Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New ramen and Japanese poutine shop from Daikaya folks and Tasty Burger now open at Atlantic Plumbing

The Atlantic Plumbing building on the 800 block of V Street is getting even more new things to go with the Atlantic Plumbing Cinema and various art venues: a Japanese restaurant and a burger shop.

On Monday, Haikan, a Japanese ramen and poutine restaurant from the folks behind Daikaya/Izakaya, opened at 815 V Street NW. The spot has various kinds of ramen as well as Japanese snacks such as "poutine" with fries, cheese and miso. It's a cool space with a bar, some tables (including some benches where you are right next to the cooks, which is mesmerizing) and a general cool, modern vibe. I stopped by on Tuesday and it was pretty good, but they were still working through some opening-day jitters. The poutine wasn't as tasty as I hoped, but maybe that's because it opened the day before.

And around the corner at 2108 8th Street NW is Tasty Burger, a Boston chain, which opened in July. They have burgers, boozy milkshakes a bar and also a little walk-up to-go window (like the McDonalds at 14th and U.) They also have a pretty solid happy hour from 5-7pm according to Eater.

This area is really booming lately -- farther up 8th Street from Tasty there are a few galleries and other spots, and across V Street from Haikan there are a few other restaurants.

Here's Haikan's website and Tasty Burger's.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fundraiser for Park View United Neighborhood Coalition tonight at DC Reynolds

If you want to help out the Park View UNC, an active local neighborhood group, all you have to do is have a drink at DC Reynolds! Sounds easy to me. Here are the details:
REMINDER! Join the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition TONIGHT at DC Reynolds for our 3rd annual Buy One - Give One Happy Hour Fundraiser. 
You can help the UNC, your local non-profit civic association, continue to work to improve our neighborhood, simply by coming out and having a drink with your friends and neighbors. All you have to do is:

1. Come to DC Reynolds (3628 Georgia Avenue NW)
2. Buy a drink from one of their friendly bartenders
3. The bartender will give you a receipt good for a 2nd drink. DON"T USE IT.
4. Drop your receipt in the jars provided on the bar. The UNC receives the value of your drink ticket!

Hope to see many of you there!
 The group hosts block parties, works with the police, organizes cleanups and a lot more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mulebone restaurant at 14th and V converts to coworking space during the day

This is pretty cool: Mulebone, the newish restaurant that replaced Eatonville at 14th and V, is now operating as a coworking space during the day called Share Space DC. The spot, owned by the Busboys and Poets folks, shifted its concept a bit and changed names about a year ago and now includes a vintage store. Share Space DC started operating last month.

Unlike some coworking spaces, there isn't a membership fee, they serve food from an all-day brunch menu, $3 unlimited refills of coffee, and they serve alcohol at the bar. There are also private meeting rooms available for a fee. And since it's a restaurant, you'll be sitting at the tables. (It's a pretty nice space, I might add.)

Clever idea -- why let a restaurant sit mostly empty during the day when you could use it for something that's in demand? I plan to check it out sometime. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Actor, TV host Nick Cannon enrolls at Howard U.

A photo posted by Nick Cannon (@nickcannon) on

Wow! Howard U. has a new famous student, as Nick Cannon just announced he has enrolled at the university, part of the class of 2020. Cannon is a singer, rapper, actor and TV host, and also was married to Mariah Carey for 6 years.

Cannon currently hosts America's Got Talent on NBC and also acted in shows on Nickelodeon and MTV like All That, Wild'n Out and the Nick Cannon Show, starred in movies like Drumline and had a few hit songs.

I wonder if Cannon has a place in the area? Maybe he lives in Columbia Heights? Or could just commute from Los Angeles, where America's Got Talent is filmed.

Other famous folks have attended or graduated from Howard, such as Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Ossie Davis, Marlon Wayans, Toni Morrison, Thurgood Marshall and a lot more.

He also extends a long line of famous folks to visit our area -- all of the Obamas, Hope Solo, Hannibal Burress (who performed at Wonderland!), Drake at Z-Burger, Questlove of the Roots, and even Fidel Castro -- plus a lot more.

Hat tip to DCist for letting me know about this.

Marshall's selling $8 RGIII Redskins jerseys, other players at a discount too

If you like the Redskins, or are an ironic person, get yourself to Marshall's in DCUSA: there's a whole rack of Robert Griffin III jerseys for $8 (or $10 for XL and above) -- presumably ones that didn't sell after RGIII went to the Browns.

They're actual, name brand jerseys too, not t-shirts, and when I was there they had white, red and the alternative maroon jerseys.

They also have some other players like Pierre Garcon, but those are more expensive, around $40 -- which is still a lot cheaper than regular prices. The rack had "shirseys", the t-shirts that look like jerseys, and other related Redskins paraphernalia as well. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pellet gun shootings from building at Columbia and Irving?

This is crazy: a resident emailed me asking if anyone else had heard about shootings from a pellet gun from the three-story building on the northeast corner of 14th and Columbia Irving.
My husband and I were walking past that building Friday evening when my husband was hit in the side. It came from a dark window, partially open on the bottom floor -- the second set of windows from the right. No police around (they seemed to have been chasing someone else down near Harvard Street at the time), so we didn't report it.

Then this morning (Saturday), I got hit -- same thing, same window. Plenty of people around, but neither time did I see anyone else get hit. I went looking for a policeman, but there were none to be found, so I didn't report it.

Just wondering if you've heard or seen anything else about this. The pellets don't hurt, but the person could hit someone in the eye or hit a child.
A crazy and scary situation. I hadn't heard of anything similar but figured I'd post it here in case someone else had. I also advised the reader to report this to the police, which they agreed to do.

At any neighborhood meeting, the police have always strongly recommended that people call the police if an incident occurs -- even if you don't think the police will catch the person or it's a minor incident. Each report that the police get will help them find patterns and changes which they can use to send police officers to trouble spots or change their strategy.

If people don't report a crime, the police won't know it exists -- again, even if you don't think they'll be able to catch the person, they'll know more about it if it happens again.

Pretty scary situation though, and dangerous (and very stupid by whoever is doing the shooting.) Has anyone else heard about this or experienced it? If so, please call the police immediately.

UPDATE: I messed up the location, it's the NE corner of 14th and Columbia as noted above now.

New bike route signs on Park Road for Howard, Columbia Heights

The other day I was walking down Park Road NW near Georgia Ave. and spotted some apparently brand new bike route signs -- city specified routes to different places in the city. These ones appear to be new, they aren't on the city's maps  (we are tile 17) or in its downloadable bike data.

I've seen others around the area that give the distances to places like Brookland, Takoma and Mt. Rainier, Maryland.

I can't find anything official about the routes, but folks online suggest they are good routes for biking: not much traffic, lower speed, not as many lights, and things like that.

Any favorite rides in the area you'd recommend? I keep wanting to ride my bike up to Denizens Brewing in Silver Spring.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday fun photos: tug-of-war at Park Road Community Church

There's been a lot of negative stories about our area lately -- and I firmly believe that our area is still awesome and getting more awesome every day. As part of that, I'm going to start posing some photos of neat things happening in our area.

And if you are a local photographer or have any neat photos you'd like me to feature, let me know!

These are from the Park Road Community Church's picnic a couple of weeks ago, taken by Flickr user Jon. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today in bogus Columbia Heights "news": we spend 62% on rent? According to only 3 apartments from one website, yes.

Another day, another dumb article about how Columbia Heights sucks. The latest installment comes from something called RadPad, which I think ought to suggest to you that perhaps they aren't the best at analyzing things.

Their study, which got picked up various places, claims breathlessly that Columbia Heights is the most expensive place in the city because residents here spend 62% of their income on rent. If that seems oddly high to you, you're not the only one.

Now I'm sure some people spend a whole lot on money on rent, and that is unfortunate. Affordability is an issue here, as it is in most of the city. But the study, if you want to call it that, has a lot of issues.

For one, it's actually about the 20010 zip code, which isn't just Columbia Heights: it's also Mt. Pleasant, Park View and over to the Washington Hospital Center. In fact, the zip code stretches from about Irving Street on the south to about Quincy on the north, which means it doesn't even include the southern half of Columbia Heights.

Also, their methodology is simplistic and pretty bad, to be diplomatic about it:
we examined thousands of active one-bedroom listings across zip codes in D.C. on our marketplace to get a median one-bedroom apartment price for each postal number. We then utilized 2015 U.S. Census Data with help from Income by Zip Code to get median household income numbers for each of the same zip codes. From there, we were able to calculate what percentage of monthly take home pay residents from each zip code (after taxes for a single filer) are spending on rent.
So let's break that down. They took the zip code's median household income from the Census, then calculated what they call take home pay by apparently using the average taxes for a single filer -- which is already apples to oranges: households (which are often more than one person) versus single person taxes, which are higher than if they were jointly filed.

But it gets worse! For the apartments, they used only those listed on their site, then of those, only the one bedroom apartments.

And if you look at their site, there are a total of 3 one-bedroom apartments in all of the 20010 zip code. Three!

See the map above -- just the ones between Quincy and Irving would count.  And even if you take out the "apartment" part of the filter, that's still just 8 one-bedroom places.

And that's not even to take into account that people live in all kinds of different arrangements in our area -- group houses, basement apartments, studios, two and three bedroom apartments, crummy townhouses, nice townhouses, new and old condos, subsidized apartments, and on and on. And none of those are included in this "analysis" (or even listed on their site.)

So basically, you are extrapolating the entire area -- three or four whole neighborhoods and more than 30,000 residents -- based on three (!) one-bedroom apartments from one website, and then using take home pay calculated with apples-to-oranges taxes. Now I'm no scientist, but that seems completely ridiculous.

So while the area is certainly expensive (which is an issue, again, like most of the city) please don't just take what some random site and their attention-grabbing headlines have to say at face value.

This is clickbait, basically.


Want more Capital Bikeshare stations? Tell them where!

If you're a Capital Bikeshare rider, you probably have some ideas for where new stations should go, and they want to hear from you. They have a cool site where you can suggest or agree with other suggestions on new station locations.

I just used it and it takes a little bit to get used to (if you double click to zoom it thinks you're marking a spot) but once you get it, it's pretty handy. I voted for 14th and Otis, which is a fairly big gap between two stations, and also at Upshur and Rock Creek Church near Slash Run and the Old Soldiers' Home entrance, where 23 other people suggested a station -- that seems to be the most popular location near us.

Other folks suggested places like Georgia and Park and 11th and Girard and 11th, which seem like good gap-fillers. 14th and Irving also has a ton of requests but the system recently installed a new station there, which is a good sign!

You can suggest as many stations as you'd like, so get to it!

Watermelon vendor sets up at Georgia and Park on the weekends

This is pretty awesome: it's summer, which means watermelon season, and for the past few weekends there has been a man selling watermelons from the back of his truck on Georgia Avenue, just north of Park Road (in front of the laundromat, under a tree.)

I haven't stopped yet to speak with him, but other folks who noticed it on Twitter are fans and say he's really nice.

Love seeing this kind of thing -- ice cream trucks, watermelons, food trucks, the ladies who sell taquitos and mangos, the coconut man at 14th and Spring, etc.

Then comes the important question with watermelon -- salt or no salt?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monthly neighborhood cleanup scheduled for this Saturday in Park View with free coffee from Colony Club

This is pretty cool -- a great way to clean up your neighborhood, meet some neighbors and enjoy some free coffee. Colony Club, a cool coffee shop and bar, is sponsoring the cleanup and donating a free cup of coffee to the first 15volunteers who give 90 minutes of their time.

The event, organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive, will provide gloves and bags, as well as graffiti removal supplies for those interested in that thanks to the city's Departments of Public Works.

Meet up starting at 10 am at Warder and Otis (just east of Georgia Avenue)!

Bad Saint named #2 best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit

Nice! Earlier we heard that 11th Street's Bad Saint was on Bon Appetit's list of best new restaurants (they also gave a shootout to Columbia Heights and Petworth as great dining destinations) and now the magazine has announced that it's the #2 best new restaurant in America -- not too shabby!

I've never been but friends who've gone have universally raved about it. The Filipino spot was started by Nick Pimentel and Genevieve Villamora with chef Tom Cunanan -- and actually started as a Kickstarter.

Bon Appetit also has a pretty delicious looking photo gallery of the spot too in their article on it.

Always like hearing good news about the neighborhood. Maybe our area is not so crummy after all, City Paper.

Bad Saint is located at 3226 11th Street NW, next to Wonderland. Here's their website.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cool DC shirt and hat designs from Bailiwick: 51st State, 202, DC highway sign, more

This is not Columbia Heights specific but still pretty rad: the other day I was walking around 14th Street near Logan Hardware and saw a few booths set up with various vendors. One of them caught my eye, Bailiwick, which sells DC-themed shirts, tank tops, hoodies and hats with cool designs: things like 51st State, the DC highway sign (like you'd see on DC-295), 202 in the style of the 100 emoji, and a lot more -- plus cool hats such as this one using the 90s-style script font.

And Bryce Harper wore one of their 202-themed shirts and the 51st State shirt at press conferences earlier in the year -- pretty awesome.

They have both mens and women sizes are the shirts were super soft -- I got the circular "The District" logo, but could have bought basically everything he had -- and there's more on the website.

The company was founded by J.C. Smith and his brother Jeff, who moved to the DC area about a decade ago, and they design and make the shirts in the District. The Washington Business Journal has a great article about J.C., as does DCist; he was manning the stand when I was shopping.

They make a lot of really cool stuff, check them out.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Giant now selling bags of stray beers

Well, this is interesting. The other day I was at the Giant on Park Road and noticed this in the beer aisle: bags of random beers. I know some places will do a make-your-own-six pack thing, and sometimes you can get awesome beers with it, but this is sort of a premade version, and the beers are mostly macrobrews like Bud and such with a few others like Kirin Ichiban and Heineken tossed in.

Might be a good option if you're having a party and want some variety. There wasn't a price I could see, but presumably it's not too expensive. Now if only they had a proper make-your-own-six pack.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bon Appetit names DC the best restaurant city in the country, and Bad Saint one of the best

Here's some good news about our area (if you needed any more): Bon Appetit magazine has named DC the best restaurant city in the country this year, with three of the city's restaurants in their 50 finalists for best new restaurant in the US: and one of those is Bad Saint, the Filipino spot on 11th between Irving and Lamont.

The article also gives a shout-out to Columbia Heights and Petworth, as well as Shaw and Barracks Row, as places with a lot of new good restaurants and they note Thip Khao on 14th Street as one of the highlights in their DC Dining Guide. So multiple restaurants in our area, plus our two neighborhoods -- maybe things aren't that bad here after all. Although I've seen a few people on Twitter complaining that now they'll never get a table at Bad Saint.

Photos from the Bad Saint Instagram 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Is Columbia Heights getting more dangerous? The stats say mostly no.

Today the City Paper has an article about Columbia Heights called "Withering Heights," talking about how the neighborhood is declining, dangerous and expensive. I agree only with the last one.

I'm quoted in the article about diversity and this blog is quoted about a shooting, but frustratingly I mostly talked about all the good things about the neighborhood, and the article didn't focus on any of that: the people, the places, how things are improving, how people see it as much safer and a good place to go versus 10 years ago (which was the focus of his questions, mostly) and so on. The article is very pessimistic and only focuses on bad things about the neighborhood.

And one thing that I keep noticing is that people are saying the area is getting more dangerous. However, according to the city's crime stats, that's mostly not the case.

The city has a great crime statistics site where you can look at crimes in a 1000-foot radius around a certain block to see what has happened over the last 30 days or up to a year. The stats go back to 2008.

I tried three places in our area -- 1400 Irving where the DCUSA and other developments are, 3000 Sherman, at Columbia and 3600 Georgia where the little bar strip is, looking at 2008 to today. The results are mixed -- there is more crime around DCUSA, violent crime is down while total crime is up around 3000 Sherman, while violent crime is significantly down around 3600 Georgia. And in all cases, total crime is down over the last year and violent crime is either steady or up very slightly. (Of course, I'm no statistician and stats don't tell everything, but I looked at 2008-2009, then from 2010-2011, then 2015-2016.) Try your area and see what you find.

Below are the stats for the three time periods for each location, which also show the change between that year and the previous ear.

I'd bet (but am not certain) that a lot of the property crime, especially around DCUSA and 3600 Georgia, is probably more due to things like high foot traffic, shoplifting and other store- and business-related or crime than anything else. And even with that, crime in all three places I checked is down since last year.

And another thing is that the population of the area and foot traffic are also continuously on the rise. Recently we heard that the area has some of the highest foot traffic in the city, for example. More people in an area would presumably mean more crime, but per capita, not much of an increase, or maybe even a decrease (unfortunately good population stats aren't available recently for our area, or I can't find them if they are.)

However, I think a lot of the perception that things are going downhill is because we hear about crime so often -- from local listserves, blogs, local news and so on. That sort of thing gets hits and people want to know so people write about it. I don't think that the area is getting significantly more dangerous, and the stats seem to back that up -- it's either pretty steady or down. That said, there are definitely still problems -- reduced violent crime is still too much violent crime, I know people who have been victims of violent crime and sadly know a lot of women who have been subjected to street harassment in the area.

The article makes some good points and raises some important issues that need to be addressed -- rising cost of living, segregated people, and more -- but I don't agree with this narrative that the area is on the downward swing and is increasingly dangerous. And those things are not exclusive to Columbia Heights, either. I'd argue they're happening all over the city. I hope we can keep growing while maintaining our local character and making sure long time residents aren't pushed out.

I still love this neighborhood -- from the Malcolm X Park drum circle to the farmers market, dog parks to kids' playgrounds, long-time local businesses and convenient big shopping, lots to eat and drink, a wide range of houses, nice old and new neighbors and good stories -- there's a lot here, and it's great. That's why I've been here since 2007 and intend to stay, until 2107 if I can.

If you want to be part of making things better, get more involved in your community -- work with schools or neighborhood groups, talk to your neighbors and local officials, attend police meetings, help out at local nonprofits, and so on.

Anyway, that's my opinion. I love it here. What do you think?

Here are the stats. The first column is the year, the next column is the following year.

3600 Georgia over time:

1400 Irving:

 3000 Sherman:

Room 11 celebrates their 7th anniversary today with $7 cocktails

Room 11, our venerable little cocktail spot at 11th and Lamont, is turning seven, and they're celebrating some of their classic cocktails for $7. I bet that would include favorites like the Burnt Sugar Old Fashioned, Rite of Spring and others they've had for a long time.

The spot, owned by Paul Ruppert and crew, originally was a cozy little cocktail, wine and small plates spot with a nice patio. It's since expanded to about twice the size, and they also offer brunch, breakfast and lunch, which is all pretty tasty. The food is great too, I'm a big fan of the risotto, grilled cheese, haloumi and other goodies -- though it always rotates so you'll find seasonal stuff.

I'm glad they're here, and I hope for 7 (or 70) more years.

Room 11 is at 3234 11th Street NW.

Below is their original sketch for the spot, which they posted on their Facebook page. It ended up being a bit different, but there are still the red stools and curving bar.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Got kids? Sign them up for Little League at Banneker!

If you have little ones, the Banneker City Little League baseball and softball leagues are getting underway soon. There are age groups for kids from age 4 to 15, so anyone can participate, and the season starts Sept. 10. Sounds fun!

Their home games are at the Banneker Rec Center at Georgia and Euclid, where there are some nice fields. The site is

Here's more about Banneker City Little League:
Banneker City’s goal is to help our children learn healthy competition, sportsmanship, work ethic, teamwork, conditioning and muscle-memory fundamentals through our national pastime, and provide a progressive continuum of that education from Tee-Ball all the way up through Prep, in a healthy, safe and encouraging baseball culture.

Founded in 2010 by Howard University Alumni, Supreme H. Aquil and Will F. Ticer—both Southern California natives. They felt that too many D.C. youth were not enjoying or even had the chance to experience America’s national pastime that had factored so heavily in their childhood and development. In 2010, they embarked to create a venue for kids to have the opportunity to play and learn the sport of baseball. Banneker City began with 2 teams and blossomed to over a dozen teams in less than a year.

Banneker City regularly honors Jackie Robinson--who was a member of the founder’s grandfather’s Cub Scout Troop in Pasadena, CA--and is steeped in Dodger lore for their groundbreaking efforts in diversifying baseball so that all could participate and compete in America’s national pastime. Major League Baseball and its players honor the late great Jackie Robinson annually by wearing his signature number 42, which has been retired league wide, in April during Jackie Robinson Day. Click here to see Banneker City on Jackie Robinson Day 2011. 
Banneker City takes its name from the great architect who designed the Nation’s capitol, Benjamin Banneker, thus, Banneker City.

Vacant school at Sherman and Park to become residential with ground floor retail

Some good news for the vacant building on the southeast corner of Sherman and Park, which formerly housed the Nationhouse School: it's going to become a nine-unit residential building with two commercial spaces, according to Urban Turf.

Nationhouse is an Afrocentric school that grew out of Howard University activism, moved elsewhere. This building at 770 Park has sat empty since 2012.

The building, which was built in 1911, will remain and have a three story addition. The commercial spaces will both be bi-level with ground floor and basement sections, one at the corner with about 2,800 square feet, the other facing Park with 1,417 square feet. The developer told Urban Turf that proposed uses could be retail, arts, services or dining. There will also be 8 parking spaces in the back.

The nine residential units vary from 846 to 1,888 square feet.

Always nice to see an empty building becoming something new. This building has had various graffiti and such over the years.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Georgia Avenue Thrive neighborhood meeting today at Colony Club, 7-8:30: beautification, murals, local business support, more

Georgia Avenue Thrive, the local non-profit that does a lot work on and around Georgia Avenue, is hosting their monthly meeting today at Colony Club, the coffee shop at 3118 Georgia. There's a lot on the agenda, come learn what's new, how you can help, and how you can make your voice heard!

AGENDA - Monday, August 8, 7-8:30PM
1) Introductions
2) Placemaking Committee Update 
         * Movie night report back 
         * Fall Fest planning and volunteering
         * Neighborhood Mapping (tentative)
3) Beautification Committee Update
         * Murals 
         * Fireboxes
         * Next street clean-up
4) Local Biz Support Committee Update
         * Air BnB community engagement 
         * SB Works grants 
         * Main Streets update 
         * GACDTF Community Review Report Back
5) Police/Public Safety 
         * Referrals to other public safety groups: ANC 1a Public Safety Committee, 3D Citizen Advisory Council, PSA 302/304 monthly meetings, PSA 302/409 Border Quarterly meetings
6) Communications Committee Update
         * Online outreach
         * Offline outreach  
7) Announcements
         * Block Parties
         * Other?

Neighborhood bar Union Drinkery coming soon from A&D folks at 3216 Georgia

UPDATE: I posted the wrong building and wrong address, I thought the entire black building was Small Fry. It's actually the building above, not the one below. Original post below.

A while ago, I wrote that there was a new bar coming to Georgia Ave, Union Drinkery to be located next to Small Fry, the tasty barbecue and sandwich spot (Small Fry is the black building above.)

The other day I saw some work going on in the space and I reached out to the owner, Ali Bagheri, who also runs the chill A&D bar on 6th Street in Shaw. He said they won't have any particular theme, just a "neighborhood joint" similar to A&D. They'll also offer the full menu from Small Fry next door. They're hoping to open soon but didn't have a definitive timeline yet.

I'm a big fan of A&D, so this is a welcome development.

Nice to see that the central area of Georgia is growing rapidly -- I'm also a fan of Small Fry, Colony Club and Heat da Spot, one of my favorite coffee shops. And there's the in-progress Midlands beer garden from the Kangaroo Boxing Club folks and the now-open Tchoup's Market, the replacement for Alfie's.

Note: this is NOT where Union Drinkery is going. I posted this photo originally. It's the black building to the left.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Georgia Ave. Community Review this Saturday: make your voice heard on local issues

Tomorrow is the Lower Georgia Avenue Community Review, a community meeting bringing together DC Council members, local organizations and neighbors. It sounds like a great event, with topics about Howard U.'s development, a coming Main Street organization for Georgia Avenue, and discussions about the Park Morton and Bruce Monroe plans.

Here's more from Sylvia Robinson of the Georgia Ave. Community Development Task Force.

The 4th Biennial Community Review of Lower Georgia Avenue is coming up tomorrow August 6th!  Join us at this public forum at the Howard University School of Architecture (6th and Howard Place NW)

WHAT: A gathering of Lower Georgia Avenue stakeholders in a full day forum to discuss three topics of interest to the community

WHEN: Saturday August 6, 2016 9:00am – 4:00pm

WHERE: The Howard University School of Architecture – 6th and Howard Place NW
  • Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street – What’s Your Vision?
What will it take for Georgia Avenue to thrive and for our business community to flourish?  We believe that the Main Street model is an ideal way to organize, promote, design and economically restructure our neighborhood.  This model, defined by the National Trust for Historic Preservation revitalizes downtown and neighborhood business districts by leveraging local assets - from historic, cultural, and architectural resources to local enterprises and community pride.  Councilmember Nadeau is working to secure funding for a new Main Street, and has already funded a new Clean Team for Georgia Avenue.  Once funding is secured, an organization will be selected through the RFP process to create a Main Street.  What is our vision for this new organization?  What are our priorities for revitalization? How can we encourage your participation in this organization?  This session will gather the community’s input on these questions.  Panelists: 
          Scott  Pomeroy—former  ED of 14th & U Main Street
          Janet Lugo—ED of Adams Morgan Main Street
          Leigh Catherine Miles—ED of new Tenleytown Main Street

  • Understanding the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process
Lower Georgia Avenue will undergo several major development projects in the next few years, with the Park Morton/Bruce Monroe New Communities project currently under review.  The Planned Unit Development is a tool by which developers can negotiate larger buildings with more density or different zoning in exchange for community benefits.  The public voice is a part of this process, but the complexities can sometimes overwhelm the average person.  The new zoning laws will have an impact on the process.  In this session you will learn about the PUD process and ways you can be involved. Facilitator:  Donna Hanousek, Office of Planning Senior Zoning Specialist

  • Howard University Development Projects
The Howard University Campus Plan was approved in 2012 with the help of the surrounding community. The plan calls for a number of projects, some of which are completed and some in the pipeline. Completed are two new dormitories, the student dining hall expansion, and a new Interdisciplinary Research Building. In the works are projects at Sherman and Barry, Meridian Hall, the Effingham and more. This presentation will give you a complete picture of Howard University’s plans for their properties and answer any questions you may have. Facilitator: Derrek Niec-Williams, Director - Campus Planning, Architecture & Development at Howard University
At the large group session starting at 2pm we will be joined by Councilmembers Grosso and Silverman for remarks, as well as Council Candidate Robert White.  We also hope to have a presentation from our youth from MOMIES TLC.   The event will be covered by the press.
Why do we host this event?
Equitable development in a community is not possible without the interests and involvement of all the stakeholders.  Bringing those interests to the conversations in a meaningful way can be difficult due to the complexities of the process and people’s busy schedules.  This event, held every two years, provides everyone an opportunity to take a deeper dive into some of the pressing community conversations.  It is our hope that you will gain information about upcoming changes to the neighborhood, and be empowered to participate in the process.  It is also an opportunity to meet your neighbors and hear their concerns and opinions on the community’s growth.  Finally, there is a free lunch which will feature many of the restaurants on Lower Georgia Avenue.

The event will begin at 9am with a continental breakfast provided in part by Uprising Muffins.  Small group session will run through the morning, then a free lunch will be provided by Torries Restaurant, Morgan’s Seafood, Salt & Pepper GrillSankofa CaféNu Vegan CaféYes OrganicDulcinea and more.  After lunch there will be a large group session to hear from special guests and debrief the morning sessions.

Event details, schedules, facilitators and FAQS are at
Can you volunteer?  We can still use help with outreach prior to the event and with tasks on the day of the event.  If you’re able to assist please call Sylvia at (202) 462-2285 or reply to this email.
Finally I would like to thank our donors:
  • Howard University
  • The Holladay Corporation
  • The Development Corporation of Columbia Heights
  • The Neighborhood Development Company
  • Ms. P. J. Green-Young
and also our partners:
  • The Georgia Avenue Business Alliance
  • Georgia Avenue Thrive
  • Pleasant Plains Civic Association
  • The Emergence Community Arts Collective

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Politically-themed cocktails as a fundraiser for Hillary tonight at Petworth Citizen

This is pretty funny, and a fun way to give to the Hillary campaign: Petworth Citizen will be slinging a lot of politically-themed cocktails tonight and giving 15% of the proceeds to HRC's campaign.

The event is called "Variations on a Theme: I'm with Her" and includes drinks like the I'm With DaiqHERi, Tim Rickey with real Kaine sugar, Make American Grape Again and so on.

It's hosted by mixologist Carlie Steiner and starts at 7pm. Here's the Facebook invite.

Wonderland's 12th Anniversary party is this Sunday!! (And check out the old photos)

Wonderland, our esteemed local watering hole, turns 12 this year, and they're celebrating a decade of beer, trivia, dancing, neighbors and fun this Sunday, Aug. 7. It starts at 4pm and there will be drink specials, live music, a pig roast and more. Here's the Facebook invite.

Sounds awesome. I've been going to the spot since 2007, and I have a lot of fond memories: shenanigans like Air Guitar Championship competitors performing on the bar, Halloween costume dance parties, friends who met there and got married, and their early brunch: bottomless bacon and make-your-own waffles. And before it was Wonderland, you may know that it was Nob Hill, a gay bar that operated for 50 years. After a number of violations and dropping business, Nob Hill closed, to be replaced by Wonderland.

It's gotten more popular, especially on the weekends, but still has that neighborly vibe. And the weekends are still fun if you want to dance and get sweaty.

The Wonderland Facebook page also posted some old photos from when they were just opening -- pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tchoup's Market, replacing Alfie's, opens Thursday

In case you missed it yesterday, Tchoup's Market, the New Orleans-focused replacement for Alfie's from Alex McCoy, is opening tomorrow. The Post has an article on it -- despite the New Orleans theme it's not going to be what you might imagine, more focused on the city's diverse food scene. The name comes from Tchoupitoulas Street in the city, and Tchoup's is pronounced "chops".

Here's what the Post had to say:
What you won't find: gaudy Mardi Gras themes (or beignets, at least for now). What you will: po' boys, which McCoy defines as anything between two slices of Louisiana French bread -- in this case, loaves from famed Leidenheimer Baking Co. in New Orleans. The sandwich menu will go beyond fried shrimp and oysters, though. Think pastrami, sausages and fried chicken. 
As to other fare: "We're not going to stick to the kind of mainstream gumbo and étouffée dishes," McCoy said. He's planning on channeling the international melting pot of New Orleans, which includes Italian, Vietnamese and Chinese influences. One example: yakamein, a Chinese noodle soup. Other daily specials may include fried chicken and shrimp creole.
Drinks-wise, there will be a lot of French-style aperitifs, punches, Sazeracs and such. Sounds pretty delicious to me. I also heard from a friend who visited Alfie's the other day and talked with the staff that they were going for more of a relaxed bar vibe than Alfie's had. They will take reservations, however.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Alex McCoy, Alfie's and Tchoup's owner, to open British sandwich shop on Upshur (and Tchoup's opens Aug. 4)

More stuff coming to Upshur Street! Celebrity chef Alex McCoy is opening an "old world sandwich shop and market" at 845 Upshur, according to the Washingtonian. The final-name-pending spot will have British style sandwiches, like salt beef (a lot like corned beef), tuna and chicken salad, and other items, all served to-go.

The peregrinations of McCoy take some time to follow -- he opened Duke's Grocery, a British spot in Dupont a while ago, then opened Alfie's, the Thai spot at 3301 Georgia, as a pop-up -- maybe to stay put, or maybe to move to a space he owned at 845 Upshur Street, the old China America Inn next to Willow.

Then McCoy and team decided the Upshur space's kitchen wasn't big enough, so Alfie's is moving to a location to be determined downtown. And Alfie's will change over to Tchoup's Market, a New Orleans po-boy spot going for more of a bar vibe. 

And now we know more: Tchoup's opens August 4th while the British sandwich spot is aimed at the next few months.

Sounds good to me!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chez Billy is closed; may become dumpling place or maybe just a renovation

Well, this is odd. Yesterday Petworth News wrote that he heard that Chez Billy at 3815 Georgia abruptly closed for good. However, today PoP writes that it's only closed for August for a "decor refresh" according to the owners, but that readers reported that it will become a dumpling place. PoP says employees told him the same thing. So, who knows. Change appears to be coming.

I only went to Chez Billy once, but I heard they had a great happy hour. It is a pretty big space, I wonder if that was part of the issue, although with the opening of Homestead and the coming Joe Englert-owned Reliable Tavern at Georgia and New Hampshire you'd think there's a little strip forming.

Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown is going to remain open and presumably keep the same concept.

As Petworth News noted, the location is a historic one, formerly a French bakery named Minoux Confectioner, Mueller's Restaurant and then Kushner's Seafood restaurant, followed by Billy Simpson's, a steakhouse and meeting place for prominent African Americans and African diplomats, and then Kaieteur, a Caribbean restaurant. There's a historic plaque on the building that talks more about it. Seems like the building does a good job of talking about our area's history.