by Borderstan.com August 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm 0

Borderstan Dupont Logan U Street

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street NW, and perhaps a bit beyond. (Borderstan)

Weekend Tea Party. It’s a good bet you’ve heard about Glen Beck’s Tea Party gathering is this weekend in DC. There is plenty of “tourist advice” going around: click here for some of them. Pretty sure I read somewhere that one upcoming visitor advised that 14th and 16th Streets are “safe.” Note to newcomers in the hood: Due to Borderstan’s proximity to downtown and the National Mall, we always get spillover from national gatherings, marches and rallies.

Hearing dates set for Hank’s Oyster Bar. Okay, there actually two hearings coming up, as The In Towner reported last week: September 8 and October 13. Get the details here. Check out Borderstan’s previous posts for more information–list of all related posts at the bottom of this link.

$15 Theater Tickets for Something You Did. 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. To get the deal, visit the Theater J website to purchase your tickets and put in the code DCBLOGGER. Get the discount for these performances: Aug. 28 at 8 pm (opening performance); Sept. 2 at 7:30 pm; Sept. 4 at 8 pm; Sept. 5 at 3 and 7:30 pm; , Sept. 6 at 7:30 pm.

Detailed look at 14th & S mixed-use project. Our friends over at 14th & You have a detailed post on the residential-retail project that will soon get underway on the 1800-block of 14th Street (west side from S up to Swann Street). Looks like demolition of the current structures will begin in the next few weeks.

On the Map: Pedestrian & Cyclist Accidents Mapped. Dcist mapped the location of July accidents in DC involving pedestrians and cyclists. The two spots that jump out in the area are Dupont Circle and Mount Vernon Square (Convention Center).

DC’s first sidewalk cafe. Streets of Washington has a nice post on DC’s first sidewalk cafe, a place called Bassin’s Restaurant at 14th and Pennsylvania NW. A nice read. You have to wonder if its license for outdoor seating would have been approved today. Hat tip to dicst.

EFN Lounge/Motley Bar closes–for good. MetroWeekly reported that the 9th Street NW gay club has closed its doors permanently. It’s a good read and there are apparently some issues over who owns what, like the name and brand. The club, which opened with fanfare in 2006 on the 9th Street strip just north of the Convention Center was reportedly surviving on bear traffic: “We were surviving on [Friday’s] Bear Happy Hour. All the other days were a bust.”

Circulator Bus Turns 5. Greater Greater Washington reports on the DC Circulator Bus service celebrating its fifth birthday Tuesday. The special red buses–they’re run by DDOT, not Metro–are on special routes between selected destinations that connect activity centers. In the Borderstan area, the Green Circulator route runs north up 14th Street to the Columbia Heights Metro… then down Columbia Road through Adams Morgan… over to the Woodley Park Metro stop–and back. That’s what it’s called the Circulator. BTW, DDOT wants you to take its Circulator Bus survey.

New DC rules for food trucks in effect. TBD.com reports on the DC Government testing new rules for food trucks in selected downtown areas. Not surprisingly, restaurants and delis are worried: “The District has turned much of downtown into a test site for mobile food trucks. The mayor’s office wants the trucks to flourish and serve as a national model but food truck vendors worry national restaurant chains will use the new rules to drive them out of business.” I understand the risk to small business owners who could be hurt, but I will say it one more time: DC needs more good cheap food. We seem to be getting plenty of new options in the places-we-can-only-afford-to-patronize-once-a-month category.

by Borderstan.com August 24, 2010 at 10:13 am 0

Lifting Voices

One of Lifting Voices’ main goals is to teach writing skills to local children. (Lifting Voices)

“Drink and Think” Happy Hour this Wednesday at Jo Jo Restaurant and Bar will benefit the local organization, Lifting Voices. Time is 5 to 8 pm at 1518 U Street NW. There’s no cover charge–a percentage of food and drink sales go to the group.

Lifting Voices was founded in DC in 2007 with the mission of “harnessing the power of words to improve communities.” The grassroots organization conducts writing workshops for young people, gathers oral history on social issues by working with Bridging Voices. Lifting Voices also works to provide these perspectives to local officials and policy makers, according to Reba Elliott, executive director.

For more information about the group’s projects, check out the Lifting Voices websiste and Facebook Page. Even better, go to the Lifting Voices Channel on YouTube.

by Borderstan.com August 24, 2010 at 10:10 am 0

Clark Ray is running against Phil Mendelson in the September 14 Democratic primary for an At-Large Council seat. (Luis Gomez Photos)

A candidate forum this evening at 12th and U NW will feature candidates in two high-profile races in the September 14 Democratic primary.

Council Chairman. Invited candidates for the DC Council chairman spot are Kwame Brown and Vincent Orange as well as Dorrothy Douglas and Ann Wilcox. (See the results of Borderstan’s reader poll.)

At-Large Council seat. Candidates in the at-large race are incumbent Phil Mendelson and his main challenger, Clark Ray, as well as Michael D. Brown.

Location is the True Reformer Building (Marsh Conference Room) at 1200 U Street NW. The meet-and-greet starts at 6 pm with the program running from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Tonight’s forum is sponsored by DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, DC Jobs Council, DC Jobs with Justice, Defeat Poverty DC, District Alliance for Safe Housing, Empower DC, Fair Budget Coalition, Latino Economic Development Corporation, Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Wider Opportunities for Women.

Full disclosure: Borderstan’s editors are supporting Ray in his Council bid. We knew him prior to launching Borderstan.com.

by Borderstan.com August 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm 2,047 1 Comment

ANC 1B includes the U Street corridor. (ANC 1B website)

Weekly DC newspapers have long covered Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), their monthly meetings and the local issues they address. Local blogs joined the fun several years ago. But, in the past year the online coverage seems to have increased.

If bloggers are writing and posting about ANCs, there must be readers. Borderstan did a two-part series on ANCs and the role of commissioners in April; the number of readers who clicked on those two links was far beyond anything we imagined. Recent posts about ANC 2B-Dupont and the controversy surround Hank’s Oyster Bar were extremely popular.

What’s Driving Interest in ANCs?

My observation is that DC’s newer residents have, after a few years in town, discovered ANCS–and bloggers have, too. The reason is simple: At a very basic, close-to-home level, ANCs can and do affect residents’ daily lives.

Technically, they are advisory and do not have legal regulatory powers.

ANC 2F is centered in the Logan Circle neighborhood as well as around Thomas Circle. (ANC 2F website)

But, as Cary Silverman (an ANC 2F commissioner when he lived in Logan Circle) recently wrote over at his blog, the Other 35 Percent,

“These positions are important and can have a significant effect on the quality of life in a neighborhood. They can promote or discourage development, permit or stop more liquor stores from opening, fund beneficial and worthwhile projects or give taxpayer dollars to friends and political supporters, and demand community involvement in government policy decisions or stay silent.”

True, routine meetings can be dull and tedious. But, throw in a local controversey and that changes quickly. Remember the alarmed citizens who attended an ANC 2B-Dupont meeting in June 2009 when The Real World DC was setting up house at 20th and S Streets NW?

Moreover, when you live in DC neighborhoods that are rapidly changing–with new residents and new businesses–the likelihood that there will clashes over local issues intensifies. After all, how could I not mention ANC 5C (with an amazing 12 commissioners) and Big Bear Cafe in Bloomingdale?

Who’s Writing About ANCs?

This is an incomplete list, but here are some of the local bloggers I read for ANC coverage. 14th & You is known for regular, in-depth coverage of ANC 2F-Logan… Dave Stroup has written about ANCs for We Love DC… David Alpert and his contributors at Greater Greater Washington check in from time to time… Martin Austermuhle at dcist has a good piece, “Yes, You Can Be An ANC Commissioner Too.”

As Austermuhle points out there, are 37 ANCs with 286 SMDs in DC. Three of those ANCs are in the Borderstan area:

  • ANC 2B-Dupont with nine commissioners.
  • ANC 2F-Logan with six commissioners.
  • ANC 1B, which covers a large, diverse area including the U Street corridor and has 11 commissioners.

ANC 2B is centered around Dupont Circle, running north to U Street and east to 15th. (ANC 2B website)

Reporting About Your Neighbors

The close-to-home angle of covering ANCs is both a plus and a minus when writing about a commission where you live. It becomes easy to wrap your brain around the issues at hand (although city regulations can be mind numbing): a new restaurant’s operating hours… brick versus paved sidewalks… regulations at the local dog park.

But, this level of intimacy brings another angle to covering ANCs: Your neighbor may not appreciate having his or her passionate comments at last night’s meeting covered on a local blog. But, it’s democracy in action and there’s increasingly a chance someone will be there to cover it.

by Borderstan.com August 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm 1,629 0

 

DC Beer Week Alejandra Owens One Bite At A Time

A classic beer head. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time

DC Beer Week is coming on the heels of Restaurant Week (which in some cases is still going on). If you’re like me and don’t really drink much beer, you didn’t know DC Beer Week  was coming–let alone that it happened last year.

According to DC Beer Week organizers, it’s a “week-long celebration of beer culture in the nation’s capitol.” It is also a way to keep us eating and drinking ourselves silly for another week.

Beer Week Participants

Something like 30 restaurants, bars and pubs across the city are participating and a few can be found in Borderstan. With the likes of Churchkey, Afterwords Cafe, Pizza Paradiso, Big Hunt (close enough) and Bread and Brew (also close enough) participating, the neighborhood has plenty of options.

Kramer's Afterwords Cafe DC Beer Week Alejandra Owens

Beer Week T-Shirts. (Afterwords Cafe)

Ya’ll know I have an affection for Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, which is on Connecticut Avenue just north of Dupont Circle. So when they invited me over for a sneak peek at their Beer Week offerings, I was super excited.

Did you guys know that Washington City Paper had voted the restaurant/bar Best Surprising Beer Menu in this year’s Best of DC? Not bad for our neighborhood brunch spot, eh guys?

Tuesday at Afterwords Cafe

This Tuesday, August 24, from 6 to 9pm in the bar area only, Afterwords Cafe will serve 4-ounce tastings from Brooklyn Brewery, New York’s largest craft brewer. While supplies last, each beer will be paired with an artisanal cheese (1 ounce), specially selected for that beer. Here are the offerings, with the listed price including the beer taste and paired cheese:

  • Brooklyn Black Ops ($7)
  • Local 1 ($7)
  • Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-weisse ($7)
  • Brown ale ($5)
  • Lager ($5)
  • Brooklyn Brewmaster’s Reserve ($5)

You can check out Afterwords Cafe’s Facebook page to learn more about the beers they’re offering–and get the rundown on their boozy book recommendations. Even better, you can commemorate your beer-tastic tasting with a limited edition T-shirt (pictured here) for $17.99.

If you’re beer-stupid–or just don’t know anything about the Brooklyn Brewery–don’t hesitate to chat up Andrew Conner, pictured above. He happily answered all my questions, which ranged from silly to completely clueless. He’s a knowledgeable guy with a slight beer crush on Brooklyn Brewery.

The Beer Rater at TBD.com

For those of you who are already beer enthusiasts, you can one-up us all and document your Beer Week experience with the Beer Rater which can be found over at TBD.com. Plug in the beers you’ve tried, give them 1 to 10 points and embed the results on your blog or site to spread the word. TBD is also keeping track of ratings, so it should be fun to see who comes out on top.

I’ll be popping by for a taste of the Black Ops myself… see you there?

Full disclosure: I received a free Beer Week T-shirt from the kind folks at Afterwords Cafe.

by Borderstan.com August 21, 2010 at 11:57 am 3 Comments

Borderstan Logan Circle Dupont Circle

Ward 2 had a 27% decrease in burglaries in the past year, bucking a citywide trend. (DC Government)

Both violet crime and property crime are down in DC in the past year. Violent crime is down 6% and property crime is down 13%, according to the MPD crime database.

This bring the total crime down 12% when compared to the previous 365-day period, August 19 to August 19.

But, there are two exceptions: assaults (without a gun) and burglaries:

  • The number of assaults is up 1.1% in the past year compared to the previous period.
  • Burglaries are up 5.4% for the one-year period ending August 19.

Burglaries by Ward

How do burglaries compare by DC’s eight wards? Each ward has approximately the same number of people, so we compared each ward to see the trend over the past two years.

The number of burglaries actually decreased in three wards in the past year: Wards 1, 2 and 4. The most notable decrease was in Ward 2, where burglaries decreased 27%, followed by a 14% decrease in Ward 1 and a 3% decrease in Ward 4.

Burglaries decreased in Wards 1, 2 and 4. The biggest increase was a surprise: a 31% jump in Ward 3.

The Dupont and Logan neighborhoods are in Ward 2 (as well as Shaw and Georgetown). Ward 1 includes the bulk of the U Street neighborhood (as well as Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights). Ward 4 includes 16th Street Heights, Shepherd Park, Crestwood, Petworth and Chevy Chase.

The biggest percentage increase for burglaries was in Ward 3, with a 31% increase. Ward 3 is the city’s richest as well as its safest neighborhood–home to Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, Tenleytown, American University and Palisades. It consistently has the city’s lowest crime rates, so this trend was a surprise. Still, Ward 3 has the lowest number of burglaries, 277, of the city’s eight wards. The largest number of burglaries in the past were the 890 in Ward 8–more than three times the number in Ward 3.

Ward 5 in Northeast includes Catholic University and Brookland. Ward 6 includes Capitol Hill and the Southwest Waterfront. East of the Anacostia River, Ward 7 and Ward 8 are the city’s economically poorest wards.

The Numbers

The list below: The first number (on the left) is the number of burglaries for the one-year period ending August 19, 2010; the second number is for the one-year period ending August 19, 2009. The percentage is the increase or decrease from the previous year.

  1. Ward 1: 302 / 350 – down 14%
  2. Ward 2: 352 /479 – down 27%
  3. Ward 3: 277 / 212 – up 31%
  4. Ward 4: 353 / 364 – down 3%
  5. Ward 5: 506 / 457 – up 11%
  6. Ward 6: 451 /429 – up 4%
  7. Ward 7: 533 / 433 – up 23%
  8. Ward 8: 890 / 746 – up 19%


by Borderstan.com August 21, 2010 at 11:17 am 1 Comment

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

Here’s 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.

Robbery

  • Saturday, August 14, 13th and U Streets NW, Robbery: Attempt.
  • Sunday, August 15, 1700 block of 9th Street NW, Robbery: Gun.
  • Sunday, August 15, 900 block of N Street NW, Robbery: Force and violence.
  • Monday, August 16, 10th and V Streets NW, Robbery: Force and violence.
  • Tuesday, August 17, 1400 block of P Street NW-Bank, Robbery: Fear.
  • Wednesday, August 18, 1400 block of 10th Street, Robbery: Gun.
  • Thursday, August 19, 1400 block of 11th Street NW-Convenience Store, Robbery: Other armed.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

  • Friday, August 13, 1900 block of 14th Street NW, Assault with a deadly weapon: Other.
  • Friday, August 13, 13th and U Streets NW-Bus Stop, Assault with a deadly weapon: Other.
  • Friday, August 13, 1200 block of 10th Street NW, Robbery: Gun.

Burglary

  • Saturday, August 7, 1200 block of O Street NW, Burglary: Building unoccupied.
  • Friday, August 13, 900 block of Florida Avenue NW, Burglary: Building unoccupied.
  • Sunday, August 15, 1600 block of U Street NW Burglary, Building unoccupied.
  • Sunday, August 15, 1900 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Burglary: Building occupied.
  • Wednesday, August 18, 900 block of Florida Avenue NW, Burglary: Residence.
  • Thursday, August 19, 2000 block of 15th Street NW, Burglary: Building unoccupied.

Stolen Auto

  • Sunday, August 8, 1300 block of 16th Street NW.

by Borderstan.com August 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm 3 Comments

Alejandra Owens 14th & U Farmers Market

See what’s coming to the 14th & Farmers Market on August 21. (Alejandra Owens)

Here’s a list of some of the new food items that will be at the 14th & U Farmers Market on Saturday, August 21. From the market:

  • Four different Sweet Potatoes at Mountain View: “Grill them in slices or whole. Season with lime and cumin, salt and pepper. Seriously good. And they make wonderful fries.”
  • Fingerling Potatoes at MtV: “The French answer to steamed potatoes. Top with olive oil and chopped parsley. Try some tarragon with it and chives…”
  • Lamb Sausage and Sweet Italian Sausage at Pecan Meadow.
  • Muscovy Duck for the first time this year–whole and breast.
  • Chicken, whole and in parts; pre order at [email protected].

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

by Borderstan.com August 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm 1,191 0

Vincent Orange’s road map to victory on September 14 probably doesn’t run through the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. Orange, who is running for DC Council Chairman, got only 9% (with leaners) of reader votes in this week’s Borderstan poll. The easy winner among Borderstan readers was Councimember Kwame Brown with 66%, including leaners.

Orange, a former member of the DC Council from Ward 5, is the underdog, citywide, against Brown–all bets are on Brown to win.

The number of undecideds in the poll was 25%–with 17% checking “Undecided: Who are these guys?” Obviously, one in six readers have no idea who Brown or Orange are or their positions.

  • Strongly for Kwame Brown – 54%
  • Leaning toward Kwame Brown – 12%
  • Strongly for Vincent Orange – 3%
  • Leaning toward Vincent Orange – 6%
  • Undecided: Who are these guys? – 17%
  • Undecided even though I know the candidates – 8%

Note to newcomers: The chairman of the DC Council is the 13th member of the Council. Eight members are elected from wards and four more are elected at large.

by Borderstan.com August 20, 2010 at 9:13 am 3,391 6 Comments

U Street NW Borderstan

The U Street corridor is home to numerous clubs with live music. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Danny Shapiro

The weekend is upon us. [exhale] And, for those of us who are braving the heat and staying in the District for all its urban glory, there’s actually a lot of great live music to see–especially on the 14th and U corridor.

So, without further ado, here are the weekend’s top picks, if one were to embark on three nights of nonstop melodic mayhem. (Remember to check out Borderstan’s weekly local music listings.)

Friday Night, August 20

Jazz Crawl on the 14th & U Streets Corridor. What better way to end the week than with a ‘pub crawl’ through the best selection of DC’s jazz venues–right at our doorstep!? Starting at 14th & Q, check out the first set of the Antonio Parker Quartet at HR-57.

Once the appetite has been whet, head back up to U Street to continue along the evening’s upward trajectory. Grab your favorite drink at Utopia (U Street between 14th and 15th) and enjoy the artistic ambiance while listening to their superb resident Friday night band.

Head on down the 1300-1400 blocks of U and stop by the downstairs Cafe Nema for some local jazz flair and always affable staff, then head up to Twins Jazz for Alan Carr, a jazz saxophone legend in the making. The crawl continues as you join the festivities at Indulj, whose consistent offerings of high quality jazz and vocal talent warrant its steady flow of neighborhood supporters.

Finally, head over to Bohemian Caverns for the final act of the late show Tribute to Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba, two legends whose very existence and influence on musical history have helped forge U Street into the musical landmark it is today. Friday night… complete.

Saturday Night, August 21

We’re Going Back to the ’90s! The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the 930 Club. Oh, if just for the nostalgia of reliving the 1995 Alicia Silverstone classic film Clueless, head over to the 930 Club and partake in what will surely be a feverish Saturday night. Who can forget those blaring trumpets at the start of the hit, “The Impression That I Get,” or even the impression I get of seeing Alicia and Brittany Murphy dancing around the ever-stylish lead singer Dicky Barrett’s larger-than-life charisma and vocal prowess? Their 2009 return-to-form release, ‘Pin Points and Gin Joints’ will surely be on spotlight throughout the night’s set, but who can resist the urge to return to our high school glory days?

Saturday Night, August 21

Hip Hop and R&B Groove for a Good Cause: Tamika Jones, Flex Mathews (to benefit Street Sense) at the Black Cat. Give your feet a rest on Saturday night. Stay in one spot for what will no doubt be a great performance of soaring R&B vocals, inspired rhymes–and a crowd that shows support to not only musical talent but also for DC’s homeless population who pour their heart and soul into the creation and sale of the newspaper Street Sense.

A quick jump over to the MySpace pages of Tamika Jones and Flex Mathews will pique the interest of any dubious and wavering Borderstan readers.

Saturday Night, August 21

Two Bands Reshuffle Into One, Talent Emerges–Admiral Radley (Members of Earlimart and Grandaddy), Hooray for Earth at DC9. I’ve been a fan of the bands Earlimart and Grandaddy for a few years now, but have obviously been off the radar screen since the formation of Admiral Radley, the rock group consisting of members of both aforementioned bands. Now that I’m caught up on this fortuitous pairing, be sure to check out their show at DC9; tickets are still available online. Their upbeat, dreamy, indie pop vocals will leave you humming all the way through the inevitable U Street jumbo slice walk on your way to bed.

Sunday Night, August 22

Get Your Ska On! The English Beat & Bad Manners w/ Chris Murray at the 930 Club. If you wake up every morning in search of the ultimate tour pairing of two 1980s British revival 2-Tone and Ska elite artists, then I am happy to say that your prayers have finally been answered. Check out The English Beat (or, ‘The Beat,’ as they were known in their heyday in the United Kingdom) and Bad Manners to effuse any 11th-hour remaining weekend buzz before that Monday morning alarm bell goes off.

Sunday Night, August 22

If You’re Feeling Adventurous: Juliette Lewis, Dearly Beloved, Jacob Michael (U.S. Royalty) DJ Set at the Rock & Roll Hotel. For those avid rock fans in search of something else, do not pass up the opportunity to see the rock goddess (of Natural Born Killers fame) Juliette Lewis. Why not make it an all-90s movie reinvention weekend and see this unabashedly no-holds-barred musician (and sometimes actress)? The pure energy, raw rock talent, and diehard fans will leave you ready to take on anything… even a Monday morning in the office.

See you all out at the gigs!

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.

by Borderstan.com August 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm 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)

This is a good weekend to catch two exhibits at local galleries before they close next week:

  • Joan Hisaoka Gallery on U Street: The last day to see “50 x 11 (51 Artists in FY 2011)” is Wednesday, August 25.
  • gallery plan b on 14th Street: “Take You Home” with works by Jason Wright and Mike Weber is on display through Sunday, August 29.

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

(more…)

by Borderstan.com August 19, 2010 at 12:21 am 0

Ross Elementary School

Ross Elementary School serves area children. (Ross School)

Ross Elementary School needs volunteers for it’s annual Beautification Day–this Saturday, August 21 from 8 am to 1pm. Ross School is at 1730 R Street NW.

Event organizers say they need help with light painting, hanging bulletin boards, hanging coat hooks, tech set up, weeding, sweeping and general cleaning.

If you can help Ross School this Saturday, please email Lee Granados ([email protected]) by Friday. Include times you will be able to volunteer and any specific skills you will bring. Food and snacks will be provided.

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