Thursday, June 30, 2011

Discussion on DC's creative economy tonight at The Dunes gallery

Sounds interesting. This is at The Dunes gallery, which is above The Getaway (the old Social location) at 1402 Meridian Place NW. Here's the press release and the Facebook invite.
Each month, The Dunes and ReadysetDC invite you to learn more about the people changing Washington, D.C. The first ever Aces will kick off this Thursday, June 30th at The Dunes Gallery in Columbia Heights at 7 p.m. Each month moving forward, The Dunes and ReadysetDC will host Aces, discussing D.C.'s creative economy and the people in it. This is a place to hear from and network with DC’s most active creatives and those with access to the tangible or intangible assets essential to any creative yet commercially viable environment. And of course Aces will offer well-crafted drinks and great music.
The June ACES are:
Kelly Towles – Artist
Erik Bruner Yang – Toki Underground
Omar Popal – Napoleon/Cafe Bonaparte

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

William Tecumseh Sherman owned the land where DCUSA stands

Click the maps for a bigger version

The other day, DCRA (via their Twitter) clued me into to some cool old maps they have on their Flickr page that show the intersection of 14th and Irving (then called Kennesaw Avenue) in 1868, 1869 and 1887. The area is called John Sherman's Subdivision, as he owned the land.

Sherman was a US senator at the time he bought and subdivided the land and was the brother of Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, who led the famous March to the Sea. John later became Secretary of Treasury under Rutherford B. Hayes and Secretary of State under William McKinley.

The 1868 map is interesting for the street names: Park Road west of 14th is "Road to Pierce's Mill," which still stands in Rock Creek Park, while east of 14th it's Rock Creek Church Road, which exists today but ends farther east.

The 1869 map shows the purchase of the area northwest of the intersection, but also includes a note on the lot on the northwest corner 14th and Irving that reads "Lieut. Gen. W. T. Sherman," and the lot to the north says "Hon. John Sherman." Pretty cool, a famous general and his brother the Secretary of State owned what is today DCUSA.

Then to the south there's a note for "Columbia College Property," just south of "Georgetown and Rock Creek Church Road," which went at an angle to the southeast. Columbia College moved to Foggy Bottom and became GW, and some of today's street names in the area reflect its presence, like University Place and the various college-named streets like Kenyon, Harvard, Hobart (and former names like Yale and Princeton). And I think Kennesaw Avenue might have been named in honor of the Civil War Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, where Sherman led the Union. Oddly though, the Confederates won that battle.

Then in the 1887 map, the area is fairly developed, with a lot more houses. It appears that somebody else owns the land at the corner of 14th and Irving (which is still Kennesaw). Road to Pierce's Mill is called Park Road, but Park Road east of 14th is called Whitney.

Thanks to DCUSA for posting these and letting me know about them!

Target's landlord

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Here's where you can buy fireworks in Columbia Heights

Click for a bigger version
Want to buy fireworks? You're in luck. There are 2 legal fireworks stands in the neighborhood, at Georgia and Kenyon and at 14th and Newton. The city has a map with the other locations, there are a few more north of Spring Road, and they have maps of all the other wards too.

Be careful though, don't blow your fingers off.

Movie screening at BloomBars tonight: FRESH, about food in America

BloomBars on 11th Street (just north of Wonderland) is screening a documentary tonight at 7 pm called FRESH about America's food system. Here's their press release and the trailer:
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.  Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity.  Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

After the screening, we will have a panel discussion with Kim Huynh, organizer for Food & Water Watch, and Jeremiah Lowery, a blogger and writer for DC Food for All.  Food & Water Watch – works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. 

DC Food For All – is a forum for eaters and advocates, growers and wonks. It’s about shelves and menus, and gardeners and bloggers working to bring healthy, sustainable and affordable food to all.

Spotted on the street: Poop under glass

Well, this is lovely. Last Saturday I spotted this pile of dog poop on Irving near the Metro, which somebody put a piece of glass over and smushed down. Bizarre.

Maybe somebody was trying to make a point about letting your dog poop on the street, in which case, I'm glad. Don't let your dog poop on the street.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Guy on bike throws bricks through Room 11, Meridian Pint windows, with camera footage

Continuing the bad news over the weekend, at about 2:30 am Friday morning some guy on a bike threw bricks through the windows of Room 11 and Meridian Pint. Apparently this douchebag hates popular neighborhood bars. No one was hurt, and apparently the guy was chased for a bit but wasn't caught. Staff were still in both places cleaning up when it happened.

DCist sources says it was a white guy in black clothing and a mask. I wonder why someone would do this? Maybe the moron is an anarchist? Or somehow anti-gentrification or anti-bar? Either way, he's a dumbshit.

Below is the security camera footage from Room 11 Meridian Pint. If you recognize the guy or the bike, please call the police. 

Four people shot, one killed, and one stabbed at Caribbean Festival

It was a bad weekend in the neighborhood. Four people were shot at Georgia Avenue and Gresham Place after the Caribbean Festival parade passed by, and one of those victims, a 43 year-old man, died. The police think it's a neighborhood dispute unrelated to the parade, and Jim Graham thinks the target was the same as in another shooting in the neighborhood in February. Apparently both times innocent bystanders were killed. Very sad.

The security level of the fest is concerning. Graham said there was a lot of police presence, but Girl on a Bike DC, who is a police officer, suggested there wasn't enough. That is worrisome.

And for lack of a better way of describing it, this is fucked up. Who shoots somebody at a parade? What is wrong with people? Jesus. This was supposed to be a fun, neighborhood event for people from all over highlighting our neighborhood, and this is what happens. It makes me angry.

The police haven't arrested anybody, and if you saw anything, please contact them.

In addition, there was also a stabbing at Georgia and W, and thankfully that person was arrested. Geez.

What's the flag on the house at 13th and Euclid?

There's a nice house on the northeast corner of 13th and Euclid with a big, wraparound porch. The house always has two flags: the US and one with blue and white stripes and hearts. I always wondered what it was, when the other day I saw a soccer jersey (for US national team player Michael Bradley) with the same design on it.

After some Googling, I figured out the team (SC Heerenveen) is from Friesland in the Netherlands, and that's the Frisian flag. So there you go, I guess we have some Frisians in the neighborhood. And interesting factoid, the Frisian language is the closest language to English, and there's a little saying about it "As milk is to cheese, are English and Frisian." Little mini-mystery solved.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cool old real estate atlases of the neighborhood, showing growth from 1903-1921

14th/Park/Kenyon in 1921. The Civic Plaza was a playground!
Something I briefly mentioned in the post about Acre 121 was an old real estate atlas from 1909 -- it's by a surveyor named G. William Baist, and thus the books are called Baist books. There's a series of them on the Library of Congress's website that you can browse, from 19031907, 1909/11, 1913/15, to 1921. They're pretty amazing, and really show the growth of the neighborhood in those 18 years.

If you click on any of the title pages you can browse around each sheet, which shows a few block area -- usually Columbia Heights is in book 2 or 3.

There's definitely interesting stuff to be found -- In the 1903 maps, the area is pretty empty and there are some wood houses (yellow) in what became Meridian Hill Park, while by 1921 there's buildings everywhere and the park is an actual park. The maps also show the Arcade/Market House/Car Park building, which used to have a 14-lane bowling alley, pool, basketball courts and more. The Palace 5ive skate shop was named for a pro team that played there called Palace Five. Who knew we used to have a pro basketball team? The Heritage Trail talks more about the building too -- check it out the trail if you haven't already.

But there's more: The 1903 maps have old street names, like Kenesaw for Irving and Yale for Fairmont, while by 1921 they're the ones we'd recognize. The names of the old subdivisions are on there in big letters, like "John Sheaman's Sub" for the area around 14th and Irving and "University Park" and the "Columbia College Lands" for the area to the south near University Place, which later moved to Foggy Bottom and became GW. The numbers on the houses are their lot numbers.
East of Meridian Hill, 1903. Click for bigger version.
Same general area, 1921
Really though, don't take my word for it, browse around and see what you find. Let us know in the comments!

Acre 121 to replace CommonWealth, opens June 29th

Finally some news on what's replacing CommonWealth: it's going to be Acre 121, a place specializing in barbeque and Lowcountry home cooking, as in coastal South Carolina. The chef is Michael Soper, who also runs neighborhoody home cooking places in Alexandria like King Street Blues (which looks corny, based on the website) and Union Street Public House. As Post food critic Tim Carman puts it, "None of these places attract the pampered foodie types, of course, but they have all been around for years, consistently catering to a neighborhood clientele."You get the feeling that Carman is trying to hold his nose during the article, but still be nice about it. It's owned by Terry Cullen, who also runs Lou's City Bar.

The menu items mentioned include "pulled pork sliders (on brioche buns with bleu cheese cole slaw), a “Carpetbag Po’ Boy” (with sliced steak, fried oysters and remoulade sauce), a grilled shrimp BLT (with a fried green tomato, glazed pork belly and blue cheese slaw), and a “Lowcountry Fish and Chips” (beer-battered grouper with sweet potato fries)." No word on Scotch eggs but considering the theme, I'm guessing that's a no.

They had a soft opening last night, but according Twitterers only mentioned the band.

As for the decor, they're putting in wood floors, which hopefully will make it less noisy than CommonWealth was, taking out the weird little private dining room, and adding a small stage for music.

Sounds interesting, and I like Southern food. As for the name, Soper isn't too sure what it means. He says it's some reference to an old designation for Columbia Heights, but that's not familiar to me. It's not any of the lot numbers in the area and the old timey subdivisions had people's names (this one was Sheaman's Subdivision -- see page 10 of the first volume of this old surveyor's book.)

Anyway, I'll definitely check it out. I hope they have Southern brunch, that would be pretty solid.

Happy hour at Lou's to benefit animal rescue group

If you like booze or animals, Lou's is the place on Saturday. Here's the info from the Facebook event.
Please join Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Lou's City Bar for an all day doggy happy hour on the patio! Pups are welcome!

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
All Day!

Lou's City Bar Patio
1400 Irving Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010 
$3 Leinie's Summer Shandy
$4 Flying Dog Old Scratch
Special doggy treats! 
10% of all purchases on the patio go to Lucky Dog Animal Rescue!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Caribbean Carnival is June 25: awesome parade, lots of fun

Photo by haaaley
You may not know it, but the DC area has a big Caribbean population. Every year they have a big parade/festival/party down Georgia Avenue, and this year's is on Saturday. It starts at 11 am on Georgia and Kansas and goes south past Howard U. There's a ton of huge and wild costumes, plus dancing, music, food and a craft fest. Here's their website, though beware it plays music.

If you haven't been before I highly recommend it. It's a crazy time: just check out the photos

Outdoor movie screening on Saturday for National HIV Testing Day

Sounds like a good event:
Five local churches and five AIDS service organizations are coming together to put on an event to commemorate National HIV Testing Day.

1 in 20 people in DC is living with HIV. How can we help end this epidemic?

This event is an Outdoor Movie Screening of "The Other City" - a powerful documentary about the HIV epidemic here in DC.

If you have yet to see it or want to encourage your friends/family to learn more about HIV in DC, come see this film.

 What: Outdoor Screening of "The Other City"
When: Saturday, June 25th; Field opens at 8PM; movie starts at sundown
Where: Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field; 3101 13th St. NW (across from Wonderland)
Other Deets: Free HIV testing and music before the film
Why: Because we want to build relationships with one another around this very important social justice issue.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pools are now open during the week!

Painting by David Hockney, not of Banneker Pool.
Nice! As of yesterday, city pools are open during the week. Our local pool, Banneker at Georgia and Euclid, is open every week day except Thursday from 1-8 pm, plus noon-6 pm on weekends. Sweet!

Here's the hours and locations of the other pools. I hear the Upshur one is good too -- might be a good option since Banneker is often crowded.

Drive-by shooting on Spring Road?

I don't normally write about individual crimes, but I haven't seen much else about this and have received a number of emails about it. One emailer writes:
Last night around 10:30 there was apparently a drive-by shooting on Spring Rd (this is according to a neighbor who spoke with one of the police that was searching the area).

From what I can gather, they must have driven through the alley to Spring Pl then through my alley that's behind 16th between Ogden and Hertford. There they dumped the weapon behind one of my neighbor's houses.  Again from neighbor's conversation with police, it appears they may have dumped the gun in a trash can.  Around 11:30 I was outside and heard them yell "Found It" so they've recovered the weapon.  Also from word of mouth the police had someone in custody.  What I don't understand is if they did find it in a trash can, how someone could have had the time to do so and not just toss it, or how the police knew if they didn't arrive on the scene for quite a bit after the event (not 100% sure about that though).

I asked an officer what had happened.  She just asked me if I had heard anything and said that they found what they were looking for.  Then I asked if someone got hurt and she said in a dramatic way "Oh yeah!".  Crime Scene people arrived after midnight and stayed for quite some time.

Surprisingly with how local news stations love stories like this, I haven't found any news reports on the subject yet.
On the Spring-Perry Yahoo Group (which you have to be a member to read) ANC commish Lisa Kralovic confirmed there was a shooting on the 1500 block of Spring Place and two cars had their windows shot out.

Did anyone else hear or witness this? Any more info? 

UPDATE: This was actually a walk-by shooting, as no car was involved. It was on Spring Place, not Spring Road.

Groupon-type deal at Lou's City Bar: $5 for $50, plus a happy hour

Just got this from The Capitol Deal, the Post's version of Groupon/Living Social. It's available until midnight on the 25th. Not too shabby:
The Capitol Deal, operated by The Washington Post, has an offer at Lou’s City Bar in Columbia Heights today: $5 discount punch card good for five x $5 burgers and fifteen x $2 off drafts (a $50 value).

I thought your readers on New Columbia Heights might be interested in accessing this deal:

Lou's City Bar is one of D.C.'s newest neighborhood sports destinations. It has 23 HDTV's, a 140" HD projector screen, and an outdoor patio with TVs easily accessible on Irving Street.

The Capitol Deal is also hosting a free happy hour at Lou’s this Thursday, June 23 with complimentary beer and cocktails from 5-8PM and $3 food discounts included. To RSVP, please visit:

Garden party to benefit City Blossoms on Thursday

Neat-sounding event for City Blossoms, a group that works with kids on gardening and nutrition. Click the flyer for a bigger version with all the details.
City Blossoms'
3rd Annual Proper Topper Garden Fiesta Fundraiser
Thursday, June 23, 2011
6:30-8:30 PM
In The Garden
Harvard & 11th Streets
Washington, DC 20009

Join us on June 23rd for the 3rd Annual City Blossom's Proper Topper Garden Fiesta Fundraiser!  Put on your best hats (homemade or store-bought) for a chance to win an infamous City Blossoms award (highly-sought-after) or even a membership to our Herb CSA.  We will be enjoying delectable treats created by Chef James Forsythe, and some lucky friends will be leaving with dinner plans at delicious local restaurants, massages, and even original, personalized poems from our raffle!

To RSVP, email us at or search for City Blossoms on Facebook and visit our Events page.  A donation of $15 at the gate supports our efforts of creating community green spaces with urban youth.  We hope to see you for an enchanted evening of fun in the garden!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New restaurant coming to Park Road?

The other day I spotted this sign in one of the empty storefronts on the 1400 block of Park Road, between Paila Chilean Grill and Pho 14 -- I wonder if there's a new restaurant coming? There's a few empty storefronts on that stretch after the nice redesign.

Where can you get boxes for moving?

It's about moving season and something I was thinking of: where can you get boxes for moving? Anyone have any good recommendations? Maybe Giant or Target? Let us know in the comments.

Return the panda sticker at Wonderland

Now here's a campaign I can get behind: spotted this at Wonderland. Pretty funny. Return Butterstick Now!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weird items at D'Vines: beer for dogs, hops cigars

Do you like drinking beer, but feel bad that your dog can't enjoy it with you? Me neither. But if you do feel that way, D'Vines on 14th is the place to go, as the have this stuff, doggie beer. It's called Bowser Beer and is non-alcoholic and not carbonated, so I guess it's basically a liquid dog treat. Pretty funny. And to continue the kooky stuff, they also have hops-flavored cigars.

I like their rotating selection of weird stuff on their counter. They used to have chocolate with bacon in it, for example.

Outdoor movie on Tuesday Wednesday: Are We There Yet?

The folks behind Columbia Heights Day have their second outdoor movie tonight: this time it's Are We There Yet?, a family comedy with Ice Cube. It starts at sundown and starting at 8:30 there will be some activities.

Worst parkers ever on 13th Street

For some reason, 13th Street has become the mecca of bad parking. On Saturday night I noticed this blue Prius (with DC plates, no less) sticking way out into the street with the back tire jammed against the curb. By 6 pm on Sunday the car was still there, with the back tire mostly flat.

Pretty weird, how much of a hurry was this person? It's kind of fun to think of the scenario for this -- Did they really have to pee? They were trying to catch the end of a movie on TV? Were super drunk? And they couldn't go back and fix it? Plus the fact that the car has DC plates is surprising: I'd expect a Maryland driver or somebody from out of town being unable to parallel park like a reasonable city resident, but not a DC person.

And then to add to the madness, about a block south there was another car on Sunday sticking way out into the street. It seems like this person managed to parallel park, but unfortunately was about 3 feet off the curb. Or maybe the person pulled in behind him? Not sure. And they have DC plates too.

Parallel parking isn't that hard, people. You're making us look bad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yard Sale Roundup

Here's this weekend's yard sale roundup. Know of any others? Leave them in the comments.
  • Multifamily sale at 3024 Park Place NW near Irving, Saturday 8am-3pm: Men's and women's clothing (Vintage t-shirts, collared shirts, etc.), sporting Goods (incl. foosball table), storage, electronics (XM radio etc.), pet care, mattress, kitchen equipment, baby clothes and toys. Link 
  • "Cook, master gardener, sailor, environmentalist is moving," 1300 Euclid, Saturday 10am-?. "Tons of great books, including cookbooks, food literature and politics, sustainability, gardening and composting, sailing how-to and nautical lore, home improvement and mechanics, investing. Also lots of children's books... All deeply discounted." Link
  • Logan/U Street, at Vermont/S/11th, Saturday & Sunday 9am-3:30pm: Household Items, Electronics, Furniture, Many Items. Link

Police redistricting smackdown: Jim Graham vs Chief Cathy Lanier

Round one, fight! Ward 1 councilman and MPD Chief Cathy Lanier got into in a bit on the MPD 3D Substation listserve over a plan to move a couple police service areas into the 4th police district (right now all of Ward 1 is in the 3rd district.)

Graham argues "[in the past,] With the 4D headquarters many blocks away up on the 6000 block of Georgia Avenue, all manner of problems of communications, chain of command had resulted for years.  It was nowhere near as convenient for Ward 1 residents as the 3D headquarters and the Substation." 

Chief Lanier responded "Police boundaries should prioritize optimal police service as well as minimize risk to police officers...This move is absolutely critical, because the Third District currently has the highest volume of crime in the city, and the third highest volume of calls for service. Since the Fourth District has a much lower workload, the move would enable both police districts to better serve the residents of Ward 1."

Ok, it's not really a smackdown, but it's interesting to see it in public. Graham also claimed that only the City Council could change the borders.

Personally I think Lanier is right, since it's basically an artificial boundary anyway, but what do you think?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Meeting tonight on 11th and Monroe Park!

The design for the 11th and Monroe Street Park (aka Trolley Turnaround Park) has some fans and some detractors -- and today's your chance to learn more. Via DCist,  the meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center at 15th and Girard Streets NW.

Here's the design again:

Soccer tournament/fundraiser on June 25

Do you like futbol? Check this out:
Calling all soccer players and teams!

“Kicks for CoHi,” a seven-on-seven co-ed tournament is coming June 25 at the outdoor grass soccer fields at Cardozo High School, located at 1300 Clifton St, NW, on the corner of 13th and Clifton. Get a team together or sign up individually. The tournament is for age 18 and older only. All competition levels accepted. Games will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by 4:30 p.m. Tournament schedules will be e-mailed to team captains on June 24th. 
There is a two-game guarantee, with prizes for the winners and an after party for all participants. 
Registration is $30 per person or $300 per team. Deadline for registration is June 24.
Proceeds go to Columbia Heights Young Life. Sign up at or email
Interested in being a corporate sponsor?  Email for more details.

Location: Cardozo High School
Type of field: Outdoor grass fields
Date: June 25
Time: Games will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Registration deadline: June 24

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Outdoor movie: Dirty Dancing tonight at Tubman School

The folks behind Columbia Heights Day have their second outdoor movie tonight: this time it's Dirty Dancing, starting at sundown. At 8:30 there will be ballroom dancing at the school.

Weekly History: York Theater on Georgia Avenue

Click for a big version
It's been awhile, but here's Weekly History, where I write about an old photo of the neighborhood. This shot is from 1920, the York Theater at Georgia Avenue and Quebec Place. The building still exists and looks almost the same, though without the marquee and the cool neon sign. Today it's the Fishermen of Men Church. Interesting to see what sorts of things we used to have in the neighborhood. I would certainly go to a  neighborhood movie theater, something like Visions in Dupont used to be, if you remember that place.

The old photo is from, a great site for photos, and some commenters even posted a news article about the theater's opening. It was opened by Harry Crandall, who opened a number of theaters in the area. One of those was the Knickerbocker Theater at 18th and Columbia, where the plaza and bank building are today. Sadly, during a blizzard in 1922, the Knickerbocker's roof collapsed and 98 people were killed, with 133 more injured. Crandall and the architect both later committed suicide. Crandall also opened the Metropolitan Theater at 932 F Street NW, or next door to where the original 9:30 Club was.

Here's the same building today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Folks object to new 11th and Monroe Park design

As you may recall, the 11th and Monroe Street Park, aka Trolley Turnaround Park, is getting a redesign. The new design is supposed to help the park, long plagued with drunks and loiterers, become more of a family-friendly place to hang out. However, some folks aren't too happy with it. For example, there's this sarcastic post on the Columbia Heights Yahoo group, where the writer calls it "Parks for no people, especially in summertime," and some commenters here have expressed their dislike for it.

Here's the design. What do you think?


Amazing story of a driver intentionally hitting a bicyclist, who happened to be a cop

Pretty wild stuff over at the A Girl and Her Bike blog. Here's a snippet:
I was stopped at the intersection of 13th and Kenyon St. NW at a red light, waiting to turn left onto 13th St. Kenyon is a one-way street going west, and I was on the left side of the street, since I would be turning left. While waiting for the light I heard a car speed up Kenyon St. behind me. I could sense the car stop immediately behind me, extremely close. It was aggressive, but fairly typical aggressive driver behavior. I didn't think much of it because we were at a red light, and there was no where for him to go anyway.

And that's when I felt a *BUMP* from behind. Nothing too hard, but enough to intimidate. Now, remember: I knew he had STOPPED behind me. So this was a conscious decision by the driver to hit me with his vehicle. I could hear laughing coming from the car behind me. They thought this was HILARIOUS. Also, there was a taxi to my right, waiting for the light as well that even remarked on this behavior ("asshole" is what I think the taxi driver said).

I ignored this. Why? 98% of the time, it is not worth it to engage with an aggressive driver. At best, you end up getting angrier, at worst, you get hurt. Plus, I spend the majority of my day dealing with people like this and by the time I'm done with work I Just. Don't. Want. To. Anymore.

The light turned green and I started to proceed. And then I felt *BUMP!!!!!* again, this time a bit harder.

Oh no. No. No. No. I can't ignore this. I just can't.

So I stopped. Pulled out my police badge (yes, I'm a cop if you didn't know before. No I really don't want to talk about it, thanks) showed it to the driver and motioned him to stay right where he was.

And that's when he panicked.
The whole story is worth a read: thankfully there was a happy ending, she chased him (on her Capital Bikeshare bike!), he was caught and is in jail.

It raises a bigger issue to me though, which is aggressive drivers in the neighborhood. I've written before about nearly being hit while walking in a crosswalk during a walk signal, and I've witnessed bike-versus-car incidents numerous times in the neighborhood. Of course this happens everywhere, and of course sometimes pedestrians or bikers are to blame, but the vast majority is drivers who aren't paying attention or are jerks.

It's really frustrating, not to mention dangerous. It's awesome this particular jerk was arrested, but I wonder what else can be done to prevent this from happening. Any ideas? Or similar experiences?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pop-up art space Uncapped Live closing this week

Uncapped Live, the pop-up art space at 14th and Florida, is closing this Friday with a big blowout and lots of events this week. If you haven't been there, check it out. I went by on Saturday just to pop in and there was a ping-pong table, lots of art, and free Vitamin Water.

Below is their press release, and a link to a photo gallery (warning, video plays automatically).
PERTINENT TWITTER UPDATED INFO: use @vitaminwater #uncapped LIVE #DC hashtag. COOL? (cool) AND follow: @BYT, @vitaminwater, @ArtWhino
ADDRESS: 2217 14TH STREET NW (14TH AND FLORIDA, just a hop and skip from the U Street Green/Yellow metro)

Tuesday June 14th:

Wednesday June 15th:

Thursday June 16th:

Friday June 17th:

DJ PIERRE + DEEP IN THE GAME (Mark Brown, Schwarz, Cex)
CAM JUS (Tropixxx)+ DJ TMY (Maison)

EXHIBIT Open Hours:

7pm – Midnight, Tuesday - Friday

Should Metro add Park View to the Petworth Metro?

Photo by Albino Flea
The City Paper writes about an interesting effort: ANC1A recently voted to ask Metro to add Park View to the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro station name. Their argument is that it will spur development in the area. The idea was proposed by ANC commish and Park View DC blog writer Kent Boese.

They've also suggested getting rid of the Georgia Avenue part of the name, which sort of makes sense considering Georgia Ave is a long street. You wouldn't call it the Columbia Heights-14th Street Metro, for example.

It's an interesting argument: I don't quite agree with changing a name to spur development, as where does it stop? Every realtor and developer will be wanting to change names to help push their projects. That said, the Metro station isn't actually in Petworth (as most people define it) and is in Park View. So maybe Petworth-Park View?

What do you think?

UPDATE: Kent Boese gave me a bit more on the effort, and also provided a link to the resolution.
Their are multiple reasons for the request. While economic development is part of it, the station is also less than 250 ft. north of Park View ... so the station serves both communities equally. Additionally, Park View and Petworth have a long historical association with the Georgia/New Hampshire interesection as well as working together as communities.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Columbia Heights Community Marketplace update

The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is tomorrow (9-2 on the Civic Plaza), and here's an update on what's going on:
I.  The CDC and National Center for Health Statistics is looking for volunteers over the age of 18 to assist with testing of questions that will be used in the future on a large-scale health survey.   Participants will answer a number of questions regarding sexual identity and education background, which will be followed up by a discussion with a staff member.  The interview will take approximately 90 minutes and participants will receive $50 dollars for their time.  We will be conducting interviews at a location in north Columbia Heights between June 13 – June 30 from 9am to 4pm. 
Staff members from the CDC will be at the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace this Saturday (June 11th), as well as the following Saturday (June 18th), to answer any questions and setup interview times for anyone who is interested in participating.  Interviews can also be scheduled by calling 301-458-4676. (The Marketplace takes place at the civic plaza at 14th Street and Park Road, NW every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
II. The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is looking for a new board member. Please reply to within the next two weeks with information about yourself and why you are interested in being a member of the board of directors of the Marketplace, a 501c3 non-profit organization.
In addition, here's the full update, with all the farmers and events. There will be a bluegrass band at 10:30 am, and they'll be doubling food stamps and WIC as well.

Modell's giving away coupons to benefit kids, plus free shirts, gift cards

Looks like the Modell's in DCUSA, which opened yesterday, is really trying to get people in. They gave out $100 gift cards to the first 100 people yesterday, which resulted in a line before they opened, and they're giving out shirts today.

They also have a cool deal where there's a 15% off coupon you can download, and 5% of your purchase goes to DC Scores, an after school program for kids involving reading, community service, and soccer. Their blogger posted in the comments that Modell's also gave the kids free soccer gear. Pretty cool. Nice to see a good corporate citizen like this, I hope it keeps up.

In addition, a couple people emailed me asking how to apply and I don't know. I would suggest going to the store as I can't find their phone number.

Local soccer league needs players

Got this from the Summer of Freedom league, which plays at the Bell/Lincoln fields:
Soccer Players Needed for Columbia Heights Summer League!
The Summer of Freedom, a 9v9 coed soccer league, is looking for female players to fill out our teams. Games will be played on Tuesday nights, mostly at Bell/Lincoln synthetic turf field behind the Target in Columbia Heights. Registration is entirely individual and you will be placed on a team. The $70 cost includes 8 or 9 games, a jersey you get to keep, and post-game discounts at Lou's City Bar. Other neighborhood sponsors include The Getaway and Black-Eyed Susie.

A promo video and more information can be found online at

The league is organized by Federal Triangles Soccer Club, which fields men's women's and coed teams in local leagues year-round. Our membership is made up of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender players, and our many straight friends. Summer of Freedom is the one league that we organize ourselves, and the goal is to have fun playing the beautiful game while meeting new people. It's going to be a lot of fun and you should join us!

Ladies, send email to with any questions or for the registration link. Gents, email the same address to be placed on our waitlist.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pools open today! 4-8 pm

Awesome. The city has decided to open some pools today from 4-8 pm, including Banneker Pool at Georgia and Euclid and the Upshur pool at 4300 Arkansas Avenue. The pools would normally be closed during the week, they don't open on weekdays until June 21.

Modell's Sporting Goods at DCUSA opens today

An eagle-eyed reader sent this news along, that according to their store locator, the Modell's Sporting Goods in DCUSA opened today at 8 am. I'll try to check it out today after work and report back.

Anyone excited for this store? As commenters and I have noted before, I bet Nash's Sports is not excited.

The Warder Mansion: the house that was moved brick by brick in a Model T

Warder-Totten Mansion, Mr. T in DC
You may have noticed this building, the Warder Mansion, on 16th Street between Euclid and Fuller. It's a pretty nice looking building that stands out from the surroundings, and it turns out it was designed by HH Richardson, one of the most famous architects of the 19th century. But aside from being an interesting building from a famous architect, it's got a great story.

DCist originally alerted me to the tale: the mansion was built in the 1880s, but at 15th and K Streets downtown. It was the home of Benjamin H. Warder, who was a partner in Warder, Bushnell and Glessner, a big agricultural equipment company that eventually became International Harvester after something called the "Harvester Wars" -- I guess the 19th century version of the Cola Wars.

Richardson was a prominent architect at the time: he designed Trinity Church in Boston plus many courthouses and academic buildings, and even spurred an architectural style: Richardsonian Romaneqsue. Glessner of Warder's company had his house built by Richardson in Chicago and two of the three other houses Richardson designed in DC were the homes of John Hay, Lincoln's private secretary and later Secretary of State, and author and historian Henry Adams. Both houses were later demolished by real estate developer Harry Wardman (who also built Clifton Terrace/Wardman Court among other things) and replaced with what is today the Hay-Adams Hotel.

Back to the mansion at 15th and K, where the Warders seemed to be doing well for themselves. The inside was quite opulent (check out some of the photos) and Benjamin had been doing some building  himself, including the Warder Building at 9th and F downtown, which was later incorporated into the Spy Museum. There was (and maybe still is) a Warder Apartment building somewhere else in town, but I can't find much more about it.

Warder Mansion interior, 1900, from Libary of Congress
When Warder's business partner Glessner died, he donated his house to the American Institute of Architects. The Warder Mansion, however, did not have quite such a nice fate. A City Paper article from 2001 has more: Benjamin died in 1894 in Egypt and his widow lived in the mansion until 1921. The rest of his family had already moved out and developers wanted to build an office building in its location, prime real estate on K Street -- and they did, the Investment Building.

But before the Warder House was torn down to make way, architect Charles Oakley Totten Jr., who designed a number of the embassies on 16th Street near the mansion's present location, decided to save it. In about 1923 he moved the house, stone by stone, up 16th Street in his Model T Ford. He rebuilt it in its present location, which was at the time the formal garden of his residence. (There was an article in the 1921 American Architect magazine about that residence, before the mansion was moved, which is available online. That building, which looked like a French farmhouse, was later torn down and a big apartment building was constructed facing 15th Street.)

But that's not the end of the story. Totten died in 1939 and left his widow without any money, and soon the family lost the house. Various tenants then inhabited it, including a clinic, the National Lutheran Council, and Antioch College of Law, which closed in 1986 and was absorbed into what became UDC's David A. Clarke School of Law. After the law school left, however, the building fell into disrepair, like many other abandoned buildings in the neighborhood.

It was empty from 1986 to 2001 while owner Ali Qaragholi was accused of demolition by neglect by neighborhood residents, historic preservationists, and Totten's son, who alleged that Qaragholi wanted to build an apartment building in its location. Homeless people and drug dealers used it and it was subject to at least five suspicious fires despite the fact that it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The city's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs was also faulted for not enforcing building codes and historic preservation laws. 

Then finally in 2001 it was sold to American Housing Partnership, which converted the Warder Mansion into luxury apartments and built the apartment building behind it on 15th Street, where Totten's French farmhouse used to stand.  I spoke with someone who lived in the Warder Mansion a few years ago, who said the apartments, about 4 or 5 on each floor, were renovated to a modern style with hardwood floors and granite countertops. I guess there was no trace of the original fancy fixtures after the move, fires, and occupation by drug dealers. 

Apparently there have been a few issues with the place as apartments, but at least the residents didn't have to move the building stone by stone. An interesting little slice of neighborhood, and DC, history.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Lady, Secretary of Health & Human Services in the neighborhood today

The Obamas really must think Columbia Heights is the best hood in town: the First Lady is, again, in the area, today speaking at CentroNia, a multicultural educational nonprofit and child care at 1420 Columbia Rd NW.

She was joined by Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and General James Cartwright, the vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They're announcing Let's Move! Child Care, an effort to get kids exercising and eating healthier. CentroNia tweeted some pictures of them.

By my count this is the 7th time the President or First Lady have been in the neighborhood since getting elected. They might as well just rent a condo here. No sign of them at Wonderland yet, however.

Where else would you like to see the Obamas go in the neighborhood?

Photo from the CentroNia twitter feed

Seriously Google, we don't live in Washington D.C., DC

This is something that's been annoying to me when I search for things on Google Maps: if you type in an address or just search for something in DC, the result it gives you is for "Washington D.C., DC."

Obviously that's redundant, Washington is the city and DC is the state abbreviation. Google doesn't say "Los Angeles CA., CA" for example. I reported this to them awhile ago -- if you right click on the map you can report an error. Recently I got a response: "The Google Maps problem you reported has been reviewed. We can't confirm that a change is needed. If you still see a problem, please tell us more about the issue"

Of course I told them more, because it's crazy. I also reported it via Google Map Maker, where you can edit and add things to Google Maps. It's not a big problem in the grand scheme of thing, but it annoys me!

Fill your water bottles for free at local businesses

As you surely know, it's getting hot out there. Thanks to a new program from DC Water though, you'll be able to fill your reusable water bottles at businesses around DC, including a bunch in our neighborhood.

The program is called TapIt and neighborhood locations include Potbelly, The Heights, Sticky Fingers and Columbia Heights Coffee. They have an iPhone app as well so you can find local spots with water. WAMU has more.

Cool program, I'll definitely be checking it out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Movie Night in the Heights on Wednesday: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

If you like outdoor movies, get yourself to the Tubman School field at 13th and Kenyon at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, where the folks behind Columbia Heights Day will be showing Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The movie will start at sundown and before that there will be activities for kids and families, including an 80s dance party.

There's more upcoming movies too, see above. If it rains, they'll show it on Thursday.

And eagle-eye readers may remember they were originally going to show National Lampoon's Vacation Wednesday, but they couldn't get the non R-Rated version.

El Latino Bakery on 11th: good, cheap stuff

A few months ago I wrote about the great baked breads smells that waft from the El Latino Bakery at 11th and Lamont, and this weekend I finally had a chance to try them: tasty. It's basically a production bakery, not a store, but if you go in the main door (3314-3316 11th) you can buy things.

There isn't a display or anything, just piled upon piles of pallets of baked goods, but one of the workers explained some of what they had: lots of sweet rolls, muffins, and pineapple-filling stuffed pastries. I got a packet of 4 for $1.75 and they were tasty. Can't beat that.

I then went up the street to the farmer's market and got some strawberries, and with a coffee from Columbia Heights Coffee or Sticky Fingers, you've got yourself a nice little local breakfast.

Anyone else been? Anything else you should try? 

Music video featuring neighborhood sites: Wonderland, Tivoli Theatre, Sticky Fingers, more

We're famous. Sort of. There's a video by local resident Andy Rothwell for the song "Wonder Why" by folk rock band Vetiver. The video features a lot of local spots, including Wonderland, the Tivoli, Meridian Hill Park, and Sticky Fingers, and a bunch of remote control cars driving around.

I'm actually in it for about a second. Those cars are fun.

Of course, this isn't the first time our neighborhood is in a video: Wale featured parts of the neighborhood in two videos, "Chillin'" featuring Lady Gaga(!), and "Pat Your Weave," plus the video filmed on Monday for AIDS awareness. We might just be the music-videoest neighborhood in the city.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Missing your bike?

Are you missing your bike? A local resident found one, contact her with the description.

And this serves as a reminder: if you have a bike, it's worth it to keep your receipt and write down your serial number. In addition, register it! All of those help if, God forbid, it gets stolen.

What's up at Uncapped Live this week?

Vitamin Water Uncapped Live, the art/exhibition popup at 2213-2217 14th Street NW (14th and W) that I wrote about before has a lot going on this week. They're open until June 17, so check it out if you haven't already.
Tuesday June 7th:
  • LOUNGE: Happy Hour 7-8PM + Music Production for Dummies w/ DJ Gavin Holland of Nouveau Riche 8-10pm
  • STUDIO: 8-10pm--- LIVE from the Lab/Cool Dudes Hanging out Comedy show w/ Brandon Wardell 8-11pm
Wednesday June 8th:
  • DAVID LYNCH NIGHT: a Wild at Heart Happy Hour w/ American music of the 50s and 60s 7-9PM,  "Beckett and Lynch: A Celebration" a 2 man absurdist play 9pm + a screening of Blue Velvet 10pm,
Thursday June 9th:
  • GARAGE:: No Love Lost (Sean of Fan Death records) presents: Screen Vinyl Image, Phonic Riot, Martial Canterel, in the garage w/ gothy DJ sets
  • STUDIO: TOP THAT! TEEN WITCH movie viewing/sing-a-long/panel/celebration
Friday June 10th:
  • ALL OVER: BYT Rave Camp returns for a whole space takeover 10pm-close
  • + a DC Setlist Happy Hour w/ live sets by Lightfoot, Aaron Thompson + DJ D-MAC 6-9pm
Saturday June 11th:
  • Daytime: ROCK’N’ROMP 1pm-4pm.  The only family-friendly rock show series in town, comes to vitaminwater uncapped LIVE with a truly ALL AGES SHOW. The fun starts with DJ Ca$$idy, the genius behind the indie dance party GARUTACHI, spinning awesome dance tunes to get everyone moving! Plus there will be BUBBLES and HULA HOOPS courtesy of The Hip Fit girls, who can teach a thing or two about hooping
  • Nighttime: GARAGE: "Cruel Summer" with Beautiful Swimmers, SLAVA (live set) + Mondo. STUDIO: SUNWOLF/RAINDEER/Alma Tropicalia live show
Sunday June 12th:
  • Daytime (1-5pm): Butler + Claypool curated vintage bazaar + LIVE comedy podcasting w/ Peter Hyneman
  • Nighttime: Pujol, Exactly live show
EXHIBIT Open Hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursdays and Friday: 7pm – Midnight
Saturdays: 12pm – 2am
Sundays: 12pm – 6pm
Mondays: Closed

Taylor Gourmet opening at 14th & T, will deliver to Columbia Heights

Looks like there's some more competition in the fancy sandwich market: Taylor Gourmet, the popular local chain, will be opening at 14th and T. They look to open in mid-Fall and will also deliver to Columbia Heights, which is one of the main reasons they decided to open, according to the Washingtonian article.

Taylor Gourmet specializes in Italian-style hoagies, which used to ship bread from Philadelphia. I wonder how Fast Gourmet and the new Paila Chilean Deli will be affected? Hopefully not at all, especially considering those two are more Latin American-style.

I've never been to Taylor, but people seem to like it. Excited?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Columbia Heights Community Marketplace expands this Saturday, music too

Our farmer's market is getting bigger. The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace folks passed along this press release, as well as the link for the full update with all the food and music they'll have tomorrow. I also just heard they'll have smoothies and a nutritionist at the market. Here's the press release:
...The marketplace is now featuring 14 fresh food vendors every Saturday from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  All food vendors produce their goods within 150 miles of Columbia Heights, providing residents an unique opportunity to buy food grown close to home, helping to spur the regional economy and cutting the environmental strain of imported food products.  

The weekly event also offers a marketplace for local artists and entertainers.  By providing a venue for these vendors to promote their talents and products, the marketplace aims to boost the local arts scene.  On June 4th, the market will feature entertainment by DC's own Oliver Mancini and the Mates.  The band will perform from 10:30 AM until 1:00 PM.
The market place also aims to assist local low-income residents purchase fresh foods.  The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace provides matching funds to recipients of food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) checks.  In an effort to help people afford healthy local foods, it gives recipients up to $10 dollars to be spent at the market. Visit the orange tent at the market for additional information.
For more details, go to the marketplaces's website
What:  Columbia Heights Community Marketplace 
Who:  Local producers, artists, and musicians
When: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM every Saturday (rain or shine!)
Where:  Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, 14th Street and Park Road

AIDS awareness "flash choir" and music video filming at the Civic Plaza, feat. Miss America

Just got this press release about a flash mob-type event to be held in the Civic Plaza on Monday, June 6. Looks neat!
Audio/video recording session of "Ready to Live," a song about fighting HIV/AIDS stigma, to performed live by Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010, for distribution online and exhibition in clinics and waiting rooms around the world.

Monday 6/6/11, approx. 4-8pm

Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, corner of 14th & Park Sts. NW, Washington DC, 20010.

A "flash choir" consisting of HIV+ and HIV- performers, identified as such by colorful badges that first hang around necks, then are tossed in a trash can to symbolize how insignificant HIV status will be in a post-stigma world.

Up to you. Just remember that the badges referred to in the previous point need to be concealed under a shirt or top until they all come out at once. So a T-shirt would work, but not, for example, a bikini top.

None, but food/drinks/snacks will be provided, you'll meet a lot of cool people, and it's a heck of a good cause.

Only three words: "Ready -- to -- Live." Easy! (Sheet music available on request, although the part is extremely simple.)

Must be able to clap on beats 2 and 4. Easy!

Interested? Write Monte Montgomery at

Late night eats now served at Blue Banana

Blue Banana, the sports bar at 3632 Georgia Ave NW, is now serving late night food on Friday and Saturday, from 11pm-close, and everything is $6, or $8 a beer. Sounds pretty good to me, I'm often looking for some late night grub.

There's more on their Facebook page, and the food (burgers, brats and the like) is made by EatMeat, a "pop-up" grilling business run by three female chefs. Pretty cool.