Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DC election results: who won in our area and find your new ANC rep

The election results are in, and thankfully for us, there are no recounts or rumors of ballots sitting in post offices (I'm looking at you, Florida.)

Here's the rundown of who won in our area from the DC Board of Elections.

Citywide races were mostly landslides, with only a few competitive races.

Elissa Silverman (who I recommended) was reelected to the At-Large Council seat, beating challenger Dionne Reeder with about twice as many votes. And in the Ward One Board of Education race, Emily Gasoi beat Jason Andrean and Callie Kozlak with over 50% of the vote. This was a bit of a surprise, as Andrean raised $60,000 for this race -- which made me a little suspicious of his motives, to be honest.

Locally in Ward One there were a number of ANC races -- the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which advises the city on planning and development issues and can stop or change liquor licenses.

I intend to do a series of blog posts interviewing those who won about their plans. Here are the ANC1A and ANC1B winners -- ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights. Click those links to see which one you are in.

ANC1A01: Layla Bonnot beat Ernest Johnson
ANC1A02: Teresa A. Edmondson bear Amr Kotb
ANC1A03: Zach Rybarczyk (unopposed)
ANC1A04: Matthew Goldschmidt (unopposed)
ANC1A05: Christine Miller (unopposed)
ANC1A06: Angelica Castanon (unopposed)
ANC1A07: Jen Bundy (unopposed)
ANC1A08: Kent Boese (unopposed)
ANC1A09: Michael Wray (unopposed)
ANC1A10: Rashida Brown (unopposed)
ANC1A11: Dotti Love Wade (unopposed)
ANC1A12: no candidate, a write-in won

ANC1B01: Anita Norman (unopposed)
ANC1B02: Dan Orlaskey beat Caleb-Michael Files
ANC1B03: Sedrick Muhammad (unopposed)
ANC1B04: Jon D. Squicciarini (unopposed)
ANC1B05: James Cordes beat Christopher Ede-Calton
ANC1B06: Jen Bristol (unopposed)
ANC1B07: Jessica Smith (unopposed)
ANC1B08: Joshua R. Mater (unopposed)
ANC1B09: James A. Turner (unopposed)
ANC1B10: Danny Delaney (unopposed)
ANC1B11: Robb Hudson (unopposed)
ANC1B12: Dan Winston (unopposed)

The other citywide races were not close.

  • Anita Bonds handily won the other seat for At-Large council, which is reserved for Democrats
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser easily won reelection, but with only 76% of the vote, less than I'd expect in a non-competitive race. Maybe people are getting frustrated with Bowser.
  • Brianne Nadeau easily won reelection for Ward 1 Council too with 78%.
  • Eleanor Holmes-Norton won another term as our non-voting Delegate to the House of Representatives.
  • Phil Mendelson got reelection as DC Council chair with 83%.
  • Karl Racine was reelected as Attorney General with 93%
There are some other smaller races too, mostly things like shadow senator. You can get those results at the DCBOE page.

Chase Bank coming to 14th and Park in old Vitamin Shoppe space; Old Navy going in next door


Well, more banks. Chase is opening a branch in the DCUSA corner space at 14th and Park that was formerly home to the Vitamin Shoppe. And I thought I reported this before but must have forgotten -- the space next door, formerly Children's Place, is going to be an Old Navy, but seems to still be under construction. They're hiring too.

I'm always frustrated when banks come to our area -- they never really generate foot traffic and are a lot less fun than restaurants, bars, shops, or other services that we could use. I guess they are stable tenants who can pay high rents, which is why retail space owners like them.

Anyway, if you are a Chase customer, you have another option.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Alley next to Allegro partially collapsed from all the rain



This is pretty wild, all this rain lately apparently made part of the alley collapse next to the Allegro at 14th and Meridian. It's not terrible, but still not great to drive on. A reader sent along the pics, thanks reader!

If you notice anything like this you can call 311 to alert the city.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Know your Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates: 1B02, Caleb-Michael Files and Dan Orlaskey


Let's meet the candidates in our local ANC races! Next up we are meeting the two candidates in ANC1B02, which is roughly Florida Avenue to S Street and 12th to 8th Streets.

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a nonpartisan, elected body that advises city government on neighborhood issues and also has some power over liquor licenses. The ANC is made up of Single Member Districts that cover a few blocks and commissioners for those districts are elected to two-year terms. The opinions on the ANC are supposed to carry "great weight" at government agencies like the Planning Commission, Alcohol Board, Zoning Board and others, who hear applications for permits such as doing something outside of what's allowed (like maybe more square feet or fewer parking spaces for a building.) Commissioners can also help their constituents with city issues, such as missed trash collection or other problems, and can stop or force changes to liquor license applications and renewals as well.

There are two ANCs in our area: ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains and part of the U Street and Shaw areas, and sadly only four races have more than one candidate -- the rest either have one or no official candidates. I sent the candidates in these contested races a questionnaire. Here is what Dan and Caleb-Michael had to say.

Dan Orlaskey

Tell us about yourself.
I'm an almost 10 year resident of the U Street neighborhood (1B02). I'm an attorney with the Department of Transportation where I work on infrastructure project development, environmental law, and open government law. I also volunteer as a lacrosse coach for School Without Walls and with the DC Arts Center and am the Treasurer for the Ward One Democrats. I'm originally from New York, but spent over a decade in Baltimore before moving to DC in 2009.

Why are you running for ANC?
Put simply, I want to ensure my neighborhood grows in a way that benefits the people that live here. 1B02 is one of the fastest growing districts in DC and I want to ensure that this enormous amount of development doesn't hurt current residents through forced relocation or pricing people out. I want to ensure that new developments are directly beneficial to the community. I also want to help create a greater sense of community through increased community events and help manage the increase in traffic congestion.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?
I will focus on ensuring that residential displacement stops in my district. That affordable housing is actually affordable and accessible and not just a means for developers to get handouts from the city. I will ensure that new developments are in keeping with community character and directly benefit neighborhood residents. Finally, I will work to implement new dedicated bus and bike lanes to help alleviate traffic problems and accidents.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
My neighborhood has quite a few bars and restaurants in it...which may be an understatement. The service industry in the U Street corridor is a major economic driver and employer. That being said, I believe we have reached a "critical mass" and will be careful to thoroughly review new liquor license applications to ensure that we are not encroaching on residential areas more than we already are. I will be taking a balanced approach, weighing each application on its merits to ensure that the community is being served while not unduly restricting small business growth.

How can voters get in touch with you?
Voters can email me directly at dan4anc@gmail.com. They can also visit my facebook page (www.facebook.com/dan4anc) or on Twitter @DanielOrlaskey.


Caleb-Michael Files

Tell us about yourself.
I am Caleb-Michael Files, a senior digital strategist for the AFL-CIO here in D.C., and reside at 8th and U streets with my husband, Gerardo, and our two dogs, Blizzard and Scout.
I have worked in political organizing for the last 10 years of my life and we are excited to be settling down in the district and build my family here.

Why are you running for ANC?

Because our SMD has issues and I believe that my community building efforts and bringing everyone to the table will be the way we solve the issues facing our SMD.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?
Crime and ABRA regulations. We desperately need impact settlement agreements established with a number of our nightclubs and bars and I believe I can help to do that.
We also need to jump on the opportunity that JBG has provided with seed money for a BID and work to keep our community safe and clean.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
We have to do more. As the ABRA commission for 1B recently disbanded from my understanding I will make it my priority to represent our SMD on the ABRA commission.

How can voters get in touch with you?
They can call me, they can text me, they can find me on social media. All of that information is available over at calebforanc.com

Know your Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates: 1A02, Amr Kotb


Let's meet the candidates in our local ANC races! Up next is Amr Kotb, who is running in ANC1A02 (see map.)

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a nonpartisan, elected body that advises city government on neighborhood issues and also has some power over liquor licenses. The ANC is made up of Single Member Districts that cover a few blocks and commissioners for those districts are elected to two-year terms. The opinions on the ANC are supposed to carry "great weight" at government agencies like the Planning Commission, Alcohol Board, Zoning Board and others, who hear applications for permits such as doing something outside of what's allowed (like maybe more square feet or fewer parking spaces for a building.) Commissioners can also help their constituents with city issues, such as missed trash collection or other problems, and can stop or force changes to liquor license applications and renewals as well.

There are two ANCs in our area: ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains and part of the U Street and Shaw areas, and sadly only four races have more than one candidate -- the rest either have one or no official candidates. I sent the candidates in these contested races a questionnaire. Here is what Amr had to say. His opponent, Teresa A. Edmondson, did not respond to my emails.



Tell us about yourself.I am a 31 year-old DC resident who loves Columbia Heights and proving to people that Washington, DC is much more than lanyards, government jobs, and Farragut Square (not that I take issue with these things). I host/produce my own podcast, work in foreign affairs, and enjoy DC’s museums, running/playing soccer, reading, and meeting new people.

Why are you running for ANC?I’ve spent much of my adult life moving around in search of the lifestyle, city, and community that will bring me happiness. Columbia Heights (and Washington DC more broadly) is the place where I found my dream job, married my wife, and finally decided to put down my roots for the foreseeable future. Now that I am part of a community that means so much to me personally, it’s time to take this affinity to the next level by serving it and playing an integral role in preserving its unique identity and diversity.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?1. I want residents in my SMD to feel they have the power to make their voices heard on issues in our neighborhood. There are so many people out there that are unaware of the tools they have to assert themselves over what happens in their own community, so my top priority is to not only create a space where all of us can engage by holding regular town hall style meetings, but to also ensure that everyone is aware of the tools at their disposal through regular outreach.

2. I want to play an integral role in questions of business and residential development and am enthusiastic about ensuring that smart, equitable development, rooted in an understanding of our community’s well-established identity, is the only kind that takes place. For example, new businesses that come to the neighborhood should prioritize hiring vacancies for local residents that are directly affected by the presence of such businesses.

3. I believe in the value of public space and the implications it holds for safety and security. The more thriving, diverse, and accessible a neighborhood, the safer we all feel because we have a place in it within a larger community. As such, I will push for more parks that are sufficiently equipped with accessible recreational and leisure activities for all of our residents. My top priority for public space is the park at 14th and Oak/Ogden; not only is it practically devoid of greenery, but the available seating is incredibly inhospitable and uncomfortable.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?A liquor license is a double-edged sword. On one hand, an establishment’s possession of a liquor license can potentially equate to long hours of operation that disrupt the neighborhood with respect to noise, overcrowding, and the risk of intoxicated patrons destroying property. On the other hand, development via private businesses serving alcohol attracts economic activity to our neighborhood, and can be good for other local businesses. As such, I will seek to regulate liquor licenses on a case by case basis, prioritizing the existing community’s needs and concerns over all other issues, while also being mindful of the potential for equitable economic development. Businesses seeking liquor licenses are expected to respect the role of the ANC, so I will also be looking to see if they approach our commission from the get-go and are amenable to the community’s feedback.

How can voters get in touch with you?
Phone Number: 804.516.9805
Email: AmrouKotb@gmail.com
Address: 1435 Newton St. NW Apt. 109
Facebook Page: ‘Amr for ANC’ or search for ‘@AmrforANC1A02’
Twitter: @amrqotb



Sunday, November 4, 2018

Know your Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates: 1A01, Ernest A. Johnson


Let's meet the candidates in our local ANC races! Up first Ernest A. Johnson, who is running in ANC1A01 (see map.)

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a nonpartisan, elected body that advises city government on neighborhood issues and also has some power over liquor licenses. The ANC is made up of Single Member Districts that cover a few blocks and commissioners for those districts are elected to two-year terms. The opinions on the ANC are supposed to carry "great weight" at government agencies like the Planning Commission, Alcohol Board, Zoning Board and others, who hear applications for permits such as doing something outside of what's allowed (like maybe more square feet or fewer parking spaces for a building.) Commissioners can also help their constituents with city issues, such as missed trash collection or other problems, and can stop or force changes to liquor license applications and renewals as well.

There are two ANCs in our area: ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains and part of the U Street and Shaw areas, and sadly only four races have more than one candidate -- the rest either have one or no official candidates. I sent the candidates in these contested races a questionnaire. Here is what Ernest had to say. His opponent, Layla Bonnot, did not respond to my emails.

Tell us about yourself.
I am Ernest Johnson native Washingtonian and long time residents of Columbia Heights. Attended Shaw, Banneker, Cardozo and American University. Served on the board of directors for the 3rd District Citizens Advisory Council, Columbia Heights Development Corporation, DC Apprenticeship Council and newly created Friends of the Frank Reeves Center. Entering our 6th year of adopting Raymond & Tubman Elementary Schools Back 2 School Block Party. We gave given away 100’s of pack backs and school supplies and sent both teachers and students on filed trips.

Why are you running for ANC?
I have not been pleased with previous ANC’s ability to produce real improvements for this single member district.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?
In 2016 I worked with DDOT and DPW to repave Parkwood Place and Ogden Street. I want to add new side walks Parkwood, Perry and Spring Road with chandelier street lights. I have a service request in to repair street lights on Perry and hand cleaning for alleys and streets. Plan to work with our business owners and the great streets program for uniformity of store front facades. I believe a clean Single Members District with uniform business facades will reduce petty crimes and loitering.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
It is the responsibility of (abra) Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to regulate liquor licenses. I do have a good relationship with Chairman Donovan Anderson members Nick Alberti, Ruthanne Miller, James Short and Mike Silverstein. ABRA’s office is located on the 4th floor of the Reeves Center, 2000-14th St. NW. I personally do not favor liquor stores on every corner and have advocated my idea for DC Liquors for years.

How can voters get in touch with you?
I live at 1451-Parkwood Place , EJohnsonRealty2@AOL.com, 202-882-9790.
I am a licensed Realtor and Certified Notary Real Estate Closing Agent in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Get reimbursed for driving to PA or VA to volunteer for Democrats running for Congress

The Ward One Democrats have a new program to reimburse volunteers who drive to Virginia or Pennsylvania to help get out the vote this election. Details are below. 

Get Reimbursed for Going to VA or PA for Volunteering

If turnout is high, Democrats will win! And a great way to help turnout is volunteering for campaigns on Get Out the Vote efforts, such as door-to-door canvassing where you talk to Democrats and encourage them to get to the polls. There are only a few days left, and this is the most effective way that DC Democrats can help elect Dems to Congress who can fight for our issues.

And thanks to the DC Democratic State Committee, the Ward One Democrats will reimburse DC residents up to $75 for a car rental or $25 for gas per day! 

There are a number of close Congressional races near DC that you can help with. Abigail Spanberger and Leslie Cockburn in Virginia can use the most volunteer help, while Jennifer Wexton is closer to DC, but is in the lead. And if you want to go a little further, there are some tight Pennsylvania races as well that can use more volunteers.

Virginia Congressional races:
Leslie Cockburn, Virginia 5th district  (Fauquier, Charlottesville and more) https://www.lesliecockburnforcongress.com/volunteer
Abigail Spanberger, Virginia 7th district (Culpeper, northern Richmond suburbs, etc.) https://abigailspanberger.com/volunteer
Jennifer Wexton, Virginia 10th district (Fairfax, Dulles, Loudoun area) https://jenniferwexton.com/get-involved/volunteer/

Pennsylvania Congressional races:
George Scott, Penn. 10th (York and Harrisburg area) https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/scottforcongress/
Susan Wild, Penn. 7th (Allentown, Bethlehem area) https://wildforcongress.com/get-involved
Scott Wallace, Penn. 1st (northern Philadelphia suburbs) https://go.scottwallacepa.com/page/content/volunteer

Here's what you need to do. Let's turn Virginia and Pennsylvania blue!

Requirements:
  • Email correspondingsecretary(at)wardonedemocrats.org if you're interested so we can get a sense of how many people there may be
  • Volunteer at a campaign office in Virginia or Pennsylvania for canvassing/door to door, phone banking or office work. Canvassing/door to door is preferred and does the most good. 
    • Make sure to register via the links above!
  • Provide a dated receipt to tcorrespondingsecretary(at)wardonedemocrats.org for your rental car, ZipCar or similar service, or for your gas
  • Provide documentation that you volunteered, such as a picture of your name on the sign-in sheet at the campaign office (with date), a picture of you and friends canvassing with a packet (with date), or a screenshot of a canvassing app
Suggestions:
  • Share this email with friends and fellow Dems! Webpage here too: http://www.wardonedemocrats.org/gotv2018
  • Bring friends! More people canvassing is better.
  • Try to do more than one packet -- often there are needs for lots of packets.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and dress in layers in case it gets warm or cold.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Neighborhood cleanup for Park View on Saturday at Park Place & Quebec Place: free coffee and donuts


Here's the latest neighborhood cleanup details from Georgia Avenue Thrive. Sounds fun! It's also a great way to meet your neighbors.
Hi friends, neighbors and community leaders -- Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next cleanup at 10 a.m., this Sat. Nov. 3 at the corner of Park Place and Quebec Place.
We'll spruce up the Park View streets until 10:40 alongside volunteers from Friends of the Soldiers Home. 
Then we'll walk to the Randolph Gate of the Armed Forces Retirement Home and clean up the grounds until 11:20. Then our neighbor Lou Vivas of Via the Life Real Estate will provide coffee and donuts. Volunteers will relax at the picnic tables, enjoying food, conversation and the beautiful, early November foliage. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Eight apartments coming to former Mt. Rona Church at 13th and Monroe


This is interesting, the former Mt. Rona Church at 3431 13th Street NW is being converted into apartments. I've seen a lot of work there lately and checked out the permits. They're reusing the building with two units on each floor, plus two more in the basement.

Nice to see more housing in the area. The church has been closed for some time, I believe after the 5.8 earthquake in August 2011 that damaged the building. The city said then that it was uninhabitable and put a sign on it telling people not to go in. The building also served as a polling place.

Update: there's a web page from the developer with a bit more info. The permit is cut off but it says there will be two accessible units in the basement:
CONSTRUCTION OF EIGHT APARTMENT UNITS WITHIN AN EXISTING CHURCH STRUCTURE IN THE COLUMBIA HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD OF NORTHWEST WASHINGTON, DC. THE PROJECT WILL HAVE 3 LEVELS WITH 2 UNITS ON EACH AND A CELLAR WITH 2 ACCESSIBLE UNITS PER FAIR HOUSING. THE THIRD LEVEL WILL BE AN ADDITI
Photo from Google

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Early voting is underway: vote for Elissa Silverman for at-large council

Early voting is underway in DC (learn more here, you can vote in our neighborhood starting tomorrow) and there are a number of races. I'll be recommending certain candidates, and also shortly publishing posts on Advisory Neighborhood Commission races which are competitive (many only have one person running.) And first, I recommend you vote for Elissa Silverman for the At-Large DC Council.

This election you can actually vote for two candidates for this race, one for the Democrat seat (which will most likely be incumbent Anita Bonds in a landslide) and for the seat reserved for non-Democrats, the frontrunners of which are incumbent Elissa Silverman and new coming Dionne Reeder.

I'm picking Silverman for two reasons: she is a progressive who works hard and fights for what's right, and Reeder's team is full of criminals. Literally, not figuratively.

Many of the members of her campaign team have been convicted of various crimes, such as former Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., who served 38 months for stealing $350,000 of city money intended to help less fortunate kids, instead using it "as a personal piggy bank" to buy luxury cars and expensive clothes, trips and meals. Another campaign staffer is Ted Loza, who was Councilmember Jim Graham's chief of staff and who served time for accepting bribes while working for the council member.

Another active supporter is Joshua Lopez, a city employee who hosted a rally in which a speaker referred to Silverman, who is Jewish, as a "fake Jew." Bowser refused to make him step down from a city board, but he later apologized and resigned after the outcry. Lopez also posted on Facebook that Silverman should "go home to Baltimore." According to the Post, Reeder, who is gay, also has the support of Rev. Willie Wilson, who has made many anti-gay remarks in the past.

So if all those supporters and campaign staffers don't give you pause to vote for Reeder, also consider Silverman's accomplishments and policies.

Silverman is a staunch progressive and tough questioner of city officials -- something the city desperately needs. And that's why Mayor Bowser is supporting Reeder, who most likely will be a rubber stamp. Bowser has complained before that Silverman is too hard on city officials and has too many critiques of her proposals. Which is basically what a legislature is supposed to do.

Silverman also supports paid family leave in the city, which the mayor opposes, and Reeder and Bowser have been attacking Silverman over it, which seems strange to me. Reeder says it's a waste of money.

Silverman has also fought against tax breaks for developers, while a lot of Reeder's donations come from developers and other big businesses.

Silverman has also advocated hard for reform in DCRA, the city's slow and ineffective permitting and regulatory agency. Bowser is opposed to this.

And in a first, Bowser is actively campaigning for Reeder, especially after her preferred candidate, Kathryn Allen, was kicked off the ballot for submitted faked signatures in her nomination petitions. Bowser also held an event with Reeder that may have violated campaign finance laws as using government funds to support candidates.

The Post reports that Bowser told a fundraiser "we need to get her out of there" in regards to Silverman, and bizarrely she recently jumped into former ANC commissioner Bryan Weaver's Facebook wall to debate with people about Reeder. I would think the mayor has better things to do.

So for all these reasons, please vote for Silerman.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Call Your Mother Jew-ish deli is open: big lines, delicious, but not cheap


Call Your Mother, the much-anticipated bagel shop and "Jew-ish" deli from the Timber Pizza folks, has been open about two weeks. There are bagel sandwiches made with a hybrid New York/Montreal bagel as well as takes on Jewish classics like matzoh ball soup and pastrami. It's very popular, very tasty and also kind of expensive.

I've been twice so far and enjoyed my food immensely, and both times it's been quite crowded, with  a fairly big line inside the restaurant. The lines are often longer though, especially on Friday and during the weekend when they stretch out the door and around the corner. For example, last Friday my friend went at 8:30am and the line around the corner. When I stopped by at 10am it was the same way, and at about noon it was still the same way. It moves fairly quickly, but still requires some waiting, both to order and to get your food. So if you're interested in going, plan accordingly.

The food is also really good. The first time I got the Amar'e bagel sandwich with candied salmon cream cheese, cucumbers, shallots and radish on a za'atar bagel and a Craig D, which is cream cheese, peach jam, jalapeño and shoestring potatoes. Both were excellent. I've also had lunch there with the Greenberg, a pastrami steak and cheese that also came with sides of shoestring fries and pickles. All were excellent. (There's also a sandwich I have yet to try called the Rashida, which I am guessing is a reference to awesome local ANC commissioner Rashida Brown.)

However, they are also not cheap. The two bagel sandwiches plus a coffee came to about $20, and the sandwich was $15. A half dozen bagels are $12, which is not too bad, unless you compare it to other bagel shops. Here's the full menu.

It's also a nice space -- it seems bigger than when it was Alfie's, Tchoup's and Mothership, as they've taken down the wall towards the back and (I think) extended the seating area a bit. There are outdoor seats as well on the patio, and everything is a rustic-looking pink or blue, plus lots of photos of Drake, who has a Catholic dad and Jewish mom, and thus is Jewish.

Have you been? What do you think?

Call Your Mother is at 3301 Georgia Avenue NW and is open Wed-Sun 8am-2pm






Line and interior photos by Emily Goodstein. Sandwich photo by me.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Dia de los Muertos celebrations coming to the neighborhood Oct. 27 & Nov. 2: kids events, music, performances, movies, more

This sounds pretty awesome! The Petworth Arts Collaborative is organizing a bunch of Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead events coming up as part of the traditional Mexican holiday. Read on for more! Here's the Facebook invite.

Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead
Second Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Petworth & Park View

Petworth, Washington, DC – The Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Petworth will return for a second year; now extending into Park View!

The Petworth Arts Collaborative is excited to share this two day event featuring a live Mariachi band Street Procession, Altar Making Workshops, Calavera Face Painting, a Student Art Show, a traditional Ballet Folklorico performance and more! The event is sponsored by the DC Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, TTR Sotheby’s International Realtor Eddie Suarez, Ward 4 Council Member Brandon ToddLower Georgia Ave Main Street (through a grant from the Department of Small and Local Business Development) and partners Georgia Avenue Thrive.

Join us Saturday October 27th for several altar making workshops: from 9:00am to 1:00pm at the Petworth Community Market (4148 9th St NW), from 10:00am to 12:00pm with Georgia Avenue Thrive at Walls of Books (3325 Georgia Ave NW), and from 1:00pm to 3:00pm with 11th&Bark Dog Park at the Columbia Heights Green (3321 11th Street NW). Wrap up the evening with a movie screening of Coco at Powell Elementary (1350 Upshur Street NW) beginning at 6:30pm.

Celebrate with us on Friday November 2nd with a Student Art Show by Bruce Monroe Elementary at Park View students, Calavera face painting and a flower crown workshop with flowers x flores at Qualia Coffee (3917 Georgia Avenue NW). Finally, join us us for our main attraction during our grand Street Procession with live performances by Mariachi El Rey starting at 6:00pm at Walls of Books (3325 Georgia Avenue NW) moving north along Georgia Ave, ending with a spectacular Ballet Folklorico performance by the Cultural Dance Center at 8:30pm along the 800 block of Upshur St NW. 

“We are thrilled to bring this traditional Mexican holiday event back to Petworth and can’t wait to see how the community comes together through music and art to honor loved ones,” says co-founder Maria Mandle. “With over 300 people in attendance last year, we look forward to building upon that momentum in year two with more participants and partnerships! We are excited to expand by collaborating with fellow neighborhood organizations, Georgia Avenue Thrive and District Bridges.”  says co-founder Sara Herrera.

About the Petworth Arts Collaborative
Petworth Arts Collaborative is committed to Activating Community through ART experiences to spark Creativity, Educate, and Inspire Collaborations between the diverse residents of Petworth DC where the ARTS can be experienced by all. For additional information, www.petworthartsdc.org

Friday, October 12, 2018

Amen Coffee & Juice now open at Georgia and New Hampshire


There's another option for coffee in the area: Amen Coffee & Juice just opened at 3661 Georgia Ave NW, just south of New Hampshire Ave and the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro. The spot has Ethiopian coffee and wifi, plus various house mades juices, as well as Ethiopian breakfasts like ful, a dish with beans, vegetables and spices. I stopped by the other day and had a nice coffee, and they were super friendly. I haven't tried the food yet, but plan on it.

The location was formerly the Amanuel Market, a convenience store -- you can see it on the old Google Streetview picture above.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Call Your Mother bagel spot and deli from Timber Pizza Co. opens this week on Georgia Ave!


This is awesome: Call Your Mother, the bagel place and restaurant from the Timber Pizza Co. crew, is opening this week, according to the City Paper.

It's described as a "Jew-is deli" with bagels that are sort of halfway between New York-style and Montreal-style. CYM has also been selling bagel sandwiches at farmers markets and other events in the area for a few months now.

It's coming to 3310 Georgia Avenue NW, which is the former Tchoup's/Alfie's/Mothership. Nice to see something replacing some popular neighborhood spots.

The CP has the menu too, which looks awesome: bagel sandwiches and deli sandwiches like pastrami on rye, coffee, lots of shmears, and a "big ass bagel board" that feeds two or four with all the meats and spreads they have. Sounds like a fun option for a brunch with friends or event. They also have other "Jew-ish" snacks like crispy pastrami rice, whitefish croquettes and more. The sandwiches look incredible.

There are Latin American touches as well, like "your South American grandmother's matzoh ball soup" as co-owner Daniela Moreira has Argentine roots. It all sounds awesome.

We heard before that they also plan to have "supper club" events with theme dinners like Salvadoran food, fried chicken, Peking duck, New York style pizza etc. You can follow them on Instagram to learn more.

Here's the location and the interior design.



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Frustrated about politics? Help get out the vote in Virginia swing districts this weekend, and going forward

If you're like me, the Kavanaugh hearings have been frustrating, and just another frustrating day in a series of them -- it seems like every day Trump or the Republicans in Congress are doing something awful. While DC doesn't have a vote in Congress, we're lucky to be near a lot of swing districts in Virginia -- many of which Republicans narrowly won in the last election. And we can help elect members of Congress who believe women, who will fight the Trump agenda and advocate for progressive policies.

And this can help DC too -- electing people who won't want to meddle with DC's laws like so many current in the current congress. In the past Republicans in Congress have stopped the city from having medical marijuana, doing needle exchange programs, funding women's health services, enforcing gun control laws and much more.

There are a few options to get active -- Swing Left will connect you with local swing races, of which there are many in Virginia. There's a Columbia Heights Swing Left group too. Getting Democrats out to vote is a huge way to win races, and they'll connect you to go canvassing, the most impactful kind of volunteering, where you encourage people to get out to vote.

I've been canvassing a number of times, and while it seems daunting at first, it's really not too bad. In my experience you are talking only to specific Democrats who are either likely to vote or haven't voted in a while -- you don't knock on random doors or have to argue or persuade anyone. It's actually kind of fun, even if you aren't that outgoing or don't love talking to strangers. I'm not, and I enjoy it. Plus you are making a big impact, studies show that people are 50% likely to vote with face to face interaction.

You can also do phone banking or texting for campaigns both in Virginia and elsewhere. For example, Swing Left currently has canvassing in Virginia for Leslie Cockburn and for Abigail Spanberger against Tea Party nut job Dave Brat, plus phone banking from your house for Amy McGrath, the fighter pilot is a close race against Republican Andy Barr in Kentucky.

You can also sign up to help with campaigns directly -- for example, Jennifer Wexton is the Democrat running against Trump supporter Barbara Comstock in Virginia's 10th district, which includes parts of Fairfax County, Manassas and Loudoun County. You can sign up for volunteer events for her here.

There's also a twice a month postcard writing campaign at the Midlands, every other Wednesday. You can sign up here.

And if you can't do anything soon, there's the Swing Left bus to go to key districts in Virginia the weekend before the election, Nov. 3. Learn more here.

And the easiest way, if you can afford it, is to donate to a campaign.

And if you know of any other options, let us know in the comments!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Park View neighborhood cleanup on Georgia Ave. is this Saturday: free metal straws for volunteers!


Georgia Avenue Thrive, the local nonprofit, has organized their next monthly cleanup for this Saturday at 10am at Georgia and Irving. Volunteers will help pick up trash and make the area look nicer -- it's a good way to meet your neighbors and help out. Here's more from the organizers:
Hi friends, neighbors and community leaders -- Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next cleanup at 10 a.m., Sat. Oct. 6 at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Irving Street.

Volunteers will receive a free stainless steel straws, thanks to our amazing partner District Bridges. We'll also debut 10 new, top-notch trash pickers, thanks to a generous donation from DC Reynolds, a great friend of the community.

These cleanups have become a great success thanks to the promotional support of leaders like yourself. Thank you so much for spreading the word! (our flyer is attached.)

I hope to see you on the 6th!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Fish in the Hood making good progress, looking great after last year's fire


If you remember, neighborhood mainstay Fish in the Hood at 3601 Georgia Ave NW had a devastating fire in April and started a crowdfunding campaign a few months later. And now it looks like they've made a lot of progress, the place is looking great inside and out.

I walked by the other day and the renovations are really coming along, although it looks like they still need to hook up some of the equipment. There's fresh paint, new awnings and nice looking decorations, and the tiki bar on the outside looks good too. I don't remember it being open before the fire, so I hope that is something that opens too.

The spot has been open since 1996 and a few years again changed their sign from Fish in the Hood to Fish in the neighborHood to reflect the changing area and the close community. I know a lot of people are fans (it's got great reviews on Yelp too), and I'm glad to see this long time small business almost back on its feet.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Help with an election monitoring volunteer project in the neighborhood, get a stipend and shirt

 

This is pretty interesting: local resident Ben Mindes is working on an election monitoring project for local elections. You can volunteer, and volunteers will receive a stipend and t-shirt.

Here's more from Ben:

New Initiative to Monitor the D.C. Elections in November 

This November, there is new way for Columbia Heights residents to participate in the political process. The Observe D.C. initiative is piloting the first “sample-based” election observation to independently analyze how elections are administered in the District. 

Trained volunteer observers, who receive a $50 stipend, an Observe D.C. T-shirt, official observer credentials, and a certificate of participation, will deploy to randomly sampled polling places across D.C.’s eight wards to collect data on key electoral processes throughout Election Day, including polling station set-up, access for disabled voters, voter identification practices, and secrecy of the vote. 

Data from observers will be rapidly collected and transmitted to a call center on Georgetown University’s campus throughout election day and analyzed to produce concrete findings about the quality of the elections in the District.

This pilot activity takes an election observation methodology that has been used by citizen groups throughout the world for over 20 years, and introduces it to the U.S. context. Data collected from this effort will allow the D.C. Board of Elections to pursue electoral reforms based, for the first time, on independent and statistically representative data.

Outside of the District, this effort will demonstrate the feasibility of injecting election observation methodology to other electoral jurisdictions in the United States where citizens may not be as confident in the quality of election administration or electoral processes more broadly.

The initiative is being led by Columbia Heights resident and graduate student, Ben Mindes and is funded by Georgetown University’s Baker Center for Leadership and Governance. Use the google form pinned at the top of Observe D.C.’s facebook page to volunteer as an observer or call center operator and join the team today!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Choong Man Draft House, Korean chicken spot that replaced the Heights, is now open


Chicken time! A bit ago we saw that The Heights Taproom, formerly just The Heights, was getting replaced with Choong Man Draft House, a branch of a local Korean chicken chain. And now it's open! A buddy snapped this photo the other day and sent it along.

So far there aren't any Yelp reviews (or even a Yelp page) for it, but I did see a few folks there the other day. Have you been? How is it?

I hope they keep their pour your own beer machine, it was fun and pretty inexpensive. And maybe add some Korean beers.

The other local Choong Mans all have good reviews on Yelp.

They're at 3115 14th Street NW, at Kenyon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Looking Glass Lounge on TV tonight in Tom Arnold's "The Hunt for the Trump Tapes"


Whoa, this is pretty cool. Comedian and actor Tom Arnold's new show, The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, filmed an episode at the Looking Glass Lounge, and it's airing tonight at 10:30pm on Viceland. They'll be showing it at Looking Glass then as well.

The show follows Arnold as he tries to find other tapes with Trump saying or doing damning, terrible or offensive stuff, similar to the Access Hollywood tape where he bragged about sexual assault.

In the LGL episode, Arnold talks with journalists David Corn and Michael Isikoff, pictured above. Arnold actually retweeted the Looking Glass twitter earlier, too.
Looking Glass, if you haven't been, is a great neighborhood bar at 3634 Georgia Ave NW.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Neighborhood-wide yard sale on Saturday; Tubman School accepting donated items to sell too


This sounds fun: this Saturday there's a neighborhood-wide yard sale, with multiple yard sales around the neighborhood plus one to benefit Tubman School (poster above), and there's a concert afterwards at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza.

The map is here at the bottom of the page, there are a few sales along Monroe plus one on Fairmont, one on Perry, one on Park and the Tubman School sale.

Tubman is also accepting donations of things to sell: you can drop them off today, Friday, between 3:30 and 5:30pm. You can also submit your yard sale to get on the site.

The event runs from 10am-2pm, with the concert from 4-6pm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lebron James, Drake spotted at U Street salon


Superstars in the building! Basketball star Lebron James and rapper and actor Drake were spotted at Immortal Beloved, a salon at 14th and T yesterday. Reporter Robert Costa spotted the pair and was told they were shooting Lebron’s HBO show The Shop, which is about barber shops. The Barber of Hell’s Bottom shares the same building, so it’s possible they went there as well.

If you recall, Drake has visited our area before: he got dinner with a friend at Z-Burger a couple of years ago when he was in town for a show. It’s not every day you see a hip hop superstar at a burger spot in our neighborhood. As far as I can tell this is the first time Lebron has visited our neck of the woods.

If you'd like to see other celebrity spottings in our area, check out the "famous people" series!

Here's Drake at Z-Burger a few years ago.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Awesome! Moroccan tavern Marrakech coming to Walter's space between DC Reynolds and Looking Glass


This is pretty great news: Park View DC reports that Marrakech is coming to 3632 Georgia Avenue NW, the space that has formerly been Walter's, Park View Patio and the Blue Banana. It will also be next door to an Ethiopian restaurant coming to the former Gena's salon seen above.

It's possible this is the new location of one of the two separate places called Marrakech -- a bistro and lounge in Adams Morgan and the recently-closed restaurant in Dupont known for its food and belly dancing. The two places were not related to each other, and I'll update if I confirm.

In any case, it's nice to have something fill the Walter's space, and I hope it's successful. One of the issues before was a lack of a kitchen, we'll see if they change that.

According to their liquor board filing (scroll down), they'll have 82 seats total, including 20 outside. I assume that would be out back.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Heights at 14th and Kenyon is now Choong Man Draft House, a Korean chicken restaurant



This came out of nowhere: The Heights Taproom at 14th and Kenyon is now a Korean spot called Choong Man Chicken Draft House. Choong Man is a local chain of Korean chicken spots with locations on H Street NE, Fairfax, Centreville and Baltimore. (Confusingly there are two websites for Choong Man with different info, but they both have the same logo.)

The signs say coming soon, so we'll see if they keep the pour-your-own-beer taps that The Heights Taproom had or what else they'll change. The location itself changed a few months ago from The Heights to a more burger and beer focused place. Let's hope it stays Choong Man for a while.

Anybody been to another of the Choong Man spots? I do love me some Korean fried chicken.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

New tavern with patio coming to 3549 Georgia Avenue NW, between Newton and Otis


Bar time! Park View DC reports that a new tavern has applied for a liquor license at 3549 14th Street NW. The name seems to be not chosen yet and I can't find much more about it, but the contact on the permit, Adanech Gebremeskel, is also mentioned in association with a place called Allure Lounge at 7th and H NE which apparently has not opened.

They've applied for a "summer garden" (i.e. patio) with 13 seats, plus 20 inside seats, and plan to be open 7am-3am, which implies they might also serve food or coffee. I assume the hours will change when they talk with the ANC. (That's what usually happens with liquor licenses.)

The building has been empty for some time, so this seems like a good thing. Before it was apparently Fred's Tax Office and some kind of studio. It's the white and red building above.

I'll write more once I find out more.
image from Google Streetview

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Neighborhood cleanup Saturday, Sept. 1 at Park Road and Warder


Here's a great way to meet your neighbors and help keep our area clean: Georgia Avenue Thrive has scheduled its next cleanup for this coming Saturday. Here's more.
Hi friends, neighbors and community leaders --  Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next cleanup at 10 a.m., Sat. Sept. 1 at the corner of Warder Street and Park Road.
Our wonderful neighbor Jason Cohen, a Compass real estate agent, will be thanking volunteers with donuts and cold drinks. 
Our cleanups have been recognized by Mayor Bowser. "Your good work is key to keeping your community safer and stronger," she wrote in a recent letter recognizing Georgia Avenue Thrive. 
I hope to see you on the 1st! 
Georgia Avenue Thrive is a volunteer-led nonprofit making our neighborhood more connected, inclusive and vibrant. We advocate for the neighbors, businesses and visitors of Lower Georgia Avenue. We formed in 2015 as the Georgia Avenue/Lamont Street Public Safety Task Force, due to increased crime. After helping the community address these concerns, we broadened our efforts.  We’re excited to get to know you!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Another new Vietnamese spot opens in the area: Pho Viet at 11th and Fairmont


If you like Vietnamese food, you're in the right place. Our area has at least 6 Vietnamese spots, with old favorites Pho 14 on Park Road and Pho Viet on 14th plus newcomers Bún DC on Sherman, Vietnamese Chelsea on Park, Pho Viet USA on New Hampshire Ave, and now another similarly-named one: Pho Viet at 2628 11th Street NW.

The newest Pho Viet recently opened in a former corner store (see above), and has good reviews so far from a few Yelpers. News site Hoodline has a positive review too and they've also applied for a liquor license.

I think, but am not certain, that this place is related to Pho Viet USA, the one on New Hampshire Avenue, mainly based on the fact that their liquor license application says Pho Viet USA Inc. as their trade name, and a company with that name shares an address with the Pho Viet USA on NH. Confusing!

Has anyone been? How was it?

Photo from Google Street View