Monday, December 31, 2012

What's going on for New Year's Eve in the neighborhood? Here's our rundown

New Year's Eve is upon us, and a lot of local spots are doing things -- or not doing anything, in some cases. Here's what I've managed to find:

  • DC Reynolds is doing nothing! Sometimes this is a good thing if you don't want a crazy, expensive evening. No cover, no dress code, etc., and a New Year's Day brunch.
  • The Red Derby is also a good bet for a low-key evening. I've ended up there a few NYEs. They're also going to have a Hair of the Dog Brunch on the 1st.
  • Likewise with Kangaroo Boxing Club, no cover.
  • Blue Banana will have no cover and a DJ, plus free champagne at midnight, or a $40 open bar. More info here.
  • The Pinch at 3548 14th Street NW has a live blues band, Johnny Grave and the Tombstones, and no cover. Here's the Facebook event for it.
  • Meridian Pint has a $45 prix fixe dinner with complimentary craft beer toast, and reservations are recommended. More here.
  • Room 11 will be serving their normal menu, plus some holiday extras like Hoppin' John, truffles, caviar, and a lot more. Sounds tasty.
  • Wonderland has a $5 cover with free champagne of beer (i.e. Miller High Life) toast at midnight and New Year's Day brunch.
  • Acre 121 has a $10 cover and party favors, plus a live bluegrass band, the Family Hammer. Info here.
  • Pete's Apizza is closing at 9 pm.
And if you know of any other going-on, post them in the comments!

Friday, December 28, 2012

SoberRide, free taxi rides home at night, continues through New Year's

I wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but it's still going on and may be a big help for people on New Year's: the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, with the help of a lot of sponsors, has started up SoberRide, where you get free cab rides home at night (say after a NYE blowout.) Much better than trying to drive non-sober or stumble your way home.

Basically, you just call 1-800-200-TAXI and a cab will give you a free ride, up to $30, starting December 14 to January 1 between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Take a look below (and here's the full flyer.)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Abandoned apartment building at 1483 Newton finally moving towards development

It's a Christmas miracle! I received an email from Councilmember Jim Graham saying that 1483 Newton Street NW, the long-abandoned apartment building at right, is finally moving towards getting redeveloped. 
Peter Bonnell of Urban Investment Partners informs me that on December 21 they went to settlement on this longstanding nuisance property. This is good news! It has been a very long struggle by the neighborhood, ANC, and myself to get this property back into productive use. We are not there yet, but this is surely a critical step.
As you may recall, 1483 Newton has long been in a bee in my bonnet (if I wore a bonnet) -- it's a big building that could be potentially very nice (see its neighbors at right) but has long been abandoned.

The owners were relatives who inherited it after the owner died, but they couldn't agree on whether to sell it or what, meaning it just sat, got more run-down, and collected tax bills. That delay, which seems to be as long as anyone can remember, resulted in them owing more than $130,000 in back taxes, which they did pay off, the property getting taxed at the higher, blighted tax rate of $10 per $100 assessed value, rather than $1 per $100, and finally getting threatened with condemnation. The place was apparently also a place crooks used to look through stolen merchandise.

But finally in the case of 1483 Newton, the owners came to their senses.

I've written about 1483 Newton many, many times before, and it's an interesting, if frustrating, saga. I guess you can't do much to force people who don't want to do anything. Thanks to the ANC, DCRA, and Jim Graham for keeping on this.

I've long been an opponent of abandoned buildings (see the Abandoned House Watch series) -- they mean that building can't be used for something useful like housing or businesses, they mean the city can't collect tax revenue there, and they're eyesores -- and as above, they can be havens for crime, too. But abandoned buildings can always be saved -- the abandoned first house on my blog's masthead, for example, is now a nicely renovated building with residents.

But that requires all of us to help. If you see an abandoned or derelict building, please report it! The more reports, the better. And it never hurts to email Jim Graham and tip me off about it, so I can see if I can dig up anything on it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

How does Columbia Heights look on OpenStreetMap? Help out!

Being a guy who likes maps, I have been using OpenStreetMap a fair amount recently. Basically it's Wikipedia meets Google Maps, an editable map that anyone can use and anyone can change. Don't see your house on there? Add it! Your favorite bar is missing? Put it on there.

It's pretty fun, and a great resource too -- unlike Google Maps, everything on there is licensed under Creative Commons, meaning anybody is free to use the data as long as they attribute it. It's a fun resource for just browsing around too.

So check it out, and see if you can add anything! Maybe you've been to some other town and can add some things there too?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Help save Rock Creek Park's trees this Friday afternoon

Creek Rock Creek Park is one of DC's best resources, a huge natural area located just blocks from the neighborhood (I wrote about hiking in the park awhile ago, check it out!) It really is a great place, with streams, rocks to climb, bike, walking and hiking trails, historical spots like forts and old mills, playing fields and a lot more.

However, some of the trees in the park are threatened, but you can help keep them healthy by removing English ivy. Read on!
Join Rock Creek Conservancy volunteers and the National Park Service to save park trees from the chokehold of English ivy, an invasive vine that grows up tree trunks and will eventually weaken and kill the tree.  
Friday, December 21st, from 1:00 to 3:00  
This event will focus on the trees of Soapstone Valley, a beautiful section of Washington, DC's Rock Creek Park.   
Volunteers will cut ivy from tree trunks using hand tools. Tools, gloves, and training on how to identify and cut English ivy will be provided. If you have hand clippers or loppers, feel free to bring them. Ages 16 and up. 
Dress and Pack:  Please dress for the weather, bugs, and thorns, by wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts that can get dirty. Dressing in layers is always the best option.  Wear sturdy boots or sneakers, no sandals. Bring a small backpack with water!  
Meeting Location: We will meet at the Rock Creek Park trail head on Albemarle Street NW, about 300 ft EASTof the Albemarle Street and Connecticut Avenue intersection. The site location is metro accessible, through the Van-Ness UDC Metro Stop (Red Line). 
Register at
See you there!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Entrepreneurship training from DC Gov't coming up

While this isn't in the neighborhood, considering how many folks I hear talk about starting businesses in the neighborhood, and folks who are looking for work, I figured this would be useful.
Unemployed? Under-Employed? Interested in starting your own small business?  
ENTERPRISE DC is an innovative year-long entrepreneurship training program that provides free personalized assistance to start your small business. Participants receive computer training, financial advice, business mentoring and loan assistance to support their efforts to turn a hobby or skill into a profitable business. 
Interested? Come to one of our upcoming Information Sessions:
Monday, December 17, 11AM @ Anacostia Library, Room: Medium 2
Wednesday, December 19, 12PM @ MLK Library, Room: A-9
Friday, December 21, 9:30AM @ Benning Library, Room: LG 
Applications Available at 
Contact Information:
Phone • 202.529.5505 ext. 211
Email •
This program is a partnership between WACIF, ByteBack and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Fdtn. and made possible with support from the DC Dept. of Employment Services (DOES)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Red Derby brunch: hearty, inexpensive, $2 Bloody Marys!

I hadn't been to brunch at the Red Derby in awhile, and had a chance to check it out on Sunday. It's worth a visit.

The best deal is that if you order food, Bloody Marys (and good ones) are only $2. Considering the menu items range from $6 to $11, if you have a few, you're basically getting free brunch. But aside from that deal, they also have bottomless coffee.

So how's the food? Not fancy, but good. (Here's the menu.) We started off with some hearty rolls, then I asked the friendly bartender, whose name I think was Tom, what he preferred between the breakfast burrito and breakfast bowl. He said the bowl, and I went with that. It was solid: tater tots, scrambled eggs, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and I added sausage (bacon is also an option.) For I think $9 it was a lot of food and totally worth it.

My buddy got the salmon bagel: again, nothing fancy, but tasty and with good ingredients.

Despite it being pretty chilly, the roof deck is a viable option because of the heat lamp, and you have to like a place where $28 gets you coffees, Bloody Marys and brunch for two people.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Checking out Susana's Pupuseria on 14th: Good, cheap

The other day I decided to stop by Susana's Pupuseria and Carryout, a little Salvadoran spot at 3801 14th Street NW, across from the Red Derby. I'm glad I did.

The place is a little tricky -- there isn't a menu, just some pictures of things, and they don't speak much English (if at all.) It helps to know some Spanish, or what you want.

Luckily, the pupusas (basically thick corn tortillas stuffed with ingredients) are pretty easy to order -- as far as I can tell, they have cheese, pork, or bean options. I got one of each, and it comes with Salvadoran cole slaw, kind of chopped cabbage with a red sauce. All of that was only $4.50, though I'd recommend another one or two if you want a full meal. Still, pretty darn cheap.

They're freshly made right in front of you, and they were really good. I liked them all, though the pork and bean ones were my favorite, but I'd definitely get them all again. And if you put the cole slaw on top, even better. It's certainly not fancy food, but it's good and cheap.

Another important fact -- it's more of a takeout joint. There are a couple small tables, but not really a good place to eat.

Unfortunately I don't know much else about the place, as there isn't any sort of sign that I saw, but it's a good spot. Here's more on them from Yelp.

Friday, December 14, 2012

DCist Exposed photography contest now open: enter, or check out the photos

DCist, the great local blog, is running their DCist Exposed photo contest again. You can enter your photos, or check out the past winners from the previous 6 Exposed events. 

The photos will also be on display at Long View Gallery in March, and the opening events are a lot of fun. It's also a great opportunity to get your photos some visibility if you're a local photographer.

Here's more from DCist:
Now in our 7th year, we feature the best Washington, D.C. photography -- not as a political grind or tourist trap, but through the eyes of the people who live, work and play here. We put up a new website this year where you can find all the past winners, links to our photo publications, and of course the application. It's just $10 to submit 3 entries by January 9, 2013. The winning images will be displayed at Long View Gallery in late March -- we host two opening nights, typically attended by well over 1,000 visitors and celebrating D.C. with local brews and other surprises.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Congressman's son pleads guilty to assaulting girlfriend outside The Getaway, they vow to donate $ to domestic violence group

This is a disturbing story, but at least with a small silver lining. Patrick Moran, son of Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, plead guilty yesterday to assaulting his girlfriend earlier in the month. The assault took place outside The Getaway, the bar and restaurant at 14th and Meridian Place NW. DCist has the details of the assault and the result, which are pretty chilling, and despite the plea both Moran's spokesperson and a statement by the girlfriend, who is only identified as Kelly, called it an "accident." In Kelly's statement, she says slipped after an argument. The police statement (posted below) says they were inside The Getaway and had an argument, then went outside where Patrick assaulted her.

Yesterday The Getaway responded on their Facebook page, saying in short that they don't believe Moran was a customer at the bar that night, and they they will donate 15% of their sales this Sunday to Break the Cycle, a group that works with youth to fight domestic violence. Here's the full text of their statement:
You may have noticed our name in the news today. An awful incident occurred outside of our bar a few weeks back. Contrary to the reports we are certain that the individual did not patronize our bar that night. That being said, we are so disheartened to know that such a thing took place on our corner. As an establishment that serves alcohol and also a member of the Columbia Heights and DC community we want all of our neighbors and patrons to be safe from this kind of violence. Because we want to be proactive, we will be donating 15% of our net sales this Sunday to Break the Cycle, which empowers youth to end domestic violence. See y'all soon
I hope there's a big contribution on Sunday, and I hope this serves to raise awareness of and hopefully prevent domestic violence too. It remains to be seen if there will be any sort of investigation by the city into The Getaway, which often happens if there is violence at a bar.
Moran Charge

SoberRide starts Dec. 14: get free cab rides home until Jan. 1

This is great -- what with it being holiday party season, there are probably going to be a few folks who had a bit too much holiday cheer and shouldn't drive themselves home. Thankfully the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, with the help of a lot of sponsors, has started up SoberRide.

Basically, you just call 1-800-200-TAXI and a cab will give you a free ride, up to $30, starting December 14 to January 1 between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Take a look below (and here's the full flyer.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fundraiser for 826DC tonight! Music, open bar, food, more

826DC, the tutoring organization on the Civic Plaza, which also runs the Museum of Unnatural History, is holding a fundraiser tonight. It sounds like a lot of fun, here's more info.
It's the time of the year for the Society of Unnatural Historians to gather and celebrate once again. 826DC, a wonderfully effective local nonprofit that helps kids develop their reading and writing skills, is throwing its annual holiday party and fundraiser, Baby, It's Cold Outside, on Wednesday, December 12th at 8PM. In school system like DC's, this organization's work is vital, and they always find a good use for additional volunteer and financial support. You can read all about 826DC's great work here.

Last year's at the Gibson was dangerously fun, and this year's will be, too. The event, sponsored by The Doctor T.J. Eckleberg Review, Barrelhouse Magazine, and Lines and Stars, will feature a select open bar, food, plus music by R E V E R B E R A T I O N. There's also going to be a raffle with some outstanding prizes, including a week in South America and a case of wine from Grape Crate.

Here is a mixtape teaser for what’s sure to be a merry night:


@826DC is our twitter handle.
#BabyItsCold is our hashtag.

What: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Featuring R E V E R B E R A T I O N. Sponsored by The Doctor T.J. Eckleberg Review, Barrelhouse Magazine, and Lines and Stars.

When: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Where: Vera Cruz Gallery, 2108 Vermont Ave, NW (Ages 21 and older)

Cost: $60 in advance / $75 at the door. All proceeds support 826DC’s completely free programs. Tickets can be purchased online:

About 826DC: 826DC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. The organization’s services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind, 826DC provides drop-in tutoring, field trips, creative writing
workshops, after-school tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications all free of charge. To find out more about the 826DC, visit


Mama Chuy now hosting brunch on Saturdays

Mama Chuy, the great little taqueria and Mexican food place at 2620 Georgia Avenue NW, is now serving Saturday brunch.

They tweeted at me:

We have brunch every Saturday from 12-4pm. We offer our special Huevos rancheros con steak or chorizo, queso fundido, tamales, chiles rellenos con mole, and of course our famous chilaquiles!!!!!!!!!

Sounds pretty solid. If you haven't been there before, I recommend it, it's inexpensive and authentic Mexican food. The tacos and sopes are fantastic, as are the margaritas. I wrote a glowing review a bit ago and they have 4 stars on Yelp for a reason! Here's their site with their menus.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mad Momos opens today on 14th: check out their menus, photo gallery

Mad Momos, the American restaurant with a Himalayan twist, opens today at 3605 14th Street NW. I wrote a preview a couple of weeks ago, and it sounds really cool -- Southern-style American food with Himalayan touches like momos, a type of dumpling, plus good beer and a big patio.

I'm looking forward to checking it out, and Brightest Young Things got a preview earlier with a lot of great photos -- check them out!

Here's Mad Momos' website. See below for their menus!
mad momos food menu
Mad Momos drinks

Monday, December 10, 2012

You can now buy liquor on Sundays, growlers, and more

The city council struck a blow against the forces of temperance today, voting to overhaul city liquor laws. DCist has the story -- one of the main changes was that liquor stores are now allowed to be open and selling wine, beer and booze on Sundays.

Other big changes are that grocery stores and brew pubs can now sell 64-ounce growlers (resealable bottles) of beer, there's a special new kind of license for wine pubs, meaning a place that makes and sells wine, and there are also a number of changes about protests against liquor license applications. That is, when a new place is opening up, groups can protest the application.

These may affect local bars, liquor stores and restaurants, with new rules like allowing groups of 5 people or more within 400 feet of the business to file a protest, and making sure neighborhood groups and ANCs invite liquor license applicants so they have a chance to plead their case. A new noise complaint hotline has been started, too. There's also some requirements for protests to come to a vote quickly and for an investigation to happen before summary judgments, which is probably good for businesses.

The bill took into account a lot of hearings and comments from residents, businesses, liquor distributors, ANCs, and more, and it seems like a pretty reasonable, fair bill. Jim Graham took some of the credit, too.

But the main thing is, liquor on Sunday! Woo!

Georgia Avenue Holiday Party tonight at 6pm

The Georgia Avenue Community Development Taskforce is holding their holiday party tonight at the Emergence Community Art Collective, 713 Euclid Street NW. Food, music, and councilmember Tommy Wells will be there. Check it out!
The Georgia Avenue Holiday Partyis happening this Monday December 10th at 6:30pm at the Emergence Community Arts Collective at 733 Euclid St. NW - on Euclid between Georgia and Sherman.  Park in the rear lot (entrance to the alley is on Georgia between Euclid and Fairmont) and use the accessible entrance if you don't want to climb the stairs. 
Join us as we celebrate our third anniversary of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force - a grassroots organization formed to  promote active citizen involvement in the redevelopment of Georgia Avenue from New Hampshire Avenue to S Street . There'll be music, food from local businesses, and fun.  Councilmember Tommy Wells  will be attending and we are awaiting confirmation from other special guests as well.  
This event is co-sponsored by the Georgia Avenue Business Alliance and the DC Prevention Center for Wards 1 & 2.  Food & non-alcoholic drink donations are welcome.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Room 11 featured on CNN, though they think it's street food for some reason

This is pretty cool: Room 11 at 11th and Lamont, one of my favorite local spots has been featured on CNN. Check out the video below, which features an interview with co-owner Dan Searing.

Oddly, the blogger guys say it's street food. Right, because cockscomb and shrimp & grits are very common street foods in DC. But hey, nice for them to get some press!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Need some new art or Christmas presents? Cheap art sale this Saturday

If you're looking for some art, maybe for yourself or for a Christmas present, check out below! Sounds like a cool event.
Fifth Annual Cheap Art Sale to Benefit La Clinica del Pueblo’s ¡Empodérate! Youth Center 
Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 1:00pm until 5:00pm 
at La Casa – 3166 Mt. Pleasant St, NW, Washington, DC (a short walk from the Columbia Heights Metro Station)
On Saturday, December 8th, the fifth annual Cheap Art Sale will host artists from across the city who will show and sell original works of art, and donate half or more of all the proceeds to the La Clinica del Pueblo’s ¡Empodérate! youth center. Most art will be priced at $50 or less. The Cheap Art Sale is an opportunity for shoppers to purchase unique holiday gifts and one-of-a-kind items. Participating artists include Mike Ferguson, Tory Pedonti, Anthem Press, Heidi Phelps (Wayward Broad Studio), Li Pallas, Ian Delaney Doherty, Virgo-Tiger, Les & Oscar, Sha Grogan-Brown and Heather Hodges. Artwork sold will include prints, illustrations, handmade mobiles, photography and more. 
¡Empodérate! (Empower Yourself!) is the only bilingual HIV program that targets young gay and bisexual Latino men and young male-to-female transgender Latinas. The youth center is a safe, supportive space, offering counseling and social events, as well as free HIV testing.

To find out more about ¡Empodérate!, check out their website: 
Contact: Bekka Barker at

Mt. Pleasant Main Street ugly sweater fundraiser tonight at Marx Cafe

This sounds pretty funny. Always like the ugly sweater events!
Mount Pleasant Main Street Holiday Sweater Party- Tonight! 
Break out your favorite wool sweaters and antlers and come join us for Mount Pleasant Main Street's 2012 Ugly Holiday Sweater Party and Fundraiser tonight at Marx Cafe.
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 5th 7:30-10:30pm
Location: Marx Cafe (3203 Mount Pleasant St NW)
Holiday Specials
Make a donation to MPMS, become a member or learn how you can volunteer.
Facebook Invite:

Red Derby Christmas party on Dec. 9 -- bring a gift for charity

This sounds like fun: local mainstay the Red Derby, at 3718 14th Street NW, is holding their Christmas party on the 9th. They're also accepting gifts for moms and kids helped by DASH, the District Alliance for Safe Housing, a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic and sexual violence. A good organization who can always use more help! Here's more:
Come and celebrate the holidays with us at our annual Christmas Party on Dec 9th. Dress up a little and come hang out with us. Mulled wine and little holiday treats on the house. $4 Poinsetta drinks (cava and cranberry) and $4 egg nog drinks. This year the theme is "Bring an unwrapped gift for DASH mom or kid". Hope to see you Sunday!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Marching band scammers in Petworth, watch out!

Recently on the Petworth listserve, some neighbors were talking about a guy coming to their door, asking for money for a purported Dunbar High band trip to Rockefeller Center. However, it's a scam. See below for more:
FYI, be aware that someone has been knocking on doors (most recently on Yuma Street) posing as a Dunbar Senior High School student seeking contributions for a group trip to New York.  
A short email to Dunbar confirmed he's not legit -- Edward B. Anderson, director of bands at Dunbar SHS, reports: "No we are not fundraising for a competition at the Rockefeller Center in New York. This person has been going around all year doing this; we are waiting for him to get caught. If you can take a picture of him we may be able to catch him. The band just got back this weekend from Norfolk State Univ. Homecoming where we placed second in their parade. We are going to go to Orlando FL for a competition in the end of March, if you want to give a donation. But please be aware that all donations should come to the school in the form of a check."  
 Note that the young man doing the fundraising wears a Dunbar jacket and shows a Dunbar ID. It's unclear if he actually has any connection to the school.
Other neighbors report that he's a black man form 24 to 28, about 5'10" to 6', with short hair and a scar on his cheek. If you see him, don't give him and money and you should probably notify the police.

Raven and St. Ex owners opening bar, Lyman's, next to Red Derby

Looks like the Red Derby is getting a neighbor. The Washingtonian reported a bit ago that the owner of the Raven Grill in Mt. Pleasant, Merid Admassu, Jessica Kleinmann from Cafe Saint Ex, and another owner, Kevin Perone, will be opening a new place called Lyman's at 3720 14th Street NW, which is next to the Derby.

PoP reports he saw a liquor license hearing notice in the place today. You can see the photo I snapped of it below, there's going to be room for 70 people, plus 20 people in a heated, retractable-roof patio with an indoor-ourdoot bar, and live music and DJs. The license application amusingly specifies no nude dancing, however.  Dang.

The Washingtonian's article gives more on the spot, which the owners say will have no theme, unlike a lot of spots opening lately. Perone tells them he wants to have old school music like soul, doo-wop and classic country, plus at least 2 pinball tables. Perone is from Vermont and likes Long Trail Ale, so expect that, plus family heirlooms from Kleinmann. They'll have snacks of some kind from a convection oven, maybe personal pizzas, and Perone wants everyone to have popcorn. And their liquor license application says they want to open at 10 am, which to me means they'll be serving brunch.

They're aiming for a January or February opening and their liquor license hearing is Dec. 17. I hope it goes through with flying colors!

I have to say, this sounds pretty awesome. I love the Red Derby and this sounds like a nice complement, another laid-back place to have a conversation or pass some time playing pinball.

And what with Mad Momos opening just down the street south of Spring, this little area is getting to be a destination.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Columbia Heights Education Campus open house on Wed.

Interested in having your child attend the Columbia Heights Education Campus? Or just in learning more about the school?  See below for an open house tomorrow from 9am-noon and 4pm-7pm. Click the flyer for more!
An opportunity for the education of a lifetime at a Top 100 U.S. School, according to Newsweek Magazine and The Washington Post Challenge Index. 
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (Bell Multicultural High and Lincoln Multicultural Middle Schools) is having its annual open house this coming Wednesday, December 5, 2012 from 9:00AM-12:00PM & 4:00PM-7:00PM. 
We're opening our doors to prospective and admitted students and parents, alumni and members of the community for a fun day of information and exploration. Spend the entire day or stop in for just a few hours to pick and choose from a wide range of campus activities.  Interested in studying abroad?  Want to learn a new language or attend college while still in high school?  Are you interested in DC’s only Cosmetology program? We even raise private funds to help send deserving seniors to college each year! 
Come speak with our students and their parents, administrators, faculty and counselors to find out why CHEC is the best option for your family.
Other highlights:
·         Free manicures
·         Student tours of our beautiful campus
·         Information sessions
·         Student panels
·         Light refreshments 
We are located at 3101 16th Street, NW Washington,  DC 20010.  For more information visit or call (202) 939-7700

Bands in the Neighborhood: Kid Goat

This latest installment of Bands in the Neighborhood, our series on local musical acts, is on Kid Goat, a local rock band. Here's their website and Facebook page.

Kid Goat is actually two bands, but more about that below! Band member Matt Aquiline answered our questions, and also mentioned that their next shows are on Saturday the 8th, with a noon show for kids at BloomBars and an 11pm show at The Pinch. Sounds like the noon show could be a fun one for parents and their kids.

And if you're a Band in the Neighborhood and would like to be part of this series, email me.

How did you all come up with the band name?
We are actually two bands, a grown-up band named Kid Goat and the kid’s version of the band named
Kids’ Goat. Kid Goat is a nickname Matt had for an afternoon in the ’80s. Kids’ Goat is Kid Goat, but for

How did the band form?
Matt and Belen started playing Matt’s songs acoustic together in 2004. Matt met Dan at his deej
concert series and Brett was friends with our first bass player, John Woolf, who was the best craigslist
connection ever made and remains member emeritus despite his unknown whereabouts.

How many members live in Columbia Heights? Whereabouts? (roughly)
One, on Meridian Place, three blocks North of the Giant, but everybody else lives in nearby

I see you practice in CH, have you played any gigs in the neighborhood?
Kid Goat has played at Wonderland, Acre 121, the Blue Banana and the Columbia Heights Marketplace.
Kids’ Goat has played at The Getaway.

Working on any records?
We have been essentially recording singles these days and putting them up on the internet, usually for

(“A Little Bit Of Hope” is available for free download at by clicking here, or a zip file can be found here if you don’t want to sign up for another website.

Please buy our CD, These People Aren't You, on iTunes or CDBaby (  Better yet, come to a show and buy one from us personally.)

What's your next show?
December 8 – Kids’ Goat at Bloombars at noon and Kid Goat at the Pinch at 11:00 p.m.

Gone on any tours? Any crazy or terrible tour stories?
No tours, just long drives to shows. One of those drives home was pretty cold after Belen locked the
keys in the car and we had to break the window with John Woolf’s bass. It produced some of the
coolest photos of kid goat ever though, going after that car with a Fender bass.

What’s your take on the music scene in Columbia Heights and in DC?
There are a lot of great bands. For a while, there seemed to be a shortage of good clubs, but
now, because of areas like Columbia Heights and venues like The Dunes, The Getaway, The Pinch,
Wonderland, Acre 121 and Bloombars, there seems to be a rebirth. It is great to be able to play and see
other great bands within walking distance of home.

And if you had to rename your band for something Columbia Heights-related, what would it be?
“El Chucho”

Lamont Park Holiday Celebration: Santa Claus, crafts, puppets, and more on Saturday

Just got this note from the Mt. Pleasant Business Association, who are organizing the Lamont Park Holiday Celebration. Why go to the burbs when you can see Santa Claus, the Three Kings, do some holiday crafts with your kids, see a Hannukah puppet show and more. It's this Saturday from 1 to 3 pm. Here's the full press release below and a shot of Santa and Mrs. Claus from last year. Lamont Park is the triangle at Mt. Pleasant and Lamont Streets NW.

Mount Pleasant Businesses Organize Annual Holiday Celebration in Lamont Park with a visit from Santa, Hands-On Craft Projects, Puppet Shows and more 

Saturday, December 8th, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, the Mount Pleasant Business Association presents its annual Holiday Celebration in Lamont Park (corner of Mount Pleasant and Lamont Streets).

With Santa and Mrs. Claus taking requests, a visit from the Three Kings plus arts and crafts projects and puppet shows galore, the event is an excellent way for local families to kick off the holidays.

“I love this tradition! My kids think it’s great that Santa visits their neighborhood instead of having to truck to a crowded mall out in the suburbs or downtown,” says Natalie Avery, a local parent who is helping to coordinate the event.

“The event is our business community’s way of saying thank you to our neighbors and customers. It’s also a great way of showcasing our shops and restaurants and connecting with our neighbors,” says Joanie Majeed of the Mount Pleasant Care Pharmacy who has been one of the driving forces behind the Holiday Celebration at Lamont Park for 15 years.

Santa’s visit is just one reason to come to Mount Pleasant on December 8th. The Farmer’s Market in Lamont Park will be open at 9:00 AM, this year open more weekends than ever. Down the street at La Casa (3166 Mount Pleasant Street) local artists will be selling unique, hand-made items for affordable prices at “The Cheap Art Sale.”  Mount Pleasant businesses will be open for business for the busy shopping season and Bancroft Elementary school will also have their Annual Tree Sale at 18th and Newton Streets.In addition, shops and restaurants up and down the corridor will offer special deals and fun events.

The celebration is made possible by a range of Mount Pleasant businesses. Haydee’s Restaurant and Linda Low Realtors are Premier Sponsors. Partner level sponsors include Best World, Dos Gringos, Golden Scissors, Past Tense, Radius Pizza, El West, Don Juan Restaurant, Alex Hair Salon, That Yellow Gym, Tex Mex Burritos, Melissa's Beauty Salon, Mount Pleasant Care Pharmacy, Irving Wine and Spirits, Flying Fish Coffee and Tea, Logan’s Antiques, Barreiro Salon & Day Spa (also known as Ramona’s), DC Self Defense Karate Association and Bancroft Elementary School.  In addition to these sponsors, numerous businesses are donating treats and refreshments including Heller’s Bakery, Samber Market, Angelico’s Pizza, International Progreso Market and the Argyle Convenient Store Marleny's Restaurant, Amani ya Juu, Dollar Star. Don Jaime's Restaurant, Chinatown Carry-Out. Mount Pleasant Main Street, Historic Mount Pleasant, Radio CPR and Bancroft Elementary School parents are also contributing time and volunteers.

The same coalition of businesses and residents who put together last summer’s Make It Mount Pleasant hand-made craft market have joined forces to make this year’s holiday celebration better than ever.  Phil Lepanto, owner of Old School Hardware explains, “In order for small commercial corridors to thrive in today’s economic climate, it’s critical that local businesses and residents come together to build community and promote the neighborhood.” Dr. Oswald Cameron of Las Americas Dental Health agrees and adds, "Mount Pleasant has long been known for its Do it Yourself spirit. The Mount Pleasant Business Association continues tapping into this ethic to maintain this vibrant and connected multicultural community in a neighborhood we all love."

This event was also made possible through the support of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Small Business Assistance Program funded in part by the DC Office on Latino Affairs.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mad Momos, American restaurant and beer garden, opening Dec. 11

Nice to see this! Mad Momos, the new American restaurant with a Himalayan twist coming to
3605 14th Street NW, will be opening on Tuesday, December 11th.

I wrote about them last month, it sounds like a really interesting concept, Southern-style American food with some Asian influences -- one of the owners is from Sikkim, an area of India in the Himalayas which is known for momos, a type of dumpling. Co-owner Wanchuk Topden says they are delicious with beer.

The two-story spot will also have a big patio on the back, big windows that open on the front, and will have a nice beer list plus brunch and a buy one-get one free happy hour. Here's more from a post to the North Columbia Heights listserve:
mad momos will be opening our doors for business at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. We welcome everyone to come and enjoy our cool space, our amazing selection of  drinks, our delectable food, and especially our friendly service.
Help us spread the word and let's go viral!

Find your special spot and hangout at our beer deck, tree top patio, various lounges, or our rustic wood bars. We have two floors of different seating "spaces" for you to enjoy with a friend or as a group event.

We have carefully selected a "Winter Selection Beer List" specifically for this time of the year. Stop by and try any or all of our 16 beer selections. We know you will love our 8 thoughtfully selected beers on tap and the other 8 in bottles. Additionally, the holiday season is a great time
to enjoy our signature cocktails from our full service bars. Don't forget to sample our small but well curated wine list. To get the best deal, stop by during our happy hour from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm (Tues-Thurs), where all beers, wines and rail drinks are BUY ONE GET ONE

Come and sample our hand-crafted artisanal momos from our opening menu. In addition, we have a selection of signature mad bites, entrees from our chef selections, and mad deserts.

We will be open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:30 am to 3:00 pm with bottomless "mad-mosas" and "mad-linis."

Come through our doors and we will welcome you with a friendly smile and service.

Toys for Tots is underway at Giant, but their box is empty: let's help

The other day I was at Giant and noticed they have a Toys for Tots donation box -- the nonprofit supported by the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve that gives toys to needy kids. However, when I was there, the box was empty! Let's help them out and drop off some toys.

The group accepts any new, unwrapped toy (aside from realistic-looking weapons and gifts with food) so there's a lot you can give! They don't publish a list on purpose because they want to get a wide range of stuff.

So let's get to it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Condos coming to alley behind 1018 Irving Street?

A reader sent this in, a company called Seven Five Three Development is planning to build condos behind 1018 Irving Street NW -- that's the block bounded by 11th, Irving, Sherman and Columbia. They're going to add additional stories to the building.

They're having a neighborhood meeting on Saturday at 11:30 am at Bloombars. I'll try to make it, but I encourage others to go.

The person who sent the flyer to me seemed worried about it. Personally I don't think alley dwellings is a bad thing, as long as there is adequate access (mainly cars, if people park) and there is enough light and such to make sure that crime wouldn't be a problem. DC used to have alley dwellings in many blocks, until they were removed starting in the 1900s due to crime and overcrowding. Often the poorer folks would live inside the blocks while the wealthier folks would live on the outer parts of the block.

And then again, I don't have any alley neighbors. What do you think?
1018 Irving Alley Dwellings

The Pinch now hosting karaoke on Tuesdays, trivia on Wednesdays

If you need some stuff to do during the week, bar and restaurant The Pinch at 14th and Parkwood has got some cool options. 

They're now doing karaoke every Tuesday in the basement bar, which sounds like a good time. Here's the Facebook event for the regular karaoke, and they have some funny deals too -- if you spend $50, bartender and owner Dan will sing, and at $75, staff member Cesar will join him in a duet. DJ EJ Bangura from Banana Cafe on Barracks Row runs the show. 

And for trivia types, every Wednesday they're holding bar trivia. The same folks host it every week, which is good (being a bar trivia fan, I've found that makes for more consistent and better questions than when random people sign up to host.) You can have a maximum of 6 people on a team, and the winners and runners-up get a bar tab. The best team name gets a round of shots, and the losing team can choose a category for the next week. Here's the Facebook page for the trivia, which features a clue every week.

Both nights have deals too, $4 PBR tall boys, Yuengling, Miller Lite and Coors Light.

If you haven't been, the Pinch is a pretty fun, laid back place with friendly bartenders and good food. Check it out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Immigration officers stopping nannies in neighborhood parks?

This is odd. Over on the Columbia Heights listserve, some folks are reporting that Hispanic nannies are being stopped by apparent immigration officers as they take kids to local parks, like the Girard Street Park and 11th and Monroe Trolley Park. One nanny was arrested, and another nanny (and the kids she was nannying) was followed a few blocks by an SUV, then questioned. 

MPD and Jim Graham were contacted and neither are aware of these activities, and are both looking to get to the bottom of it. MPD officers said they do not deploy or assist with this kind of effort.
Over the last ~2 mos Homeland Security/ICE have been questioning nannies AT playgrounds in Columbia Heights (Girard St Park 14th / Monroe 11st Park -- "Trolley Park"). There are 2 SUVs that sit near the parks, black Escalade /black Suburban (w/4 African American women seated in the SUVs). In some cases the women in the SUVs get out and question the nannies at the park (IN FRONT of children) -- and in other cases they FOLLOW the nannies home from the park and question them on the street (also in front of children). They question only the minority nannies -- and seem to approach them randomly. 
In one case, a woman began questioning a nanny AT the park on Girard St -- pretending she was interested in securing nanny employment, asking how this nanny secured her job. The nanny explained to her that she got her job via an agency and earnestly offered to help the woman and provide the agency phone number. Later, as the nanny was leaving the park with the two children she was caring for, the same woman, approached the same nanny and showed her badge indicating she was with Homeland Security and demanded her name, address, and other information.
In another example, a nanny left Trolley Park, an SUV followed her for a few blocks. Then pulled in front of her as she was walking down the street with the stroller-- then a woman got out, began calling her ma'am repeatedly trying to get her attention -- then asked her how she got her job. 
In one case, after questioning a nanny, the nanny was arrested (14th and Girard).
Other readers expressed concern, especially since they aren't sure what their rights are. It's a troublesome issue: of course there are immigration laws on the books, but randomly asking nannies in front of the kids, and following them around, seems like a strange way to enforce them to say the least. It's borderline harassment and I'm sure if that was my nanny and my kids, I would not be happy.
Thanks MPD for looking into this. As a mom, a Latina and user of the parks I feel outraged about this harassment. Several of my nanny friends are worried and have asked me about the best way to act if approached. What rights do they have to give or withhold information? Do they HAVE to talk to them? None of them want to get in trouble but some do not speak English and all feel very intimidated. Any help and advice would be appreciated. I think I speak on behalf of the community parents that Columbia Heights celebrates diversity and want to make sure all residents, visitors and our loving caregivers are well protected and respected. 
Pretty weird. What do you think?  

Many Languages, One Voice: photo exhibit for English language students at Bloombars tonight

This sounds really cool! Check it out.

Inline image 1A picture speaks a thousand words—especially when it is the only mode of communication you share with another person. 

Please join Many Languages, One Voice (MLOV) for a private viewing the evening of Thursday, November 29th featuring powerful photographs taken by DC’s English Language Learner (ELL) high school students. This photography exhibit will showcase work that captures local students' experiences as immigrants, ELLs, and young urban organizers. At the private viewing, not only get a chance to view

  the stills before they debut to the general public, but also meet the young artists who participate in MLOV's youth education organizing body, the Student Multiethnic Action Research Team (SMART), and were participants in the Community Media Internship provided in partnership with Critical Exposure. Plus, as you walk through the exhibit at the private viewing, you'll hear the indie pop sounds of Inara Sunset, is a new local band that has already played at Artomatic 2012.

Come early and join us for an exclusive happy hour at Red Rocks Pizzeria.

Communities in Focus: A (Sneak) Peek Through SMART Lens
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tickets: $25 online / $35 at the door

Happy Hour at RedRocks
1036 Park Road, NW
5:30 to 7:30PM

Private Viewing at BloomBars (a community arts space)
3222 11th Street, NW
Doors open at 7:30PM

Please purchase your ticket(s) here:   

For more information, please visit our website:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Columbia Heights Christmas Tree lighting Dec. 1, plus charity happy hour after!

Our neighborhood's annual tree lighting is upon us -- it's Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (the triangle bordered by 14th, Park and Kenyon.) The event is sponsored by the District Church, Giant, local anti-poverty nonprofit Collaborate to Impact, plus Cava and The Coupe. It starts at 6:30 pm. Here's more about  from their Facebook page -- there will also be Christmas carols from local musicians and hot beverages. Sounds like fun.

And if you want to continue the holiday spirit afterwards, a number of local bars and restaurants are holding a charity happy hour afterwards! You can get tickets at the tree lighting, at participating spots, the Latin American Youth Center, or online from Collaborate to Impact. The event benefits the Homeless Playtime Project, the Latin American Youth Center, and the Parkview Kids Zone.

(Click the flyer for more.)

Here's the schedule for the charity happy hour:
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Coffy Café
Holiday Cookie Decorating
• Holiday cookies to decorate
• Mini Crepe Special 
Rudolf Raffle Drawing
8:00pm -8:30pm
Lou’s City Bar
Santa’s Merry Match Game
Holiday Photo Booth
• $2 off Seasonal Beers 
9:00pm- 11:00pm
The Getaway
District Karaoke Caroling
Late Night Dance Party
• Free Holiday Cocktail
• $5 Special:
-Smokin’ Apple Cocktail
-Night Harvest Cabernet
-Night Harvest Chardonnay

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Columbia Heights Metro by the numbers, and a video of all WMATA trips

Lately a lot of data-crunching has come out about Metro ridership -- WMATA makes its data available, meaning people (and nerds) can crunch and explore it, and recently they just did a big data dump from May, 2012 on their PlanItMetro blog -- and here are some results!

The first, and most visually interesting, is this map showing each trip on Metrobus and Metrorail over the course of a day. As time goes on, you can see the city start to fill up, and 16th, 14th, Sherman and Georgia are pretty evident. Pretty fun to watch and gape at a bit. (h/t to DCist for noticing it.)

Now to the more hardcore data-y: the blog Greater Greater Washington did an analysis of which Metro stations are most popular during AM and PM rush hours, and which are popular late night and mid-day. I was a bit surprised Columbia Heights isn't on there for PM rush hour, as it's pretty crowded, but I guess compared to somewhere like Farragut North it's no contest. What's interesting though is that Columbia Heights is the 3rd most busy exit point for the evenings after Dupont and Gallery Place -- evening being the time after PM rush hour to midnight. That's probably due to folks coming to shop after work or going to our various bars and restaurants. Nice to see that.

The City Paper also did some analysis, but on the single-trip basis, mostly. Columbia Heights doesn't appear on the most or least popular trips for the most part, but it turns out that Gallery Place-Columbia Heights is the single most popular late night trip. Woo!

Pretty fun stuff. Anything interesting you notice? Or have you done any analysis on your own of it? If I get a chance, I'll check it out soon!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Need to get a Christmas tree? Here are some local spots to buy them

If you're looking to buy a Christmas tree in the area, you're in luck: both Annie's Ace Hardware and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace sell them. Annie's, at 1240 Upshur, is a great hardware store in general, and the CHCM will be selling them on Saturdays.

Nice that there are some local options. If you have any others, let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Are you in DC for Thanksgiving? What are you planning to do?

While I'm sure a lot of folks in our area are heading elsewhere for Turkey Time, many are remaining in town. I've mostly gone home, but a few times I've stayed in town, eating with friends or hosting family who came to town. Plus there are folks who are DC natives.

It's kind of fun to be here for the holiday, the city is a lot emptier and there's still some things to do -- I remember going to a very empty but fun Black Cat one Thanksgiving night after eating with friends.

So what are your plans? Let us know in the comments! I'll run a post later with possibilities for things to go.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Local nonprofit Words Beats & Life celebrating 11 years, selling cool shirts and hoodies

Words Beats & Life, a Columbia Heights nonprofit that teaches young people on how hip hop can change lives, is celebrating their 11th anniversary.

To mark it they're selling these really awesome shirts and hoodies! Buy one and you'll look cool and know you're helping a great local group.

Here's more from them:
After a decade of handing down traditions the newest Words Beats & Life design is a throw back. This design was inspired by the artwork from Wild Style the movie. When you purchase, this is your opportunity to stay classic (and warm!) and support an organization you believe in. “Give The Gift Of Hip-Hop” and look fresh while you do it.  It is the support of people like you that makes it possible for WBL to provide after school programming for 200 youth a year. 

New parking rules in Ward One: more parking for residents only

Just saw this posted to some Yahoo groups, some changes to the parking rules. Take a look! 

I don't have a car, but let us know in the comments what you think.
DDOT to Complete Implementation of Enhanced Residential Permit Parking Program in Ward One

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to complete the implementation of the Enhanced Residential Permit Parking (ERPP) program in Ward 1 over the next few weeks. The ERPP program protects parking for neighborhood residents by designating one side of the street resident only parking from 7 am to 8:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

New signage for the ERPP program will be posted on blocks with traditional Residential Permit Parking (RPP) restrictions in ANCs 1A, 1B and 1C (ANC 1D opted out of the ERPP program). One side of the street will have RPP restrictions, and the other side will have enhanced restrictions.

RPP provides residents, with a residential parking permit, the ability to park on streets in their permitted area. Non permit holders may park in these areas for a maximum of two hours. By contrast, only residents may park on a curb with ERPP restrictions during the posted hours of enforcement, and an ERPP violation is a towable offence.

DDOT is implementing legislation sponsored by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and passed by the DC Council earlier this year. Crews will be working on an accelerated schedule to install about 2,500 new signs on approximately 550 neighborhood blocks included in the program. The installation will begin on or about November 17.

Please visit our website for more information about DDOT's Parking Services
Graham added these notes too:
On the notice I issued earlier today, I have received a small but important clarification from the Department of Transportation. Days and hours of RPP enforcement WILL NOT CHANGE from what currently exists on a block with established Zone One parking. The DEFAULT days and hours for residential blocks not otherwise designated (such as recently added residential streets) will be, as stated by DDOT, 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM, Monday through Friday. 

The Enhanced Visitor Parking Pass being mailed to residents will allow your guest to park on both sides of the ERPP street. The Zone One restricted side as well as the opposite side of the residential street.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Contest time! Win free tickets to the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band

Here's a cool opportunity to get some free tickets to DC's Different Drummers! What's your favorite classical music piece? Email newcolumbiaheights(at)gmail(dot)com with your answer, and I'll randomly choose somebody to get 4 tickets! Reply by Friday!

Capitol Pride Symphonic Band and Capitol Pride Winds present American Salute! 

D.C.'s Different Drummers Capitol Pride Symphonic Band (CPSB) has been preparing a fabulous fall concert, American Salute!, which will be held at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 17th

Buy your tickets today at our online store! Children 12 and under are free.

Our conductor, Joe Bello, along with the band, have a truly special evening of music planned for Saturday, November 17th. The concert will be performed at the Columbia Heights Education Campus Auditorium (3101 16th Street NW).

American Salute! will feature pieces by famous American Composers, from Bernstein to Copland, Maslanka and many more. 

We are very happy to host special guest conductor, Travis Cross - Director of Bands at Virginia Tech. In addition, we will feature three incredible guest soloists - two instrumentalists and a bass vocalist, Michael Dane.

Following this performance, the band will prepare for our concert for the Maryland Music Educator's Association Conference in Baltimore Maryland on Saturday, February 23rd, 2013. The performance will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, and our theme will be Citiscapes.

On March 23rd, 2013, at 7:30pm, the band will perform our spring concert, A Space Odyssey at the Columbia Heights Education Campus Auditorium.