Friday, May 30, 2014

Beer growlers now at Lion's Liquor

If you're a beer fan, get yourself to Lion's Liquors at Georgia and Otis. The store, renovated not long ago, has just installed a refillable growler machine -- the idea is that you buy a big bottle and they fill it with the fresh beer of your choice.

D'Vines on 14th has a similar setup, and people seem to really like it. I plan to check this one out soon. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Watch out for basement floods: get insurance, clean the gutters, get plastic boxes, etc

While you might not have experienced it yet, watch out for basement floods. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself, and also to replace your stuff if it gets ruined.

I learned a hard lesson recently after the big rainstorm a few weeks ago: a bunch of water got into our basement and ruined a number of boxes of my and my roommates' things. Thankfully nothing super expensive was ruined, but it was a lot of books and CDs I'll have to replace.

It's a good reminder that when it rains, make sure to check and see if water got in. We thought we were fine until we found a bunch of soaked boxes in a corner.

The flood also spurred us to get a bunch of plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes (they're $8-$12 at Target.) Then even if water gets in, odd are it won't ruin your stuff.

Over the last few days when it rained more, I was able to spot the source of the flood. Of course your results may vary, but for us, it was clogged gutters that then caused water to pour down and find its way in. And since the gutters were clogged, it didn't matter that we had a big downspout since no water was getting there.

The whole ordeal also showed us that we need to get renters' insurance. It's pretty inexpensive and covers theft, fire and more. Many basic forms of renters insurance don't actually cover floods (as in a river overflows and floods your place), but some do cover water damage, so make sure yours does. Read more here from the government's National Flood Insurance Program and the differences between floods and water damage.

It's also important to dry out your basement as soon as possible when it floods as the water can attract mold or bugs, neither of which you want. The City Paper has more about mold -- due to a loophole, the city can't cite your landlord over mold. You also want to make sure there's some kind of drain so any water can go somewhere.

Those are my unfortunately-learned lessons about basement floods. Anybody else have tips, suggestions or warnings?

You're funny, Peapod truck

Peapod truck is funny

Spotted this the other morning -- nicely done, Peapod.

Have you used Peapod? Good deal? Good cashews?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Columbia Heights residents debate splitting single family homes into condos

There's an interesting debate over at the Columbia Heights Yahoo listserve about subdividing rowhouses -- one resident, Phil Robey, said he was tired of it, arguing that developers make lots of money while ruining the character of the neighborhood and taking away parking.

He wants to have a meeting about restricting it somewhat, which is when the conversation got going. Some folks agreed, saying you could "down-zone" the area to R4, meaning it would be less dense and houses could only be cut into two units, while others said doing that would only make housing more expensive. A resident chimed in, saying cutting rowhouses into 4 units makes the area into the suburbs, and then somebody who lives in such a unit disagreed -- it's still a rowhouse, after all.

I'm no expert but it seems to me that cutting supply in a high demand area like Columbia Heights can only make things pricier. I don't really see a big hit if some houses are converted into multiple units, but there ought to be a balance -- otherwise you lose all the units that would otherwise house families, replaced by those for singles or couples.

Often though, these kind of developments happen in formerly abandoned buildings, like the one at 13th and Otis I wrote about a while ago -- it's more economical for a developer to fix one abandoned house into multiple units than just one. I think many folks (especially planners) would argue that more density is a good thing. What do you think?

Here's Phil's original post:
How many neighbors out there are sick of seeing 100+ year old houses in Columbia Heights destroyed by developers - most of whom come in, make tons of money cutting houses into 5 or more units, and then move on. This not only ruins the character of the neighborhood, it greatly restricts our parking.

I've brought this issue up with Jim Graham and his advice has been to declare our houses "historical." The problem is, that only restricts the exterior of the house - it does not restrict development of the interior.

I believe we need a law that restricts development of most houses in CH to Two (2) units. I am thinking about arranging a meeting on this at either my house (2600 block of 13th St.) or at the Church on the corner of 13th and Fairmont. I would like to see what Briane Nadeau has to say about restricting development.

Any one interested in joining me in putting together such a meeting?

Offices, residential coming to former Pan Lourdes bakery space on 14th

Offices coming to bakery space There's a few new office spaces and housing coming to 14th. You may recall that Pan Lourdes, the tasty and cheap Latin American bakery, moved about a block up 14th Street a little while ago -- they used to be at 3407 14th Street NW, near Newton and Monroe.

They're open again up the street, make sure you check them out for inexpensive pastries and tacos.

Their old space (pictured here) has been undergoing renovations for some time, and this weekend I spotted the permits in the window. The space is going to be three floors of offices and a top floor of residential space.

I'm not sure what kind of offices they'll be, but it's always good to have a variety of land use on the street, especially in a formerly empty building.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weird potato chip-covered nuts at Giant

Weird nuts

This isn't something you see every day: Giant has a display near the registers for "B More Nutz Nutterz" which are potato-chip crusted peanuts, apparently from Baltimore. The display (cut off here) says something like "the hottest not so hot snack in America" while the website listed doesn't work.

There were a few flavors, like crab (with Old Bay), bacon cheddar, and barbeque. There's not much else out there except for this positive review on a hot sauce website, which confirms that they're from outside Baltimore (hence the B More part) and says they're based on a Scandinavian bar snack.

Interesting. I was in a hurry to get to a cookout, but maybe next time I'll check them out. They seem weird, but that review makes me hungry.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Help local art space BloomBars get funding from Whole Foods: just click "like"!

BloomBars, the great 11th Street non-profit that hosts performances, talks, classes and all manner of events, is in a contest from Whole Foods called "Nickels for Nonprofits." The idea is that Whole Foods will donate a nickel for each person who has a reusable bag rather than taking paper or plastic. And to help BloomBars, all you have to do is click "like" on this Facebook post by Whole Foods -- that's it! It's not even one of those things where you click and are get spammed, it's just one post, so there's nothing to fear.

If you haven't been to BloomBars, which is just up the street from Wonderland, it's worth checking out. There's all kinds of events and classes for kids (and their parents,) they're hosting a Cape Verdean Film Festival this weekend, they have musical and poetry performances, and a lot more. They're also a frequent venue for community meetings, and were even named the best arts and culture nonprofit in this year's City Paper Best of DC.

So help them out! It takes 2 seconds! You have until midnight to make a difference!

Free D-Day 70th anniversary commemoration concert at the Old Soldiers Home on Saturday

Memorial Day is upon us, as is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Europe during World War II, The Armed Forces Retirement Home and local group Friends of the Soldiers Home are sponsoring a concert to commemorate the event and Memorial Day: a free concert that's open to the public.

The show features a high school band from California, and takes place at the Home, which is a beautiful, green campus for retired military personnel located just northeast of Park View. It sounds like a great opportunity to enjoy the nice weather in a nice place.

Outdoor city pools open this weekend!

It's finally here -- the city's free, outdoor pools are opening this weekend! In our area, there's one at the Banneker Rec Center at Georgia and Euclid, plus one farther afield at the Upshur Pool, 4300 Arkansas Avenue. Here's the whole list.

If you haven't been, the pools are big and a lot of fun. They don't sell snacks or drinks, but you can bring in water.

Banneker is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from noon to 6 pm, then open weekends only starting May 31 to June 22. On June 23rd, it's open every day but Thursday.

They're free for city residents if you have a DC drivers license or voter ID or other mail with a valid government ID:
Admission to DPR pools is free to DC Residents.  Residents must provide a valid proof of current District of Columbia residency and a photo ID in order to be admitted to any public pool within the District. Valid documents, as stated by the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), is limited to the following:
  • DC Driver's License or DC Non-Driver Identification Card
  • DC One Card registered with DPR (indoor pools only)
  • University IDs from American, Catholic, Gallaudet, Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, or Trinity Universities
  • US Department of State Driver's License or Diplomatic ID Card
  • Valid Uniformed Services Military ID Card
  • Veteran's Home ID Card
  • Letter or Card from Court Services, DC Department of Corrections, US Government Probation Office, DC Social Services Agency
Residents without a DC Driver's License may also provide a valid government photo ID and one of the following:
  • Utility bill (water, gas, electric, oil, or cable) with name and address, issued within the last sixty (60) days
  • Telephone bill (no cell phone, wireless or pager bills acceptable) reflecting applicant's name and current address, issued within the last sixty (60) days
  • Deed or settlement agreement
  • Unexpired lease or rental agreement with the name of the applicant listed as the lessee, permitted resident or renter
  • DC Property Tax bill
  • Unexpired homeowner's insurance policy reflecting name and address

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Someone has a literary sense of humor at the Fitzgerald apartment building


The other day I was walking down 16th Street near Spring and noticed this sign at the Fitzgerald apartments: "Gatsby living, Carroway rents. Boutique living at its finest" referring of course to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, where Nick Carroway was Jay Gatsby's poorer neighbor. Kind of nice to see some creativity in apartment naming.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Co-ed local soccer league Federal Triangles looking for players

If you want to get active and have some camaraderie, here's an opportunity for soccer in the neighborhood!
Co-Ed Soccer in Columbia Heights

Summer of Freedom 2014 Presented by Nellie's Sports Bar, a coed 9v9 soccer league that plays in Columbia Heights, is looking for female players of all skill levels as well as male or female goalkeepers to round out rosters. Sign up as an individual or with a friend and get placed on a team.

Games will be on Tuesday nights starting on June 10 at the turf field behind Target. The fee is $85 and gets you 11 games plus a snazzy jersey you get to keep. The league is based in the LGBT community and players of all orientations are encouraged and welcome to play.

Spaces are limited and available on a first come first served basis. For more information and to receive the registration link, send email to

Red Rocks has an awesome happy hour, M-F 5-7 (plus good food)

If you like deals, get yourself to Red Rocks. I hadn't been to the pizza spot at 11th and Park in a little bit when I stopped by this week, and was pleasantly surprised by the happy hour deals.

From 4-7 pm Monday through Friday, there have deals including $3 Brooklyn Lager and Peroni, cheap wines and mixed drinks. There's also lots of food deals, like $4 garlic knots (little bread bites where were really tasty) and pizzas starting at $6. Can't beat that deal.

Along with the deals, they also have other tasty food at regular prices -- the meatballs were fantastic, and we also really liked the Brussels sprouts salad.

If you haven't been in a while or haven't been at all, check them out. The patio is really nice on warm evenings (plus you sometimes get the tasty bread smell from the bakery down the street.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Need a post office in the neighborhood? There's two on Georgia Avenue


For some people, this may be a "no duh" post, but maybe helpful for others. The other day I was looking for post offices and forgot that we have two in our area -- there's a station at Georgia Avenue and Morton in Park View, and one a bit farther north at Georgia Avenue and Upshur, which also has a cool, old school painted glass window (pictured above.)

Both are open regular hours, Monday-Friday 9am-10:30am, then a break for lunch, then 11:30am-5 pm. Neither are open on the weekend, but a bit farther away, there's one at 2300 18th Street NW which is open on Saturdays. There's also the Fed Ex Office on 14th near Kenyon if you need that sort of service.

Here's the websites for the Morton Street and Upshur Street offices.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Adams Morgan outdoor movie nights start Tuesday at Marie Reed field

If you like watching movies outdoors, you're in luck. Adams Morgan is having a family movie night at the new Marie Reed field at 18th and California, with bike valet, Pleasant Pops, and popcorn and drinks for sale to benefit the Marie Reed PTA. Read on for more!
Seeing is Believing:
First Annual “Adams Morgan Movie Nights” Brings Family Friendly Outdoor Film Screenings to 18th Street, NW Series Begins May 20th

Throw a blanket down on the plush new soccer field at 18th and California Street, NW on May 20th, June 10th or June 24th and enjoy family friendly feature films under the stars. Presented by the Adams Morgan Partnership BID and the Marie H. Reed Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, Adams Morgan Movie Nights ( will begin shortly after sunset and all films are free and open to the public.

Here’s the film schedule, which kicks off this Tuesday and continues on select Tuesdays in May and June:

May 20th - Up
June 10th - All the President’s Men
June 24th - Rushmore

There will be FREE bike valet available each night by Two Wheel Valet (May 20) and City Bikes (June 10 and 24th). Local favorites Pleasant Pops ( will be selling their eclectic (and delicious) homemade popsicles on site, and the Marie H. Reed Elementary School PTA will have popcorn and cold drinks available for sale. All proceeds benefit the Marie H. Reed PTA.

Limited edition screen-printed tote bags containing deals and gifts from local businesses will be handed out to the first 150 attendees each night by City Paper Readers Poll “Best of DC” winners Meeps ( so get their early.

Preview of Lyman's Tavern at 14th & Quincy, coming later this month (& photo gallery)

Lots of vintage stuff Kevin has collected over the years

We've written about Lyman's Tavern a few times, it's the neighborhood bar coming next door to the Red Derby at 14th and Quincy, and last week I got a chance to see the inside with co-owner Kevin Perrone. It's almost done and looks great. Read on, and check out the photo gallery at the bottom.

A neighborhood resident, Perrone said they're hoping to open at the end of the month, pending permits and inspections and the like, and I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's got a nice rustic vibe, with lots of old wood that Perrone salvaged from inside the building and from another building on 11th Street, though it's not a Montana-themed bar like Urban Daddy article said. Perrone lived in Montana for 10 years, and there are some touches (like bathrooms with "Bucks" and "Does" signs) but his goal is just for it to be a relaxed, neighborhood place with no theme. He said he's been wanting to open a bar for a long time, and has worked at a number of them including the Raven and elsewhere in DC, plus in other states.

Continuing the rustic vibe is the decor: there's a lot of vintage cameras, old beer paraphernalia and other interesting stuff that Kevin has collected over the years. There's a main jukebox with honky tonk, country, rock and roll and the like, plus smaller jukeboxes at each table where people can play songs on the main jukebox -- a cool touch. There will also be four pinball machines and Super Off-Road, the fun old arcade game where you race off-road trucks. There's a piano too, which was recently tuned, and Kevin entertained the possibility of getting a piano player at times, plus maybe occasional bands.

They will have food, but they don't have room for a full kitchen so the menu won't be huge -- he said they're still working out what they might have. They'll have 6 draft beer lines, including PBR, DC Brau and Long Trail, a beer from Vermont which Kevin is a big fan of (he also lived in Vermont.) The spot will be open at 11 am all day, so they expect to have a lunch menu, drip coffee and wifi, possibly something brunch-y too.

The capacity is 70, mostly seated but perhaps some standing folks around the bar and elsewhere -- one interesting feature is the bar stools, which are farther apart than at many places. Perrone said he didn't want people to be squeezed together, and wanted to make it easy for people to come up and order beer or for waiters to drop off food. There's enough room for somebody to stand between two bar stools if they want to chat. He joked that there's a lot of "experience and science behind the placement of our stools." There are also plugs for your phone charger or whatever under the bar.

The front of the building opens up to the street as well with a roll-down metal door (sort of like a garage door) which is a nice touch.

There will also be a patio. He's still working on the configuration and fencing, and it will open later on due to permits and such, but there will be some outdoor places to sit.

In all, the place sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood, and I look forward to stopping in when it's open.

Friday, May 16, 2014

District Flea goes on hiatus, may be closed for good

District Flea This is too bad: District Flea, the vintage clothing, furniture and craft market at the empty lot at 945 Florida Avenue NW, announced this week that they're going on hiatus.

The City Paper and Post say that visitor interest had been diminishing each week, resulting in fewer and fewer vendors. I stopped by on the Saturday of the Funk Parade (two weeks ago) and was surprised at how few there were, although I was also surprised they were open at all, as I didn't know it was a continuous thing and hadn't heard about their second season.

I wonder if that's part of the problem -- the market was very popular when it first opened, but I mainly heard about it through word of mouth, and I thought it was sort of a one-off (or at least a one-season off.) Since opening for their second season, I hadn't heard a peep about it anywhere. And while this isn't a famous news site or anything, this is a blog about the neighborhood right next to the market and I never got a press release or anything -- I happily would have written about it.

Another flea marker operator, Michael Sussman, who runs the U Street Flea Market, thinks the decline was due to their reliance on food -- this year, the District Flea folks added tables for eating and more food vendors. This seems like a strange argument to me, I went and had some coffee, some ice cream, and bought some items too. I figure people eating would probably browse too.

But that's my theory. Why do you think it closed? Did you go?

Domku makes the WaPo's Spring Dining Guide

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema's seasonal dining guides are respected lists of what you should check out (or avoid.) This spring's guide of 20 restaurants includes Domku, the Scandinavian/Eastern European spot at 8th and Upshur, and Sietsema gives it a glowing review. (Note that the star scale is more like traditional restaurant reviews than Yelp with 1 being terrible -- so Domku's 2 stars means good, not bad.)

Sietsema notes the new meat-free Tuesdays with vegetarian Swedish meatballs (mushroom, lentils and parmesan), Czech potato pancakes, and the infused aquavit, an alcohol similar to vodka infused with herbs or fruit. I'm a big fan of the dill aquavit they have.

Nice to see that a local, tasty spot is on the list. If you haven't been, check it out.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Friends of the Mt. Pleasant Library book, movie and music sale this Saturday!

If you like books or helping libraries, get yourself to the newly renovated Mt. Pleasant Library on Saturday from 10-3 for their book sale. The books, plus movies and music, are inexpensive and go to funding programs at the library. Here's more info:
Saturday May 17th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library will be having a book sale Saturday at the Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th Street NW, at the corner of 16th and Lamont Streets (nearest metro: Columbia Heights). They will be selling books for all ages and interests, including books in English and Spanish, as well as music and movies. Most books are $2.00 or less!

More information at
And in case you need more convincing, just read what John Waters had to say about people with books.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wonderland has awesome Taco Tuesday deals (but watch out for bocce folks)

Yesterday I went to Wonderland to enjoy the hot weather on the porch and also their taco Tuesday deal: $1 for a beef or refried bean taco (for 3 or 6), or the bocce special, $10 for 12 tacos. A pretty awesome deal; my friend and I polished off 12.

That said, Tuesday is also bocce day, and Wonderland is the sponsor bar for a league that plays at Tubman School, which means around 7:30-8 pm, the place starts to get really crowded with bocce-ers, so you may want to go early to find a table.

Have you been? I like to pair the tacos with an IPA or Eggenberg pilsner.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cool aerial videos of Adams Morgan from a quad-copter

Here's some views of Adams Morgan you don't see everyday: local activist Adam Eidinger has a few videos on his YouTube page of him flying a quadcopter (a helicopter with four rotors) mounted with a video camera over Adams Morgan.

It's cool to see the buildings and try to pick out places you know -- the bar that used to be the Reef, the church on Columbia Road, and most of the 18th Street bar strip.

The uses a LotusRC brand T580 quadcopter and a GoPro camera. (It's technically remote controlled, not a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle.)

Here's a nice one of the sunset over Adams Morgan, looking out over the rest of the city.

This one's over Kalorama

This one's of Adams Morgan Day, but it's a bit disorienting, and then he crashes the chopper (while adding some political messages about military drones.)

Baby steps at fixing 14th Street traffic? Painting lines for traffic at 14th and Monroe

As you've probably seen, 14th Street traffic has been driving me crazy lately (or more accurately, sitting me on the bus without moving like crazy lately.)

But here's maybe some baby steps: a friend snapped this picture of the city is painting turning lines at 14th and Monroe, showing people where they are supposed to drive. That intersection is often gridlocked or otherwise confused because people don't seem to know which way to go.

I suppose it's not a big thing, but it can't hurt.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rumor: Whole Foods looking at a store around 9th and U

This is interesting. PoP has some "scuttlebutt": a source tells him that Whole Foods is in negotiations to bring a store to the area around 9th and U.

Of course, this is just a rumor and may very well not happen (see Ellwood Thompson's organic supermarket not coming to DCUSA, for example), but the PoPster says the same source also told him about the H Street NE Whole Foods, which did end up happening.

If true, that would be pretty cool. The new Trader Joe's has been great, but as some commenters noted, Whole Foods has different things than other grocery stores (although Harris Teeter is similar in some ways to WF.)

It could also be a spark to the southern Georgia Avenue developments that have so far mostly stalled -- if you remember, there was supposed to be the Howard Town mixed use development at Georgia and V, but Howard University, which owns the land, recently canceled their agreement with the site's developers.

As for the actual location, the only real possibilities seem to be south of Florida around 8th, maybe where District Flea is on Vermont near Duffy's or the abandoned lots near the 9:30 Club, unless some buildings are torn down or reused -- like the buildings near the 9:30 Club or Town or the seemingly abandoned Howard buildings on Georgia (see the map below.) The latter would be great, there are some big unused buildings on Georgia that could be pretty nice looking if they were fixed up, like this one. That's just my own speculation, though.

And in my opinion, there can't be enough grocery stores. It's especially convenient for those folks in Park View and southeastern Columbia Heights, though of course Whole Foods is pricier for staple items than say Giant or Target (hence the nickname Whole Paycheck.)

What do you think?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Know a good place to frame posters and photos?

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Ikea to get some things for the house, including frames for some posters and photos. And of course, the frames I got didn't fit the things I had. Target didn't quite fit the bill either.

Can anyone recommend a good and reasonably-priced framing store in the area? Or even a place that has lots of frames of various sizes. It seems that my posters and prints I want to frame are too tall and skinny for most regular sized frames.

Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Cornelius Gysbrechts, "The reverse of a framed painting," 1670

Celebrate Petworth festival is tomorrow! 9am-6pm on Upshur

A few weeks ago, we wrote about a fundraiser for the upcoming Celebrate Petworth neighborhood festival, which will feature music, food, crafts, local businesses, lots of fun stuff for kids and a lot more. It also features the Petworth Market, the local farmers market.

And now it's upon us, tomorrow from 9am-6pm on the 800 block of Upshur just east of Georgia Avenue (where Domku, Petworth Citizen, etc. are.)

Here's the full schedule, and see below for a couple of flyers. It sounds like a lot of fun.
9:00 AM Petworth Community Market
12:00 PM Let the Celebration Begin! Celebrate Petworth Opens!
12:00 PM Spring Bazaar - Yard Sale Fundraiser to benefit Parents Organizing for the Power of Powell @ Church Lot on 9th Street
12:15 PM Synetic - Magical Balloon @ Safeway Kids' Stage
1:00 PM Petworth Library Childrens Story Time - The Very Hungry Caterpillar @ Safeway Kids' Stage
1:00 PM Martial Arts Demonstration by DAKA II Martial Arts Academy @ Petworth Park
1:00 PM Kenny Walker Gospel Group @ Music Stage
1:00 PM Petworth Market Closes
1:45 PM Teatro de Luna - Chiquititos: Itsy-Bitsy with Karin & Marcela @ Safeway Kids' Stage
2:00 PM All-Level Yoga Demonstration by Lighthouse Yoga Center @ Petworth Park
2:30 PM Herb Scott @ Music Stage
3:00 PM Petworth Library Childrens Story Time - The Very Hungry Caterpillar @ Safeway Kids' Stage
3:30 PM Edy Blu @ Music Stage
3:45 PM ArasDance @ Safeway Kids' Stage
4:00 PM Kids Yoga Class by Ajeena Abdul - Twists and Turns Body Fitness @ Petworth Park
4:30 PM Nappy Riddem @ Music Stage
6:00 PM Event Ends

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lyman's Bar at 14th and Quincy opening next week!

Whoa! I've been following Lyman's, the new bar coming next door to the Red Derby, for some time, but just heard some news: the blog Urban Daddy says they're opening next week.

The blog says it's actually a Montana-themed bar, which is different from the Vermont theme we heard before. It's rustic inside with lots of wood, furniture and old stools, antiques and old food items, a jackalope. The food will match: hearty, simple stuff like chili, sliders, popcorn.

The spot will have about 70 seats and the idea is to be a relaxed, neighborhood spot.

There's also a photo gallery on the Urban Daddy site, which looks pretty great. Here's Lyman's Facebook page.

Here's our previous visit to the bar, which also mentions the indoor-outdoor bar (there will be patio seating on the Quincy Street side) plus the 3 pinball machines. Here's the rest of our previous coverage.

Once I get more details, I'll let you know. I'm pretty excited.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alleged "peeping tom" near Spring Road and Spring Place

If you live in northern Columbia Heights, be on the lookout! Just saw this on the Spring-Perry listserve
Please be on the lookout for a suspicious male whom I caught last night peeping into the back window of a house located on Spring Pl. I called 9-1-1 and the police detained the "peeping Tom" - but released him after about 20 minutes of questioning.

The person in question appeared to be a Latino male about 5'8" or 5'9" and had medium, but not quite stocky build. He had short dark hair and was wearing jeans and a bright orange or red long-sleeved t-shirt with white bird-like figure on the back. He was also riding a gray female bike with blue lettering.

I witnessed this incident around 10:45 pm and it lasted for at least 30 minutes before the police arrived.

Please be safe and alert.
Yikes. If you notice anything suspicious, or suspected drug dealing or prostitution, it's good to call the police even if you think they won't be able to get there. More reports in an area mean the police will look at an area more.

Youth soccer leagues for boys and girls 2-8 now accepting registrants

Do you have kids and want them to get some exercise and play on a team? Kicks are for Kids is launching their newest soccer season soon.

Here's more from their posting to the Ward 1 listserve (Rodney Dangerfield not included):
LATE SPRING SOCCER - (Boys & Girls - Ages 2 - 8)
6 WEEKS Session only $99

Register online @
*Space Limited!

- Begins: Sat/Sun - MAY 31st
- Deadline: Friday, May 30th

"Kicks Are For Kids" is proudly serving ADAMS MORGAN | COLUMBIA HEIGHTS | CAPITOL HILL | & MORE
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Free concert at the National Zoo on Monday: Portugal. The Man

This is pretty cool: Alaskan indie rock band Portugal. The Man is playing at the National Zoo this Monday at 6:30, as part of The Endangered Song, an advocacy campaign for endangered Sumatran tigers.

The band and the zoo made 400 records with The Endangered Song on it, because there are 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. But there's a catch -- the records will wear down as they're played, and need to be digitally reproduced -- like the tigers need to breed to survive as a species. Interesting stuff.

The records went out to 400 folks, who must reproduce the song digitally. Here's more on the project, and the press release below.

Free Portgual. The Man Concert at National Zoo

WHAT: Portgual. The Man will perform a free stripped down concert at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo as part of the #EndangeredSong campaign. Guests can register via

WHEN: Monday, May 12
6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
(Please note: The band goes on promptly at 6:30 p.m. Media may arrive at 5:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Band Shell at Lion/Tiger Hill
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(Please note: media credentials are required for free parking. Parking Lot D (paid), near the Harvard Street gates, is the closest to Lion/Tiger Hill. Any guests taking Metro and entering from the Connecticut Avenue pedestrian gates should allow 10 to 15 minutes to walk to the band shell.)

WHO: Portgual. The Man
Great Cats Team, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and National Zoo and indie band Portgual. The Man launched the #EndangeredSong Project April 22, Earth Day 2014. The analog meets digital outreach campaign has been raising awareness about the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and the need for conservation efforts. The Zoo and the band distributed a previously unreleased song titled “Sumatran Tiger” to 400 social media influencers on 400 custom polycarbonate records, which will degrade after a certain amount of plays. With no other copies in existence, the 400 participants were tasked with digitizing and “breeding” the song through their social channels with #EndangeredSong.

Portugal. The Man will begin their performance promptly at 6:30 p.m. There is no opening act. The Great Cats team at the Zoo will be available to answer questions about Sumatran tigers—including the three living there—and conservation. Food and beverages will be available for purchase during the concert. The Zoo’s Speedwell Conservation Carousel will play music by Portugal. The Man that evening to celebrate the Endangered Song Project.

Lots of neighborhood meetings coming up: Ward 1 budget, Bruce Monroe Park, Georgia Ave streetcars

If you're interested in budget, streetcars, the Bruce Monroe Park plans or Park View, read on! The list comes from the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force

The Mayor’s Ward 1 Budget Meeting is today – Tuesday May 6th at 6:30 at the Columbia Heights Rec Center at 1480 Girard Street, NW (2 blocks south of the Columbia Heights metro)

The Park View UNC Monthly Meeting will be taking place tomorrow, Wednesday May 7th , 7-8pm at the Park View Rec Center (693 Otis Pl NW, entrance on Warder by Otis Pl). There will be a discussion of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force

The next meeting to discuss the community’s desire for the long term use of the Bruce Monroe Park site will be Thursday May 8th at 6:30 at the Cesar Chavez PCS at the corner of Sherman and Kenyon (770 Kenyon). Enter through the rear parking lot.

The next meeting of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force will be Monday May 12th at 7pm at 2632 Georgia Avenue NW (Corner of Georgia and Fairmont). DDOT will be making a presentation to the community regarding streetcars.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Lots of Cinco de Mayo events in the neighborhood: deals, a health fest, more

Today is Cinco de Mayo, a celebrating Mexico's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Despite not actually being Mexican Independence Day (that's Sept. 16) it's a big deal in the US, and lots of local spots are having events and deals for it. Plus, Mexican culture is pretty cool, as Anthony Bourdain points out: good food, good drinks, good music, good people.

Lou's City Bar has beers of Mexico buckets for $18 and $7 house margaritas, plus special pork quesadillas all day and 1/2 off burgers until 7pm.

El Chucho has breakfast burritos (it's brunch, see) plus lots of drink specials, including $4.50 draft margaritas (which are awesome,) frozen margs for $5.50, and Tecate tall boys for $3.

DC Reynolds is having Mexican burger night with street corn, which looks pretty amazing.

There's a festival at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (14th/Kenyon/Park) with health booths like blood pressure and glucose screenings, plus face painting, Zumba exercise demos, and music, run by Medstar Health.

Eatonville promises a more laid-back atmosphere with $8 margaritas and $4 Estrella Damm beers (which are tasty and Spanish.)

I'm also told that El Tio, which replaced Alero, will have a mariachi band.

If you know of others, leave them in the comments!

Buy Nats tickets, help National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

This is pretty awesome: a little bit ago I received an email from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a national nonprofit based in Alexandria that works on cases of missing children and sexual exploitation.

They have a coupon code for Nationals baseball tickets where if you enter "NCMEC" as the coupon code whenever you buy tickets, for any game, the team will donate to the Center.

That's it! No extra cost to you, just extra donations to the center to help with their programs.

So don't forget to donate, and tell your friends!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weird trend: car crashes in front of Domino's Pizza

I don't normally write about car accidents, but this is unusual. On Wednesday night, my friend was walking up 14th Street just south of Girard and saw the aftermath of a wreck in front of Domino's: a car had jumped the curb and hit a sign, just missing a tree and the building itself. Police were on the scene and the driver wasn't there, presumably taken away in an ambulance. I hope they're ok. The photos are above and below.

Then last night, at nearly the same spot in front of Domino's, she reported that one car had rear-ended another.

I'm not sure what it is, but two accidents in the same place seems like a pattern. Maybe there's something in the road or with the lights that causes unsafe driving. Has anybody who drives there noticed anything?

And I hope everybody is ok.

Kentucky Derby specials at the Heights, Acre 121 tomorrow

The Kentucky Derby, probably the most famous horse race in the world (and an excuse to get dressed up and have fun) is Saturday. Some local establishments are having some deals for you to get into the spirit.

Acre 121 is showing the race on their TVs, plus $7 drink specials and a Derby Hat contest, which sounds pretty fun. They're also showing the Floyd Mayweather fight after. The Heights has Hot Brown sandwiches, a traditional Kentucky food, plus drink specials, and the Red Derby is hosting brunch (big hats recommended) and deals. They're also showing the race. Here's the full rundown for them all.
KENTUCKY DERBY AT ACRE 121: Join us for this Saturday's Kentucky Derby! Catch all the excitement on our patio or HD screens with $7 Mint Juleps and DerbyPunch. Come decked out in your race day finest to participate in our Derby Hat contest for a $25 bar gift certificate, plus play our Trifecta Pick

MAYWEATHER-MAIDANA AT LOU’S CITY BAR: Saturday night we'll have the action packed welterweight title fight btw Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana -- Champ vs. Champ! Join the Facebook event and get 1/2-off at the door, and enjoy $18 Tecate buckets, $20 Heineken buckets & pitchers and Fireball specials all night:

The Heights will have Kentucky Derby specials all day on Saturday, May 3, 2014, featuring Kentucky Hot Browns (a baked open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce) and Bourbon Balls, as well as drink specials such as Mint Juleps. The Kentucky Derby will be shown on the TVs at the bar.
The Red Derby has a Derby Day party starting at 11 am with a Big Hat Brunch, plus $3 bloody marys and mimosas, and $5 mint juleps all day. They'll show the race on their projector and will serve pie around 6 pm. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Candidates' signs are supposed to be taken down by today: report the offenders!

Gray signs, the day before election

One of my pet peeves is signs that stay up way longer than they should: political candidates, those wheatpaste ones by ANSWER Coalition for protests, and so on. They start out being helpful, but eventually just end up as litter -- and often with ANSWER and the like, they advertise protests that happened years before.

The law states that today is the deadline for signs from the most recent primary elections, and further adds that no sign can be up for more than 180 days. However, there are still a lot up around the area.

If you see a poster, the city asks you to call 311 and report it. I'm going to be on the lookout, these things drive me nuts. The offending campaigns (and protest groups) face fines starting at $150, up to $2000, which hopefully will get them to take them down.

Photo from 2010

Wonderland's 10th annual Sundress Fest is this Sunday: awesome times

Venerable neighborhood watering hole Wonderland has been around for 10 years, as has one of their most hallowed traditions: the annual Sundress Fest.

The idea is that guys and girls dress wear sundresses and enjoy the nice weather -- everyone in sundresses gets happy hour deals all day long. You can wear your dress, or they'll have a few you can borrow too. Proceeds from sales go to DC Central Kitchen, so it's fun and for a good cause.

They're open 10am-2am on Sunday, so there's a lot of time for sundress-related fun.

In previous years, the event has been a blast, and the weather looks good this time around too. They'll also have a contest for best man and woman in sundresses too, so you might as well go all out.

Here's some photos from previous years' good times to put you in the spirit.