Dear Borderstan readers:
It’s time to say goodbye again.
After 19 months of covering local news, Borderstan will cease publication today and for the foreseeable future.
We’ve had some great times together, haven’t we? Since relaunching the site last year, co-editors Tim Regan and Andrew Ramonas have written about the good, the bad and the odd things that happen around the District.
Going forward, we will archive our old stories on this site. That way, you can still read about the time we found out Guy Fieri was coming to Dupont Circle or the story of when local alcohol regulators fined Madam’s Organ for a drummer’s fart.
To all our friends and readers, thank you for making this possible. We’ve had a blast, and we hope to see you around the neighborhood soon!
Andrew Ramonas and Tim Regan
Burger Bar to Replace Shuttered GBD Eatery in Dupont — Red Apron Burger Bar from Neighborhood Restaurant Group is set to open in the former GBD space at 1323 Connecticut Ave. NW in mid-January. [Washington Post]
Where to Buy Last-Minute Gifts in Columbia Heights Area — New Columbia Heights has a roundup of local businesses to check out for last-minute presents for the holidays. [New Columbia Heights]
How to Fix a Holiday Hangover in Shaw — The New Yorker breakfast sandwich with pastrami, egg, cheese and hot pepper jelly at Smoked & Stacked (1239 9th St. NW) is a good meal “if you were a hot mess last night,” according to Washington City Paper. [Washington City Paper]
Streetcar Won’t Run on Christmas, But Will Go Late New Year’s Eve — The H Street corridor’s streetcar is set to have its normal operating hours over the next couple weeks, except on Christmas. [Borderstan]
Photo courtesy of Greg Nelson
The armed robbery happened on the 1400 block of Spring Road NW about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.
The victim was walking home when a woman came up to him from behind, according to authorities. The woman then put a hard object to his back and forced him to walk to a building, where they entered a laundry room in the basement.
Once inside, she pointed a handgun at the man’s head, while telling him to kneel and hand over his wallet. The woman eventually took his wallet and fled.
Police released a tweet with a suspect description:
Robbery Gun in the 1400 Blk of Spring Rd NW// LOF B/F 25yoa//wearing blk sweatshirt and blue jeans//4692
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 21, 2016
Photo via Google Maps
An Elvis Presley birthday celebration with burlesque performers and unusual boxing contenders is set to return to Columbia Heights next week.
Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club is scheduled to bring “elaborately staged bouts, Elvis-themed burlesque, and below-the-belt commentary from co-hosts ‘Elvis’ and ‘Kittie Glitter'” to the GALA Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St. NW) Dec. 31, Jan. 6 and 7, according to Astro Pop Events, which is putting on the annual tribute. All shows are slated to start at 8 p.m.
“Flim-flam fisticuffs make for a sexy and surreal celebration of The King’s birthday,” Astro Pop Events says on its website.
Astro Pop Events won’t reveal the identities of the boxers in Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club until the shows start. But past matches have included “Bridezilla vs. Godzilla,” “Congress vs. a Clown” and “Putin vs. a Unicorn.”
Photo via Eventbrite/Astro Pop Events
It’s been barely a year of business for the Arlington-based family tour firm TripUSAFrance, but in that time, dozens of travelers have experienced the South of France with Julia Girard-Gervois and her Montpellier-based father Stephane, and the rave reviews are pouring in.
“I loved eating at places frequented by the locals and the picnic lunch catered by Julia’s mom at the beach was beautiful and delicious,” said Katie L. “We saw so much–from walled cities to Medieval castles to rides on Montpellier’s trolleys. Much better than fighting tourists in Paris!”
“We have traveled extensively throughout Europe and France, but had never been to Montpellier and its environs,” said Tim S. “TripUsaFrance put together a wonderful tour of Medieval cities, castles, cathedrals and country sides. Of particular note were the sound and light show of Chagall paintings and the cooking school. And hosts Julia and Stephane couldn’t have been nicer. They went out of their way to make sure everyone in our group–ages 35 to 92–had a great time.”
The common theme to these comments is the personal touch Julia brings to each adventure. It’s part of the company’s purpose.
With the motto “Travel like a local,” TripUSAFrance crafts culturally interactive tours so you can actually experience the culture, not just see it.
“We want the travelers to experience France like a local would by sharing our culture and traditions, showing them our secret spots, teaching them our language and habits, introducing them to as many local French people as possible such as the owner of the hotel, friends, and neighbors. When these locals recognize our travelers and say hello to them it makes them feel like they are part of the community and even more welcome. This is only possible because we are a small group, no more than 14 people, and because they are staying in the same hotel and city for a week, which we consider more like a village. This is what makes our tour unique and special,” Julia said.
Upon arrival, Julia and Stephane drive you to your beautifully renovated beach hotel, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea. Each morning you are treated to a French Breakfast at the hotel before they pick you up for the day’s activities. With most of the sites within 1 hour of driving and departure times around 9:00am every day, you get plenty of rest and still have enough time to see everything on the tour without feeling rushed.
Inclusive pricing provides you with daily breakfast, lunch and snacks, 3 dinners, local transportation and accommodations, admission to wine tastings and other activities.
According to clients, highlights include homemade picnics of regional dishes, learning to play Petanque, interacting with locals, attending cooking classes, wine-tastings, learning French, and, said Julia, “simply realizing that we are becoming friends by the end of the week.”
Julia and Stephane’s tour is a perfect combination of historical sites and experiencing the French lifestyle with two passionate local tour guides. No lines, no tourist traps, no hassle. It is a one-of-a-kind insider tour of Southern France that those who partake in the journey will never forget.
Act fast and book before Jan 31, 2017 to save $300 off the regular tour price with their early bird discount!
The preceding post was written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by TripUSAFrance.
The H Street corridor’s streetcar is set to have its normal operating hours over the next couple weeks, except on Christmas, the District Department of Transportation announced yesterday.
The streetcar won’t run this Sunday during the holiday. But it will make trips as usual from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday on Christmas Eve and from 6 a.m. to midnight on Monday, Dec. 26, which is a federal holiday.
Streetcar operations on New Year’s Eve also will go on as normal, with Saturday hours of 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. On New Year’s Day, streetcars will follow their Sunday service schedule of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. As for Monday, Jan. 2, which is a federal holiday, streetcars will run from 6 a.m. to midnight as usual.
Streetcars arrive at stops on H Street and Benning Road NE every 10 to 15 minutes.
Post Examines Columbia Heights Convict’s Path to Prison — The Washington Post profiles a 24-year-old Columbia Heights man who ended up with a 22-year sentence after a murder conviction. [Washington Post]
Locals Fight Truxton Circle Co-Living Space — The Richardson Place Neighborhood Association is trying to prevent the construction of a co-living space at 410-412 Richardson Place NW. [Washington City Paper]
New TV Show to Follow Columbia Heights Real Estate Firm — HGTV at noon today is set to debut “D.C. Flippers,” which follows DC Home Buzz owners Ati and Rob Williams. [NBC Washington]
Condo, Apartment Owners to Join Downtown D.C. BID — The D.C. Council has approved legislation that will make condo associations and apartment building owners members of the Downtown D.C. BID. [Washington Business Journal]
Dupont Circle could get a new dance club and bar as early as next month.
The business, Saint Yves, is slated to open at 1220 Connecticut Ave. NW as soon as mid-January, according to company representative Wayne Johnson. Johnson declined to provide more information about the club but said more details would be available as it got closer to opening.
As we reported in 2015, Saint Yves will serve “light fare” alongside “rare bourbons” in a space with seating for 30 and a total occupancy of 250. The hangout will also host occasional events with DJs, bands and dancing.
The business is currently hiring “VIP hosts, cocktail service models, bartenders and all around exciting people,” a notice on its Facebook reads.
Jennie Tomlinson-Herr, the librarian at Chavez Prep Middle School (770 Kenyon St. NW), last week launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the low-income school’s library, which received a 70 percent cut in funding. With about $7,000 less at her disposal, Tomlinson-Herr can’t get the books that she said her need and want.
“The library’s need for books is critical — I have a long, long list of titles that students have requested that I can’t afford to buy,” she said on the fundraising website. “It’s upsetting when I have to tell my students that the library can’t afford to purchase more books. I try to avoid this whenever possible by purchasing highly requested titles out of my own pocket, but the need is greater than what I can afford as an individual.”
Chavez Prep has more than 300 students between sixth and ninth grades. About a third of them check out books from the library every day.
Photo via Chavez Prep Middle School GoFundMe
The restaurant is seeking to serve beer, wine and cocktails, according to owner and chef Gurjeet Singh.
Lemon Cuisine’s dinner menu includes Indian cuisine mainstays such as chicken tikka masala, palak paneer and six types of biryani.
“I’m using my own spices that I create,” Singh said in November. “All made from scratch, all fresh and healthy.”
The robberies happened at Happy Cleaners (1509 17th St. NW) about 10:45 a.m. and Red Valet Cleaners (910 P St. NW) about 1:15 p.m. It wasn’t immediately clear if the crimes were connected.
At Happy Cleaners, about a half-dozen boys entered the shop and took $160 from a cash register, which one of them opened, according to authorities. They then fled.
Police released this tweet with suspect descriptions:
Alert: Robbery at 10:45 hours hrs in the 1500 block of 17th Street, NW. Lookout for 5 TO 6 B/M WEARING ALL BLACK CLOTHING/SHORT HAIR
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 20, 2016
As for Red Valet Cleaners, two teenage boys walked into the store and took money from a cash register when two employees were in the back of the shop, according to authorities. One of the workers tried to stop one of the thieves by grabbing his arm, but let go after becoming scared.
The robbers eventually ran off with $172 in cash.
Police released this tweet with suspect descriptions:
Confirmed Robbery at 1313 hrs in the 900 blk P. Str. NW . LOF: 2B/M's, 16 to 17 to 19 years old and wearing black jacket. pic.twitter.com/ImcRdWuOd2
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 20, 2016
If you listen closely, you might hear carolers in Dupont Circle. But they’re not singing traditional yuletide melodies, they’re belting out tunes about president-elect Donald Trump.
Singers with the caroling group “War On Christmas Carols” visited the circle Monday and Tuesday this week to spread holiday cheer and jeers.
Take a listen to “Tiny Hands,” a riff on “Jingle Bells”:
"Tiny Hands", to the tune of "Jingle Bells" pic.twitter.com/shc9e3ZL7I
— WarOnChristmasCarols (@WarOnXmasCarols) December 19, 2016
The group’s aim is to bring “songs of good cheer for this trashfire year,” according to its Twitter account. Follow along to see where they visit next.
D.C. Council Backs Park Morton Redevelopment — The D.C. Council yesterday approved legislation to replace the Park Morton public housing complex with a mixed-income community that won’t displace families. [Park View, D.C.]
Ten Kids Attack, Rob Teen in U Street Corridor — A group of 10 kids attacked and robbed a youth near 13th and U streets NW about 6:45 p.m. yesterday. [Washington Post]
CityCenterDC Eatery Closes — Mango Tree at 929 H St. NW shut down over the weekend. [Washingtonian]
Man Charged With Stealing Christmas Decorations Downtown — Floyd Sellers, a 54-year-old Southeast D.C. resident, was arrested and charged in connection with the Dec. 11 theft of a decorative reindeer, a wreath and a table lamp from the One Lafayette Center office building downtown. [Washington Post]
The H Street Runners, Argonaut Running Club and the Big Board Runners are joining forces for the “H Street Ugly Holiday Sweater Run and Party” Tuesday, Dec. 20, according to a Facebook announcement. Neighborhood blog PoPville also posted about the event.
Tonight’s run is open to all community members and is scheduled to take participants about two miles down H Street. The event will begin at Driftwood (400 H St. NE) at 7 p.m.
“Let’s make this a great tradition for the whole H Street community,” an organizer wrote on Facebook. “It will be a fun, festive run up and down the H Street corridor and afterwards we have the upstairs bar at Driftwood Kitchen.”
Participants are also encouraged to bring along a medal to donate to Medals4Angels, a nonprofit “that collects medals from marathon and triathalon runners and donate them to those fighting their own battle with serious illness.”
Photo via Flickr / The Ugly Sweater Shop
Urban explorers are set to have the opportunity to check out a decommissioned streetcar station below Dupont Circle with the help of guides next month.
The Dupont Underground is scheduled to open again to the public on most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in January, beginning Friday, Jan. 6, according to an online event post. The space, accessed through a stairwell near 11 Dupont Circle NW, hasn’t had tours since its inaugural “Raise/Raze” art exhibit wrapped up earlier this year.
“Since the success of Raise/Raze creative minds have been inspired by the potential of this 75,000 sq/ft space,” the event post says. “These tours will explore the living history and conceptual reinvention of a DC hidden gem. Each tour will consist of a guided hour long experience through the tunnels under Dupont Circle, that once served as the neighborhood trolley system over fifty years ago.”
Tours are limited to 30 people at a time. Tickets are $15 online.
Photo via Twitter/Dupont Underground