by Borderstan.com October 27, 2011 at 11:50 am 1,405 0

"Borderstan""OLD CITY green""Frank Asher", Shaw

9th and N Streets NW: Frank Asher at OLD CITY green in Shaw. (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

A little over three years ago, Alex Padro from the Shaw Main Streets program asked Frank Asher, an artist and “guerrilla gardener,” if he wanted to do some sort of green space at the corner of 9th and N Streets NW. Asher jumped at the chance. The first enterprise of what was to become OLD CITY green was a Christmas tree lot in 2008.

Asher then opened the nursery in the spring of 2009 and he has been in business at the corner ever since; he closes after Christmas and re-opens in mid-March. With the demise of 14th Street’s Garden District at the end of 2010, OLD CITY green is the only independently owned nursery and garden space in the neighborhood.

The focus of the store is urban gardening and community building. “I try to bring nature to the urban landscape. I offer support and consultation for inside gardens, rooftops, decks or small plots that need to have the right plants to enhance the living space.” OLD CITY green has two master gardeners and a gardening teacher.

How does Asher compete with the big businesses, such as Home Depot on Rhode Island Avenue and Whole Foods (which carries seasonal items at its Logan Circle store). “They buy in huge quantities [giving them a huge price advantage], so I compete with them on service, expertise and ambiance,” said Asher.

“OLD CITY green employs two master gardeners and a gardening teacher as part of our service. We are also a drop off site for the Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) where organic, locally grown food is delivered at the nursery once a week to people who have ordered them from farms,” said Asher. “We also host events in our space. It can be really lovely here in the evening with our  tiki torches and lights.”

When Asher started Fairies’ Crossing, he became known as a “guerrilla gardener.” He would take his cart with tools and supplies around the neighborhood, beautifying tree boxes, the Connecticut Avenue median north of Dupont Circle and public spaces — mostly traveling by Metro.

Asher said the obvious focus of his store is urban gardening and community building. “I try to bring nature to the urban landscape. I offer support and consultation for inside gardens, rooftops, decks or small plots that need to have the right plants to enhance the living space. Gardens have to be friendly to animals, bees, bugs, butterflies as well as people, said Asher. Our motto: “Where people and plants come together.”

Asher has lived in the city since 1994, when he came to DC from Los Angeles. “I came here representing my church, which was a  reconciling congregation with the United Methodist Church,” said Asher. “I immediately felt drawn to move here.” He lived in the Dupont and Eastern Market area before moving to Shaw in 2003, and now lives near his business.

A native of Fresno and Merced, CA, Asher brings a wealth of lifetime experience to his nursery. “What haven’t I done?” laughed Asher, when asked about his previous careers. He listed “actor, singer, dancer, bartender, caterer, janitor, banker and teacher.” Asher created his own landscape gardening business, “Fairies’ Crossing,” which he has been running for 12 years and is based out of OLD CITY green.

It was during this time that he became known as a “guerrilla gardener.” Asher would take his cart with tools and supplies around the neighborhood, beautifying tree boxes, the Connecticut Avenue median north of Dupont Circle and public spaces — mostly traveling by Metro.

Asher is still active with community organizations. Last fall he helped students from Ross Elementary School plant spring bulbs in the renovated tree boxes on 17th Street NW. He is working with Shaw Main Streets and local businesses in cosponsoring the 3rd Annual Tulip Bulb Planting on 9th Street NW this Sunday, October 30th 10am-2pm. Asher added:” We need volunteers. Come play in the dirt with us”.

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2011 at 10:00 am 1,003 0

Halloween parties, DC, Borderstan

October 25 at the 2011 17th Street High Heel Race. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Laura Herman of LauraLikesThis. Laura is also a contributor over at Brightest Young Things and you can find her on Twitter @Lmhhabs. Email her at [email protected]

Hey, Bstan. Big weekend on deck, since it’s officially unofficially Halloween on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and even Sunday nights. Do you have your topical/witty/sexy costume ready to go? If you’re not into the costume thing there are plenty of “regular” weekend activities for you, but why not get in on the fun? Without further ado, here’s your Special Edition: Spooky Scary Borderstan Halloweekend Picks.

But, first things first with this reminder: Don’t drink and drive.

Safety PSA + Free Cab Rides

AT&T wants you to leave “scary” off the road this Halloween. Even though we’re located in an area of the city with GREAT public transportation option, no one should drive drunk. Ever. Together with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) SoberRide initiative, AT&T is providing free taxi rides (up to $30) to anyone 21 and over in the Washington, DC area this Saturday night (10/29) from 10pm until 6am. AT&T customers can call #TAXI to get a safe, free ride home, while others can dial 800-200-TAXI.

Thursday, October 27

  • Get festivities started early at Policy (1904 14th Street NW) tonight for their “Spooktacular Trick or Tweet-Up” from 5 to 8 pm. It sounds a little nerdy, but they’d like to thank their Facebook and Twitter followers with complimentary appetizers drink specials, a costume contest and more.
  • Then swing by Local 16 for “a local nightmare” and I mean that in the best way possible.

Friday, October 28

  • BYT’s back at the Newseum, hosting “A Night at The Newseum IV in 3D, ” featuring DJ Questlove, 3D glasses and LOTS more. More details and tix here.
  • The W Hotel’s (515 15th Street NW) Rooftop Howl-o-Ween Bash at POV should be a good time, but it’s at capacity. If you snagged tickets, have fun.
  • Also: BeatCity: Werewolf Bar Mitzvah at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room.

Saturday, October 29

  • During the day, check out a Doggy Costume Contest (I dieeeeee) in Mitchell Park, hosted by the Kalorama Kennel Club.
  • If it’s your thing, Nightmare on M Street 2011, a “spooky bar crawl” of 13 different Dupont and midtown bars featuring drink specials at each is always a popular option for the more frat-tastic among us.
  • I’d also recommend Lost Society’s Halloween Party (2001 14th Street NW), featuring beats from DJs Dynamix and Chris Burns as well as a one-hour open bar. Get more info and $30 tickets through GiltCity.
  • Lincoln Restaurant (1110 Vermont Avenue NW) is also hosting a clubby open-bar party “Boo! Halloween” from 8 pm to 2 am, promising the allure of candy! minimal clothing! more candy! and not wearing pants! $30 advance tickets and more information here.
  • And where do I really want to be on Saturday? Hopefully at the back-to-back Little Dragon show and DJ Rheka Bhangraween set at 930 Club (815 V Street NW).

Sunday, October 30

  • If you’re still raring to go, The Might Pint (1831 M Street NW) is hosting a costume-d “Kill the Keg” party at 7 pm. Entrance $10, more information here.
  • For something completely different, head over to American Ice Company (917 V Street NW) at 8 pm for a Halloween-themed Spirits in Black Metal Party, complete with a spooky heavy metal-themed cocktail menu designed by PS7’s mixologist Gina Chersevani and a costume contest.

Have fun out there this weekend, Borderstan, and be safe! What are YOU doing for Halloweekend? Let us know what we missed!

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2011 at 8:00 am 0

See what’s playing at the five theaters in the Borderstan area. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Three new shows opened in the past week in Dupont-Logan theaters:

  • Arms and the Man at the Source. A production of the Constellation Theatre Company.
  • The Crucible is at the Keegan Theatre at Church Street.
  • After the Fall  is at Theater J.

Closing this weekend: The Art of Habit closes this Sunday, October 30, at The Studio Theatre.

Opening next week: The Golden Dragon opens Wednesday, November 2, at The Studio Theatre.

Full details below.

Keegan Theatre at Church Street at 1742 Church Street NW

  • The Crucible opened October 22, and runs through November 19. Overview: “Arthur Miller’s classic portrait of one man’s struggle toward grace is set in the scorching context of the 17th-Century Salem witch trials. A community galvanized by fear and suspicion, a wife betrayed by lust, an orphan girl blind with passion and possessed with revenge, ruthless prosecutors, deluded holy men and covetous neighbors.” (Keegan)

Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U Street NW

Source at 1835 14th Street NW

  • Arms and the Man opened Friday, October 21 and runs through November 20. Overview: The play is a comedy by George Bernard Shaw and a production of the Constellation Theatre Company: “A young lady fantasizes about the bravery of her heroic fiancé when the reality of war bursts into her bedroom in the form of a fugitive enemy soldier. Enjoy this witty comedy by famed playwright George Bernard Shaw and its revealing truths about romanticism, class and the idealization of war.” (Constellation)
  • Every Tuesday night at the Source is Harold Night! with the Washington Improv Theater. Overview: “Each week is a demonstration, celebration and experiment in the world-famous improv longform, Harold. It starts with an audience suggestion and explores whatever themes emerge through a series of scenes. All of the action is brought to life by WIT’s own Harold Teams right before your eyes.” (WIT)

Studio Theatre at 1501 14th Street NW

  • The Golden Dragon opens Wednesday, November 2. Overview: “A kaleidoscopic look at a globalized world, this play by one of Germany’s most innovative and adventurous writers unfolds in brief and fierce comic scenes. Five actors cross age, race, and gender to play fifteen characters in this vicious, poetic, and surprisingly moving investigation of how intertwined our lives really are.” (Studio Theatre)
  • The Habit of Art closes Sunday, October 30. Overview: “Wistful and filthily funny, the latest play from the award-winning writer of The History Boys examines creativity, desire, and the tenacity of the artistic spirit.” (Studio Theatre)

Theater J at 1529 16th Street NW

  • After the Fall opened Wednesday, October 26 and runs through November 27. Overview: “Arthur Miller’s most personal play explores one man’s quest to make peace with history; his own and the tumultuous world around him. In the wake of the tragic death of his famous second wife, Quentin desperately tries to move forward in his life. Yet he is compelled to relive his childhood losses, failed marriages and the controversial politics of the 1950’s Blacklist which turned allies against each other and leaves Quentin, in the end, as both noble hero and complicit bystander.” (Theater J)

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2011 at 6:00 am 0

“Stonewall Kickball Fall” is by tedeytan from the Borderstan flickr pool.

From Luis Gomez. You can follow Luis on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos and at One Photograph A Day.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Stonewall Kickball Fall,” is from tedeytan and was taken on October 16 at Stead Park on the 1600 block of P Street NW. Stonewall Kickball plays its games in Stead Park — find out more about the league.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group and submit up to five photos per day in the pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm 0

BorderstanTogether with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) SoberRide initiative, AT&T is offering free taxi rides (up to $30) to anyone 21 and over in the DC area this Saturday night, October 29. Hours are 10 pm to 6 am.

AT&T customers can call #TAXI to get a safe, free ride home, while others can dial 800-200-TAXI.

WRAP’s SoberRide provides greater Washington, DC residents a safe way home on high-risk holidays, including the December/January holiday season, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Halloween.

You can spread the word by tweeting:

  • Leave scary off the road this weekend. AT&T customers in DC can call #TAXI to get a #free ride home 10-29 http://bit.ly/RD2r.
  • Enjoy Halloween this year…and next. AT&T customers dial #TAXI, or call 800-200-TAXI to get a free ride 10-29 http://bit.ly/RD2r.
  • Keep “frightening” fun. DC area AT&T customers can call  #TAXI to get a free ride home 10-29 http://bit.ly/RD2r.

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm 2,087 0

"Borderstan""High Heel Race 2011""17th Street NW"

Click for the photos! 17th Stree4t High Heel Race 2011. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Check out the photos from the 2011 17th Street High Heel Race on Flickr!

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

For the 26th year in a row, the High Heel Race 2011 filled 17th Street NW. Wonderful costumes, a large and happy crowd and a gaggle of contestants (wearing 2-inch heels, at a minimum). Prior to the race at 9 pm, participants paraded their wigs, heels and creative costumes along 17th along with many other revelers in Halloween garb.

This year’s winner, Craig Williams, won for the second time, also winning in 2008. Runner-up Stephen was the 3rd Place finisher last year. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans was the official judge at the finish line and trophy presenter. The trophy this year was a hand-blown glass slipper full of brandy.

The first event in 1986 drew a neighborhood crowd and the event has grown steadily over years, drawing people from all over DC and the metro area. Recent races and pre-race festivities have brought tens of thousands of Washingtonians to 17th Street for the High Heel Race — last year’s crowd was estimated at 60,000 (this year’s crowd as definitely in the tens of thousands.) A new touch this year was The Washington Blade Food Truck Rally with 10 food trucks at 17th and O Streets NW.

The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. JR’s was the creator of the annual event the year it opened in 1986. And for only $20. you can buy an official High Heel Race T-shirt!

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm 0

"Borderstan""MidCity Artist"

Mid City Artists held their Fall Open Studios weekend October 22-23. Click above for more images (Luis Gomez Photos).

More photos of Mid City Artists!

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

It was a busy weekend for the Mid City Artists in Borderstan. On Saturday and Sunday they had their Fall Open Studios weekend. We visited some of the artists in their studios — sadly we couldn’t make it to all of them. But here is a list of Mid City Artists that we have profiled.

The next Open Studios weekend will be May 19-20, 2012.

Mid City Artists Profiled on Borderstan

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 10:00 am 1,315 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "Pizza 17th""17th StreetNW"

“The Huxtable” is a special order at Pizza No. 17. (Ashley Lusk)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at [email protected]

If you haven’t been eating at Pizza No. 17, then the way I see it, that’s really a problem. Not only is Payam Yazdani an authentically interested owner, his restaurant also has really good pizza, made in a wood-fired oven. (They also have Paninis and salads.)

Yazdani grew up in the neighborhood — his family owns Java House at 16th and Q NW — and he spent time in New York City, opening his own wine and coffee shop. He returned home to DC to take over Java House when his father retired and now he manages two locations with perhaps two slightly different sets of customers.

Tucked away at 1523 17th Street NW beside Agora and just north of JR’s Bar and Grille, Pizza No. 17 opened in March and is the reincarnation of the former Pasha Bistro. The pizza spot is still figuring out its own style beside its brunch-busy neighbors — modern Pottery Barn-style lighting hangs inside, but outside, rustic lanterns cast a soft glow. Family style wooden seating gives you the feeling of a familiar patio ritual, but a neon open sign juxtaposes a real wood-burning oven.

The concept for Pizza No. 17 is single-serving dishes, what Yazdani calls “responsible portions.” The pizzas come in 8 -or 12-inches only (compared to the hefty 12-inch or more standard at many places), and the dough is homemade. There are a few distinct signals that show Yazdani cares about the food here — bottles of olive oil with red pepper flakes sit marinating at each table, soda is served in classic Coke bottles, and best of all — the only liquor Pizza No. 17 serves is the traditional limoncello. However, Pizza No. 17 has a fair selection of wine and beer as well.

When I asked him which pizza I should try, Yazdani actually recommended an item that wasn’t on the menu — The Huxtable. This tasty pizza is a throwback to Dr. Huxtable’s favorite pie and comes with fresh sausage, anchovies, jalapeños, tomatoes and olives. My dinner companion said the crust was tasty and that the traditional charred crust found on a pizza made in a wood-burning oven was happily missing here. We also tasted a vegetarian pizza — goat cheese, tomatoes, olives, and mushrooms and had a similar reaction: a filling pie with a great flavor, a crust that makes for good dipping in the house olive oil.

Pizza No. 17 is new, and the owner is invested in making a solid pizza place for the neighborhood. That’s good because we hope it will be around for a long while.

Pizza No. 17

  • Where Am I Going? 1523 17th Street NW.
  • When Am I Going? Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am to 11 pm, open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
  • Delivery? Yup, but expect at least 30-45 minutes for delivery.
  • Paycheck Pain? You get what you pay for — more expensive than Papa John’s–but fresh, homemade ingredients are worth it.
  • Say What?  Although there is a single TV at the bar you won’t have to worry about shouting.
  • What You’ll Be Eating:  Pizza and Limoncello. Paninis and salads on the menu, too, plus some beer and wine.

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,104 0

17th Street High Heel Race, Luis Gomez Photos

The 26th annual High Heel Race, from left: 2011 Champion Craig Williams, Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), and Runner-up Stephen. The winner’s trophy is a slipper full of brandy. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].

Drag Queens, High Heels and Running for 25 Years

Update: Heels, Wigs, Costumes on 17th Street: We Got Pics!

Send in your gosh darned pictures from last night, already! Share them on the Borderstan Flickr pool.  Borderstan’s beloved Halloween tradition of drag queens, wanna-be-queens and a few competitive runners was held last night on 17th Street: The High Heel Race. This year’s winner, Craig Williams, won for the second time, also winning in 2008. Runner-up Stephen was the 3rd Place finisher last year. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans was the official judge at the finish line and trophy presenter. The trophy this year was a hand-blown glass slipper full of brandy.

WTOP gave a quick preview of the event, including some good nuggets of history like the date of the first run (1986), its origins (a bet, no surprise there) and some early expectations for crowds. If you have lived in DC for more than a Halloween, have a sense of humor and enjoy some serious pageantry, you pretty much have to go next year.

Red Line to be a CF This Weekend

If you are planning to support friends at the Marine Core Marathon, go out around Dupont or do anything else on our part of the Red Line, just don’t bother. The Metro’s track maintenance schedule will cause single-tracking between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square to create a safe work zone at Farragut North, says The Washington Post. That station definitely needs some work, and I guess it’s not rush hour but man, what a bummer. Trains will leave the end of the line every 20 minutes or so, and will go through the work zone (one train in each direction) every 20 minutes.

Saving the Other Theatre in the Area

Greater Greater Washington shares the story of the Ontario Theatre at 17th Street and Columbia Road NW. It’s been abandoned, neglected and may ultimately disappear in what historians (or GGW) feel is a blow to history. Sound familar? It should — seems similar to the plight of the Lincoln Theatre. The difference, of course, is that the Lincoln is currently functioning as a theater.

The Ontario, once a neighborhood theater showing first-run movies, one of only two in DC. It was ravaged by the riots after Dr. King’s death, became a Latino community meeting place and then became home to performances by The Clash and Blondie. A building that is more than 60-years-old, which embodies the changing history of the neighborhood and is also a pretty sweet architectural structure? That sounds like historical preservation status-worthy to me.

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 6:00 am 0

“U Street Moonbow” is by kilohoku from the Borderstan flickr pool.

From Luis Gomez. You can follow Luis on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos and at One Photograph A Day.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “U Street Moonbow,” was taken by kilohoku on October 10 on U Street NW. kilohoku says: “Capture of the Moonbow that shows a wide spectrum of color. The bright star in the arc is is Alpha Aries.”

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

by Borderstan.com October 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm 0

Borderstan, 14th Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos

DC came in at No. 5 on “Travel + Leisure magazine’s listing of rudest cities. Other east coast cities made the Top 10, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mike Kohn. Find Mike at [email protected] or on Twitter@mike_kohn.

We’re nice, honest.

In yet another study of cities, Travel + Leisure identified the rudest cities in America and the DC came in at No. 5 with Boston and Baltimore right behind. (Perhaps more residents need to be reading Urban Etiquette?) The article also note that DC ranks No. 4 for intelligence, so do intelligent people lack social graces?

Thankfully, we didn’t take the top spot — that dubious honor went to Los Angeles, which was followed (unsurprisingly) by New York City then Philadelphia and Miami — but I can’t say I agree with the findings. Smaller cities tended to show up lower on the list, but not always: big cities Houston came in at No. 19 while Chicago fell at No. 15. Let’s chalk that up to Midwestern kindness.

DC does have a lot of transplants from other rude cities on the list — so maybe we’re the product of our migrant residents?

What do you have to say about it, Borderstan? Take our reader poll, below.

[poll id=”32″]

by Borderstan.com October 25, 2011 at 9:50 am 1,010 5 Comments

HarrisQ, Borderstan Flickr Pool, DC Brunch Guide

Seven tips for making everyone’s restaurant experience pleasant. (HarrisQ from the Borderstan flickr pool)

From Mike Kohn. Have an etiquette issue that needs addressing? Email Mike at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn to right this wrong!

Restaurants these days are designed to be somewhat loud. The idea is to get the buzz going so people feel like there’s an excitement in the place, making it a destination for the trendy and chic. But doesn’t it drive you up the beautifully decorated wall when the source of all the noise is someone blabbing away on their cell phone three tables away?

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to enjoy your delightful Roasted Baby Chorizos while sipping your Gin & Orange Thyme Tonic (you caught me — I went to Estadio this week) and you’re so distracted by the guy who can’t seem to get off of his phone, despite his date looking increasingly annoyed to be neglected over dinner. If it’s not dude on the phone, it’s parent with screaming child who refuses to give into the temper tantrum, which only means that the entire restaurant is condemned to hearing the crying for the rest of the meal.

7 Etiquette Tips For Pleasant Dining

Enough of that. It’s time to take back mealtime. For some extra ammunition, I’ve called in the restaurant expert for some advice. Alejandra Owens has been to her fair share of restaurants, several of which she’s reviewed for our site, and knows how to handle herself at breakfasts, lunches and dinners alike. Between the two of us, we put together some good tips for you.

  • Shut up. Making some excuses for the high volume in restaurants, I still think personal volume could stand a little more control. I have loud friends (and am occasionally quite boisterous myself), so I know how annoying it is for everyone else.
  • You’re out to dinner to enjoy food and company, not stare at your phone. How many times have you been out with someone who can’t stop texting their bff? And apps have made it even worse these days. Can you really not take the time to put down your phone for an hour or two?
  • Lights. Camera. Off. Alejandra says it best here: “I’m a food blogger, I get that you want to snap a photo for your blog, your Instagram, your FourSquare check-in and your Food Spotting listing. I really do. But let’s use good judgement here. Fancy restaurant? No pics, or at least no flash pics. Casual brunch? Snap away, but don’t impede other people’s ability to nosh comfortably. Just be aware of time and place, folks.”
  • Keep your kids in check. Do I think we need to go so far as to ban kids in restaurants like this Pennsylvania restaurant? OK, maybe that’s a little extreme. But if you bring your child, just keep an eye on them. You know how you feel when it’s not your kid, so don’t pretend you’re innocent.
  • No, the hostess does not know who you work for. You’re a paying customer, just like everyone else. As Alejandra put it, “I know. DC is a town full of egos and personalities, but check it at the door. Unless you’re on TV or are a regular at a spot, don’t expect the host(ess) to instantly know who you are and roll out the red carpet. And s/he definitely doesn’t care who your boss is!”
  • Tip your server. There are times when your server does a bad job and they usually know it and feel terrible about it. I’m sure many of you will disagree, but rarely, in my opinion, have they been so bad that they didn’t at least deserve 15%. I know many people who have worked in a restaurant and it’s true that what you do has a significant impact on a server’s livelihoods, and can really make or break someone’s day/week/month.
  • It’s not all about the freebies, baby. “I’ve noticed a trend lately,” says Alejandra. “Folks are expecting freebies after even the slightest complaint. You didn’t have a fork at your setting? Sorry, that doesn’t equal a free glass of wine. Your steak came out more medium than medium-rare? Nope, comping your dish is not to be expected. I expect great customer service from restaurants, especially pricey ones, but making things right does not always mean getting things for free.”

What’s your biggest nightmare at a meal? Have some helpful suggestions for others out for a bite? Please share them with us in the comments. And keep your ideas for future urban etiquette columns coming! If you’ve got an issue you think should be tackled, drop me a line at [email protected] or track me down on Twitter @mike_kohn.

by Borderstan.com October 25, 2011 at 9:30 am 0

BorderstanHave something to say? We want to hear it! So do our readers (we promise)!

We’re on the lookout for a few new contributors to join our team who can write new stories and help with copyediting to keep our site looking good with fresh ideas. If you have a strong interest in your neighborhood, love to write and want a creative outlet, then we want you to join us and share your voice with the rest of Borderstan.

What do we look for in our contributors?

  • Residence in the Borderstan area: Dupont, Logan and U Street areas preferred.
  • Ability to quickly research and write stories. Experience in journalism, publications, public relations, corporation communications or marketing is a plus.
  • Knowledge of WordPress, our content management system, or an ability to learn the basics.
  • Understanding that the news often requires a balance of serious journalism with a good sense of humor.

Ready to dive in? Send an email to Mike, Borderstan’s HR guy, at [email protected] Let him know what your connection to the neighborhood is, and what kind of stories you’d be interested in writing. If you have it, send over a link to your blog or a (brief) writing sample.

That’s it! Hope to see your words on the site real soon.

by Borderstan.com October 25, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,673 2 Comments

MPD Crime Database, DC Police, 15th Street NW

Click to enlarge: For the October  9-23 period there were 23 thefts from autos in the area centered around 15th and Q Streets NW, compared to 7 in the same two-week period of 2010. (Source: MPD Crime Database)

From Matty Rhoades and Luis Gomez

The last several weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the number of thefts from autos in an area around 15th Street NW. The number of cars with smashed windows has been particularly noticeable on the 1500 blocks of O, Church, Q and Corcoran Streets NW.

For the October 9-23 period there were 23 thefts from autos in the area centered around 15th and Q Streets NW (see map at right), compared to seven in the same two-week period of 2010.

Nine of the break-ins were on Church Street NW and the large majority occurred west of 15th Street. Thefts from autos are either the most common or second most common crime in the area, the other being thefts.

Police Tips: Leave nothing visible in your car… never leave a jacket or clothing on the seat… don’t leave electronic device hook-ups visible… never leave any type of bag or container either on the floor or seat… and remove valuables from the trunk of your car. Educate friends and family who may be visiting you in the neighborhood.

Arrests, Extra Patrols

According to Second District Commander Michael Reese, two arrests have been made in the smash-and-grabs and he hopes this will show a decrease in the number of these crimes in the area.

“There has definitely been an upsurge of car break-ins in the area. We have had patrol cars recently on these residential streets off 15th Street NW and have made some arrests of people who were part of this,” said Reese.

Leave Nothing Visible In Your Car

“We emphasize over and over again to residents to not leave anything visible in their cars,” said Reese. “The Dupont-Logan area has become very popular with visitors from outside the neighborhood and many of them don’t understand that you cannot leave a jacket on the seat or a navigation system on the windshield.”

One neighbor whose car was broken into last Thursday night told Borderstan that he had removed his GPS system from the windshield. “Unfortunately, the suction cup imprint for the GPS was visible on the windshield, so they broke into the car and found it in the glove compartment,” he said.

Reese also emphasized the people should never leave items of value in the trunks of their cars. “Thieves will break into cars just to get into the trunk, even if they don’t see anything of value in the front interior,” he said.

The west side of 15th Street is in MPD’s Second District and Police Service Area (PSA) 208; the eastern side is in MPD’s Third District and PSA 307.

In Police Service Area (PSA) 208, which covers Dupont-Kalorama, there have been 28 thefts from autos (the official police term for the crime) for the two-week period ending October 23 — compared to 25 in the same period of last year. In PSA 307, which covers the Logan Circle area, there have been 19 thefts from autos in the last two weeks — compared to 14 in the same period of 2010. In PSA 305, which covers the U Street-Howard University area, there have been 34 thefts in the last two weeks compared to 28 during the same period last year. All numbers are from the MPD Crime Database.

by Borderstan.com October 25, 2011 at 6:00 am 0

“It’s Like a Little Car Hat” is by ep_jhu from the Borderstan flickr pool.

From Luis Gomez. You can follow Luis on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos and at One Photograph A Day.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “It’s Like a Little Car Hat,” is from ep_jhu and was taken on June 5 in Mount Vernon Square.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group and submit up to five photos per day in the pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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