Thursday, April 30, 2009

Columbia Hype: Sundress Fest!

Here's this week's Columbia Hype:

Sundress Fest '09
Sunday, May 3rd, 4pm at Wonderland

Sundress Fest is a cool annual event at Wonderland with a simple premise -- wear a sundress and get happy hour prices all day long. Guys are encouraged to wear sundresses too, and if you don't have one, they'll be selling thrift store dresses for $10. There will also be whole roasted BBQ pig plates on the patio.

Proceeds go to the 3rd annual Columbia Heights Day.

There's a ton more pictures from last year here.

If you'd like to volunteer for the 3rd Annual Columbia Heights Day, there's plenty of work to do. Email allisonbasker(at) if you're interested.

Photo by Il Primo Uomo

D.C. United staff at Global Youth Service Weekend

I mentioned last weekend's Global Youth Service Weekend and I just got sent some photos of DC United staff working at Bell Multicultural High School. Anyone else do any volunteering in the neighborhood?

Here's all the photos. Nice to see them out and about, helping out folks. I see lots of DC United jerseys around (and they sell them at Nash's Sporting Goods.)

New Sheriff

Saw this at 14th and Irving, pretty funny.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DCUSA parking shenanigans

Looks like DCUSA is making news about its parking garage. Greater Greater Washington makes the case that the garage has way too many spots and is usually almost empty (they say about 50 cars out of 1000 spots), something that ANC commissioner and neighborhood activist William Jordan has been saying for a long time. GGW is looking for ideas on what to do with the garage, which is costing the city $2.1 million this year.

Some of the ideas are interesting - monthly parking, parking for Adams Morgan or U Street, churches, the Zoo, etc. Target insisted on having so many spaces in the garage, sort of a suburban model, but since most people Metro, bus or walk to DCUSA, it's a waste.

The city also refuses to put more bike racks in the garage, which are usually pretty full. I've followed up about this, but haven't gotten a response.

And to make it more complicated, some motorcyclists are angry because motorcycles are banned from the garage - parking staff claim bikers would drive around the gate to avoid paying the parking fee. Weird.

Cool old book on Columbia Heights

Got this as a tip from the blogger at Red Sky at Night, it's a great book from 1904 extolling the virtues of Columbia Heights written by the "Columbia Heights Citizens' Association." You can download it here for free.

It's a really fun read packed with fascinating stuff, and is only about 30 pages. There's tons of pictures of houses, some which still exist and some which don't. Many of the addresses are on streets that have since changed names, like Kenesaw, Yale, Binney, Princeton, Whitney, and Roanoke. A lot of the streets in the area had college names, some of which still do, like Kenyon and Harvard, I think partly because Columbian College was located in the neighborhood on College Hill (now Meridian Hill). The college moved downtown after the Civil War and to Foggy Bottom in 1912 -- it's now the George Washington University. There's also University Place over near the Dunkin Donuts. Here's an old plan showing some of those old streets and their modern names.

The history part is new to me: it talks about the neighborhood first being part of Stone's Farm, named for Englishman William J. Stone who moved to the area in 1815. He built a house in 1842 at the NE corner of 13th and Clifton, which was later the home of General John A. Logan, as in Logan Circle. That corner is now an apartment building.

Some of the stuff is pretty funny, like this part from a summary of reasons to live in Columbia Heights: "Second. It is free from malaria." There's also a part saying that selling and making liquor in the neighborhood is outlawed by an act of Congress, which "furnishes the best possible safeguard for the children and young men of Columbia Heights." Boo!

Another interesting part is this: "There are not a few who believe that from the beginning these heights have been destined to be the site of the new Presidential Mansion. It is well known that President Garfield and Senator Sherman shared this belief ; and it may well be that the child is already born who will see the future President seated upon the southern veranda of the Executive Mansion on the Heights, looking out upon a panorama that will include the Capitol and the Monument, with university and cathedral domes on either hand." This is referring to Meridian Hill Park, as some people tried to get the White House to move there. Obviously it didn't happen.

I could go on and on about the book, but like on Reading Rainbow, "don't take my word for it." Let me know some of your favorite parts or questions in the comments.

New flower vendor out on the weekends

New flower vendor
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Looks like there's a new flower vendor near the DCUSA entrance. I spoke to him, he said he'll be out most weekends.

Half-price pizzas at Pete's today

Wow! Thanks to a reader for the tip, Pete's Apizza is offering half-price whole pizzas today. Pretty sweet deal. Give it a shot if you haven't had their stuff before, it's quite good.

Pete's is at 1400 Irving St NW, right off the Metro.

Turns out it was yesterday. Sorry! This is why you shouldn't title blog posts "Free ____ today" rather than "Free ____ on Tuesday."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tooth Decay

Saw this in the Columbia Heights Metro the other day. Pretty funny.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Daylight shooting on Sunday

I normally don't like writing about crime, but this is an unusual circumstance: there was some shots fired at about 4 pm Sunday at 14th and Harvard. I saw a question about it on the 3D substation Listserve and a mention on DCist, where a commenter has his version of what happened:
I'm writing to confirm the shooting at 14th and Harvard today. In fact, I witnessed the entire incident at about 4:10PM. Was in my car on Harvard about to turn south onto 14th when I saw a young black male on the opposite side of the intersection pull a black handgun out of his pocket. He lifted the gun and started shooting (about 3 or 4 shots) at another young black male running east on Harvard. Still in shock my friend and I turned right to get out of there but got stuck at the red light by Dunkin Donuts. The shooter (black male, jeans, red t-shirt) came running south on 14th behind us so we decided to drive through the red light to create some distance. Another SUV did the exact same as us and ran the red light to get the hell out of there. We immediately called 911 to report what we had just witnessed. The shooter disappeared by the apartment building on the SW corner of 14th and Harvard.

The scary thing is that this happened in the middle of the day and the people involved looked like they were no older than 15 or 16. People walking nearby on the sidewalk hit the ground as soon as they heard shots.

Still in shock...
Pretty nuts. Anybody see this?


Just got this in my Google Alerts, the Washington Business Journal is reporting that IHOP is "in discussions" to lease a spot at DCUSA. Hopefully it's not the Ellwood Thompson's spot, and the company rep wouldn't elaborate at which spot it was.

Now I like IHOP fine, but I sort of wish DCUSA didn't have so many chains going into it. That being said, IHOP is better than another bank branch or H&R Block or something.

Meridian Pint, Room 11 making progress

Last weekend I walked around the neighborhood and snapped some photos. Looks like they're making progress at Meridian Pint (pictured). Plus I went past yesterday and it's even farther along. The plan is to be open by Fall.

I also saw some of the Room 11 guys doing work on the patio, they said they expected to be open in a month and a half - that's the famous wine bar that some people (NIMBYs, I guess) are so angry about. Good to see new things coming in, especially since Ellwood Thompson's is on hiatus.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Friday

I've decided to start a new regular post called Happy Friday, in which I post something funny or cool or random to get your weekend started off right. Here's the first installment: some self-defense tips.

World Bank protesters coming to the hood this weekend

Love them or hate them, the anti-globalization crowd is coming to the neighborhood this weekend: there's going to be some World Bank/IMF protests and the protesters are based at the St. Stephen's Church at 16th and Monroe.

There's various events around the hood and elsewhere, but this is my favorite: "3-5PM: Nap Time and Vegan Cookies at West End Library 24th and L St NW hosted by SDAC"

Ellwood Thompson's plans delayed

This stinks. Via DCist, Ellwood Thompson's, the organic supermarket that planned to move to DCUSA, has delayed their plan to open, with no timetable. DCist reports that they still have a lease for the space, but can't afford construction right now. There's no timetable, just that they won't be opening in fall like they had planned.
"It's honestly dependent on our sales picking up,[spokesperson Cyndi] Watkins said, noting that the Richmond store is barely breaking even right now. "The company is really exited about moving in to [D.C.], but we've got to look after the employees that we've got here."
This is extra frustrating to me, as I emailed the store in late March, and Watkins said they were looking to start construction soon: "We are securing contractors etc to start working on out DC location at the moment, we do not have a date as when we expect to open as of yet. But as soon as we do we will let you know we are hoping for the end of 2009 early 2010."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Youth community service weekend coming up

As I mentioned in the post about DC United, this weekend is Global Youth Community Service Weekend. There are a few events going on in the neighborhood, take a look and help out!

-Cardozo HS beautification (13th and Clifton)
-Revitalizing the Parkview Community Center (7th and Otis -- note that the Z. Efron listed is not Zac Efron from High School Musical)
-Raymond Elementary beautification (9th and Spring)
-Tubman Elementary beautification (13th and Irving)

Here's the full list of programs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Package thieves caught

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned a package thief being mentioned a few times on the Columbia Heights Yahoo listserve - apparently somebody had been taking packages out of mailboxes and off of stoops. Looks like, thanks to a responsible citizen, a couple thieves were caught last Thursday:

Package thiefs have been arrested. At 3pm today I saw the same woman and a guy forcefully open front door of our building and pick up two packages from foyer

I called 911 and followed them for 45 minutes to corner of 16th and Florida where cops finally stopped them. Thiefs took items out of boxes in alley by 1101 then zig zagged many blocks before they realized I was STILL following them. There, they removed some more items before eventually being arrested.

They are being charged with breaking in and entering, mail theft, etc. I will be called to court to act as a witness. Officer stated that thiefs most likely will also recieve stay away order for this neighborhood.

By the way, during my pursuit I had to call 911 twice as I did not see ONE police officer from 1101 all the way to 16th and Florida due to fewer police on duty becuase of Emancipation Day(holiday).
Cool! Anybody else had issues with mail or packages getting stolen?

What if the Real World came to Columbia Heights?

So the Washington Business Journal is reporting that MTV's The Real World might come to Adams Morgan. I've heard this rumor about 5 times in the past 10 years, so who knows if it will actually happen, but I was inspired by this post over at The 42 Bus - what if the Real World went to different neighborhoods?

What if they came to Columbia Heights? They'd probably either pick a condo in one of the new fancy buildings (penthouse, no doubt) or maybe fix up a rowhouse. If it's a rowhouse, they'd probably have neighbors calling the cops on them all the time for being loud and drunk and up all hours of the night. They might also try to crash house parties around the hood, as has been known to happen by non-Real World people in the hood.

I bet they'd go to Wonderland, unless the bar banned them. If they did go there, half the crowd (the half that lives around the neighborhood) would probably be hostile, while the other half (the half from the Hill and Virginia and such) would probably be more along the lines of "WOO! I'm on TV!!" However, knowing the usual party scene for Real World people, they'd most likely go to Adams Morgan at night, which means late night stumbling home up Columbia Road, and maybe some kind of altercation with locals/cops/crews. Maybe some kicking out from the Heights or CommonWealth too for drunkeness.

I also bet there'd be lots of exterior shots of the kids at Starbucks and maybe some arguments at Target. There'd also be some naive castmember shocked at all the black/Hispanic/gay/what have you people around, because that happens every season.

And there'd probably be a lot of gawkers, standing outside the house, trying to catch a glimpse, and so on.

So would you want the Real World people in the neighborhood? What would you do?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DC United volunteering in the neighborhood on Friday

This is pretty cool: DC United, DC's very successful Major League Soccer team, will be volunteering at the Columbia Heights Education Campus (Bell Multicultural High School and Lincoln Middle School) this Friday from 1:30 to 3:30, cleaning up the school, doing landscaping and such.

It's part of DC Serve's Global Youth Service Weekend and the Multicultural Career Intern Program (MCIP). The team does a lot of volunteering around the area.

Good to see the team in the neighborhood, and I hope folks can stop by and help out. And if you want the team to stay in DC, email your councilmembers!

Easter was hopping in the neighborhood

Been meaning to post this, it looks like Easter was a big deal in the neighborhood. I don't remember much happening last year, but maybe I just missed it.

For one, here's a Good Friday parade at 16th and Irving. It sounds more like French than Spanish, oddly.

And here's singers at a church at 13th and Fairmont on Easter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Now I know what CTU means

Kind of hard to see, but this is some graffiti on a seat on one of the 14th Street buses. I see graffiti reading "CTU" around the neighborhood, as it's one of the local "crews" (aka small gangs), but now I know the meaning - Clifton Terrace University. I assume that's the Clifton Terrace buildings and University Place, a short street that runs between Fairmont and Clifton between 14th and 15th Streets. The other tags on this seat say 14-n-R.

Anyway, if you see any gang graffiti around the neighborhood, like CTU or LC, you can report it to the city and they'll clean it off -

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yard sales all over the neighborhood

Yard sale
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Walking around today, I stumbled upon a bunch of yard sales, where I purchased these cherished items.

There's one on 13th just south of Columbia Road, where I got a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt for $1 last weekend, one on the 3500 block of 11th (where I got the owl and Old School) and one at 1227 Harvard.

There's also another one, but the guy bitched at me when I talked to him, so forget that one! Not the best way to sell stuff.

Anyway, enjoy the sunny day and get some cool items!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cool timelapse photo of the neighborhood

Just saw this on Flickr, pretty cool:

The photo is by John Healey, click here then "all sizes" to see the bigger version.

(A commenter notes it's a long exposure, not timelapse.)

Neighborhood gardeners start a blog

I saw this on a friend's Twitter the other day, a couple of folks who are gardening in someone else's backyard in the neighborhood have started a blog, New Urban Sharecroppers. The garden came about through the Sharing Backyards website, which I mentioned before, which links up people looking for some place to garden with those folks willing to let people use their backyards.

Looks like a pretty neat blog, and I'm curious how it goes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Columbia Hype

Here's this week's Columbia Hype, from 2BloxDC:

Featured Event

For those of you that are unaware, our very own Columbia Heights happens to be home to the Mexican Cultural Institute. Perhaps you have seen it? It’s housed in a massively august four story Tuscan revival structure on the east side of 16th street, just south of Columbia. The building itself was designed, roughly a hundred years ago, by architects Wyeth and Fuller (best known in Washington for their lay out of the White House West Wing). For sixty-nine years the structure housed the Mexican embassy, but when the embassy moved into its new home on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1989, the Mexican Cultural Institute moved in.

The Mexican Cultural Institute is an organization, the avowed purpose of which is to present the best of the Mexican arts community to the people of Washington D.C. The interior is nothing short of breathtaking. It presents a perfect dichotomy of forms between its classically resplendent, expansive decor (so representative of the mansions in the Mexican heartland) and its looming, lustrously sublime, three story mural by Roberto Cueva del Rio. While maintaining both rotating and permanent gallery installations it also hosts film screenings, lectures and music events. Tonight at 6:30 it will host a discussion with Ruben Gallo of Princeton University and Barbara Tannenbaum of the Library of Congress, on the bohemian communities of Mexico City in the early 20th Century. Furthermore, tonight and tomorrow will also be your last opportunity to view the Institute’s exhibit on contemporary Mexican architecture; it will close on the 17th.

The Mexican Cultural Institute is at 2829 16th Street NW, 202.628.1728


DC area nonprofit Words Beats and Life and All Ways Rocking are holding a 1 on 1 b-boy/b-girl battle at St. Stephen's Church, 1525 Newton St NW. Doors open at 7 pm, $5 cover, and a cash prize.


Words Beats and Life is holding the fourth Bum Rush the Boards Hip-Hop Chess Tournament is at the Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard Street NW. The tournament is intended to "promote the idea to the hip- hop generation of overcoming through strategic struggle." More here


Party Animals Brunch - A fundraiser to help the Humane Society Legislative Fund put an end to Puppy Mills, the brunch is one of 100 fundraisers to help stop inhumane breeders. There will be food and drinks and dogs. It's from noon to 5 at 1335 Kenyon. If you're interested, please RSVP - for more info and to RSVP click here.

Flaming Lips on the Mall!! Not in the hood, but I'll be there.

Route change for the 53 bus

The 53 bus, one of the routes that goes up and down 14th Street, now has a new route. Instead of heading downtown, it turns around McPherson Square and goes back north (that's K Street). I've taken it the last couple days and yesterday the driver stopped at K and said "last stop on 14th!" I assumed I got on the wrong bus, but today the same thing happened and he explained it was a new route.

So beware if you plan to head farther south on 14th! Here's the schedule and map.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hide and seek for charity this Saturday

So this is a pretty funny event - a group called FART (which stands for Faux Athletic Recreation Tournament) is staging a hide and seek game to benefit Street Sense this Saturday, and rumor has it they might come through Columbia Heights. Registration is $15 per person and takes place at Port City Java in Eastern Market between 11 am and 1 pm. Then teams get clues and try to find as many hiders as possible. The teams come back to Hawk n Dove, and the winners get prizes.

It sounds pretty fun. There's more info here.

Here's some info about FART from an email they sent to me:

Faux Athletic Recreational Tournaments (FART) was formed circa 2008 in order to foster a local sense of community by sponsoring interactive pseudo-sports tournaments and community outreach activities.

The founders of this organization wanted to take a stance against the growing isolation amongst Americans documented in books such as Bowling Alone. By providing fully inclusive local activities it is the aim of FART to foster a sense of community.

The focus of Faux Athletics is not simply because these are funnier to watch and participate in than “real” sports. Faux Athletics allow those of all abilities to be involved which is key to our mission.

FART is an incorporated non-profit with the District of Columbia and in the process of applying for federal 501(c)(3) tax status.
The group also hosted the four-square competition at the last Columbia Heights Day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pan Lourdes is awesome

Pan Lourdes
Originally uploaded by squidpants
So I've been into Pan Lourdes, the new coffee shop/Latin bakery at 3407 14th St NW, a couple times and I'm a fan. The place is packed with various Latin American baked goods, most of which don't have any signs or explanations, so the first time I went in I asked what was good. The lady recommended the bread pudding - tasty. Not too sweet, and had a nice consistency.

The second time I picked a random thing from under the counter, which was a pastry with pineapple filling. It kind of looked like an empanada. It was very good, nice and sweet and fruity, and I was shocked when she rang it up - 66 cents. I don't remember the last time I bought anything for 66 cents. As for drinks, they have regular coffee and the usual bottles - unfortunately no iced coffee or Cuban or Puerto Rican style coffee. But still, pretty tasty and cheap.

They also have tamales and such, but I haven't tried them yet. Pay them a visit!

Here's their Yelp page. (The website on their sign doesn't work)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tivoli North? Not such a big deal after all

You may have heard about (and I wrote about) the hullaballoo surrounding the supposed plan to rename the part of the neighborhood from Monroe Street to Spring Road as "Tivoli North" or "Tivoli Heights" or some such.

Finally, after some misleading fliers, news articles and blog posts, it turns out to be a much less sinister plan - some banners that say Columbia Heights in big letter and Tivoli North in little letters (pictured), to be posted from Spring Road north to Shepherd Street, an area which most people don't consider Columbia Heights anyway. Of course, I'm not sure how I feel about a business association creating a neighborhood name, but that area is sort of nameless anyway - Petworth? Columbia Heights? 16th Street Heights? No one seems to agree.

I wrote a full run-down over at DCist, have a look.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bands in the Neighborhood: Tom Goss

This installment of the Bands in the Neighborhood series isn't a band, it's singer-songwriter Tom Goss. Goss lives in the neighborhood and has played around town, like at Wonderland, Nellie's, and Busboys & Poets, and has gotten heavy rotation on Logo TV and press in the Metro Weekly newspaper. Readers of New Columbia Heights may remember the song of his I posted on Valentine's Day. He's going on a 50-city nationwide tour until June to support his new CD Back to Love, and has an interesting backstory - he attended Catholic seminary, then came out as gay and left the seminary - Metro Weekly has more.

I conducted an interview with Goss over email a few days ago.

Goss first started playing when he got a guitar as a high school graduation present. "I was completely obsessed with Dave Matthews so I immediately started learning all his songs," he said. He said he's influenced by Matthews and other singer-songwriters like David Gray, Ben Folds, and Ben Harper, plus the Beatles. As a singer-songwriter, he talked about the city's scene: "I think the DC songwriter scene is a struggling but growing one. Historically DC has been a much more punk/rock/jazz/hip-hop town so songwriters tend to get lost in the shuffle. If you go to NOVA that's a totally different story. Luckly there are a lot of hard working songwriters in the city like myself, Michael Jantz and Maureen Nelson who are working to build the scene."

When he's not playing or recording, Goss works part time at Charlie's Place, a non-profit that feeds the homeless, which also influences his music. "Social justice has been hugely influential part of my life, especially the homeless epidemic in DC. Being someone concerned with social justice effects my music in the same way as being someone attracted to the same sex. It changes the way that I perceive the world, thus what I write about. Love and Justice, those are my passions."

Goss has a concise goal with his music: " reach people. As long as I continue to do that I will continue to write and perform." As for whether he is labeled as a gay musician and whether or not he embraces that, Goss had this to say: "I consider myself a musician, not a gay musician. That being said, I am a gay musician. As I previously mentioned I am interested in reaching people and touching people. There are a lot of people in the gay community that are searching for something different then what is currently offered to them. It's easy to see how GLBT individuals can resonate and find strength in the music that I write knowing it's coming from a gay man. People are going to label me regardless of my sexual orientation, that's just the business. I'm proud to be a well integrated, partnered gay man, if that comes with a label then so be it."

He considers his newest album his biggest success so far: "I'm more proud of this upcoming release then anything I've done thus far. The single for the new CD flew around the internet and had over 10,000 plays on YouTube in its first 3 days. I'm looking forward to getting Back To Love in people's hands." Goss says he hasn't pursued a record deal, because "in a lot of ways the idea that you need a record deal to be successful in this industry is over. If something comes along that is a good fit then I will consider it, until then I'm happy releasing and distributing my own CDs."

And finally, if he had to make up a band named based on something in Columbia Heights? "The Girard. That's where I live!"

Back to Love is out now, and you can purchase it at his website. Goss also has a Youtube channel.

Photo from his website

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Columbia Hype

Here's this week's Columbia Hype, some cool things to do in the neighborhood this weekend, courtesy of 2BloxDC


Tonight at Nori Sushi Bistro, check out Dave Bloom and DJ Smudge, as they spin the best in electronic/organic grooves from 5pm to 10pm. Happy hour ends at 7pm and includes $1 sushi, $3 beers, $3.50 rolls, and $4 cocktails. Komori-uta will be a weekly event, which will feature music and arts.

DJ Chris Price
spins an electro pop dance night at The Wonderland Ballroom. 9pm - free

Looking Glass Trivia: The only man I know that can rock an ascot and leave you wondering if he’s actually being ironic, Dalton hosts every week creating a night that strikes the right balance between accessibility, humor and music. Sheena is a punk rocker and she is your bartender, but she might be the only person you know, so it’s a great night to get out to Petworth and see some fresh faces.


Sneakers in the Club with DJ Stereofaith and DJ Trevor Martin. 9pm - Free, Wonderland


DJ Meistro can throw it down, you know the deal. It’s more about being sweaty as f*ck upstairs at the Wonderland and fighting through the Orange-liners for a beer, but the music makes it worth it if you are of the dancing variety. 9pm - free, Wonderland


I don't celebrate Easter, but I've never had a bad meal at CommonWealth Gastropub. If you've been too intimidated to try it, based on the weird English names, now is a good time to try it out. If your parents are around for brunch Sunday, this is a good bet.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pho 14 review on DCist

Looks like DCist has a review of Pho 14, and it looks and sounds great. The reviewer's fave is the sandwich, aka banh mi. Has anyone gone? I plan on hitting it this week.

Here's their Yelp page. Pho 14 is at 1436 Park Road NW.

Kenyon-Park triangle under construction

Originally uploaded by squidpants
Looks like those upgrades to the Kenyon St - Park Rd triangle, also called the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, are underway -- noticed this on Sunday. Eventually the plaza will have a fountain, terraced grass steps, and a radial pattern of pavement. See more about it here. The Columbia Heights Streetscape website has a bit too.

Not sure of the timeline, but I'm checking.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fancy chocolates at CVS

Fancy chocolates at CVS
Originally uploaded by squidpants
Looks like CVS is getting fancier, they have lots of gourmet chocolate now. Is this a sign of the average income in the hood going up? Or just people with a sweet tooth.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Columbia Hype

So we're starting a new weekly post here at NCH, Columbia Hype, brought to you be the folks at 2BloxDC, a new blog about DC events and arts. The post will be your guide to things to do and see around the neighborhood each weekend. Enjoy!

Featured Event

For those of you who are unaware, Columbia Heights is home to the Gala Hispanic Theatre, the National Center for Latino Performing Arts in Washington DC. The avowed mission of the Gala Hispanic Theatre is to cultivate a bilingual approach to the dramatic arts. All of their performances utilize projected subtitles, which inform viewers who may not be as confident with their Spanish or their English. The Gala has put on two plays in Spanish this season, The Aging of the Plum by Aristides Vargas and The Best Judge, The King by Lope de Vega. Their first English language play of the season will debut tomorrow, The True History of Coca-Cola in Mexico, a comedy which deals with a number of contemporary considerations including ethnic fetishism as it relates to varying forms of exploitation.

Seattle college students Aldo and Patrick head south of the border to film a documentary about ‘Yankee Imperialism’ in Mexico. The effect of Coca-Cola on traditional society will be the premise of their documentary and their vehicle for demonstrating exploitation. This exercise in theatrical reflexivity should be reason enough to go and check out the play. But a large part of the production addresses how individuals act as unknowing agents of an exploitive network, even when they believe that they are acting in ways that run counter to those patterns of exploitation. Using this relational dynamic as a foil for asinine behaviors is, of course, very ironic, and apparently, very funny.

The True History of Coca-Cola in Mexico by Aldo Velasco and Patrick Scott will run from April 2-April 26th at the Gala Hispanic Theatre in the restored Tivoli, in English with Spanish subtitles. -- Jonas Wolfe

Other Events


Sticky Fingers Bakery is saying thank you for voting them DC City Paper's best bakery and vegan restaurant with a free mini-cupcake until 5pm.


You wigged out with him last month, come shake your ass with DJ Haaps! 10pm - free, Wonderland


Washington Animal Rescue League Adoption Event from 12pm to 3pm, Wonderland

DJ Big Nick will be upstairs again. You know the drill. “What’s the time? …….its time to get ill.” Spinning all the old-school hip hop he grew up on in Mt. Pleasant. 9pm - free, Wonderland


Michael Jantz & Friends: The best part about this night is that the acoustics are low key for coming off the weekend and the surprise of who’s on the bill. Whether it’s the host, rockabilly, comedic singer songwriters, bluegrass, avant gauarde drummers or just a a little known musician passing through the city while on tour, it’s a chill spot before you call it an early night. 8pm - free, Wonderland -- Giggles

Got any upcoming weekend events? let us know: newcolumbiaheights(at)gmail(dot)com

Red Derby brunch: Crunchalicious!

By Julia Morelli

I went to the Red Derby on Sunday morning for brunch. They have a pretty good selection of standard quick breakfast foods – French toast sticks, egg sandwiches, biscuits, breakfast burritos. I got the breakfast burrito with bacon and my companion got the egg sandwich on whole grain bread. Both meals came with tater tots – the most crunchy and delicious tater tots in the greater Columbia Heights area (take that, Tonic!). The breakfast burrito was pretty good, but when I ordered bacon with it I didn’t expect the bacon to come INSIDE of it, just next to it. My friend tells me that his egg sandwich was the best ever and it made him want to go to brunch more often. The coffee is self serve, which is good because the actual service is pretty slow.

Also, it still smells like a bar. So if you’re hung over (and why wouldn’t you be?) or prefer well lit brunching experiences, I would suggest eating outside. They have $2 Mimosas and Bloody Marys to go along with their breakfasts as well. I got a Bloody Mary and it was intensely spicy, but pretty good.

Overall I would recommend the Red Derby brunch experience if you are a person who enjoys the Red Derby bar experience. It’s not fancy, but it’s cheap and tasty. I’ll be back next weekend for those French toast sticks.

The Red Derby is located at 3718 14th St NW. Their website is

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Breaking News! Neighborhood name

I had mentioned this before, it looks like it's actually happening. The city has decided that due to supposed negative connotations about the name Columbia Heights, they will be renaming the entire neighborhood to Tivoli Heights. Apparently this means the Metro station will also change names. Pretty dumb idea if you ask me.

Click here for the city's full press release.