by August 31, 2010 at 10:34 pm 2,152 0

Granetta Coleman hoopdance Dupont Circle Luis Gomez Photos

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

Is the hooping life for you? If you’re not familiar with the latest fitness trend, hoopdance incorporates classic dance moves and hula hooping. In some versions of hoopdance, students use the hoop like a partner, dancing while the hoop circles various body parts. Local instructor Granetta Coleman also focuses on trick hooping which involves moving the hoop on or off the body.

Coleman of HooperNATURAL™ is bringing hoopdance classes to Dupont Circle Thursdays in September and October from 6:30 to 7:30pm–yes, right inside the Circle. According to Coleman–who used hoopdance to get in shape after her pregnancy–hoopdance is appealing because of the skill involved.

“I like that you need to practice in order to master moves,” Coleman said. “You can figure out how to do some things by watching YouTube videos, but it’s an endless challenge.” You can also go at your own pace. “People enjoy finding their own groove or flow,” she added.

In addition to increasing your strength and improving your balance, this total body workout has some less obvious benefits.

“There is a relaxation benefit to hoopdance because you need to focus on the moves. Creativity is also sparked by hooping. You start thinking about all the different moves you can learn,” said Coleman.

Coleman, a Silver Spring native, has been teaching group exercise classes in DC for years. Prior to founding HooperNATURAL, she taught urban funk, pilates and toning classes at several Results Gym locations in DC. She was also an instructor for D.A.R.E. Dance at local elementary schools in DC and northern Virginia.

Granetta Coleman hoopdance Dupont Circle

Coleman is also a member of the DC Hoop Collective, which is a group of local hooping instructors and hoopers. The DC Hoop Collective will host the screening of the feature-length documentary film, The Hooping Life, on World Hoop Day, which is on 10-10-10. In addition to the screening, the DC Hoop Collective is planning more hoopdance workshops with celebrity teachers, performances and a family hoop jam to celebrate World Hoop Day.

by August 31, 2010 at 8:21 pm 1,574 0

Luis Gomez Photos 14th Street NW U Street NW Borderstan

Get information and listings for live music at 10 venues in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Decided not to sit in traffic on I-95 or the beach routes? It’s a good weekend to take in some live music at local clubs–chances are lots of people will be out town, making it easier to enjoy a show.

Check out the live music listings below for Thursday, September 2, through Sunday, September 5… always plenty to hear at clubs in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.


by August 31, 2010 at 8:11 pm 1,965 0

Luis Gomez Photos U Street NW Logan Circle art galleries

What’s on exhibit this weekend in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area? (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s the last weekend to catch exhibits at two local galleries, one on U Street and one on 14th Street.

  • At Irvine Contemporary on 14th Street NW: “Introductions 6” with artists include Firelei Baez, Claire Callagy, Steven M. Cummings, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Brendan Loper and Wafaa Yasin.
  • At Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street N.W: “New Now 2010” featuring Hamiltonian fellows Selin Balci, Joyce Lee, Ryan Hoover, Elena Volkova, Jessica van Brakle.

Get the details about all the galleries in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area below the fold.


by August 31, 2010 at 9:50 am 1,459 1 Comment

17th Street Festival Dupont Circle 17th Streetscape

The first 17th Street Festival will raise funds for tree box plantings, light post flags and the Ross School PTA. (Scott Hall for 17th Street Festival)

The 17th Street NW corridor will get its own festival this fall on Saturday, September 25. The commercial strip between P Street and Riggs Place will play host to musical performances, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone and an auction tent from 2 to 6 pm.

The festival was planned as a way to celebrate the completion of DDOT’s 17th Streetscape project, which got underway last December. The Streetscape project has brought new sidewalks, lighting and tree boxes on both sides of 17th Street between Massachusetts Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue NW–after a lot of digging, dust, jackhammers and blocked off traffic lanes and sidewalks.

Sponsorships and Beneficiaries

The 17th Street Festival (also on Facebook) is being organized by the Historic Dupont Main Streets project, Ross Elementary School PTA and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA). Festival organizers are selling sponsorships to individuals, businesses and organizations. Items are also being solicited for a raffle.

Proceeds from the sale of festival sponsorships will be used to purchase flowers and plants for 17th Street’s of tree boxes, as well as flags for the new light posts. The light post flags will promote local groups, organizations and upcoming events.

Additional funds from sponsorships will go toward a fund for future 17th Street projects and festivals, as well as to the Ross Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Anyone interested in making a raffle donation should contact Nina at [email protected]. Potential festival sponsors should contact Jennifer at [email protected]

Ross Elementary School Open

According to Lee Granados, chair of the Festival, “We want this event to highlight our overall community including businesses, independent entrepreneurs, artists and musicians and our local public school, Ross Elementary.”

This May photo shows work on the brick-accented sidewalks that are now part of the 17th Street corridor. (Borderstan)

Granados said that Ross will be open to the community during the festival on September 25. The PTA is encouraging area residents who are interested in DC schools to visit–especially if they have young children who would be eligible to attend Ross.

Call for Artists: Sept. 11 Deadline

Festival organizers hope to have as many as 50 local artists at the 17th Street Festival. Artists will be able to display and sell their artworks. You can get more information from the Call for Artists application, including contact information. The deadline to submit an application is Saturday, September 11 at 6 pm.

For more information about the 17th Street Festival, contact Lee Granados at [email protected]

by August 31, 2010 at 7:49 am 7,804 0

Mary Burgan Borderstan Movie Fan

Mary Burgan is the Borderstan Movie Fan.

Mary the Borderstan Movie Fan’s column on movies runs every two weeks. Mary Burgan is a retired professor of English and association executive. Her previous reviews are listed at the end of this post.

Two of the summer’s best movies turn on the separation involved when a kid goes off to college. In both Toy Story 3 and The Kids Are All Right everything points to the moment when the car starts up, loaded with all the stuff that today’s young people believe they’ll need in their dorm rooms, to take them away from everything they once knew.

You might think that the goodbyes in the animated children’s film, Toy Story 3, would be less emotional than those in the family drama, Kids, but I found myself with very moist eyes when Andy leaves Buzz Lightyear, the Potato Heads, and Jessie the Cowgirl off with a little neighbor girl, has one last play session with her and them, and then totes Woody off to school with him as a mascot. We can never quite “put away the things of a child.”

The wind-down in The Kids Are All Right takes a bit longer than that in Toy Story 3 because that film is more about the parents left behind than about the kid who is leaving the nest. Nic (Annette Benning) and Jules (Julianne Moore), the lesbian co-parents of Joni (Mia Wasikowska), the sensitive daughter who is about to be off to college, “have issues” that have been brought to the fore by their children’s discovery of their sperm-donor, biological father.


by August 28, 2010 at 9:22 am 1,405 1 Comment

Crimes of note for the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.

MPD announced earlier this week that Police Service Area (PSA) 307 arrested several suspects in connection to a number of robberies in the Logan Circle-Shaw area.

On Wednesday, August 25, officers from 307 “apprehended an armed robbery suspect on a second sighting. The suspect was one of two who accosted the victim at gunpoint on [early Tuesday morning] August 24 in the 1400 block of R Street NW. The second suspect is known and a closure is imminent.”

Another suspect arrested by 307 in connection to a July 19 carjacking-stabbing in the 1500 block of 9th Street NW is also linked to additional robberies in the area: 1700 block of 13th Street NW, 1500 block of 9th Street NW and the 900 block of N Street NW.

Finally, MPD said that another robbery suspect was “apprehended along with an accomplice for the robbery that took place on August 16 in the 900 block of N Street NW. These two suspects are being looked at in connection to other robberies within PSA 307.”

Earlier this month, MPD said that officers from 307 had arrested two men for a robbery-assault on July 27 in the 1400 block of R Street NW.

Below the fold is a quick list of  robberies, assaults, stolen autos and burglaries in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area over the past week. Crimes are from police reports for Police Service Areas 208, 307 and 305.


by August 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm 1,582 0

Lincoln Memorial Luis Gomez Photos

How far is it from 14th and P NW to the Lincoln Memorial? Get distances to downtown landmarks in the accompanying article. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The Dupont-Logan-U Street area usually receives some spillover when there is a major event in DC–a rally, a march, a presidential inauguration. Spillover means more people on our streets and in restaurants, and buses and subways more crowded than usual. In addition, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut Avenue NW are all home to large hotels, and the area has numerous bed and breakfasts for visitors.

Since no one knows how many people will show up for tomorrow’s two events–the Glenn Beck event at the Lincoln Memorial and the Rev. Al Sharpton counter-rally at Dunbar High School–it’s difficult to predict what if any effect it will have on the neighborhood.

Three Events on Saturday

The Beck event is called Restoring Honor and the Sharpton-National Action Network event is Reclaim the DreamThere is also a third event tomorrow: Celebrate the Dream. Organizers plan to erect a four-foot high sculpture with quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King on the National Mall near 13th Street NW.

Check out the article that has details on tomorrow’s events.

Proximity to Landmarks

Ever mapped out just how close we live to landmarks in downtown DC? Take a look at the distances from a 14th and P NW, a major intersection in Logan Circle, to selected points. This is why the Dupont-Logan-U Street area is always affected, in some way, by large rallies, events and gatherings downtown.

Walking distance from 14th and P NW to:

by August 27, 2010 at 11:34 am 5,063 3 Comments

Black Cat Danny Shapiro 14th Street NW Borderstan

Sunday pick: Magic Bullets with Foul Swoops at the Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Danny Shapiro

The last weekend of August is upon us: where did the month go? To celebrate the waning days of summer 2010, and before we all embark on a mass exodus for Labor Day Weekend, why not get out and enjoy the incredible live music on tap for this Friday through Sunday?

Here are three quick picks for you to sink your teeth into for a weekend of fun:

Friday: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

DJ Dredd Presents Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration at the 930 Club Could there be a better reason to throw on your dancing shoes (with white socks, perhaps) and join this ultimate dance party? Come honor the King of Pop’s birthday and his indelible imprint on all of our lives for this nonstop journey through the days of Thriller, Bad, Beat It, Dangerous, and all the other MJ cassettes you know are hiding under your childhood bed.

Saturday: Date Night, and the Music Is Right

Heidi Martin at Bohemian Caverns… Grab a friend or a loved one and make your way over to Bohemian Caverns for a night of jazz vocal elegance with Heidi Martin. Her lyrics bring us on a journey across the American South and all of its beauty, suffering, and resilient grandeur.  Her voice–a mixture of Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, and Anita Baker–is itself a masterful and refined instrument, and honed right here in our own Washington, DC.

The show is sure to allow all of your worries and concerns to drift far away from the District…just don’t forget about the person sitting next to you in the process. Heidi is performing two shows: 8:30pm and 10:30pm, so plan your night accordingly.

Sunday: Morrissey-inspired San Francisco Rock… ‘Nuff Said

Magic Bullets with Foul Swoops at the Black Cat… Just a sample of Magic Bullets’ music online (YouTube video) will send your indie music hearts aflutter. To be a young band with Smiths-like swing beats, vocal angst, and of course, those harmonies to win over any straggling naysayers…this band is on the rise, and a surefire breaking discovery for 2010.

And to cap off the weekend with a PBR in hand… what more could a 14th Street hipster ask for?

Danny Shapiro is an avid music lover who has the good fortune to live very close the music scene on the 14th and U corridor.

Previous Posts from Danny

by August 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm 1,897 1 Comment

From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time

14th & U Farmers Market Alejandra Owens One Bite At A Time

Does cooking with eggplant intimidate you? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Folks, tells me we’re going to have a warm, but fairly nice weekend. Low humidity means I can maybe straighten my hair, but what it really means is that we can all head down to the market and not sweat our butts off!

Vote for 14th & U Farmers Market

American Farmland Trust is running a contest of America’s Favorite Farmers Markets, so while I have your attention, go vote for the 14th & U Farmers Market… for providing quality, fresh, local foods for us and making it darn fun while they’re at it.

Cooking with Egglplant

Eggplant is is lookin’ really good out there at the markets, folks. But it’s an intimidating veg… I know, I rarely cook with it.

Here’s a good Eggplant 101 at The Kitchen. In case you need some inspiration, check out Adventures In Shaw’s Baba Ghanoush… Not Derby Pie’s Baked Stuffed Eggplant… and The Bitten Word’s Eggplant Parm for Two.

This Week at the Market

This week there will be plenty to pick up at 14th & U including (but oh so not limited to) honey crisp, gala, ginger gold apples, yellow and white peaches, white nectarines, plums, red and green kale, swiss chard, red and candie onions, green and yellow donut peaches, blackberries (ending soon), sweet corn, tomatoes, mini cantaloupes, watermelons, freshly dug sweet potatoes, red and white potatoes, yellow, white and roma beans, green, purple, yellow, red and hot peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, okra… pork in all its glory, grass fed steaks and burgers, lamb and goat, and free-range eggs… and more.

Yeah, I said eggs. As if we didn’t need another reason to buy fresh and local, the egg recall news just gets more and more icky.

Remember that market has a great Facebook Page with regular updates.

by August 26, 2010 at 11:06 pm 1,649 0

Church Street Theater "Noises Off!" Keegan Theatre

Final performance of “Noises Off!” is Sunday at 3 pm. (Keegan Theatre)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

It’s your last chance to see Noises Off! at Keegan (Church Street) Theatre–the show closes this weekend on Sunday, August 29.

I asked Michael Innocenti, who plays the character of Garry, to describe the production in three words. His response, “funny, fast and contagious.” If that’s not enough to convince you to see this show, read what else he had to say about Noises Off!

Oreste: I don’t usually enjoy theater (hypothetically). Why should I come see your show?

Innocenti: If you have no interest in seeing theater, then take this chance to see one of the best comedy’s ever written for the stage in a way that no film, TV show, or any other medium that utilizes a flat screen can provide. That feeling of being “live.”

At today’s prices, you can see a movie with concessions, for about $40 for two people while sitting next to people texting, watching computer generated images on a flat lifeless screen, or generally wondering how Jonah Hill keeps getting so much work. Instead, why not see live actors performing in an intimate space where you and a hundred other people are laughing their heads off? No other experience can replace being close to the action and knowing that there are actual people up there performing for you.

Oreste: I’ve already seen Noises Off! What makes your production unique?

Innocenti: I can say that, in line with all of Keegan’s shows, the intimacy of the space and the rawness of the performances give the audience a personal experience that would normally be lost on larger stages. Another aspect is the close working relationship that our cast has. Many of us have appeared together in numerous shows, which makes the timing and ensemble effort something that the audience can appreciate and enjoy.

Oreste: Anything else?

Innocenti: For people who have never seen Noises Off!, you can expect a flurry of word play and intricately staged physical comedy performed by an agile and exhausted cast.

by August 26, 2010 at 10:45 pm 1,335 0

Shaw Dogs Borderstan dc dog parks Luis Gomez Photos

The monthly volunteer clean up of the Shaw Dog Park is Saturday at 9 am. (Luis Gomez Photos.)

The next clean up at the Shaw Dog Park is this Saturday, August 28, at 9 am. Volunteers are always needed and should bring shovels, rakes, push-brooms and wheelbarrows, if possible.

You can join the group’s Yahoo! listserv, Dog Owners of Greater Shaw. Shaw Dogs is a non profit that takes care of the Shaw Dog Park at 11th and R Streets NW.

by August 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm 1,333 0

Columbia Heights Day

Saturday, August 28: Columbia Heights Day runs from 10 am to 6 pm at 11th and Kenyon Streets NW. (Columbia Heights Day)

Beautiful summer weather is predicted for Saturday–a great day to live in the city and spend it outdoors. One option is Columbia Heights Day. This neighborhood festival to the north runs from 10 am to 6 pm at 11th and Kenyon Streets NW (Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field).

On foot, how far is 11th and Kenyon… from say… 14th and U? Google Maps says it is 1.1 miles–an easy walk or bike ride. It’s three blocks from Columbia Heights Metro–two blocks east and one block north.

What You’ll Find

The organizers of Columbia Heights Day are promising a multitude of activities, including bands, a cupcake-eating contest, a dog show and a King and Queen Contest.

  • Bands on stage throughout the day.
  • 80-plus businesses and community groups.
  • Dog show at 10:30 am.
  • A kids’ stage and a petting zoo.
  • Taste of Columbia Heights with local eateries plus popular food trucks.
  • Specials at restaurants and bars.
  • Cupcake-eating contest.
  • First-ever “DC State Fair” with prizes for best homemade pie or cupcake, homegrown tomato and more.
  • A King and Queen of Columbia Heights competition (really?).

by August 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm 1,196 0

Luis Gomez Photos U Street NW Logan Circle art galleries

What’s on exhibit this weekend in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area? (Luis Gomez Photos)

There are four exhibits at area galleries you can check out this weekend. One of them–“Take You Home” with works by Jason Wright and Mike Weber–closes Sunday, August 29, at gallery plan b. Other exhibits this weekend:

  • At Irvine Contemporary on 14th Street NW: “Introductions 6” with artists include Firelei Baez, Claire Callagy, Steven M. Cummings, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Brendan Loper and Wafaa Yasin.
  • At Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street N.W: “New Now 2010” featuring Hamiltonian fellows Selin Balci, Joyce Lee, Ryan Hoover, Elena Volkova, Jessica van Brakle.
  • At Long View Gallery on 9th Street NW: “Tony Savoie: New Work.”

Get the details about all the galleries in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area below the fold.


by August 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm 1,200 0

Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan dc theaters

“Something You Did” opens Saturday at Theater J while “Noises Off” closes Sunday at Church Street Theater. (Luis Gomez Photos)

There are three shows in the neighborhood this weekend.

  1. Opening this Saturday, August 28, at “Theater J,” is Something You Did, which runs through October 3. See info below about $15 tickets.
  2. Meanwhile, Noises Off will close this Sunday; check out the peformance times for this weekend below the fold.
  3. And at the Studio Theater on 14th Street, Washington Improv Theater continues its run through September 11 with The Neutrino Video Project.

There’s deal on tickets at Theater J for Something You Did: $15 tickets.

Theater J (aka the Goldman Theater at the DC Jewish Community Center) is offering special $15 tickets to selected performances of its new show, Something You Did. Visit the Theater J website to purchase your tickets and put in the code DCBLOGGER. The discount is for these performances: August 28 at 8 pm (opening performance); September 2 at 7:30 pm; September 4 at 8 pm; September 5 at 3 and 7:30 pm; and September 6 at 7:30 pm.

From the Theater J website: “A stellar student from a good family, Alison Moulton is serving her 30th year behind bars for an anti-war bombing that resulted in the death of a police officer. Now petitioning for parole, she’s visited by the slain officer’s daughter, and a former comrade turned neo-conservative media star who not only argues against her, but implicates a past associate, now a public official residing in the White House. Smear politics, 60s revisionism, and the desire to rejoin society form the driving, conflicting forces in this ‘fluid and eloquent play.’ (The New York Times)

Full details for below the fold.


by August 25, 2010 at 10:09 pm 2,318 6 Comments

DC Council Ward 1

Ward 1: If you live along the U Street corridor, you probably live in Ward 1, but part of the area is in Ward 2. (DC City Council)

Our reader poll this week is for Ward 1 Democrats: “Who’s your choice for City Council?” Yes, there’s a contest this year for the Ward 1 City Council seat: three-term incumbent Jim Graham is being challenged by Bryan Weaver and Jeff Smith. (Poll is in the right nav bar.)

While DC conventional wisdom has Graham winning the September 14 primary–which is normally tantamount to winning the November general election–both Weaver and Graham are running spirited campaigns.

Graham was the second openly gay member of the DC Council when he was elected in 1998, following David Catania (I-At Large). If he wins his Democratic primary, he will face a different kind of Republican on the November 2 ballot: Marc Morgan, who is also gay and African American.

Candidate Profiles

U Street Girl recently did wrote some short profiles pieces on the three Democratic and one Republican candidate running for the Ward 1 Council seat. Check them out (they’re good quick reads) before you vote in our reader poll.

Voting on September 14

  • Not sure if you live in Ward 1? Check your voter registration card or click here for a Ward 1 map.
  • You can also put in your address and find your voting precinct at the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) website.
  • Not sure if you registered at all? You can also check your registration online with BOEE.
  • Remember that DC has closed primaries. You must be a registered Democrat, Republican, or Statehood Green party member to vote in the September primary election. (Mayor Adrian Fenty’s campaign tried to convince BOEE to allow DC’s 72,000 registered Independent voters to vote in the September 14 primaries, but were unsuccessful.)
  • It’s too late to change your party affiliation, but you can still register in person at the BOEE office or register at your polling place on September 14 (remember to bring ID). You have through this Friday, August 27, to register in person at BOEE. After Friday you must register at your polling place on September 14.

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