Friday, July 31, 2015

Walter's Sports Bar showing Ronda Rousey fight this Saturday: deals aplenty

Walter's, the new sports bar from the Looking Glass Lounge and DC Reynolds folks, will be showing the Ronda Rousey fight against Bethe Correia on Saturday, with lots of deals.

It's a pretty big event (and Rousey is bad-ass.) There's a $5 cover from 4 to 8 p.m with $5 wings, $4 DC Brau, $3 shots of Powers whiskey. Their regular West Coast Happy Hour runs from 8 to 10 p.m. with $4 West Coast and drafts. Preliminary fights start at 7 with the fight afterwards.

Suntory Japanese whiskey pop-up Bar Otsukare at Crane & Turtle on Monday

This sounds awesome! The folks behind Bar Otuskare, which I wrote about last month, are back with another event this Monday the 3rd at Crane and Turtle on Upshur. Read on!

Bar Otsukare Offers “World Whisky of the Year” at Upcoming Pop-up

Released in December 2013 and named “World Whisky of the Year” 2015 in Jim Murray’s prestigious Whisky Bible, arguably no bottle has done more to thrust Japanese whisky into the world spirits limelight than the Yamazaki 2013 Sherry Cask. Bar Otsukare will have this whisky available at its next pop-up bar August 3, starting at 6:30pm at Crane & Turtle (828 Upshur St NW). This is open to the public and tickets are not required.

Named “Suntory Time!”, this installment of the Bar Otsukare pop-up will feature whiskies from the Suntory line of bottlings: whiskies from Yamazaki, Japan's oldest distillery and first Single; Hakushu, the pristine “Forest Mountain Distillery” on Mt. Kai-Komagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps; and Bill Murray's favorite blend, the complex and harmonious Hibiki.

Befitting this month’s theme, Bar Otsukare sought to include the Yamazaki 2013 Sherry Cask, described by Jim Murray as, “near indescribable genius,” and “a single malt which no Scotch can at the moment get anywhere near.” Released in Europe in December 2013 at the original price of £100, the entire stock of 18,000 bottles sold out almost immediately due to the reputation of previous Yamazaki sherry releases. Now, prices on the auction market exceed ~£1500, only fueling the surge in demand for all Suntory whiskies across the globe.

Photos from our Yamazaki 2013 Sherry Cask tasting:

About Bar Otsukare
“Otsukare!” is a word often heard in Japan after a hard day’s work. Short for “otsukare sama deshita,” the respectful phrase said to co-workers thanking them for their efforts, it is also the refrain that takes the place of “Kampai” when sharing a well-earned drink. A project from D.C. bartenders Eddie Kim (Room 11, Columbia Room, Daikaya) and Jesse Selvagn, Certified Sake Advisor, (Mandu, Proof, Daikaya), Bar Otsukare aims to demystify Japanese drinking culture in an accessible and unintimidating atmosphere.

The jerkstore called: Jerk Station restaurant to open in Sweet Mango space

Some news for Georgia Avenue: Sweet Mango, the Jamaican restaurant at Georgia and New Hampshire, will eventually be demolished and turned into condos, but in the meantime, a new Jamaican spot will be opening in the building, Jerk Station, according to Park View DC.

I like Jamaican jerk chicken a lot, and I also like Seinfeld:

(Or the short version:)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A reminder: don't park facing the wrong way on a one way street

You don't see this every day. A reader alerted me to this amusing situation yesterday: somebody parked facing the wrong way on Park Road. They're still there this morning, plus a few parking tickets.

Pretty weird: maybe they drove down, realized they were going the wrong way and parked? Maybe they were drunk? (Let's hope not.) Reader Yasha Moz, who sent it in, theorized that it's a Decepticon trying to blend in.

So, a helpful reminder: don't do this.

(And, naturally, they appear to have Maryland plates.)

Bizarre new Frankenstein condo attached to a townhouse

Well, this is strange. I was walking down 13th Street and at Otis saw something odd under construction: a modern-ish residential building where there used to be a townhouse with a big porch. What's extra strange though is that it's attached to what looks like other half of the townhouse.

This corner building has been a weird one for some time. Way back in 2009, I wrote about the crazy enormous rear staircase on the outside of the building, presumably a fire escape (commenters said the building was a home for special needs people, and thus the fire escape was required.)

The building seems to always have been a kind of Frankenstein duplex, with two not quite mirror image houses attached to each other. It seems the developer decided to demolish one half and replace it with an incongruous modern addition, which is still under construction. But even when it's finished, I bet it will still look very odd attached to its neighbor: it's much larger and blockier than the fairly nice, classic looking house it's attached to. (The twin houses were a little funky before, mainly due to the paint jobs not matching up, but this is another level of weirdness.)

The address is 3585 13th Street NW and there will be four 3 bedroom condos from the $600s to the $900s. The project's website doesn't actually show the adjoining house, it's just kind of a white square.

And I guess technically it's a Frankenstein's monster condo, but that doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

Here it was before from Google Streetview, and a few other shots from the other day.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pretty funny: Transformers Ford Bronco on 13th Street

The other day I was walking to Wonderland and spotted this: it's a black Ford Bronco with "AUTOBOT" license plates and the Ford emblems replaced with the Autobots logo, from the Transformers. Good thing it's an Autobot and not a Decepticon.

It's nice to know that if the bad guys attack, 13th Street will have some giant transforming robot protection.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Colony Club opens their back patio July 31st: drink specials, food truck, DJs, more

Colony Club, the cool coffee shop and bar at 3118 Georgia Avenue NW, is celebrating the opening of their rear patio next Friday. They'll have the Timber Pizza food truck, drink specialist, a DJ and a balloon artist -- a little something for everybody. (The before version of the patio is below, plus some interior shots.)

If you haven't been, Colony Club is a cool spot: it's a coffee shop until 5, and then a bar afterwards (except on Sundays, when they close at 5.) It's a really nice space with good coffee and good drinks (and $3 Pork Slap, which is an awesome deal!) I wrote more about it a few months ago.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Zometa's bakery and restaurant replaces Pollomio at 14th and Spring

Some more changes up around the Spring Road area: a new place, Zometa's, has replaced Pollomio on the southeast corner of 14th and Spring Rd. Pollomio was a Latin American chicken spot and bakery, the new place seems to have a much wider menu: breakfast food, lots of sandwiches (deli sandwiches, burgers, etc.), Mexican and Latin American, and baked goods.

I haven't checked it out but plan to soon.

(And amusingly, the "Hamburger" picture appears to be a chicken sandwich. Click the pictures for bigger versions.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Hilltop gastropub opening on Sherman Ave in September

A couple of years ago we heard about the Hilltop, a new bar and restaurant planned for 2737 Sherman Avenue NW. It's from Kaleabe Getaneh and Sam Jahanbeen, who are both affiliated with the folks behind the Saloon on U Street, and like that establishment will be focused on German and other imported beer and American food.

However, we haven't heard much except for a few construction updates, until Borderstan noticed that their Facebook page says they're opening in September.

The place is at the corner of Sherman and Girard in a big building that they've done a nice job renovating. The building has been vacant for a long time (the city previously had it registered as "vacant-blighted") so it's great to see something new and neat coming. It's also kind of in a gap, there isn't a ton nearby aside from Mama Chuy's and Dulcinea, and those are more restaurants.

The building will have outdoor seating and a big front window that opens all the way (like El Chucho.) According to their liquor license, which was approved, their hours will be 10am-1am Sun-Wed, 10am-2am Thurs-Sat, which suggests to me they'll have brunch. The outdoor areas will be 10am-11pm every day.

If you've been to the Saloon, you might recognize Kaleabe and Sam: Kaleabe is the longtime waiter formerly with dreadlocks (and a great guy) and Sam is the Saloon's owner's nephew.

The Saloon is a good spot too: relaxed, friendly, and they do a lot of community service, like building schools overseas.

Images from their Facebook and Google Streetview

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yikes, creepy Craigslist ad looks for "sexy friends with benefits" for free rent

This is pretty bizarre. On the Craigslist housing offered section there's a super creepy ad looking for a "sexy fwb" (as in friends with benefits) in exchange for free rent somewhere near the Howard campus. Basically he is asking for prostitution.

And bizarrely, seemingly the same person posted another ad at basically the same time asking for a female roommate (with similar language and poor spelling) which is less overtly illegal but still quite creepy. My guess is he realized this one wasn't obvious enough so he wrote the "sexy fwb" ad after.

Of course I flagged both ads. This person seems like a real piece of work. Be careful out there, folks.

Burlesque, comedy, music and more Wednesday at the Wonderland Circus

I've written about the Wonderland Circus before, it's a variety show with lots going on at the namesake watering hole. This Wednesday's event has burlesque, comedy and music. Read on!
WASHINGTON – The producers of The Capital City Showcase, the variety show that brings you some of DC’s finest performing artists, return to The Wonderland Ballroom with their latest installment of The Wonderland Circus this Wednesday, July 22nd at 8:30pm.

The Wonderland Circus is the variety show where anything goes! See a wide variety of performers do their stuff. Much like any circus, expect thrills, chills, and amazement! The show is Free Admission, though donations will be collected for the artists.

The July Circus will feature:

burlesque artist Crimson A'Lure
musician Spencer Joyce
comedian Michele Sometimes
comedian Ol' Mike B

Doors open at 8:00pm, show starts at 8:30pm. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Full bar service is also available!

For more info, call 202-431-4704.

Step Right Up!

What: The Capital City Showcase presents The Wonderland Circus
When: Wed Jul 22nd @8:30pm
Where: The Wonderland Ballroom - 1101 Kenyon Street NW, Washington DC 20010
Tickets: FREE ($5 suggested donation)
Info: Call 202-431-4704

Friday, July 17, 2015

DC Reynolds expands patio, adds mist sprayers

I mentioned this in the post about Walters, the new sports bar between DC Reynolds and Looking Glass, but DCR has expanded their patio! They took part of the old Park View Patio's patio so now it's a big L-shaped area.

They also added some mist-sprayers, which are great for hot days and hot nights. (I also really enjoyed the Old Fashioned, really well made.)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Late night pool party at Banneker Pool this Saturday!

This is pretty neat: the city's Departments of Parks and Recreation is holding late night pool parties, what they're calling "A Splish Splash Summer." This Saturday's is at Banneker Pool at Georgia and Euclid from 8:30pm to 11:30pm.

The pool will be open late, there's no entry fee (if you're a DC resident) and there will be a DJ and music -- however, you can't bring in outside food or drink. It does sound fun however, to enjoy the great city pools at night. It might be a fun post-dinner activity.

Here's their full press release. There are two other events after this at other pools around the city.

DPR presents "A Splish Splash Summer" Late Night Pool Party Series!!

DPR Customer Service:  (202) 673-7647

DPR Aquatics Division: (202) 671-1289
DPR Media Contacts:
Brian Armstead, (202) 746-2092, 
Rachel Newman, (202) 340-2910,
(WASHINGTON, DC) - Come out and socialize during the evening at three of DPR's popular outdoor pools!!  Today, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced plans to offer late night,  community pool party events for a second year in a row.  Hailed as an extremely successful pilot event in 2014, DPR's Aquatics Division has officially named the event  "A Splish Splash Summer" Late Night Pool Party Series, making this series an annual part of the District's summer outdoor pool season for all to enjoy!  
"Year after year, thousands of District residents and visitors of all ages take advantage of DPR's outdoor aquatic features.  Operating from Memorial Day through Labor Day, our 18 outdoor pools, 4 children's pool and 24 spray parks provide not only an opportunity for exercise and fitness, but also an environment of leisure and fun that everyone can enjoy," said Acting Director Keith Anderson.  "I am excited that our Aquatics Division is committed to not only bringing this popular, late night program back for the second year in a row, but that this is officially now an annual late night summer event series at DPR.  All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you at the 'A Splish Splash Summer' Late Night Pool Party Series."
Three #SplishSplashSummer pool parties will be offered as a part of the 2015 outdoor pools season series.  The event series is free, open to all ages and will have a DJ/music.  Please note that patrons are not allowed to bring any outside food nor drink onto the pool deck.  All events will take place from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm at various locations across the District of Columbia.  The locations and dates are as follows:
Saturday, July 18 : Banneker Pool (2500 Georgia Ave., NW - Ward 1)
- Saturday, July 25: Randall Pool (25 I Street, SW - Ward 6)   
- Saturday, August 29: Fort Stanton Pool (1800 Erie St., SE - Ward 7)  
Please note that registration is not required, and there are no non-resident admission fees, however photo ID is required for entry (youth will not need photo ID, however they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with a photo ID).  All  standard pool policies and rules will still apply. Please visit DPR's website for more information regarding DPR's policies on Pool Rules and Safety and Admission and Fees.

For more information, please call DPR's Aquatics Division at (202) 671-1289.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Walters Sports Bar from Looking Glass, DC Reynolds folks opens on Friday


I'm excited for this. Walters, the new sports bar that's a joint effort from the DC Reynolds and Looking Glass Lounge folks, will be opening this Friday. I checked out the soft opening last night and really enjoyed it. We first heard about the idea in May, and I've been waiting for this every since.

The space isn't changed too much from the previous tenants, but does look and feel a lot better -- it really seems like a neighborhood bar rather than a weird club thing that doesn't quite know what it was, which is what the former occupants, Park View Patio and Blue Banana, felt like. They have draft beers, cocktails, and so far just bar food, but they'll plan to have more in the future like pulled pork, Frito pie, chicken sandwiches, vegetarian options and more. Right now they have Buaffalo wings, hot dogs, pretzels, jerky and potato salad.

For happy hour, they have $2 off wine, $4 beer and $3 Powers whiskey, plus a late night happy hour for 8-10pm.

They'll also have tons of sports packages, and some interesting family-friendly and parent-friendly features. The patio is still there, but it's a bit smaller than before, when it was enormous. It's still a good size though. DC Reynolds took over the other portion of it.

I neglected to take pictures of the interior, but it's nice, a bit darker but still well-lit, and has magnetic boards over the tables so you can spell funny stuff with magnetic letters.

The press release is below, and shots of the menu.

A new fan focused, family friendly sports bar and restaurant –Walters -- is opening soon on the Georgia Avenue corridor in Parkview.

Named after legendary Washington Senators Hall of Famer and local icon Walter Johnson, the bar and restaurant will have a sports themed look and feel, with a décor highlighting the prohibition era of baseball. Along with Walter Johnson memorabilia, the atmosphere will pay tribute to the Washington Senators including team photos and a classic image of Babe Ruth at Griffin Stadium. Walters will also pay homage to local area sports including Sammy Baugh and the early days of the Washington Redskins.

Walters is located at 3632 Georgia Avenue NW, just below New Hampshire Avenue and only steps from the Georgia Avenue Petworth Metro station. It sits between its two sister bars, DC Reynolds and Looking Glass Lounge. It is a joint partnership of the owners of these two neighborhood mainstays, who between them have a combined total of 100 years of bar and restaurant experience in the DC Metro area.

Washington being a transient town, Walters will have special features for fans wanting to follow their outoftown teams. One innovation will be regional, timezoned beer selection to cater to sports fans from different timezones wanting to enjoy the games with their hometown beers. A special “West Coast” happy hour will be held from 8-10 PM where beers made on the west Coast will be offered at discount prices.

A familyfriendly atmosphere is a major goal of Walters. It will have seating sections where parents are welcome to bring their kids to enjoy the game action with them. The kids menu, in addition to traditional ballpark hotdogs, will have healthy offerings, including gluten free chicken skewers and dehydrated fruit. Walters is also introducing innovative weekday afternoon “time to unwind” specials from 4-7 PM for parents who want to drop by with their kids after picking them up from school or

The menu will be based on classic stadium offerings but with creative and fresh additions. It will include the classic beef frank, with a wide variety of optional toppings, warmed pretzels with beer cheese, house made jerky, bags of crackerjacks, and frito pie. The menu will also include roasted and pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, baked chicken wings, and roasted vegetables along with other vegetarian and glutenfree choices.

Walters will be opening under a limited menu so we can pilot the cuisine with our customers to ensure the best choices. Walters will air comprehensive sports packages on 9 HD televisions, and plans to open for daytime sports events during the week, and on weekends for soccer fans.

There will be an outdoor back patio with beergarden style seating.

The managing partner of Walters, Ben Fiske, formerly managed sports bars Laughing Man Tavern downtown and Bedrock Billiards in Adams Morgan. Fiske said, “We hope to bring to Parkview and Petworth a friendly neighborhood bar that accommodates the evolving community, particularly families and kids, with the heart and soul of regional sports teams.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Map: There are a ton of existing 7-Elevens near the two proposed 7-Elevens in our area

Last week, I wrote about a petition started by neighbors opposed to a 7-Eleven coming to 14th and Florida. One of their arguments is that there are already many similar businesses nearby -- convenience stores, groceries and markets.

I made a map of the 7-Elevens and found there are many less than a mile from two planned stores at 14th and Florida and 14th and Quincy. (The proposed 7-Elevens are red, existing green, and CVS and Walgreens the tan dots.)

There are eight 7-Elevens and five CVS locations within 0.8 miles of the one planned for 14th and Florida while the 7-Eleven coming to 14th and Quincy has three 7-Elevens and two CVS locations within 0.7 miles. The closest existing 7-Elevens to the planned ones in both cases are 5 blocks away.

Here's the full argument on the anti-7-Eleven petition, which as of writing is up to 235 signers:
We are a community, we are a neighborhood, we are families and friends. We care about how our neighbors treat each other, how the streetscape is maintained and we care to improve our surroundings.

We are happily satisfied with the neighborhood retail services today such as: Streets, Smucker Farms, Yes Organic, CVS and TraderJoes, yet we are very concerned about 7/11 entering our neighborhood. We believe that 7/11 will diminish and detract from our neighborhood, nor do we see it adding any value to our lives. We feel that, at best, 7/11 will just cannibalize existing businesses, assuming anyone was to patronize the establishment. Therefore, this location is not only unsatisfactory to the neighbors, but it is also a bad investment for 7/11. A bad investment for 7/11 is also a bad bet for the landlord jeopardizing their investment too. No one wins in this scenario. 
If you care about the future of our neighborhood and don't want to see a 7/11, or worse, a failed 7/11 take up a prominent corner, then please object by endorsing this petition.
Now I get why a franchisee would want to open a 7-Eleven: they're a known chain brand and you probably get most stuff provided to you, ready to go. But there are so many of them already. I would much prefer these were something else: a local market, a restaurant, a coffee shop (upper 14th could certainly use one) or pretty much anything else aside from a cell phone store or a bank, which are both terrible for foot traffic.

And another reason is that I don't want this area to be full of chains. At least they are sticking to 14th Street, but our area doesn't need to look like everywhere else. I wrote about this at length in 2011, but I think it's a bit different: especially at 14th and Quincy, there are no chains around, just interesting local businesses. 14th and Florida is the mostly same way, but there are a few chains around there.

I just wish we had some variety. And I really love Slurpees, so I'm going against my interest here. What do you think? More 7-Elevens?

Monday, July 13, 2015

White dog roaming around 13th and Columbia: know him?

A friend on Facebook just linked to this, someone spotted a white dog with a couple black spots in a harness near 13th and Columbia. Know this dog?
This little guy is roaming Columbia Heights. Obviously someone's pet. Last seen going south on 13th St NW and went west on Columbia Rd NW. He would not let me close enough to check halter for tags but had no collar. His most distinguishing feature was two black spots on the side opposite his photogenic side--- hope he gets home.
Here's the link on Facebook if you want to get in touch with the person who posted the photos. 

Whoa! Workers actually working on the vacant Bacon Funeral Home building

Well, this is something I never thought I'd see: workers working on the "new" Bacon Funeral Home. I say "new" because it's been an empty shell for at least 6 years.

Bacon Funeral Home at 3447 14th St NW has long had a massive, ugly and empty cinder block shell next door that's ostensibly been under construction. However, it's been under construction since at least 2009, if not earlier: Google Streetview shows the virtually unchanged structure in 2009, but not 2007.

The plan, as we last heard it, is that Bacon plans to demolish their current home, a repurposed townhouse, and turn it into a parking lot, and move into that big concrete building. However, that's been the plan for a long time as they either lacked funding or permits or just the will to make it happen -- it's been unclear.

In 2012 and 2013 they were ordered to make progress by the city, or the city would do it for them and place a lien on the building, effectively seizing it. And then last year, I saw some small changes, like scaffolding and actual doors and windows -- a good thing, as it was open to the elements and could potentially be a place where squatters or other criminals could go (like was the case with the now renovated 1483 Newton.)

Even if it's finished, I have a feeling it's still going to be ugly.

Here's the sad story from 2009 to today, via Google Streetview:




Friday, July 10, 2015

Indian bazaar and festival this weekend at BloomBars: shopping, music, arts, classes, more for kids and adults

This sounds like a neat event at BloomBars, the art space just up 11th Street from Wonderland. There will be shopping, crafts, arts, music, classes, dance, and a lot more celebrating the culture of India. Sounds awesome.

BloomBars is at 3222 11th Street NW.
Children's clothing in organic cotton • Handwoven scarves Personal accessories • Home decor • Handcrafted jewelry
*Saturday, July 11 - Sunday, July 12 10AM-7:30PM

Saturday, July 11th 
12pm - Bollywood Dance Performance by Wrijoya Roy of Rhythmaya 
1pm - Bollywood Dance Class (kids) 
2pm - Bollywood Dance Class (adults) 
3:30pm - Bollywood Dance Kids Class Recital
5pm - Selections from Meena's Dream by Anu Yadav ( RSVP: 
8pm - An Evening of Indian Classical Music featuring Soumya Chakraverty (Sarod), Haroon Alam (Tabla) and Nistha Raj (Violin) RSVP: 
Sunday, July 12th 
1pm - Bollywood Dance Performance by Wrijoya Roy of Rhythmaya 
3pm - Indian Classical Concert Matinee featuring vocalist Janani Ramachandran RSVP: 
Also, Shazia Jalil , a Henna artist, will be on hand from noon to 6 pm on both days.

Neighbors protest proposed 7-Eleven coming to 14th and Florida

Some neighbors aren't happy about a proposed 7-Eleven coming to the Solea condo building at 2300 14th Street NW, according to Borderstan.

Two days ago a local resident started a petition on, which is up to 176 signers, arguing that there are already plenty of food options nearby: Streets Market, CVS, Yes! Organic, Trader Joe's, Smucker Farms and more. (UPDATE: It's now up to 235 signers.)

There are also many 7-Elevens nearby already, like the one 5 blocks away at 12th and U, 7 blocks north at 14th and Columbia, plus and one coming to 14th and Quincy, and other nearby locations on Mt. Pleasant Street, Georgia & Shepherd and Columbia Road.

I signed the petition myself because I am tired of the same chains all over the place. We need some variety, not a 7th 7-Eleven within walking distance.

Ezra Weinblatt, who started the petition on Wedneday, told Borderstan “We’re hoping to get enough support behind the opposition to compel them and demonstrate that the neighborhood would rather have a more local bodega, clothier or anything else." Petition signers also argue the stores lead to a lot of loitering. I'm not sure I agree with that, but definitely support the petition.

Here's their full argument:
We are a community, we are a neighborhood, we are families and friends. We care about how our neighbors treat each other, how the streetscape is maintained and we care to improve our surroundings.

We are happily satisfied with the neighborhood retail services today such as: Streets, Smucker Farms, Yes Organic, CVS and TraderJoes, yet we are very concerned about 7/11 entering our neighborhood. We believe that 7/11 will diminish and detract from our neighborhood, nor do we see it adding any value to our lives. We feel that, at best, 7/11 will just cannibalize existing businesses, assuming anyone was to patronize the establishment. Therefore, this location is not only unsatisfactory to the neighbors, but it is also a bad investment for 7/11. A bad investment for 7/11 is also a bad bet for the landlord jeopardizing their investment too. No one wins in this scenario. 
If you care about the future of our neighborhood and don't want to see a 7/11, or worse, a failed 7/11 take up a prominent corner, then please object by endorsing this petition.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Photos and videos of the 4th of July in our neighborhood

It's my belief that the 4th of July is one of the best holidays, and the best place in the world to be for it is Columbia Heights. It's always crazy: people everywhere, fireworks exploding in every direction, tons of house parties, rooftop parties, yard parties and on and on. The fireworks part is the craziest, you can turn 360 degrees and constantly see fireworks launched from all over our area, plus neighborohoods and small towns farther afield -- as well as a good view to the Mall's official display. It's wild.

And I decided to go through social media to find a bunch of photos and videos showing what it was like this year. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

More details on The Airedale, European beer garden and gastropub coming to 14th Street in August: it sounds awesome

Last month, I was the first to report that the Airedale, a European beer garden and gastropub, was coming to the Mad Momo's space at 3605 14th Street NW, near Spring Road. They were aiming at August and planned to have three outdoor spaces, beer and prosecco on draft, and gastropub cuisine. A few days ago I heard more from the owners. Soccer fans, cocktail aficionados and European food lovers rejoice.

Co-owner Ben Jordan is partnering with Baback Salimi, who used to be at the Quarry House in Silver Spring (a great bar owned by the same folks who own El Chucho and its coming Italian counterpart, Little Coco's.)

The Airedale will have dinner and brunch as well as lots of soccer: the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and the Champions League. Here's a bit more about the spot, plus a sample menu, which has a lot of German wursts, French sandwiches, and fish and chips, plus poutine and deviled eggs. It sounds pretty amazing.
Our bar program includes prosecco based cocktails, European classics like the Aperol spritz, French 75 and the Pimm's Royal Cup as well as our own creations. The selection of spirits will be quite whiskey-forward with ryes and bourbons being well represented at all price points. We also plan on serving an Old Overholt soft serve, each serving containing a full shot of rye. We will offer an entire range of classic, handmade cocktails as well. There will be 15 beers on tap and we will make our own Radler (don't worry we'll have Stiegl too). 
The menu is classic European bar and cafe food served a la carte. The focus is on authentic, accessible pub and bar food from across Europe with one or two local favorites added as well.  
We will be open for brunch at 10am on Saturday and Sunday and will broadcast English Premier League, Bundeslliga and Champion's League football weekly.
Our website is
The hours on their website are Tues-Thurs 4PM-1AM / Fri 4PM-2AM / Sat 10AM-2AM / Sun 10AM-12AM / Happy Hour Tues-Fri 4-7PM.

And the possible menu. Man, it sounds so good.
Bratwurst / Schwienewurst / Half Smokes - roquette salad / kraut / pretzel bread
Currywurst - w/frites
Schnitzel - fried pork schnitzel / roquette salad / lemon
Steak Frites - w/roquette salad
Fish and chips – beer batter / house made tartar sauce 
Royale with Cheese - 1/4lb hamburger/ brioche bun / emmental / aioli
Croque Monsieur/Madame - béchamel / gruyere cheese / French ham (madame + fried egg)
Monte Cristo - deep fried croque monsieur / powdered sugar / preserves
Mitraillette - bratwurst, half smoke or schwienewurst / frites / hamburger / mayonnaise+ ketchup / demi baguette
Strammer Max – ham / house made pickles / tomato / fried egg / served open faced 
Belgian frites
Pretzel bread
Roquette Salad
Deviled eggs - applewood smoked bacon / prosciutto / chives
Charcuterie - Rotating selection of meats and cheeses 
Brunch Menu: (10am to 3pm weekends)
Croque Monsiuer - béchamel / gruyere cheese/ French ham/ choice of breakfast potatoes or roquette salad
Croque Madame - sunny side up egg / béchamel/ gruyere cheese/ French ham/ choice of breakfast
potatoes or roquette salad
Marscapone stuffed French toast - seasonal fruit compote / maple syrup
Buttermilk Banana Pancakes – bananas / cinnamon whipped cream
Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes - honey ricotta / blueberries
Wild Mushroom Fried Benedict - mixed mushrooms / spinach / roasted red peppers / chipotle hollandaise sauce / choice of breakfast potatoes or roquette salad. Add prosciutto 1.50
Crab Cake Fried Benedict - lump crabmeat / chipotle hollandaise sauce / choice of breakfast potatoes
or roquette salad
Frittata of the day - Chefs choice, changes weekly
Breakfast Deviled Eggs - applewood smoked bacon / prosciutto / chives
2 eggs – scrambled / sunny side up / over-easy/ over medium / over hard / 2 fennel sausage patties / 4 pieces apple wood smoked bacon / 2 pieces whole grain toast 

Shooting Tuesday outside the Columbia Heights Community Center's playground on Girard

This is pretty scary: on Tuesday morning, there was a shooting outside the Columbia Heights Community Center during a kids' summer camp, and apparently one of the people involved ran through the park. A scary (and very messed up) thing.

Here's the Department of Parks and Recreation's email to parents who had kids in summer programs at the center:
Good afternoon DPR families, 

I am writing to inform you of an unfortunate incident that occurred outside of Columbia Heights Community Center this morning. 

First, all campers are accounted for and safe.  However, it appears that there were gun shots fired on the street behind the playground and one of the persons involved ran through the playground area. Many of our camp participants were outside during this incident. MPD was notified immediately and the building and playground have been secured while MPD completes a sweep of the area. 

DPR takes the safety of our participants very seriously and, while we do not have any other details at this time, we wanted to inform you of this incident as soon as possible. We will continue to offer camp for the remainder of the day, but feel free to pick up your child early if you choose. 

If you have any questions, I can be reached at 202-391-1623

Best Regards, 
Vanessa Gerideau
Seasonal Programs Manager
Department of Parks and Recreation 
Phone: 202-671-0397
This area tends to have a lot of violence. I hope the police can do something about it, it is truly unacceptable. What kind of asshole does this near a kids' playground?

UPDATE: Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau will have a community meeting tonight at 9 pm at the Community Center (1480 Girard Street NW) to discuss the incident. (h/t Borderstan)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ridesharing service Split expands to parts of Columbia Heights

There's another transportation option in our area: Split, a service where you can hitch a ride with others for low rates, has expanded north to about Oak Street NW and Newton Place NW.

The idea is you mark where you are and where you're going, they direct you to a set stop point, and you may get in with someone going the same way or the driver may pick up others along the way (kind of like Uber Pool, which doesn't yet exist in DC.) They say there won't be detours more than about block, and each rider gets to see the route and the cost before saying yes.

Their area of service also includes H Street NE, the ballpark, Georgetown and downtown to the Mall. The full, interactive map is on their website.

Here's their press release:

Gotta Split… to Hill East, H St NE, Yards Park, Nats Park
DC-Based Smarter Shared Rides Expands Service

(Washington, DC) – Split, a DC-based transportation startup, is announcing a significant expansion of its service area today. Continuing its mission to provide low-cost, sustainable shared rides throughout the city, Split began serving Hill East, all of H St NE, Yards Park and Nats Park last week, with official operations beginning July 7th.

The smarter shared ride service launched in May in the core of downtown Washington and the company has continued refining operations and its proprietary routing algorithm to improve and expand service.

Since its launch, the company has seen 25-50% week-over-week growth in rides.

Split CEO Ario Keshani noted, “Split is all about providing affordable transportation – and access – to Washingtonians. With the numbers of downloads, registrations and rides exceeding our expectations, we knew it was time to expand and make Split available to more communities and more people.”

This expansion is a 25% increase in coverage for the company after only being in operation for 6 weeks. Beyond the inclusion of Hill East and the Navy Yard, Split is planning expansion to the neighborhoods of Petworth, Glover Park, Cleveland Park and to American University over the course of the summer.

Current users have already noticed an expansion in the service area on Split’s iPhone app. Now, residents of Navy Yard and Capitol Hill have another option to get to get where they are trying to go in DC. Download Split at

About Split
Split delivers smarter shared rides that utilize advanced technology to instantly connect people traveling in the same direction. Dynamic real-time routing allows Split to combine multiple overlapping rides in a single vehicle along an optimized route, saving everyone money. Split provides affordable, efficient, and sustainable transportation that brings communities together and changes the way that people get around town. Split is half the price of other on-demand options, and more convenient and personalized than public transit. For more information about Split, visit Download the app at:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Arf! There's a Columbia Heights dog blog, and it's awesome

The other day I stumbled upon a funny blog: the Columbia Heights Dog Blog. It's simple but enjoyable: pictures of dogs around the neighborhood. What more do you need, really? It's a nice way to spend a bit of time. I don't yet see Winston, our neighborhood's skateboarding dog, but maybe he'll get on there.

Picture from the Dog Blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Update: FOUND! Missing Yorkshire terrier, Roxie, near Monroe Street

UPDATE: She has been found!

Have you seen Roxie? Here's the info from the owner:
She is a 4 year old Yorkshire terrier.She is a tiny grey and brown mix, about 4 years old, one droopy ear and is wearing a pink harness. Very sweet but shy. She got lost July 1 during the storm in Monroe Street in Columbia Heights. I've attached a flier and picture. The contact information is email: or phone 202 413-6114. We are trying to get the word out as soon as possible.

Funny car on 14th: NOFUXGVN

One of my favorite things about our area is that you'll run into all kinds of funny, weird and interesting things: the man on the bicycle with the boombox, street musicians, skateboarding dogs.

The other day, walking up 14th Street I spotted this outside Streets Market: a tricked-out station wagon with weird front lights, big tires, and a decal in the window: NOFUXGVN. As in, he or she gives no... you know. And it's a Volkswagen with a round font, kind of like the old Fahrvergnügen ads.

Always nice to be amused when wandering around the neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Purple Patch in Mt. Pleasant: good food, good happy hour

The other day, a friend and I tried out Purple Patch, the Filipino and American restaurant where Tonic used to be on Mt. Pleasant Street: and it was tasty.

Unlike Kalye, the pop-up at EatsPlace, the food at Purple Patch was quite accessible: no chicken feet or blood skewers here. That's not a knock on Purple Patch, however -- I'd much rather return multiple times to someting I like than something that is interesting.

The menu is half smaller plates and half bigger entrees, and we decided to share a few small ones. The lumpia, traditional spring rolls with beef and pork, were quite good, and came with a tangy banana ketchup.

The chicken adobo sliders (a Filipino seasoning) were also tasty, we housed them quickly, and my buddy enjoyed the baby red beet and tomato salad. I got the jasmine rice, which was just rice (I probably should have realized that.)

Sadly we ate everything before I had a chance to take a picture.

They also have really tasty cocktails, including a lot of summery drinks with berries and such, and the happy hour deals were quite good: $6 for a featured cocktails, $2 off other cocktails, 1/2 off draf beers and $5 for the house red and white wines, from 5-8pm, plus $5 for three of those adobo chicken sliders.

I'll definitely be back, but I might try some more traditional dishes -- but definitely the lumpia. The whole fried snapper looked interesting, the burger looked pretty outstanding and there was also a pork belly soup, pork sinigang, I'd like to try.

They also just started serving brunch, which sounds like American fare with some interesting Filipino touches: the waffles with ube (purple yam) ice cream sounds pretty amazing -- pictured below from their website. Here's the full brunch menu: