Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Columbia Heights Farmers Market back open on Saturdays!

Time for fresh food: the Columbia Heights Farmers Market is now open again, every Saturday from 9am-1pm. It will also eventually be open on Wednesdays, but I think that comes in a few months. The market is on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, the triangle plaza bounded by 14th, Park and Kenyon.

The Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market is also open, starting early April, also from 9am-1pm. It's in Lamont Park, the triangular park at Mt. Pleasant Street NW & Lamont.  The Petworth Market at Georgia and Upshur, will open in May.

I'm a big fan of all the markets -- Columbia Heights seems to have more stuff, but all of them are nice and worth a visit. I really like the sausage vendor at Petworth and the bread at Columbia Heights. I'd also recommend checking out Ellē, the awesome bakery, coffee shop and restaurant, if you're at the MtP market.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Columbia Heights neighborhood cleanups this Saturday, the day before Earth Day

The weather this weekend is looking nice and Sunday is Earth Day: why not get out and help pick up some litter around the area? The "Great CoHi Cleanup" is this Saturday, April 21, from 1-3pm. The event, organized by local resident Jordana Merran and a few ANC commissioners, aims to bring people together and help make our are look tidy.

Here's more details, and there is an invite link too (mostly to remind yourself.)
Columbia Heights has a pretty serious trash problem. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, straws, lids, and more line nearly every sidewalk. 
But on Saturday, April 21-- the day before Earth Day-- residents and friends will take to the streets and show the neighborhood (and the planet) a little love. Volunteers will go out in teams to pick up trash and litter at The Great CoHi Cleanup. 
Sign up to volunteer on Eventbrite and follow the Facebook page for news and updates leading up to the event. Trash bags and gloves will be provided; but bring a reusable water bottle and wear a green shirt if you have one!

Bad Saint looking to add 10-seat outdoor patio area!

Good news for fans of much lauded restaurant Bad Saint on 11th -- ANC commissioner and Ward 1 council candidate Kent Boese has news that the popular Filipino spot is looking to add ten patio seats. The spot currently has 24 seats and a long wait almost every day, so that's a good sign.

Eater confirmed the news with Bad Saint co-owner Genevieve Villamora. They aren't sure of a timetable but they've submitted the paperwork. Villamora told Eater they may have the same menu on the patio, or perhaps other options.
Nice to hear! I've been once and it's fantastic, but you have to get in line many hours before. I've even seen a guy who comes by and offers to sit in line for you (for a fee.)

Photo by Farrah Skeiky, from their Facebook page

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Whoa! Wawa coming to 14th and Irving, replacing Five Guys, Pete’s, Potbelly

If you’re a Wawa fan, you’re probably going to be thrilled — while if you’re a Five Guys, Pete’s Apizza or Potbelly fan, maybe not.

Wawa, the Philly-area convenience store know for their subs (or hoagies if you prefer) is coming the corner of 14th and Irving. It’s replacing Five Guys, Pete’s Apizza and Potbelly. A reader sent me a picture showing that Five Guys has already closed, and I expect the others to close soon too.

The next closest Pete’s locations are in Silver Spring and Friendship Heights. For Five Guys, its’s NoMa and Takoma, and for Potbelly it’s Georgia and Bryant near Howard U. (Oddly, a sign at Five Guys sign says they'll see you downtown, but maybe that's just where the franchisee has other stores.)

I’ve never gotten a hoagie at Wawa but the chain has some serious brand loyalty and hard core fans. This will be the third Wawa in the city, behind one on 19th Street and another coming to Georgetown. The rumor is this one will be open 24 hours.

I contacted the Pete's Apizza folks, they said they're closing Sunday and plan to extend the delivery area of their other locations to try to cover part of the 14th and Irving location's delivery zone, but won't be able to cover it all. They don't plan to open another location around our area. Too bad, I love that pizza.

The news was first reported by PoP and confirmed by the Washington Business Journal; which is good, because a previous PoP story about Wawa coming to 15th and P turned out to be wrong.

What do you think of this news? Hooray Wawa or sad to lose these three spots?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bagel shop and deli Call Your Mother from Timber Pizza Co. coming to Alfie's/Tchoup's space aiming for summer

In January, we learned that the folks behind Timber Pizza Co. on Upshur were planning to open a Jewish-style deli called Call Your Mother in the space vacated by Tchoup's and Alfie's.

nd now WTOP reports that they're hoping to open in the summer. I walked by the other day and construction is underway.

They plan to have bagels made in a wood-fired oven that are a cross between New York and the denser, smaller and sweeter Montreal-style bagels. WTOP says they've been baking various test bagels for months to perfect them. They're calling them "New Montreal" bagels and jokingly call it "Jew-ish" as it's not all completely traditional.

We previously heard they'll have Jewish deli-inspired food like bagel sandwiches, latke fries and seared Matzoh ball soup. The nagel sandwiches may include egg, smoked salmon or smoked whitefish, and pastrami, egg and cheese. WTOP reports They also plan to have cream cheese made from scratch.

They also plan to have various themed dinners, like fried chicken, Peking duck, and a New York-style pizza night: "big pies, fried calamari, garlic knots — your stereotypical New York-style pizza dinner, but done really well," according to Timber's Andrew Dana. They plan to use the patio as well. Sounds like a nice spot for a morning bagel or lunch sandwich.

If you want to try their bagels in the meantime, they're available at the Dupont and Silver Spring farmers markets. You can also follow them on Instagram.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Howard U's week long student protest and sit-in is over; administration agrees to 7 of 9 demands

Howard University has recently been in the national news: students have staged a week-long protest, occupying the administration building. The protest grew out a recent scandal where university employees stole $1 million out of the school's financial aid budget. The employees were fired but students and others criticized the university for a lack of transparency -- the school learned of the thefts in 2016, which began in 2007, but didn't tell anyone.

The scandal also brought forth a number of long-simmering complaints by the students about poor facilities, a difficult and unclear housing selection problems, a dismissive attitude by administrators, increased tuition, health and safety concerns such as sexual assault, increased mental health services and the desire to disarm Howard University Police, the resignation of the university president, and more student say in decisions on campus. They posted their demands on twitter, and the university president also faces a no-confidence vote from faculty.

And just now, WAMU reports that the protest has ended with Howard agreed to 7 of the 9 demands: all but the president and Board of Trustees resigning were agreed to. Howard also released a statement about the agreement, and in an email, the chair of the Board of Trustees, called the protests "an inflection point" for the university.

Howard agreed to extend the deadline for a housing deposit (which was originally announced one day before it was due), a new student ombudsperson to help address issues, counseling and mental health services, looking at a tuition freeze, a new task force to look at whether the campus police should be armed, a grievance reporting system for conduct for students, faculty, staff and administrators, a sexual assault and gender harassment task force, and a food pantry for students.

The Howard statement is below:

Howard University Board of Trustees and Howard Administration Commitments
This Statement of Commitments, dated April 6, 2018, issued by the Howard University Board of Trustees and the University Administration, addresses concerns that have been raised about student life at Howard University. While the commitments may have been discussed with HUResist and HUSA leaders, in light of recent events, these commitments are meant to address the needs, and are for the benefit and welfare, of the entire Howard University community.
•    The deadline for submitting the institution’s $200 housing deposit was extended to May 1, 2018. A community wide announcement of the extension was already shared on April 1, 2018.
•    If the housing deadline extension results in a significant number of students requesting on- campus housing, the Quad renovation will be delayed to accommodate additional occupancy.
•    Howard will engage students in examining the adequacy of on-campus housing to meet Howard’s housing policy that states: “All Howard University first year (0 or 1 completed semesters of post- high school education) and second year (2 or 3 completed semesters of post-high school education) students under the age of 21 will be required to live on campus, unless living at home with a parent or guardian,” and measure against bed availability.
•    Students will have a voice in selecting the student ombudsperson. The ombudsperson will be a graduate student who will be located in the Blackburn Center, and will report to the VP for Student Affairs and is expected to attend the Board Student Life and Affairs Committee meetings to make reports.
•    The health and  well-being  of  our  community  is  of  critical  importance,  and  the  Board  and administration want to be supportive of the well-being of our students.  Howard will implement the Proposal for a Joint Student-Administration Task Force to Enhance Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Services, dated April 1, 2018. Counseling provided under this Proposal will place emphasis on helping students overcome the anxiety of reporting sexual violence to the authorities.  The Task Force will be co-chaired by a student and review the process for intake and will report to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
•    The Board recognizes the cost of tuition is an area of utmost importance to the entire Howard community. Howard will commit to making a recommendation to the Board to consider holding undergraduate tuition at current levels for the academic year 2019-20 while working with the Tuition Rates and Fees Committee, which already includes student representation, to assess tuition and fees for academic year 2020-21. As part of this process, the University will make comparative data used to inform its decisions available to the student body.
•    While Howard’s goal has always been to ensure the safety of our campus community, a separate task force, co-chaired by a student, will be created to undertake a comprehensive review of the Howard Department of Public Safety, focusing on its engagement with the Howard student body, the use of force, training and whether there is a need for armed officers. The task force shall be represented by administration, faculty and student stakeholders, will include experts in criminal justice, and will set forth the process and timeline for its work. The task force will be established by July 1, 2018.
•    The Board agrees to establish a task force, co-chaired by a student, with representation from the Howard student body and Howard administration to review existing grievance mechanisms at the University, and best practices at other universities, and establishing a grievance system that holds faculty, administrators and students accountable in their language and actions towards anyone in the Howard community. Any inappropriate behavior goes against Howard’s core values and will not be tolerated by the Howard community.  Howard will maintain the existing anonymous hotline as a channel to report such grievances. Professors will be reminded of their obligations to advise students of how to avail themselves of the grievance process for questioning grades.
•    The Board is committed to fostering and maintaining an academic and living environment that is free of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of interpersonal violence.  As part of our commitment, we recently thoroughly assessed our Title IX policies and processes, gathered student, faculty and staff feedback during this process, and unveiled last year a new interim Title IX Policy on Prohibited Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment. To further support this critical area for our campus community, a task force, co-chaired by a student, will be established with representation from the Howard student body, faculty and administration for the purpose of examining the current climate on Howard’s campus around sexual assault, sexual harassment and interpersonal violence and providing feedback to the administration on changes in policy and process as appropriate to improve student safety and prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment and interpersonal violence.  Included in the scope of work of the task force, working with the Office of the Provost, is consideration of instituting a mandatory 1-credit course with a curriculum designed to emphasize prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment and interpersonal violence.  Every reasonable action will be taken to start up the task force so that it can begin its work before April 30, 2018.  For the sake of clarity, the proposal to establish Howard University Hospital as a site for rape kit examinations of victims of sexual assault is a matter of local law and is not part of this commitment. The University will provide transportation to sexual assault victims to Washington Hospital Center, the location where rape kit examinations are administered.
•    Howard will  support  a  student-led  effort  to  establish  a  food  pantry  in  the  LeDroit-Shaw community and will allocate money for that purpose.  Student volunteer involvement in service to, and fundraising for, the food pantry will be encouraged. Students are commended for the concern shown for the greater LeDroit-Shaw community and at Howard, we always want to be good community stewards. A plan for the food pantry will be submitted by students to the VP for External Affairs by June 1, 2018. While the University has a long history of commitment to and involvement in the community, the University will consider by June 1, 2019 the establishment of a community development organization which might allow for more inclusive community engagement on select real estate projects where no contractual obligations currently exist (not involving existing real estate holdings or immediate core development opportunities).   The University’s Ethics Policy requires that it comply with “the requirements of [all] laws.”  As a party to eight collective bargaining agreements, the University is subject to the National Labor Relations Act relating to fair labor practices. The University will continue to draw on the resources of the School of Law’s Fair Housing Clinic to assist members of the community.
•    Subject to approval of the Board Governance Committee, a Board Committee on Student Life and Affairs will be established on which trustees, including student trustees, the President of HUSA and other appropriate stakeholders, will engage with the student body, providing a forum to convey concerns regarding all aspects of student life to the Board as needed. The Howard administration will create more opportunities for dialogue with students and the Committee will establish a mechanism for such engagement.

First Friday on Georgia Avenue is today: deals, freebies at local businesses, meet your neighbors

Today is the monthly First Friday event, where you can visit small businesses on Georgia Avenue and get freebies, specials, deals and more. This month includes live music at Colony Club and the Midlands, salsa dancing at Esencias Panameñas, 20% off at Mom n Pop Antiques, drink deals at Reliable Tavern, Ten Tigers and DC Reynolds, and a lot more. It's a lot of fun and a great way to learn about local businesses, meet your neighbors and get some deals.

The event is organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive and District Bridges. Here's more!

Continue to celebrate First Fridays in April with the neighborhood's small businesses on Georgia Ave NW in Park View & Petworth. Drink, food and retail specials, live music, art and more. Mark those calendars and stay tuned for specials and special events! And as always we are partnering with our friends from Petworth Arts Collaborative.

Special events: + @cultural_dc art installation at Bruce Monroe Park (5pm-7pm)
A map of all the businesses for easy reference: http://bit.ly/2vhh3VR

Participating businesses:♣ Bravo Bar: BoGo♣ Colony Club: Gabi Schulte Live at Colony Club (Live) - Starting at 8pm ♣ Ana's Restaurante: TBD♣ Heat Da Spot Coffee Lounge♣ District Dogs: Write a postcard, take a photo of your dog with a home made "save the dog park" sign in support of the Columbia Heights Dog Park (11th&Park) (www.11thandbark.org).♣ Union Drinkery & SUNdeVICH: Cocktail special: $7 Old Pal (Rye, Dry Vermouth, Campari)♣ Ana's Restaurante: TBD♣ Walls of Books - Washington, DC : TBD♣ [Story District]♣ The Midlands: Dan Wolff and the Muddy Crows (Live) starting @ 9pm♣ Taste of Jamaica: TBD♣ Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering: Salsa dancing♣ Yoga Heights: 15% off retail; Bring a (new) friend to class for free♣ Mom N' Pop Antiques: 20% off♣ The Looking Glass Lounge: $2 off on all drinks♣ DC Reynolds: BoGo♣ Reliable Tavern: $7 First Friday Punch♣ Ten Tigers Parlour: $6 First Friday Punch♣ Napoli Pastabar(Sherman Ave): TBD [NEW]

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Drunk lecture series Three Sheets coming to Wonderland: the Kardashians, Arlington Cemetery, and more

This sounds like fun: Wonderland is hosting Three Sheets, a short lecture series where the presenters have had a few, this Saturday at 8. It's also a fundraiser for a nonprofit that works with Peruvian women -- entry is free if you bring a backpack, graphing calculator or school supplies -- more below. Read on!
A live Drunk History. A Nerd Nite with drugs. A hilarious and educational way to donate. 
Our presenters will take you through some of the most interesting and educational topics of their choosing... But they will also be pretty trashed. The topics and presentations will be very, very real but whether the presenters can get through it will be part of the fun. 
The entry fee is one backpack OR a graphing calculator you no longer need/use OR any school supplies (no paper/notebooks please) for Peruvian Hearts, an organization that empowers Peruvian young women through secondary-school graduation and continued education at the post-secondary level in vocational institutes, colleges, and universities. 
Find out more about their work here: http://www.peruvianhearts.org/
Topics to be presented:
- Who Are the Kardashians?
- Productive Romantic Connection in the 21st Century
- YouTube Monetization
- The Creation of Arlington Cemetery
- The Colonial History of Mauritius 
and more! 
Saturday, April 7
Doors at 7:30
Show at 8 PM 
at The Wonderland Ballroom (second floor) 
Entry fee: one backpack OR an old graphing calculator you no longer need OR any school supplies (no paper/notebooks please) 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Flip It LJ Diner on Park Road is good; you should go

Today I finally got a chance to check out Flip It LJ Diner at 1432 Park Rd NW, and it's good.

It's a pretty small spot, maybe 20 seats, with a good sized menu: breakfast, lunch and dinner with traditional diner fare plus some Latin American items. I went for breakfast/lunch style and go a baleada, a traditional Honduran dish that's kind of like an awesome version of a quesadilla: a tortilla with scrambled eggs, avocado, refried beans, sour cream and parmesan. It was tasty (pictured below).

I also got a side of bacon which was perfectly made, and my buddy got the Early Bird burrito, a big breakfast burrito stuffed with home fries, sausage, cheese and egg, and he liked it. With two coffees, the total was $26, so not too bad.

The menu is big, with traditional diner breakfasts, plus omelets, burgers, wings, sandwiches, paninis, pasta, salads and Mexican food like tacos,  quesadillas and fajitas. We talked with the waiter a little bit, he said one owner is American, the other is from Bolivia and the cooks are central American, so they tried to get a mix of dishes.

And like a good diner, it opens at 7am all week, plus 8am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday, although it's not open too late. It's closed Tuesday.

Yelpers love it too, with a 5 star rating from 44 ratings -- so they're doing quite well. Definitely worth a visit if you want to some traditional diner grub. Here are the hours:

Mon 7:00 am - 3:30 pm
Tue Closed
Wed 7:00 am - 6:30 pm
Thu 7:00 am - 8:30 pm
Fri 7:00 am - 8:30 pm
Sat 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sun 9:00 am - 4:30 pm