Horen in my office at ehoren@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8181.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Security camera rebate program for residences, commercial properties


If you're interested in installing a security camera at your property, the city is offering a rebate program to help defray some of the costs.

At last night's well-attended Georgia Avenue Thrive meeting, a representative from the city's Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants presented on the Private Security Camera Incentive Program, which is currently available in most of the Police Service Areas (precincts, basically) in Columbia Heights and Park View, as long as you live north of Harvard. On August 1, the program will be available anywhere in the city, but there's a limited amount of money allocated, so move quickly!

Their website has more info, or you can call 202-727-5124.

The program works like this: they'll reimburse up for $500 for a residence and $750 for a business, up to $200 per camera, as long as they're installed outside -- not inside and facing out. In addition, they have to be installed before you apply for the rebate, then you send them the receipts and such. (They'll come by and make sure they're installed outside the building, too.) There are a few other requirements too like storage, resolution and such.

The idea is to incentivize people to have cameras in case crime happens.

Sounds like a great plan, and a way to save a bit of money and keep the neighborhood safe.

Good news: city fixes dangerous median at Georgia and Park with signs, posts


The city to the rescue.

A couple of weeks ago during the big rainstorms, I saw two different cars get into accidents because of a poorly-marked median strip at Georgia and Newton: cars didn't see it so they crashed right into it, leading to one minivan having its airbag go off and another car with two flat tires. Folks hanging out said they had seen other accidents in previous years.

But now, the city has fixed the median strip, adding a big sign and a bunch of yellow plastic bollards. I had emailed Councilmember Nadeau and ANC commissioner Kent Boese about it, and they responded quickly and got in touch with DDOT and other agencies, who fixed it within the week.

Nice to see this, and goes to show that emailing your elected officials can help!

Here's another photo of the result, and the before photos.




Monday, July 11, 2016

Georgia Avenue Thrive meeting tonight: help out with upcoming movie night, presentation from MPD, more


Georgia Avenue Thrive, a community group that does a lot in Park View and Columbia Heights, has their monthly meeting tonight at Story District from 7-8:30 pm at the new Story District space, 3329 Georgia Ave NW between Walls of Books and Midlands.

There's a lot on the agenda including an update from MPD, information on nuisance properties and updates from various projects the group is doing like an upcoming movie night, community mapping, an upcoming festival and more.

Check out the agenda:
  • 7.00p Welcome and Introductions
  • 7.05p Community Engagement on Public Safety Efforts 
  • 7:05p Update from MPD – PSA 302 and NSID -- Lt Mark Hodge; Marco Santiago, Community Outreach Coordinator; Lt Bryan Christian, Narcotics and Special Investigations Division; Lt Andrew Struhar, NSID 
  • 7.15p Information on DC’s Security Camera Rebate Program -- Christopher Dyer, Administrator, Private Security Camera System Incentive Program 
  • 7.35p Community engagement with nuisance properties -- Nuisance Abatement Unit, Office of the Attorney General (representative to be confirmed) 
  • 7:45p Discussion on Georgia Avenue Thrive response to public safety concerns and opportunities 
  • 8.00p Committee Updates and Announcements:
  • Peacemaking
    • Movie Night – July 23 
    • Georgia Avenue Fall (?) Festival 
    • Community Mapping 
    • Beautification 
  • Small Business Support 
  • Communications and Outreach
  • Finance

Friday, July 8, 2016

Complex magazine's video on the DC features Columbia Heights

This is kind of a cool video from Complex, Mark Ecko's culture magazine. The video talks about the side of D.C. tourists don't see and among other things, shows Latin American bakeries on 14th Street and the Georgia Avenue strip near Fairmont where Dulcinea and Listen Vision are. Oddly, that's in a segment about Ethiopian businesses, but still pretty neat.

Jimmy John's has funny bathroom art: different peeing styles



That's not a headline I expected to write: the other day I was at the new Jimmy John's on the Civic Plaza (the triangle bounded by 14th, Park and Kenyon) and noticed that the bathroom had a bunch of funny signs about peeing -- kind of in the style of instructional signs, they show a stick man urinating in all kinds of crazy ways.

Well done, Jimmy John's. Good sandwiches, too.



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Neighborhood cleanup on Saturday: meet your neighbors and get a discount at From the Core



Here's a great way to meet your neighbors and help out around the neighborhood. Georgia Avenue Thrive, the neighborhood group that has organized events like the Georgia Avenue Winterfest and the upcoming Summerfest, has organized a neighborhood cleanup this Saturday.

They're going to start doing them once a month, which seems like a great idea -- a cleaner area and more neighborliness.

The event starts at 10 am at Georgia and Irving, and they'll provide all the necessary supplies. And participants also will get a 50% discount at From the Core Studios, a fitness and wellness center at 3111 Georgia.