Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Meeting this Thursday on Spring Road Hebrew Home redevelopment plans

This Thursday the city is hosting a meeting on the redevelopment plans for the old Hebrew Home site at 1125 Spring Rd NW. The building is currently empty, and plans may include senior housing, market rate housing, subsidized housing or some combination of those. Other people have suggested moving residents from the Park Morton complex to the building, so that the Bruce-Monroe Park is maintained.

This is a good opportunity to give your feedback and hear about some of plans for the site, which is an impressive old building that was formerly a retirement home for Jewish people, and when that moved to the suburbs, became various city social facilities.

The meeting is 7pm on Thursday, June 2 at Raymond Rec Center, 3275 10th Street NW.

Here's more from the city, and there's a flyer above (click it for more info.)
My name is Tsega Bekele and I am the Project Manager for the 1125 Spring Road, NW, project. Thank you for your continued interest in the redevelopment of the site. As you know, this redevelopment project is currently going through Mayor Bowser’s OurRFP process. On April 9th, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (“DMPED”) and the Office of Planning (“OP”) held a community engagement workshop at Raymond Recreation Center and an online engagement forum has been live since that date. I am emailing you today to let you know that the follow-up meeting for the 1125 Spring Road, NW, OurRFP will be held on Thursday, June 2nd at 7pm at Raymond Recreation Center. We hope to reconnect with residents regarding their ideas and also provide an opportunity to further prioritize their preferences for the redevelopment of the site. Please find a flyer with more information attached. You can RSVP in advance at: 1125SpringRoadOurRFP.eventbrite.com.

I hope to see you on June 2nd!

Thieves steal backpack with organ transplant medicine, book manuscript & more: have you seen it?

This is a sad story: DJ Jordan of At Home Catering on Georgia recently wrote to Sylvia Robinson of the Georgia Avenue Business Alliance asking for help with a backpack and cell phone that was recently stolen out of his truck. 

The black backpack contained a lot of important items like blueprints for his building, keys, family photos, a book he was writing, medical information and most importantly, organ transplant and pain medicine, as Jordan had previously received a transplant of a liver and two kidneys. The book contained research about the people who donated organs to Jordan, as well as those who received organ's from Jordan's brother.

He's asking for help, and has offered a reward. If you live in the area, pease keep a lookout. He thinks it might be in the trash. The truck was parked at Georgia and Harvard.

Here's more info from Jordan:
HELP!!!! HELP!!!! HELP!!!! I am a 20 year retired veteran and a triple organ transplant recipient (a liver and 2 kidneys). While I was parked and removing items from the back area of my moving truck parked at the corner of Georgia Avenue, NW, and Harvard Street, NW, someone went into the passenger cab of the my vehicle, an Isuzu Box Truck, and stole a BLACK BACK PACK AND A SAMSUNG 6 CELL PHONE. 
** REWARD** 
This happened in a matter of 10 seconds. The back pack contained EVERYTHING that is important to me, including my Organ Transplant medication, pain medication, a book that I am writing about my transplant experiences over the last two years (the name of the book is FINDING MY MIND), folders with Dr. Apple emblems on the front, keys to everything I own, critical medical information needed, family photos that cannot be replaced, and a host of other very important items. Although these items are not important for anyone else, they are a part of my life. My hope is that someone will take the valuables and discard the back pack as trash. If found, I beg of you, please call 202-680-4551. There is a REWARD for the return of the back pack and/or the cell phone. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. 
My cell phone contained pictures from my transplants, pictures of my father who has passed on, and a host of other things that can never be replaced and is not useful to anyone else but me. 
If you have any information pertaining to this theft and it leads to the arrest and conviction of the thief, a larger reward will be given. This is separate of the *** REWARD*** above. 
I do know one thing, the devil still creates people who don't realize, nor do they care about how their actions affects other people lives. GOD loves you, too. And we are going to pray for all of you!!!!! 

Thank you for any help you can give me.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Annie's Ace Hardware now has a bunch of cool and funny socks

I love Annie's Ace Hardware on Upshur Street, but I wouldn't think of looking for socks there. However, I was shopping today for some things and noticed four racks with a bunch of funny socks for men and women. I ended up getting a pair of ones that say "yo dude, you're late" which is pretty accurate in my case. I also like the one of the guy in the chariot saying "hark -- to the microbrewery at once!" There's a slew of good ones and I had to tear myself away before I bought a bunch.

Nice to see this at Annie's, which is a great locally hardware store, which opened a branch in Brookland too. They also host a free Saturday bike clinic, which is pretty great.

They're at 1240 Upshur Street NW.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Funny flowchart: "What should we do tonight in Petworth?"

The DC pop-culture site Brightest Young Things has been making funny flowcharts on what you can do in various neighborhoods: last year they did one on Columbia Heights (do you want to dance? Are there vegans? Do you want tequila?) and now they've done one on Petworth, which also includes places in Park View and Columbia Heights. Pretty fun.

Sadly it includes the now-closed Crane & Turtle and soon-to-close Domku, but otherwise is pretty neat. Click the image for a bigger version or visit their site.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Burger pop-up coming to Alfie's every Sunday starting the 29th

Alfie's, the Thai pop-up at the old Mothership space on Georgia, will start hosting its own pop-up this Sunday: Lucky Buns, a burger concept. It will run every Sunday from noon to 9pm, with Alfie's open the rest of the time.

It's kind of Pimp My Ride style: yo dawg, I heard you like pop-ups so I put a pop-up in your pop-up.

The concept comes after Alfie's chef and owner Alex McCoy tried out Thai brunch on Sundays. Instead, he's going to test out the burger concept for future brick-and-mortar establishments, according to the Washingtonian.

You order at the counter, then you can eat inside or take it away, and they'll have beer and yard games, which sounds intriguing. I feel like with the Midlands beer garden coming just down the street, plus the patios at Looking Glass and DC Reynolds, Georgia Ave is getting some good outdoor drinking options this summer. (Midlands is aiming to open sometime in the summer.)

The burgers themselves sound pretty epic: Burger Days has the rundown, including Alfie's Aussie burgers and som new ones:
• a twist on McCoy’s hit at Crisp, the Royale with cheese, featuring smoked cheddar (at Crisp, it’s gouda), yellow mustard, garlic mayo, house pickles, shaved red onion and iceberg,
• the Belly Bun with bacon XO sauce, smoked cheddar, charred red onion, nam jim mayo and arugula;
• a green chili cheeseburger (YES. YES. YES.) highlighted by charred green chili relish, mustard, garlic mayo and smoked cheddar;
• and a veggie burger with pickled daikon, cucumber, green onion, coriander and fresh herbs.
Sounds pretty tasty. Lucky Buns (and Alfie's) is at 3301 Georgia Ave NW.

Photo from Lucky Buns' site.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sad news: Dokmu closing on Upshur after massive rent hike

Sad news for Upshur Street: Domku, the ten-year old Scandinavian and Slavic restaurant at 821 Upshur Street NW, will be closing at the end of June. PoP posted a press release from the owner, blaming a 66% rent hike:
Domku Closing After Over A Decade
Rising Real Estate Prices are Pushing Petworth Pioneer Out

After nearly 12 years in business Slavic-Scandanavian inspired Domku, located in Petworth, will close their doors at the end of June. A dramatic rent increase is forcing owner, Kera Carpenter to leave the neighborhood she helped create. Carpenter’s hand was forced by a 66% rent increase on the new lease.

Carpenter opened Domku in January 2005 as an effort to bring vitality to the Petworth neighborhood where she had bought a home a few years before. “When deciding where I wanted to open a business, making a contribution to my own neighborhood was a big factor. I knew it would be more difficult than going to an already establish area. I don’t regret that decision, but now now there is only so much I can do.
I did some research, and thanks to the city's property registry site I found that the owner of the building is "Lucky Alley LLC," which according to OpenCorporates.com is owned by a Lynn Yaudes.

A person with the same name owns an event-planning company, and companies with similar names are based at the same address as Lucky Alley, 1220 L Street NW, Suite 100-330: things like Unlucky Alley LLC and Know Thy Alley LLC, which seems to own 809 Upshur Street NW. OpenCorporates also mentions the event-planning company at the same place, so I assume it's all the same person. I can't find more info for Yaudes or her businesses aside from a dormant Twitter account.

I understand why Yaudes would try to make more money off of the booming Upshur strip, but 66% is a big increase, and it's a shame that it results in closing a long-time and beloved local restaurant. Seems like it's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Domku was one of the first nice restaurants on Upshur to open in some time, predating the more recent developments like Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books, Twisted Horn and the like.

Domku will also have an indoor yard sale on June 26, and no plans to re-open elsewhere.

Bike to Work Day is today: there's an afternoon pit stop at the Civic Plaza

If you're participating in Bike to Work Day, or just a regular bike commuter, our area has a stop for you: the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza at 14th/Park/Kenyon is an afternoon pit stop, from 4-7pm, which will have refreshments, entertainment and giveaways.

You should make sure to register first, but registration is free.

Here's more info:
Bike to Work Day 2016
Free Annual Event Promotes Healthy, Clean, Low-Cost Alternative to Driving to Work

Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)

Bike to Work Day 2016––Join more than 17,000 area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a fun, healthy and environmentally-friendly way to get to work. A record-breaking number of cyclists are expected to participate again this year, so register now at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org.

Friday, May 20, starting at various early-morning times depending on pit stop location.  Some locations are afternoon events.  Locate specific start/end times for all pit stops at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org.

Register for free and visit one of 83 regional pit stops throughout Washington, D.C., and surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia; enjoy refreshments and be entered in raffles for new bicycles. Cyclists must register for one pit stop but are welcome to visit any of the 83 pit stops along their way to work. Free event t-shirts will be available at pit stops for the first 15,000 registrants who attend. 

Bicycle convoys - led by experienced bicycle commuters - will travel throughout the region. All levels of cyclists are welcome to join the convoys.

Bicycling to work is a healthy and cost-effective alternative to drive-alone commuting.  Join Commuter Connections and WABA on Friday, May 20, for Bike to Work Day 2016. Ride with thousands of cyclists, new and experienced, and enjoy a healthy commute that helps improve traffic congestion and air quality in the Washington metropolitan region. There will be free t-shirts, snacks, beverages and prizes for registrants who attend, while supplies last.

For free registration and event details, visit www.biketoworkmetrodc.org. Follow Commuter Connections on Twitter at @BikeToWorkDay and use #BTWDC and #BTWD2016. 
Commuter Connections is a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Commuter Connections promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to drive-alone commuting, and provides ridematching for carpools and vanpools and offers the free Guaranteed Ride Home program. Commuter Connections is funded by the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and U.S. Departments of Transportation. www.mwcog.orgwww.commuterconnections.org.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

District Dogs doggie day care coming to old Petworth Liquors spot

Recently we heard that the frequently troubled Petworth Liquors had closed. Now we know what's replacing it: District Dogs, a doggy day care center.

A friend passed along ANC commissioner Rashida Brown's note about it on the Park View Beautification Facebook page:
Petworth Liquor closed about two weeks ago. The Zuckermans decided not to renew their lease. This was a result of the issues we've been experiencing along the corridor, particularly with public drinking. The Zuckeman's just signed a lease with District Dogs. They are going to run doggy day care.
Good news! Both for it getting replaced by something quickly, and for the owners (the Zuckermans) to not renew the lease due to Petworth Liquors' many issues. In the past, the store had been investigated for underage sales, loitering, public urination outside, selling to-go cups, violating operating hours and more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

City posts punny dos-and-don'ts ads about marijuana laws on bus stops starring Mary Jane and Kush the dog

This isn't something I expected to see -- the city has posted some pun-filled ads talking about the dos and don'ts  city's newish marijuana laws on bus stops. For example, the ad titled the "Blunt Truth" and aims is to "weed out" the myths about marijuana laws in DC.

I spotted this one at the shelters at Georgia Avenue and New Hampshire, right outside the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro. The ads, starring Mary Jane, Reggie and Kush the dog, explain what you can do (use marijuana if you're over 21, possess two ounces, and so on) and what you can't do (sell it, use, give, or grow if you're under 21, and such.) I like the names for Mary Jane and Kush, though maybe I'm too square to get what Reggie is referencing.

The ad has the logo of the city's Department of Behavioral Health on it as well Twitter and Facebook links for Drug Free DC. I like it -- glad to city is doing this to make people (in this case, I assume young people) more aware of the laws.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bike repair clinics from the Bike House are back at Annie's Ace Hardware!

If you want some help fixing your bike, Annie's Ace Hardware on Saturday is the place to be.

The Bike House Co-op, a nonprofit bike group, is hosting their free Bike House clinic every Saturday from noon to 3 pm at Annie's at 1240 Upshur Street NW.

Bike House volunteers are on hand to help you diagnose and fix problems, and they they have a lot of the tools and equipment you'll need to do it. Annie's sells many bike parts too. I fixed a tire and aligned my wheels at the clinic a bit ago, they were really helpful.

It's a pretty cool event from a cool group. They also hold classes and clinics elsewhere, although the classes at Annie's are already full.  You can try their other events in Bloomingdale.

11th Street NW named one of the country's best main streets

This is pretty neat: National Life, an insurance company that does a lot with main streets and small towns, recently wrote about 11th Street NW in Columbia Heights, highlighting it as a great example of main streets.

The blog cites the bars and restaurants, coffee shops, BloomBars, the Gala Theatre (on 14th, but close enough) and others on the street, as well as the New York Times article from a few years calling the street the "hip strip."

While not a huge publication, it's always nice to get recognition for our area. National Life has previously highlighted streets around the country.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Photo gallery: the Funk Parade on U Street

The third Funk Parade was last weekend, and photographer Alex Rego went. She took a lot of great shots of the action, check it out! Dancers, musicians, artists, marching bands, and a lot more!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Great local tutoring group DC SCORES on ABC7 and Telemundo, and you can help!

DC SCORES, the great local nonprofit that offers soccer and poetry programs for almost 2,000 kids in DC, had a couple of news stories this weekend: one on ABC7 and one on Spanish language Telemundo.

Check them out to learn more -- the ABC7 story features Coach Popsie, who we featured before.

And if you'd like to help out, they can always use volunteers (both for the soccer and literature portions) as well as donations!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Funny -- a neighborhood social network for dogs: Woofy

Do you have a dog? How good is he at using phone apps?

I'm being facetious -- the other day I walked by the 11th and Park Dog Park and saw this sign for a social networks for dogs (and their owners) called Woofy, where you can tell your dog's friends'  owners about things -- that you're going out to play, that there's some kind of danger or important dog-related thing, or where you are in case somebody else wants to join.

Kind of a funny idea, but I think it makes sense -- if I had a dog, or even if I didn't, I would get kind of annoyed if my friends with dogs kept texting or posting on Facebook that they were going out or there was a mean dog around, or whatever. 

What do you think, pet owners? Good idea?

Problematic Petworth Liquors on Georgia has closed

Petworth Liquors, the store at 3210 Georgia Avenue with a history of problems, appears to have closed. They haven't been open for a few days and there's a handwritten sign on the wall outside their window saying they're closed, directing people to a liquor store in Maryland.

The store was a constant source of problems for neighbors, who complained for years about aggressive panhandlers, drunks, public urination, harassment of women and more by people who hung out at the store. The store also broke various rules and laws throughout the years, like providing to-go cups for booze, selling to minors, violating operating hours, and much more (see this comment thread for examples.)

They had at least five investigations by the city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and there were numerous neighbor complaints and petitions about the place. A few years ago the ANC denied their request to move across the street after massive local opposition.

I'm not sure what's coming next to that location. There's a plan to replace that building and neighbors with apartments, but not sure how long that will take.

I shop at liquor stores and know they're valuable. I have no problem with liquor stores that follow the law and are good neighbors, but Petworth Liquors was not, even after multiple neighbor and government complaints. And now they're closed. It goes to show that you need to hold up your end of the deal and do what you're supposed to do if you want to be in business here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Coffee shop etiquette: don't be this guy

The weather is getting nice, which seems to bring more people to our neighborhood coffee shops (I'm partial to Heat da Spot and Qualia on Georgia and Le Caprice on 14th) -- and that means fewer places to sit.

The other day at Le Caprice, I spotted this guy taking up two tables. Not cool, man. (I cropped the photo to protect the guilty.) A number of people gave him the eye as they came in, and before somebody actually asked him to cut it out he moved over to take one table. So at least there's a bit of happy ending.

With the bigger crowds means the need for more seats, or even sharing a table -- folks at Qualia are always good at that, it seems. So if you do frequent coffee shops, don't be like that guy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Video: Hope Solo in Columbia Heights talking about the gender wage gap

This is interesting -- a buddy sent along a video from Vox about the wage gap, starring Hope Solo and filmed partially in Columbia Heights. Solo and Vox's Liz Plank walk down Park Road and hang out at Sticky Fingers talking about the wage gap and her lawsuit against US Soccer over lower wages for the women's team. Plank gets hit by soccer balls and they kick one against the Sticky Fingers wall, too.

I'm not sure why it was filmed in DC, Plank seems to be based in New York and Solo lives in Washington state, but hey, pretty cool! And a lot of screen time for Q & Q Cleaners, the one across the street from the Giant.

Live north of Spring or Rock Creek Church? The city wants your thoughts about transportation: survey, meetings, interactive map

The city is undertaking what they call the Rock Creek East II Livability Study, which focuses on transportation issues in Petworth, Crestwood, Brightwood and 16th Street Heights, plus anything north of Spring Road and Rock Creek Church Road (which I'd argue isn't quite Petworth, but that's another topic.)

And there's a number of ways to give feedback: there's a quick online survey, public meetings to give your opinion, and a cool interactive map where you can mark where issues are. (The map doesn't seem to work on Safari, though.)

Here's the full description, from their website -- and on the survey you can choose what are the three priorities for you.
As a reminder, the purpose of this study is to identify opportunities for safer travel for residents and visitors to the neighborhoods of Petworth, Crestwood, Brightwood Park, and 16th Street Heights. The goals of the study are to enhance the community quality of life through improvements to transportation safety, connections to destinations, green infrastructure, and sustainability.
And there are two events where you can give feedback: Thursday at the the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro from 4:30-6:30 pm and on Saturday, May 14 at the 14th and Kennedy Farmers Market from 9am-1pm.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Whoa: church at 10th and Monroe gutted, to be converted into apartments

The other day I was walking down Monroe Street and spotted this: the old Southern Bethany Baptist Church was completely gutted, with only a few pieces of wood and cinder block walls left.

The building was a sort of Victorian-style townhouse and was sold in 2015 to a developer, who will be completely rebuilding the inside and add an addition to create a three story, five-unit apartment building.

It's kind of odd they chose to keep that little bit of wood and concrete blocks, but I guess it's a good reminder of what used to be there. Too bad they took away that tower and big porch, but I suppose they may add it back.

The property is owned by an LLC, which is common for developers, and the address for their LLC is the same as S&G Realty, so presumably it's them. I can't find any details about the project other than it's underway.

Here's the "before" version from Google Streetview.

Friday, May 6, 2016

New Capital Bikeshare station at 14th and Girard, and you can suggest more!

Good news for bikeshare users: CaBi has added a new 23-bike dock at 14th and Girard, near the Dunkin Donuts. Those southern Columbia Heights spots are often empty or totally full, so I welcome more capacity!

And if you'd like to suggest a new or expanded station, they have a site for just that here: check it out. For example, it looks like a lot of folks have suggested a station near Slash Run on Upshur Street, right outside the Old Soldiers Home, which is a great idea.

h/t Borderstan

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Petworth Community Farmers Market starts this Saturday!

It's getting to be farmers market season -- the Columbia Heights Market has already started its Saturday run, and the Petworth Community Market begins their season this Saturday, March 7.

The market operates in the triangle park where Georgia, 9th and Upshur come together from 9am-1pm.

Here's the full list of vendors, which includes coffee, baked goods, fruit and veggies, dairy, meat, honey, ice cream and more.
The Petworth Community Market will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday, May through November. Our first market of the 2016 season is this Saturday, May 7th. We have been busy during the off-season recruiting new vendors and planning fun activities and are excited about the variety of awesome vendors, music, and activities we have to offer, both returning and new. As we gear up for another successful year, your feedback is important to us. If you have questions or input, feel free to visit with our new market manager, Madeleine, at the red managers' tent, or stop by our Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch. As always, thank you for supporting your local market. See you on Saturday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Whoa, Suns Cinema opens this Sunday in Mt. Pleasant!

Suns Cinema, the long anticipated little movie theater and bar coming to 3107 Mt. Pleasant Street NW, just emailed me that they're opening Sunday. They'll be showing Moonwalk One, a documentary about Apollo 11 -- pretty funny for a launch. They're open at 5 and the movie will go on at 6:30.

They say to expect more info soon:
We are happy to announce we will be opening this Sun(s)day! Doors will open at 5 pm. Our first screening will be Moonwalk One (1970) at 6:30 pm on Sunday. Following the feature we will be open to the public for regular bar hours. We will launch our website and begin announcing our calendar this weekend. For press inquiries please email sunscinema@gmail.com.
I've written about them a few times before -- they got started as a Kickstarter about a year ago. To me it sounds like Visions, the much missed little theatre and bar that used to be on Florida Avenue near 19th Street.

Funk Parade is this Saturday: here's the route map and event schedule

The Funk Parade is back this Saturday, and they just released the route of the parade, the locations of their day fair (with lots of vendors, music, arts and more) as well as the venues and lineups for the many bands playing as part of the festival.

The parade itself starts at 4pm and goes from 6th and T NW, west to Vermont, up to U and then ends at 12th Street. It was a blast last time, a participatory musical joy-fest.

The Day Fair, which runs from noon to 7pm, is really fun too -- lots of artists and musicians doing all kinds of things, food, drinks, neat things to buy, local nonprofits and a lot more. Bands play at various stages the whole time, including go-go legends Rare Essence with hip hop legend DJ Kool, local hip-hopper Kokayi, indie band RDGLDGRN and a ton more. The full lineup for the Day Fair is here.

After the parade, there's a music fest from 7-10 pm at venues around the area, as well. Here's the lineup for that.

Click above to see the full version of the poster.

Another weird dog sign: "do not empty your dog here"

Something about Park Road seems to be bringing out some funny opinions on dogs: yesterday I saw a sign alerting people to video surveillance for dog poop, and today, this one: "please do not empty your dog here."

I'm not really sure how you empty a dog -- do you turn him over and stuff falls out? Or maybe you open the dog flap and shake? Is there a zipper I haven't noticed?

I get the idea, but strange verbiage.

Joe Englert's Reliable Tavern at Georgia & New Hampshire making progress

A while ago we heard that a new bar, Reliable Tavern, was coming to the old hardware store at 3655 Georgia Avenue NW, just south of the Metro.

It's run by Joe Englert, a prolific bar and restaurant owner -- he opened Temperance Hall (which became the Looking Glass Lounge) in 2006, as well as many other places around town, and was one of the main people responsible for the emergence of H Street as a nightlife destination.

Anyway, a few weeks ago the Reliable Tavern folks posted on their Facebook page that they received their construction permits, so work is underway. It also looks like there's a new awning and some other exterior construction. Good to hear, though that means and opening is still some ways away.

Englert opened the Rock and Roll Hotel, the Pug, Granville Moore's, Sticky Rice, the H Street Country Club and more on that street, as well as DC9, Trusty's, the Big Hunt, Capitol Lounge, Pour House and others around town.

He has his own Wikipedia page, and here's another profile about him from a few years ago.

I wonder if this means that he has his sights on Georgia Avenue? There's certainly a lot of properties that are vacant.