It’s the Monday after Christmas. Only two days after Christmas. However, one of the things I love about living in DC is that people seem to have more vacation time here than in other parts of the country. I guess it’s the government jobs and the trade associations and their tendency to be more generous with annual leave time. So, let’s ease into the week, shall we? After all, another holiday is coming up this Saturday. Note: SYMHM is simply a better headline than Stuff You Might Have Missed for space reasons.
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. You can contact Mary by email.
I am reporting from California — across the Golden Gate from San Francisco in Marin County — where I have come to be with grandchildren. The movie-goers among the four of these lovely creatures are the youngest ones. I’ve discovered that the ones in their teens are either too preoccupied with other things or too broke to take in many movies. Ticket prices are very high, and if you add any of the delectables on sale at the popcorn stand, you stand to double the ticket fee.
Our pickings for the past two weeks have been sparse. Luckily, I took in Tangled before we left DC because I suspected that neither of my grandsons would be caught dead in that reworking of Rapunzel. First, it was a fairy tale. And second, it was about a girl. I was right. When I suggested that we try out Tangled here, I got a chorus of “That’s a girl’s movie!”
Merry Christmas, dear readers! On behalf of everyone at Borderstan.com, here’s wishing you a happy day.
Click on the collage above for a slide show of photos from the neighborhood this season.
From Tom Hay and Matt Rhoades
Without fanfare, DC Arts District banners appeared today on 14th Street NW between N Street and Florida Avenue NW — a total of 27 between 1300 and 2300 14th Street. The banners are part of the Arts District branding project, which roughly corresponds with the Arts District Overlay in the MidCity/14th and U Streets area. As of today there are no banners on U Street NW or on 9th Street NW.
Last Friday Andrea Doughty, one of the Arts District branding project coordinators, told Borderstan that the final branding logos would be unveiled the week of December 20, and that the lamppost banners “are coming very very soon.” The banners were originally scheduled to have been up the first weekend of this month.
Each banner set contains one of three logos plus an image representing the area. Each of the three logos is in one of two different color schemes. The images represent either the arts or some historic characteristic of the neighborhood (see photo collage above).
Editor’s note: Can you live with “SYMHM” instead of “Stuff You Might Have Missed?”
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Help Alejandra Get a Tweep Nomination for Favorite Foodie
Our very own food writer, Alejandra Owens, could be up for Favorite Foodie in The Washington Post’s DC’s Top Tweeps of 2010! Go nominate her if you’ve enjoyed all those recipe round ups, farmers market updates and the real skinny on your favorite restaurants (not to mention her holiday wine-giving advice). Alejandra also writes about food at her own site, One Bite At A Time. Her Twitter handle is @frijolita and you can nominate her through noon on December 24, when nominations close. If she makes the cut voting begins after that!
About That Large DDOT Screen at 14th and U NW
The DC Department of Transportation has rolled out its first multi-modal digital display, which provides travelers with real-time information about their transportation choices on one screen. The screen is at the Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U Streets NW (on the 14th side). DDOT is planning to also install more NextBus displays at bus shelters across the city. However, with the MMDD, “Multiple transportation options are layered on this one dynamic display – not just buses, but Metrorail, bikesharing and carsharing as well.” All are displayed on an area map. Check out the YouTube overview of MMDD.
DC Loft Gallery is one of the newest commercial galleries to enter the local art scene, at 1926-B 14th Street NW. The gallery, owned by Fairfax resident Joseph Teshome, opened its doors in September and presented its first exhibition of East African Diaspora Art a month later.
The current exhibit, “Social Network in the Neighborhood,” features the work of 12 Mid City Artists including Chuck Baxter, Groover Cleveland, Thomas Drymon, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Regina Miele, Mark Parascandola, Dave Peterson, Richard Siegman, George H. Smith-Shomari, Bill Warrell and Robert Wiener. The work of artist Brian J. Legan is also part of the exhibition which runs until the end of the year.
Teshome envisions DC Loft Gallery as more than a gallery space for local artists; he also hopes it can serve as a convenient event space for organizations and businesses. He plans on seeking opportunities with the art community including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and looks forward to continue working with Mid City Artists.
Both violent and property crimes continue to decline in DC, including in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. This decline has included burglaries — until the last few months.
The previous 60-day period — October 20 to December 19 — has seen a substantial rise in the number of burglaries when compared to the same period last year. We looked at the three Police Service Areas (PSAs) for the area and found that on a year-over-year (YOY) basis, the number of burglaries is up:
- There have been a total of 86 burglaries in the past 60 days in PSAs 208, 305 and 307; this compares to 48 in the same period of 2009 — a 79% increase.
- For the year to date (January 1 through December 19), there have been 309 burglaries in these three PSAs. This compares to 285 burglaries in the same period of 2009, a YOY increase of just 8%.
DC9 Death Ruled a Homicide
The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has completed and released the autopsy results for Ali Ahmed Mohammed, confirming it was a homicide, TBD reports. Cause of death was explained as ‘Excited Delirium Associated With Arrhythmogenic Cardiac Anomalies, Alcohol Intoxication and Physical Exertion With Restraint’.
Here’s the holiday schedule in DC for Christmas and New Year’s for both trash/recycling collection and for parking enforcement:
- The Department of Public Works (DPW) will pick up trash and recyclables on both Fridays — December 24 and December 31.
- Regular parking enforcement will be suspended on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1. You won’t have to feed the meters or move your car from rush-hour lanes.
The most noticeable crimes of the past week in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area are the nine reported burglaries, five of them on Thursday, December 16. Six of the burglaries occurred during the daytime when the residences were apparently empty and the other three when the residents were gone.
There have been a total of 86 burglaries in the past 60 days in three local Police Service Areas — 208 (Dupont), 305 (includes U Street) and 307 (Logan). This compares to 48 in the same period of 2009, a 79% increase. (Period of October 20 to December 19).
On Wednesday we’ll have a more detailed look at burglary statistics for the area from Police Service Areas 208, 305 and 307.
During the past 60 days there have been 885 burglaries in all of DC, a 37% increase from the 646 during the same period last year. Year-to-date there have been 3,996 burglaries across the city, a 12% increase from the same period in 2009.
Five days until Christmas. You still have shopping to do. You don’t own a car. You hate malls. You want this to be simple. This is a good time to remember why you live where you do: walkability and local retail. (We don’t live here because the rent is cheap, do we?)
As a longer-than-I-want-to-admit resident of the area, I have some tips for last-minute shopping. I also asked our contributors for a few of their own.
Shopping on Foot: My Quick List
This is not a comprehensive list, just my own personal one for last-minute holiday shopping in the neighborhood, whether it’s gifts or last-minute supplies.
The 1400 block of P Street: I love this block; it’s my own mini-village for the daily necessities (food, dry cleaner, liquor, drug store, take-out, etc.). You’ve got fancy groceries and food-items-for-gifts at Whole Foods… and liquor at Best-In Liquors (they’ve been there for a while, when times were tough). For the yoga-enthusiast, there is Lululemon on the north side of the block. Transformer gallery (south side) has some affordable pieces of art for sale right now, too.
For tree stuff, Christmas lights, overall supplies, last-minute stocking stuffers and more, remember Logan Hardware on P Street. Whoever is putting all those little items on the racks near the checkout line, I say Stop! We now have four pairs of thermal-fleece socks in our household and a reindeer-antler-headdress for the dog.
From Tom Hay
For Borderstan‘s continuing series on business owners and entrepreneurs I spent some time with Ann Blackwell, owner of Well Built at 1541 14th Street NW in Logan Circle. She opened the specialty furniture store in April 2010, occupying the space of the former travel bookstore, Candida’s World of Books. The common themes among the various furniture lines in the gallery-like showroom are beautiful design and sustainability.
The themes are a natural progression for Blackwell who has a degree in art, an early career in marketing, an LEED AP green building certification and several years of experience at national furniture retailer, Design Within Reach. Blackwell left the Georgetown DWR last fall and within a week had written a business plan for Well Built.
Blackwell says her customers are mostly from DC, represent all demographics and recognize that exceptional quality in design and construction are a luxury.
Borderstan: Can you tell us about a few of the manufacturers and designers you sell?
Blackwell: We have a Portuguese company, De La Espada, that only uses sustainable woods — we also carry Russell & Mackenna out of Jessup, Maryland, that does many classic forms in fun colors — many people also recognize the Autoban line, which is by a Turkish architectural firm.
Tree Lighting in Arts District
The coordinators of the Arts District branding project sent out email invitations last week to come to the “First Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony n the Arts District” at the Reeves Center, 14th and U Streets NW. Around 30 people, including Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) turned out for the 5 pm tree lighting. Andrea Doughty, one of the Arts District branding project coordinators, said that the final branding logos will be unveiled the week of December 20, and that the lamppost banners “are coming very very soon.” The banners were originally scheduled to have been up the first weekend of this month. (See Stuff You Might Have Missed: Arts District Update from December 6 and Wrap-up of Last Arts District Branding Public Meeting from November 10.)
“Make liquor licenses collaborative, not adversarial”
Natalie Avery, former executive director of the MidCity Business Association, has a piece at Greater Greater Washington on how to make the liquor-license process in DC more collaborative and less adversarial. (Disclosure: Borderstan is a member of MCBA.) Borderstan’s Tom Hay has written extensively about Hank’s Oyster Bar and its desire to vacate its Voluntary Agreement and expand into the adjacent empty storefront. As Avery notes about Hank’s:
We saw a lost black dog near 15th and R Streets NW around 8:15 pm Sunday evening. The dog appeared to be a lab mix and was wearing a red collar. He/she was slender and long and weighed around 50 to 60 pounds (best guess). Several people pursued the dog as he/she ran east on Corcoran toward 14th, but the dog kept running.
If you have information, please leave a comment on this post.
It’s the week before Christmas and you still haven’t bought a Christmas Tree, a wreath or greenery to wrap around your porch railing. You’re probably safe when it comes to buying the smaller green stuff. But if you’re looking to buy a tree in the neighborhood, you best do it now.
Local tree sellers report extremely brisk sales this year — much better than last year. The Ross School PTA sale ended last weekend (one week early) because they were not able to get trees for this weekend. One local retailer is already out of trees and will not be getting more.
In the Neighborhood
Here are your close-to-home options in the Borderstan area for trees, wreaths and greenery.