Monday, October 30, 2017

Neighborhood cleanup on Saturday, Nov. 4 with free hot chocolate at Walls of Books

The monthly neighborhood cleanup is coming up, this Saturday, November 4th: it's a good opportunity to meet your neighbors and help the area look nicer, and this month there will be free hot chocolate.

It starts at 10am, meet outside Walls of Books at 3325. Then afterwards, there will be free hot chocolate at Walls of Books, courtesy of Compass real estate agent Jason Cohen.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Where are all the Halloween decorations in our area?

Halloween is upon us, but I get the sense our area isn't really in the spirit -- I have yet to see a good display around. In contrast, a friend posted this awesome display up in Brightwood Park: tombstones for the the Nats' season :( , Humpty Dumpty, the President of the Virgin Islands and other funny stuff.

There's usually a good display on 13th near Monroe, but I haven't been by there lately. Has anybody else spotted some good ones? The best one I've seen is a surprise zombie on Newton near 6th Street, but I won't spoil it.

Target has lots of decorations still, some pretty inexpensive!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fish in the Hood starts fundraiser to help them reopen after fire

Neighborhood mainstay Fish in the Hood on Georgia Avenue caught fire in April, and they're still working to rebuild afterwards. They've just launched a fundraiser to help with repairs and new equipment. The fire was a big one too, it took firefighters about half an hour to put it out.

The restaurant has been open for decades and has been the subject of numerous articles as it survived as the neighborhood changed over the years. It's a tasty spot, if you haven't been give them a shot -- or a few bucks to help them get back on their feet. Their insurance covered some but not all of the damage.

Here's the fundraiser, currently at about $3,600 of $10,000.

(h/t DCist)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Here's all the Halloween events at local bars: bar crawl, deals, costume contests and more

Halloween is upon us (weather notwithstanding) and a lot of local bars are getting into the spirit. Here's a rundown of what's happening and where

The bars and restaurants on 14th Street are hosting "Brains and Booze" starting at 6pm on the 28th, with food and drink specials at the Red Derby, the Airedale, the Pinch, Mezcalero, Taqueria Habanero, Little Coco's and Lyman's Tavern. The City Paper has more: Little Coco's has spooky drinks like squid ink martinis, congealed blood Jello shots and more. The Airedale has costume karaoke, there's live music at the Pinch and Mezcalero has a $25 cover that goes to Mexican earthquake relief, plus late night dinner and DJs.

The Red Derby, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, is also hosting Motown Halloween with cocktails and DJs playing Motown records on the 28th. Sounds fun.

Also on the 28th, Looking Glass over on Georgia has a Halloween Spooktacular with DJs and live musical accompaniments and a costume contest starting at 10:30pm.

Wonderland will have a dance party on the 28th (lots of people go in costume) and on the 31st are having a costume contest a spooky host, Mona Disa.

Union Drinkery has a costume contest on the 28th with a $100 bar tab prize.

DC Reynolds has a pumpkin carving contest from 6-9pm on the 28th with prizes.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wangari Gardens fall fest this Saturday, Oct. 28: free concert, bake sale, face painting, more

If you're looking for some family fun or just to meet some neighbors and get some snacks, the Wangari Gardens fall fest is happening this Saturday. The gardens are at Park Place and Kenyon, just before you get to Washington Hospital Center.

Here's more from an organizer:
October 28th, 2017
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Corner of Park Place and Kenyon St NW 
All the neighbors are warmly invited to join the festival. There will be a free concert, music, and a bake sale to help raise money for the garden.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Georgia Avenue Main Streets program announced: run by District Bridges and Georgia Ave Thrive

This is neat: yesterday the mayor announced the award of a new DC Main Streets program for Georgia Avenue. It went to a partnership between District Bridges, which runs the Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant Main Street program, and Georgia Avenue Thrive, the local nonprofit that runs First Fridays on Georgia Avenue and lots of other neat projects.

The city calls the DC Main Streets "neighborhood revitalization programs" which work with local businesses, community development professionals and volunteers "to promote economic development, strengthen neighborhoods, and improve the quality of life for all residents."

District Bridges was formerly known as the Columbia Heights Initiative. The new Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street will be led by Jennifer Kuiper of Georgia Avenue Thrive.

Here's a tweet from District Bridges and more from the mayor, who announced it on Monday at Walls of Books:
And from the mayor's office:

On Monday, October 16, at 3 pm, Mayor Muriel Bowser will launch the neighborhood revitalization program in Lower Georgia Avenue, designating the area as the newest Main Street in the DC Main Streets program, an initiative that promotes the revitalization of traditional business districts that has generated more than 2,000 jobs in the last two years. DC Main Streets are organized and led by local volunteers and community development professionals – who lead sustainable, community-driven efforts – to promote economic development, strengthen neighborhoods, and improve the quality of life for all residents.
Mayor Bowser will also be joined by Administration officials to participate in a community walk in Ward 1. During the walk, the Mayor will address neighborhood concerns and hear from DC residents and business owners in the Parkview neighborhood. Starting location of the walk will begin at Wall of Books, 3325 Georgia Avenue, NW.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pretty funny: PBR doing Totino's frozen pizza contest at area bars: Midlands, Wonderland, Lyman's, LGL, Good Silver

This is amusing. Pabst Blue Ribbon is doing what they're calling a "pizza crush," which is a competition by local bars to dress up a Totino's frozen pizza.

The bars will dress up the pizzas with toppings of their choice, and if you buy a PBR, you get a slice. I assume there will also be freebies and such.

They're doing the event around the city, with a number of the participants in our area: Midlands on Friday, followed by, Wonderland, Lyman's, Looking Glass Lounge, and the Good Silver (the spot that was formerly Kangaroo Boxing Club.) Other spots around the city include Dew Drop Inn, Solly's, Ivy & Coney, Smoke & Barrel and the Pug.

There's more on the local PBR Instagram.

(H/T to Randy for spotting this)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

City expands recyclable items: pizza boxes, to-go containers, plastic plates, deli containers and more

This is cool: the city is expanding their list of recyclable items to include a lot more: pizza boxes; paper and plastic plates, cups, lids and to-go containers; and plastic produce, deli/bakery containers and trays. You still need to clean the food out, though.

The idea is to help more trash avoid landfills and to increase the city's 28% recycling rate, well below Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, which are around 60%

The new items will be recyclable starting Jan. 1, so don't start putting your Domino's boxes in the recycling just yet.

They also made a handy chart with all the items that can be recycled, above. (Click it for the full version.) Print it out and put it above your home's bin!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ward 1 council race heats up: three candidates oppose incumbent Nadeau

The Ward 1 Council race is getting interesting: there are three candidates who have filed to run against incumbent councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau: current ANC1A chair Kent Boese (who also writes the Park View DC blog), former DC judge Lori E. Parker, and newcomer Sheika Reid, a 26 year-old architectural drafter.

Nadeau, as you may recall, upset longtime Ward 1 council member Jim Graham in 2014. Graham recently passed away.

Nadeau and her challengers are registered for the Democratic primary scheduled for June 18, 2018, but in a city as heavily Democratic as ours, the primary winner will most likely take the general election too.

I've already started getting mailers from Nadeau, which are technically updates about her work in council but which a few folks on twitter have said look like campaign flyers.

Should be an interesting race! I'll be doing interviews with the candidates in the coming months.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Taste of Columbia Heights restaurant fest fundraiser for CentroNia on Oct. 18

This sounds pretty neat: CentroNia, a local early childhood nonprofit, is hosting Buen Provecho: A Taste of Columbia Heights where you buy a ticket and get two tastes at each participating restaurant. It's a cool way to try a bunch of restaurants in the area and also help out a local nonprofit. There are 11 spots currently participating, with more to come. Here's more info!

CentroNía is excited to present Buen Provecho: A Taste of Columbia Heights in partnership with District Bridges. Buen Provecho, our first annual celebration of the amazing food and culture of Columbia Heights, will take place on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 6:00-9:00pm at individual restaurants along 14th Street, Irving Street, Park Road, and the 11th Street corridor in Columbia Heights.

¡Buen Provecho! will bring together CentroNía friends, foodies, and young professionals to neighborhood restaurants, showcasing each restaurant’s unique cuisine and celebrating the community. Guests will pre-purchase tickets allocating two tastes at each restaurant. All funds raised from ticket sales and sponsorships will support the more than 2,400 children and families who benefit from CentroNía’s programs and services each year.
How It Works:
  1. Purchase your ticket and you're off to explore the cuisine of Columbia Heights! Tickets are valid for 2 tastes at each participating restaurant.
  2. Start exploring once you pick up your ¡Buen Provecho! Map & Tasting Guide and swag bag at Tynan Coffee & Tea.
  3. Want something extra special? Purchase a VIP ticket! Good for 2 tastes at all participating restaurants, 5 EXTRA taste tickets, and entry to the after party.
¡Buen Provecho! Map & Tasting Guides with a map of all participating restaurants and the dishes offered will be handed out at check-in to guide you on your trip around Columbia Heights. From there, explore, taste, and enjoy at your own leisure!
If you're interested in learning about sponsorships, advertising opportunities, or other ways to get involved, please contact Alice Sadler at
Participating Restaurants & Businesses include (...and more to come!):

Thursday, October 5, 2017

First Friday on Georgia Avenue is tomorrow! Lots of deals, freebies, arts, kids' games and more

First Friday, the celebration of local businesses on Georgia Avenue organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive, is back again! This month's has a lot going on, with deals, discount, freebies, events, arts, music and more. If you haven't been it's a lot of fun: a way to explore small businesses, meet your neighbors and get some good deals.

This month's seems to have the most going on, so read on! My favorite is the free glass of wine at Walls of Books, but there are lots of other great ones.
Celebrate another great First Friday with the neighborhood small businesses on Georgia Ave NW in Park View & Petworth. Drink, food and retail specials, live music, art and more. Or as others would say, this will be epic... And as always we are partnering with our friends from Petworth Arts Collaborative. 
We will have bubbles, chalk and for kids at the Old Murry's Parking Lot at Morton & Georgia Avenue (across the street from Midlands). 
SPECIAL EVENTS:- Live music by Judge Smith on The Old Murray's Parking Lot (corner of Morton & Georgia Ave)- Scavenger Hunt with Teaching for Change (starts at Old Murray's Parking Lot) - Prizes for first three - Reading by local author Scott Jackson at: Walls of Books - Washington, DC -
- Drop off for Halloween Costume Drive for Park Morton Kids -

A map of all the businesses for easy reference:

Participating businesses:
♣ Bravo Bar : BoGo & First Friday cocktail
♣ Colony Club: Happy Hour (5-7), Three Man Soul Machine from 8-10pm
♣ Heat Da Spot Coffee Lounge: Smoothies and Milk Cult ice-cream (at the parking lot)
♣ District Dogs:
- Dog kissing booth (yes!!!)
- 20% dog bandanas & bow ties
- Dog water bowls at Georgia Avenue businesses
- Drop off spot for Halloween Costume Drive for the kids of Park Morton:
♣ Union Drinkery & SmallFry DC: $6 Allspice Old Fashioned
♣ Ana's restaurante: $1 chicken taco, $8 chicken soup
♣ Walls of Books - Washington, DC:
- A complimentary glass of wine
- Local author Scott Jackson will do a book reading & signing at 6:30 pm:
- BoGo for up to 5 books 
- 20% off all Melissa & Doug toys
- Drop off spot for Halloween Costume Drive for the kids of Park Morton:
♣ Story District: FREE Story Telling Crash Course @ 7pm Register for FREE:
♣ The Midlands: TBD
♣ Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering: Carimañolas (yuca balls) stuffed with either ground beef, ground turkey, ground soy (veggie) served with a tamarind dipping sauce.
♣ Yoga Heights: Rooftop Yoga @ The Swift (3828 Georgia Ave) @6:15pm. (Sign up via App or on website)
♣ Mom N' Pop Antiques: 20% off & live piano music
♣ The Looking Glass Lounge: $2 off each drink
♣ DC Reynolds: BoGo
♣ Walters Sports Bar: 50% off all drinks
♣ Reliable Tavern: $6 Punch
♣ Ten Tigers Parlour: $5 Old Fashioned
The Hilltop Bar & Restaurant(Sherman Ave): $5 Chacho Mojito

El Rinconcito II back open after fire last year!

This is good news: the other day I walked by El Rinconcito II, the Salvadoran/Mexican spot on Park Road across from Giant, and saw it was back open. On another walk by I saw a bunch of folks enjoying a meal out on their patio. The place caught fire in October of last year, so it's great to see it back in business.

If you haven't been, the spot is a local favorite and has been around for quite some time. Worth a visit. And it's got 4 stars on Yelp.

They're at 1326 Park Rd NW.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Target has hilarious Halloween animal heads you can wear

The other day I was in Target and spotted a whole bunch of giant, whole head masks: a black cat, unicorn, fox, Beast from Beauty and the Beast (I think), a panda and other various creatures. They're $30, which isn't too bad for pretty Halloween big masks. They're mostly adult-sized but there are also some for kids.

Pretty funny/terrifying. I think the weird cat is my favorite.