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:
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, jalapeƱo 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!