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by Daniel Levitt — July 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm 0


Everyone deserves a vacation, which is why we’ll be taking Friday off to observe the Fourth of July.

To those leaving the city and those staying within the District, we wish you a happy and safe holiday weekend. To tide you over until our triumphant return on Monday, here’s a rundown of some of the things you should keep in mind this weekend :

  • City Services: D.C. government will be closed Friday. Trash collection will follow normal schedules, and the DMV will be closed.
  • Community Softball Game: The Armed Forces Retirement Home is hosting a day of festivities, including food and drinks, music and, of course, softball. Click on the link for more details.
  • 14th and U Farmers Market: The market will be open for business on the Fourth. Corn, peaches, heirloom tomatoes,  berries, cherries and pies from Whisked will be on sale among the usual fresh fare.
  • F.R.E.S.H. Block Party: The F.R.E.S.H. series of block parties comes to Bruce Monroe Park, located on the corner of Irving Street and Georgia Avenue NW. The event will last from 12 to 4 p.m.
  • Metro: Trains will run a weekend schedule on Friday and trains will ramp up to near rush-hour service starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday until the mall fireworks cease exploding. Off-peak fares will be in effect until midnight, and standard service will resume Sunday.
  • National Mall Fireworks: It’s here every year. Coolers and bags will be searched upon entry. No alcohol or grills allowed.
  • Pearl Dive Picnic Bucket: The Logan Circle restaurant is offering chicken buckets to take to your Fourth of July celebrations. $35 gets you 6 Pieces of Chicken, german potato salad, spicy coleslaw, jalapeno corn muffins and blueberry streusel pies. Order and pick up by 4 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Road Closures: There are no major road closures in the Borderstan area. Closures in the Capitol Hill area, however, may affect traffic in surrounding places. Roads will close in two phases, one that starts at 6 a.m. and another that starts at 11:15 a.m., and will reopen at 11 p.m. Be sure to check the full list of closures.
  • Where to Buy Fireworks: Check the map linked for all locations. Be sure to read up on which fireworks are legal in D.C. before you buy.

If you take photos this weekend, be sure to send them our way. We may feature some reader photos in a post next week. Send your photos to [email protected] or tweet them at us.

by Tim Regan — July 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm 1,507 0

Guggenmos at ANC 2F

Number Nine and Town Danceboutique co-owner John Guggenmos seeks to open a “comfortable” new tavern on 14th Street NW.

Guggenmos said last night during a monthly ANC 2F meeting that the new business would be located at 1410 14th Street NW in the space under Black Whiskey.

That storefront is currently occupied by Jrink juicery, which will move to Shaw in August.

If all goes according to plan, the new tavern — still unnamed — will have a small dance floor, live DJs and feature architectural design elements made from salvaged materials.

“One of the things we’ll be looking to do here is use materials that give them all a second life,” said Guggenmos during his presentation to ANC 2F’s commissioners.

For instance, Guggenmos said he would like to build an outdoor seating area’s fence out of wood found in the wreckage of a barn destroyed by a tornado.

“You take down this wonderful old barn wood and give it a second life,” he said. “These big, thick old planks; you couldn’t buy something new that has that character.”

Guggenmos hopes the salvaged materials will lend the tavern a comfortable feel.

“I was criticized with Number Nine for making it too nice,” said Guggenmos. “People didn’t feel like they could put their feet up.”

ANC 2F passed the tavern’s settlement agreement unanimously last night. Its next hurdle will be a July  27 ABRA hearing.

by Tim Regan — July 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm 0

“FIREWORKS TNT FIREWORKS,” reads the sign above Mi Casita Bakery, a Mexican and Salvadoran cafe on 14th Street NW in Columbia Heights.

Inside, the eatery is busy and hot.

“No, we don’t sell fireworks here,” sighs the man behind the counter. “We do not sell fireworks.”

The man sighs again, as if to say he gets that question a lot.

“But Mattie does,” the man says, pointing to the wall behind him. “She’s out back.”

Mattie McLain’s head barely emerges from behind the counter of her plywood fireworks stand. On first glance, the hut looks uninhabited.

Although hidden, McLain is there. Sun or storm, the 78-year-old has manned the firework shack each summer for more than 20 years.

Every afternoon, a small crowd of children gathers in front of the stand. With a smile, McLain doles out pop-its, sparklers and party poppers for a dollar apiece.

Earlier this week, the stand was discovered — and subsequently written about — by PoPville.

“Seems legit,” wrote one commenter sarcastically.

“The [person] who runs the fireworks stand has had [their] stand on that corner for 30+ years,” writes another. “The nice folks at [Mi] Casita don’t have to let [them] continue the tradition, but they do.”

But McLain doesn’t just own the fireworks stand. She also owns the building that houses Mi Casita.

“I’ve owned the building 40 years,” she says.

McLain used to run a grocery store and deli out of the space, but she closed the deli 10 years ago.

“I just got too old,” McLain says. “Now, I sell fireworks. It keeps me busy.”

Over the years, McLain has gotten to know her neighbors well.

“The neighborhood has changed a lot,” says McLain. “But a lot of the same people are still here. I know them.”

“Each year around this time, they look for me,” McLain says with a laugh. “Everybody says, ‘Where’s Mattie?'”

McLain often says she doesn’t know how much longer she’ll sell fireworks. But she’ll run the stand as long as she can.

“I’m old,” McLain says. “Too old. I fell this morning.”

“But I can get up,” she adds.

by Tim Regan — July 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm 506 0

(Updated 5:05 p.m.) A Dupont-area kabob restaurant was earlier today ordered closed by the D.C. Department of Health after an inspection uncovered vermin on the premises.

Sacrificial Lamb Kabob and Wraps at 1704 R Street NW was closed much of today for “failing to minimize the presence of insects, rodents and other pests on the premises,” according to a DOH food establishment closure notice posted on the front door of the restaurant yesterday.

The restaurant has since reopened.

Borderstan visited the restaurant earlier this morning and spoke with a manager there. The manager confirmed the presence of rats in the store’s trash cans, but said the rats were not seen inside the restaurant.

“It’s unfair,” said the manager, who did not want to be identified. “We passed a health inspection three weeks ago.”

A DOH inspection report from June 1 did not reveal the presence of rats at the restaurant.

Still, rats lurking in trash cans are enough to temporarily close a restaurant, says DOH Spokesperson Ivan Torres.

“We have to actually observe the animals or droppings, which is evidence of their presence,” Torres says. “It can be in the trash cans if the trash cans are on the premises.”

A full report from yesterday’s inspection will be posted online next week.

by Tim Regan — July 2, 2015 at 10:10 am 264 1 Comment

A suspected package thief was caught on camera last week in the Logan Circle neighborhood.

In a video released by D.C. police earlier this morning, a man can be seen walking up to a home and retrieving a package from the doorstep. The man then sits down at a nearby table and waits for approximately 38 seconds before standing up and walking away with the package.

Police confirm a theft was reported at a residence on the 1200 block of S Street NW last Wednesday at approximately 4:24 p.m.

Crime Solvers of Washington, D.C., currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia. Your assistance is appreciated by your community.

Anyone who can identify these individuals or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE to 50411.

Video via MPD

by Jared Holt — July 2, 2015 at 9:10 am 0

Navy Yard on Lockdown — A large-scale emergency response shut down Navy Yard earlier this morning following unconfirmed reports of an active shooter or shooters in the area. [HillNow]

Guess who’s back, back again? — The Cuban Government will reopen its embassy at 2630 16th Street NW on July 20. [NBC]

Money, money, money — Minimum wage rose to $10.50 an hour yesterday, making it the highest minimum wage in the nation. The pay rate will rise again next year — per a law signed into affect by former mayor Vince Gray — to $11.50 an hour, but activists are saying that’s still not enough. [DCist]

Plan A — A new art gallery will move into the former Gallery Plan B space on 14th Street NW. [Borderstan]

by Tim Regan — July 2, 2015 at 6:00 am 232 1 Comment

1300 7th

(Updated at 9:37 a.m.) Two men were injured in a shooting that occurred just blocks away from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center early this morning.

According to the police report, D.C. authorities first received a call for the sound of gunshots near the 1300 block of 7th Street NW at approximately 12:22 a.m.

When police arrived, they found two men suffering from gunshot wounds at the scene.

Both men were then transported to a local hospital.

Police say there were reports of a suspicious vehicle leaving the scene of the crime.

Anyone with information related to the shooting is encouraged to contact police at 202-727-9099.

by Tim Regan — July 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm 0

Gallery Neptune and Brown

A new art gallery will open in the space formerly occupied by Gallery Plan B on July 18.

Two Georgetown galleries, Neptune Fine Art and Robert Brown Gallery announced today the opening of a joint “satellite space” called Gallery Neptune and Brown.

The new gallery will be located in the old Gallery Plan B space, across the street from the Studio Theatre at 1530 14th Street NW.

Former Gallery Plan B Director David Kalamar will be hired on to help manage the new location, confirmed Robert Brown of Robert Brown Gallery.

Nepture Fine Art owner Christine Neptune and Robert Brown will co-own the space.

Gallery Plan B owner Paula Amt announced the closure of her beloved 14th Street art space last Monday.

“We decided after the 10 year anniversary that it was time,” Amt told Borderstan. “Go out on a high note with good memories and accomplishments.”

Amt will not return to help with the new gallery.

The gallery’s first exhibit, “Summer Splash on 14th Street,” will run from July 18 until September 5 and feature artists Polly Apfelbaum, Donald Baechler, Ellsworth Kelly and Philip Taaffe.

Neptune Fine Art was founded in New York City in 2000, an focuses mainly on modern and contemporary art.

Robert Brown Gallery first opened in Georgetown in 1981. Over the years, Brown has exhibited artists such as Roger Ballen, Oleg Kudryashov, Sol Lewitt and David Nash.

Photo courtesy Gallery Neptune and Brown

by Tim Regan — July 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm 133 0

Georgia Avenue and V Street NW, Photo via Google Street View

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in front of Howard University Hospital this afternoon at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and V Street NW.

D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted about the incident around 3:19 p.m.

Nine minutes later, authorities tweeted that the pedestrian was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

D.C. Fire and EMS officials were not immediately available to comment on the situation when contacted at 3:26 p.m. this afternoon.

by Jared Holt — July 1, 2015 at 9:30 am 102 0

Pope Alert! — In September, Pope Francis will visit St. Matthew’s Cathedral as part of his North America travel. Church officials say they’re preparing to host approximately 25,000 visitors. [Borderstan] Holiday Metro Prep —…


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