by July 28, 2012 at 7:31 am 0


Borderstan: News from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

Borderstan thanks this weeks advertisers for their support. Remember to Think Local First and support local businesses in DC and the Dupont-Logan-U Street neighborhood. Get information about advertising on and contact us for more information on becoming joining the list of Borderstan advertisers.

Chen Wen/Fairfax Realty: “Chen Wen has been a long time Dupont-Logan resident, having lived here since before Whole Foods was a reality. With more than 20 years of real estate experience, Wen takes pride in the fact that his clients keep coming back to him for their real estate needs.”

Washington Fine Properties: “Washington Fine Properties (WFP) is recognized as one of the most successful carriage-trade real estate firms in the United States. One hundred of the most powerful agents in the Nation’s Capital Region combine their expertise to provide unequaled brokerage services to both buyers and sellers.”

VIDA Fitness: “Start a new fitness plan or continue in your fitness journey with VIDA Fitness at any of our 5 downtown urban chic fitness clubs. Change the way you look, feel and think about fitness.” In the Borderstan area, VIDA is at 1612 U Street NW and at the Metropole, 1517 15th Street NW.

The Rutstein Group: A Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “In today’s market it’s important that your agent has the latest technology working for you! Drop us an email and tell us what you are looking for.” Office at 1606 17th Street NW.

Jo Ricks/City Houses: “Serving downtown buyers and sellers since 1979. This Realtor Is Not Your Average Jo.”

Rice/DC Noodles: “The Rice menu that both traditional and contemporary Thai cuisine in a very simple setting with minimal decor in the Logan Circle neighborhood. In addition, you can now order the DC Noodles menu at Rice during most of the week.” At 1608 14th Street NW, north of Q Street.

Pizza No. 17Dinner Special, Monday through Friday (Dine-in only)… any bottle of wine and two personal 8″ Pizzas for $39.95.” At 1523 17th Street NW, south of Q Street NW.

MOVA Lounge: Enjoy MOVA’s new rooftop terrace and bar and be sure to check MOVA’s list of daily specials as well as their live entertainment. At the northwest corner of 14th and W Streets NW on the 14th Street corridor.

MidCity Dog Days 13th Annual Sidewalk SaleCome out August 4th and 5th to the annual sidewalk sale and festivities on the 14th and U corridor, which are sponsored by the MidCity Business Association.

Local 16: “Happy Hour from 5 to 8 pm, Monday through Friday. $5 appetizers. $5 beer, wine, cocktails and menu.” At 1602 U Street NW, just west of 16th Street.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe: “Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is DC’s only full-service restaurant and complete bar combined with an independent bookstore.” Just north of Dupont Circle at 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Floriana Restaurant: “Floriana Restaurant is about friends and family. We are an independently owned Italian bistro serving dishes made with seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers, and we pride ourselves on our menu, service and passion for food. Floriana Restaurant has received an Diner’s Choice Award for the past 18 months in a row.” At 1602 17th Street NW, corner of 17th and Q NW.

Clean Currents: “Take a stand for clean energy. Find out how to go solar at home.” Green Energy solutions with locally based Clean Currents.

The Bike Rack: The Bike Rack is a full service independent bicycle dealer at 1412 Q Street NW. “Our passion is cycling and our goal is to offer outstanding service to a wide variety of cyclists and athletes by creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in our shop.”

Mike Brown/McEnearney Associates: “Every member of your family is important. If you and your pets are considering a move, learn more about our program today!”

Aura Spa: “Aura Spa at VIDA Fitness is DC’s most unique urban boutique neighborhood oasis — a chic Washington, DC, neighborhood day spa for men & women.” At the Metropole, 1517 15th Street NW and the Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street NW.

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by July 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,308 0

From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at candida[AT]


Hot peppers are thriving in the heat wave. You’ll appreciate them come winter. (Candida Mannozzi)

Is Borderstan ready to harvest? I know I don’t need to remind you that it’s HOT out there; a summer heat wave is upon us.  I’ve noticed less variety than usual at the farmers’ market, because many anticipated crops are struggling to ripen, or simply aren’t making it in the heat wave.

For instance, my favorite summertime legumes (the many different kinds of long and string beans) seem to be in very short supply this year. The news from across the country is sobering too: droughts, failed crops, herds at risk of being culled, anticipated shortages, and price hikes.

Thriving in the Summer Heat Wave

This has made me doubly excited to see the miniature Thai hot peppers on my deck turning to their bright red “pick me now!” color, in the past week or so. The plant is flourishing in the searing temperatures. I enjoy seeing the tiny peppers turn from dark green to orange to fire engine red. As I lay them out to dry, they look like a pixie’s duffle-coat buttons.

After harvesting them, I have fun stringing them up in my kitchen, making their festive mark on the place and giving me the feeling a mariachi band will burst through the doors at any moment. At the risk of being excoriated by the purists, I confess I grind them into my guacamole and they give it just the right kick! Humor this Latino-Asian fusion, will you?

I look forward to the many winter stews I’ll spice up with their fire, the tomato sauces that will get an extra kick from these little peppers, the separate bottle of olive oil I’ll cure with a couple of them, to drizzle over pizza or focaccia. I imagine all the outdoor heat they’ve stored in their flesh and seeds, to be released in the dishes I’ll make once the temperatures plummet back down to a wintery “shiverrrr” from the summer heat wave.

So, as I make my tiny, urban harvest in this summer heat wave, I imagine a time when I will actually be asking for more fire. Thanks to my Thai peppers, I’ll have the means to access it. Happy harvest and late summer, Borderstan!

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by July 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0


Borderstan Weekend. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, look no further. We have your list of the food, music and cultural events going on in Borderstan July 28th and 29th.

Food and Drink

  • What do the Olympics have to do with eating and drinking? Apparently, a lot. Bar Rouge (1315 16th Street NW) will mix up the “Rouge, White & Blue” cocktail this weekend. The specialty drink will be available for the duration of the games. Neighborhood spots, Nellie’s Sports Bar and Buffalo Billiards made NBC 4’s list of best bars to catch the events.
  • The Howard Theatre (620 T Street NW) will host the Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir on Sunday, July 29 at noon.
  • If the heat’s getting the best of you, chill out at Ice Cream Jubilee’s Ice Cream Tasting Party on Saturday, July 28 ,and Sunday, July 29 from 2 to 5 pm.

Live Music and Performances

DC9 (1940 9th Street NW)

  • Saturday, July 28: A Lull, Constant Alarm, The Free Market Ensemble, 8:30 pm.
  • Sunday, July 29: Saint Motel, Races, Royal Teeth, 8 pm.

Velvet Lounge (915 U Street NW)

  • Saturday, July 28: Seamonsters, Luncheon, Hundredhundred, 9 pm.
  • Sunday, July 29: Orchard Wall, This Old Ghost, Howth, Double Saginaw Familiarity, 7 pm.

9:30 Club (815 V Street NW)

  • Saturday, July 28: The Dan Band, 8 pm.

Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW)

  • Saturday, July 28: The Nighttime Adventure Society, Kind of Like Spitting, Mike and Cody, 9 pm.
  • Sunday, July 29: Zulu Pearls, The Tender Thrill, More Humans, 8 pm.

Dahlak (1771 U Street NW)

  • Sunday, July 29: DC Jazz Jam with guitarist Geoff Reecer, 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

Black Fox Lounge (1723 Connecticut Avenue NW)

  • Friday, July 27: Special Agent Galactica, an evening of song and banter, 6 pm.


  • Saturday, July 28: From noon to 2 pm, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is holding an adoption event at Shaw Dog Park on 11th Street NW (just south of R Street).
  • Chef Marcus Samuelsson presents his memoir, “Yes, Chef” at the Howard Theatre (620 T Street NW) on Saturday, July 28, at 7 pm.
  • Sunday, July 29: The African American Civil War Museum reenacts President Lincoln’s visit to Contraband Camp Barker at Garrison Elementary School (1200 S Street NW), 2 pm.

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by July 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,267 1 Comment

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT}

Eggplant stars in many vegetarian dishes, but it can satisfy everyone at the dinner table.

It is the vegetarian’s lifesaver.  A versatile vegetable and most frequently starring in the token meatless item on many menus (eggplant parmesan, bengan bharta, ratatouille, etc.).  More than that though, it’s fantastic for roasting and grilling; the starchy inner meat soaks up flavors like a sponge, and the outer skin tastes crispy and sweet when given a good char. One of my favorite sandwiches in the summer is grilled eggplant with arugula and heirloom tomatoes on fresh sourdough bread–a satisfying alternative to burgers and hotdogs at cookouts.

At the market, they come in a range of varieties like the longer Japanese eggplant or the lighter, zebra striped Sicilian eggplant.  Pick yours based on the size you prefer to handle chopping and inspect  the skin to make sure it is firm, shiny, and free of blemishes or cracks.  Color does not indicate any difference in flavor, but can be quite beautiful aesthetically.

By  happenstance, I commandeered Jamaican Allspice from my mother’s kitchen cabinet last time I went to visit her and found that it works wonderfully when paired with eggplant–the vegetable soaks up all the flavor and balances it with its own sweetness.  Let me know what you think!


Jamaican Spiced Eggplant. (Chelsea Rinnig)

Jamaican Spiced Eggplant


  • One large eggplant or two small eggplants
  • One red onion
  • Garlic
  • Jamaican Allspice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Half cup almonds
  • Quarter cup golden raisins
  • Feta cheese
  • Parsley to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Mince garlic, cube eggplant into one-inch pieces, and slice red onion into half moons.
  3. In a large baking dish, arrange almonds, golden raisins and cut vegetables and coat in olive oil and Jamaican Allspice.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until almonds are toasted and eggplant is browned.
  5. Garnish with parsley and feta cheese.

Serve as a side dish or over quinoa or couscous as a main course.

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by July 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]

"London Olympics"

Ready for the 2012 Olympics. (Luis Gomez Photos)

When is the last time you enjoyed Judo, para-sailing, and badminton? As it’s obviously not recently, we are all in luck as this Friday it is the start of the 2012 Olympics. It’s that time in the decade when these relatively less well known sports (some of them only played in high school gym class, i.e., handball) become interesting and people actually watch them.

For those of us feeling a little out of it due to the heat, the 2012 Summer Olympic games are beginning and thanks to great technology and NBC’s desire to cover it all, every single game/match/trial is available live from London either online or on the NBC family of networks.

The Best Part of the Olympics

What I always loved about the Olympics is that it seems to bring a lot of non-regular sports fans into the fold. The games are loaded with patriotism, rich stories of success and failure, and even a global orgy hangout. The Summer Olympics also tend to be a lot more popular as these sports are better known and don’t include some obscure skiing-rifle-shooting-hybrid. This is not to say the summer games don’t have their fair share of odd events, in the Equestrian category, for instance (if you ask me, the horses should be required to be from the country, just like the rider).

So, as you go through the next two weeks, glance at your newspaper and check the medal count, watch two people compete their hearts out for a 3rd place medal, or just guess the real age of the gymnasts.

What to Watch for at the Olympics

Here are some things to watch for, as well as some local ideas to enhance your Olympic experience.

Opening Ceremony: After China’s 2008 performance, the bar has been set pretty high. The show is directed by award winning director Danny Boyle and will include Sir Paul McCartney and, hopefully, a slew of awesome performers. It airs on NBC this Friday at 7 pm, but it will be a tape delay showing, so don’t check any social media, if you want to see/hear it fresh.

Are Phelps and Bolt still the best? Four years ago we watched a man-fish win 8 Gold Medals in swimming, and a speedster blow away the world records by not even trying that hard. Both U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt are back to retain their titles in respective fields. Both have looked a bit rusty and vulnerable. Track and swimming are always great at the Olympics, mainly because this is their biggest stage and these athletes want to show the world the best.

Pro Athletes Offseason: Soccer, basketball, tennis. These sports have fully functioning, popular, and well marketed professional leagues. All of them are taking time off and doing the world a favor by showing us their talent. Yes, it will be fun to see US basketball destroy the competition, but ultimately the Olympics is a 2nd-tier championship for these guys (World Cup > Olympic Gold). The part that I am looking forward to most is the tennis, as it’s being played at Wimbledon. But the all-white dress attire will not be in effect and that will give it a different feel.

Plenty of DC Bars to Enjoy the Olympics: NBC Washington did a list of Top 10 places to watch games at and some spots in our ‘hood made the list. Let me take this opportunity to double down on Buffalo Billiards, which made the list, as well as Nellie’s Sports Bar at 9th and U Streets NW. Think of all the screens and event-related ADD you could have. This is also a good opportunity to try some ethnic bars, root for a different nation, and maybe even learn some new anthems.

I am looking forward to a fun London-centric week with a healthy side of jokes made in my mediocre English accent. For a list of all the events, times, etc. check here. The Washington Post also has a great guide to the games. In general, wear some red/white/blue and enjoy the games!

Learn This Guy’s Name, NOW

ROBERT GRIFFEN III. This man is two months away from taking over the District.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Google is about to change the world, again.
  • Olympics and politics don’t mix.
  • NASA is dying, slowly, and it hurts us all.
Finally, enjoy the Summer Olympics — they won’t be back until 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

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by July 27, 2012 at 9:00 am 0

"Debra Messing"

Debra Messing at 2012 Impact Awards at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. (Suzannah Hoover)

From Scott Thompson. Follow Scott on Twitter @foureyedblond or email him at thompson[AT]

Award-winning actress and PSI Ambassador Debra Messing is in Washington this week at the AIDS 2012 Conference to advocate for the need to take a combined approach to HIV prevention. The convention is at the Washington Convention Center.

Messing calls for new partnerships and coordination to tackle global HIV/AIDS crisis.

Messing recently returned from a trip to trip to Zambia with PSI, a global health organization, and Alere, the world’s largest manufacturer of HIV testing technology. While in Zambia,  she met beneficiaries of US-funded HIV/AIDS programs who avoided a positive diagnosis or are learning to live positively with HIV because they have access to a wide range of effective HIV prevention methods and support services.

While the overall number of new infections is decreasing and access to treatment is increasing, there are still two new HIV infections for every one HIV-infected person placed on treatment. In DC alone, approximately 3 percent of the city’s residents are infected with the virus — a rate higher than many African nations.

“There’s still no single HIV intervention that offers complete protection — the power is in combination,” said Messing. “I’m in Washington at the AIDS 2012 conference and on Capitol Hill to tell the stories of people I met in Zambia who are leading healthier lives because they have access to a method of HIV prevention that fits their lifestyle.”

"Debra Messing"

Debra Messing in Zambia. (Zoeann Murphy)

On Tuesday afternoon, Messing co-hosted a discussion with USAID, UNAIDS, PSI, Alere, and Chief Mumena of the Kaonde people in Zambia to highlight the need for collaboration across sectors to offer a comprehensive HIV prevention package.

Such an approach includes male and female condoms, counseling and testing, anti stigma and discrimination programs, use of anti-retrovirals, and voluntary male circumcision, which can reduce female-to-male HIV transmission by as much as 60%.

The following evening, Messing co-presented the 2012 Impact Awards with HRH Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway at a reception hosted by PSI, UNAIDS, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Sponsored by PSI Impact Magazine, the awards honor men and women who have made a lasting impact in HIV/AIDS.

Seven individuals received the 2012 awards: HIV researcher Dr. Bertran Auvert, Ron Zwanziger, CEO of Alere, global health journalist John Donnelly, Zimbabwe Parliamentarian Blessing Chebundo, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Senator John Boozman (R-AR), and Congresswoman and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

This year marks the first time the United States has hosted the AIDS Conference since 1990, following President Obama’s lifting of a ban that prevented HIV positive persons from entering the country. The conference has accentuated the progress made by the global community during the past three decades.  Global health experts believe that a combination strategy  is now moving the world closer to realizing an AIDS-free generation. The rate of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are at the lowest levels since the peak of the epidemic in 2001, and the number of people living with HIV decreased by more than 25 percent between 2001 and 2009 in 33 countries around the world.

However, while the overall number of new infections is decreasing and access to treatment is increasing, there are still two new HIV infections for every one HIV-infected person placed on treatment. In DC alone, approximately 3 percent of the city’s residents are infected with the virus – a rate higher than many African nations. The trajectory of the response to HIV/AIDS, both domestically and abroad, will depend heavily on the global community’s ability to prevent new infections.

“HIV prevention is an essential component to an effective response,” said Dr. Krishna Jafa, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health & TB at PSI. “Unless we reduce the number of new HIV infections, we will not have a meaningful impact on reducing the burden of disease caused by HIV.”

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by July 27, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,102 0

Urban Essentials

Urban Essentials will move from its U Street location to the former location of Reincarnations on 14th Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

After 12 years at 1330 U Street NW, the contemporary home furnishings store Urban Essentials is relocating to a new 5,700-square-foot storefront on 14th Street NW. And to help ease the burden of the move, Urban Essentials is marking down all floor sample items by 20% to 60% starting Saturday, July 28.

Urban Essentials’ new location at 14th and Rhode Island NW was previously occupied by Reincarnations Furnishings. After 20 years, Reincarnations closed its doors this past spring, due to increased rent in the neighborhood. Urban Essentials is scheduled to open its 14th Street location on September 5.

The locally-owned furniture store specializes in small-scale furnishings specific to urban lifestyles. According to David Schaefer, founder and owner of Urban Essentials, the recent boom in apartment and condo developments along the 14th Street corridor continues to create a demand for smarter, sleeker and smaller-scale living ideas.

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by July 27, 2012 at 6:00 am 0

"Reflections on the 52"

“Reflections on the 52” is by Jen Morrissey from Borderstan Flickr pool.

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

Today’s photo, “Reflections on the 52” was taken by Jen Morrissey. The photo was taken on DC’s 52 bus line, which runs along 14th Street NW.

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 DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by July 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm 0

"Crime"The DC Police reported that a gun robbery occurred at 5:40 pm this evening,  July 26.

From the DC Police Alert: “Robbery Gun. Vice 18 CONFIRMED a Robbery Gun_1740hrs_700 T St. NW_2B/M’s, #1 white shirt and blue jeans long dreadlocks, #2 white shirt and blue jeans short dreadlocks  DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #”

There was also a gun robbery on the 1600 block of 7th Street on Tuesday (see Early Morning Gun Robbery, 1600 Block of 7th Street NW).

You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts  by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts.

You can get more information about crime in the Borderstan area through the MPD listservs for the Second and Third Districts on Yahoo! Groups.

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by July 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0


Get the info on Borderstan art galleries. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Stay cool this weekend by visiting art galleries in the Borderstan area. Get listings and details for all 14 galleries below.

Closing this weekend:

  • William Willis – Steven Cushner” closes Sunday, July 28 at Hemphill.
  • “Mark Earnhart: “Anecdotes and Paraphernalia” and “Elizabeth Kauffman: SMOKE SIGNALS” at Hillyer Art Space.

Adamson Gallery at 1515 14th Street NW

  • “Wild Things.”
  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 am to 5 pm; Saturday, noon to 5 pm.

Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, DC Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street NW

  • “Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women” runs  through September 2.
  • Gallery Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 am to 10 pm; Friday, 10 am to 4 pm.

[email protected] at 1830 14th Street NW

  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 6 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm; and by appointment.

Contemporary Wing at 1412 14th Street NW

  • “Off The Wall:  A Collector Forum” opens July 25 and runs through August 4.
  • Gallery Hours: Call the gallery for hours at (202) 730-5037.

Curator’s Office at 1515 14th Street NW

  • Olivia Rodriguez opens July 14 and runs through August 4.
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm.

Gallery plan b at 1530 14th Street NW

  • “Plan B Goes International” works by artists from Jordan and Myanmar. Runs July 26 through August 26.
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 7 pm; Sunday, 1 to 5 pm.

Hamiltonian Gallery at 1353 U Street NW

  • “Fellows Converge: The Obstruction” runs through August 11.
  • Overview: The obstructions operate as useful critiques of existing work and challenge future work. Eight fellows, eight obstructions: It was agreed that each Fellow would choose three obstructions from a menu of eight, devised by the collective group. (My anaconda don’t want none…).” (Hamiltonian Gallery)
  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm.

harmon art lab at 1716 14th Street NW, 2nd Floor

  • Gallery Hours: Call for an appointment; gallery staff is in the building Monday through Friday during business hours.

Hemphill at 1515 14th Street NW

  • William Willis’ “Keeping It Alive” closing this weekend, Saturday July 28.
  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, or by appointment.

Hillyer Art Space at 9 Hillyer Court NW

  • “Mark Earnhart: Anecdotes and Paraphernalia,” closing this weekend.
  • “Elizabeth Kauffman: SMOKE SIGNALS,” closing this weekend
  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday noon to 6 pm; Saturday and Monday, noon to 5 pm; and by appointment.

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at 1632 U Street NW

  • “Messages from Outsiderdom” features the untamed works of Brian Dowdall, Bob Benson, Darien Reece, T.S. Young, J.J. Cromer, Lawrence Amos, Jesus Montes, Charlie Lucas, Jane Pettit, Lee Wheeler, Matt Sesow, and David Kane. Runs through August 18.
  • Overview: “Visionary artists reveal their untamed realities using fur, bottle caps, sand, neon bark, and junk! Check out our most raw and fabulously wacky show yet!” (Joan Hisaoka Gallery)
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm; and by appointment.

Long View Gallery at 1234 9th Street NW

  • Refresh II – Work by Some of Long View’s Best. Runs through August.
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm; Sunday, noon to 5 pm.

Project 4 Gallery at 1353 U Street NW

  • Exchange featuring Guest Curator,  Sheldon Scott, runs through August 12.
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm.

Transformer Gallery at 1404 P Street NW

  • “E9: Design – Mass Fad Discharge,” featuring new works resulting from the 9th year of the gallery’s  Exercises for Emerging Artists program. Runs through August 18.
  • Overview: “The show is intended as a “jump-start” for DC area artists seeking to connect with peer artists & mentors in an intensive critique process as they create a new work or new body of work.” (Transformer)
  • Gallery Hours: Check the website.

VeraCruz Gallery at 2108 Vermont Ave NW

  • Works by Brandon Hill, opened July 13.
  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 pm until late

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by July 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,365 0

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT]

Author’s Note: At you’ll always get food news from writers who actually eat in our neighborhood. They know where to find the newest rooftop bars, the brunch with unlimited Mimosas, and the best vegetarian options in the city. That’s why we’re giving you a chance to get to know the writers who bring you the best eats Borderstan has to offer. So, grab your fork and take a seat at our table.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

"Kim Vu"

Kim Vu is one of Borderstan’s food writers. (Courtesy Kim Vu)

Kim Vu is a food writer for Borderstan.

What’s the best resto in DC? Why?

Vu: Eola. The last time I went to Eola I was so excited about the meal, I emailed Alejandra [Owens, Food Editor] and asked her if I could write about it the next week. I’ve never had a bad meal there, and while Komi or Minibar might get more press, I love the dining room, the whole experience, and I love the fact they always go out of their way to make the meal a special occasion.

Describe your food writing style; what kind of story are you looking to tell?

Vu: I like talking about the surprising and the strange. If a restaurant is serving weird parts of a pig, or there’s a place no one’s ever heard of doing amazing things, that’s the gospel I want to spread. If something I write can get people out of the Ruth/Chris/Morton’s of the world, and get them going to local, sustainable restaurants that do more than just steak, that’s the dream.

Which food writers/photographers are inspiring you right now? Who do you look to for food news?

Vu: I love Bourdain and Ruth Reichl, the former for his snark and wit, the latter for her storytelling and the way she describes food without relying too heavily on adjectives (a skill I have yet to master).

What is your version of comfort food?

Vu: Nothing says home to me like pho. I also have a not so secret love of McNuggets and tater tots, but pho is my actual comfort food/hangover cure.

What is the cooking tool you can’t live without?

Vu: I just received my first J.A. Henckels knife block last Christmas, and I love my 7″ Santoku knife.

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by July 26, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,414 4 Comments

From Ashley Lusk and Mike Kohn. Check out Ashley’s blog, Metropoetrylis, find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT] Find Mike on Twitter at @mike_kohn or send him an email at mike[AT]


Wafflegate: How one local business and Groupon started a news feeding frenzy (Luis Gomez Photos)

We recently learned about the closing of Back Alley Waffles as the news broke on Monday.

However, more surprising than the closing of the establishment is how owner Craig Nelsen informed clients of the restaurant’s closing. Nelsen posted a sign on the door stating that the business went under due to the “bloodthirsty business practices of Groupon.”

It didn’t take long for a picture of that sign to go live and for the news and accusations to start flying, as bloggers, neighbors and local papers worked to get to the bottom of the story.

Admittedly, we personally were among the masses with an initial reaction to side with the much-admired local business, over the aggressive and very large company, Groupon. But as the day went on, and the articles and interviews came out, the full-story unraveled, leaving all initial reactions (including our own) a bit one-sided.

Jessica Sidman at Washington City Paper reached out to Nelsen and was met with no response. Readers of the article, however, quickly contributed comments, blaming Nelsen’s voluntary participation in the Groupon model and his signature of acceptance of their terms.

“I doubt one lone Groupon offer could sink a whole business,” wrote one commenter in the article’s comments. “Surely there were some other financial problems and the owner is conveniently blaming all his problems on Groupon. Any prudent owner would have contacted any of the thousands of other small business owners who have participated in Groupon deals to understand how the payment process worked.”

Nelsen, himself, responded to these comments in The City Paper article and merely incited more responses against his position.

“I opened the waffle shop because I was struggling financially with my art gallery, so, yes, I was under-capitalized from the outset,” wrote Nelsen. “And, yes, I should have read the fine print on the contract, just like I should read the fine print on my Comcast contract.”

Tuesday morning, Business Insider was able to reach Nelsen for an extensive comment on the nature of Groupon’s business, and it published the story right away. Later, however, the story unfolded further as Business Insider” confirmed Groupon’s side of the story, complete with actual numbers and financial terms.

It is regrettable that Back Alley Waffles will no longer be serving steaming waffles along Blagdon Alley. But even more regrettable is the feeding frenzy and blame game that we, as reporters, bloggers and concerned neighborhood residents sometimes play.

Here at Borderstan, we love our small and local businesses — they are what keep our neighborhood unique and thriving, and we make an effort to cover them and profile local businesses. But at the end of the day, we, as well as other publications, are in the business of informing people, not taking sides.

These days, there is a fine line in journalism between delivering news quickly and delivering the whole story accurately — and supporting our local businesses, which form the backbone of our community and commercial corridors. We hope we can continue to keep our balance on that fine line, and keep our readers abreast of the latest community news — including local businesses.

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by July 26, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

Amtrak proposes a plan to expand Union Station. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Troy Urman and Rachel Nania.

Attention all Borderstan travelers: Your future is looking bigger, brighter and faster.

On Tuesday morning, The Washington Post reported Amtrak’s proposed plans to overhaul Union Station, turning the country’s second-busiest rail hub into a center for high-speed rail and mixed-use development.

Amtrak’s $7 billion vision includes the addition of multiple below ground tracks, platforms and shopping, including six tracks dedicated to high-speed rails.

“The high-speed lines could mean travel times as short as 94 minutes to New York City’s Penn Station by 2030 — that’s 66 minutes faster than today’s Acela trains,” reports “The Washington Post.”

The plan also includes more than 3,000,000 square feet of newly developed retail, residential and hotel space over the tracks, bridging Capitol Hill to the recently re-developed and re-branded ‘NoMa’ neighborhood.

The original train station was designed by world-famous architect Daniel Burnham in 1907. It has since been expanded and refurbished, incorporating a shopping mall, food court and until recently, a below ground movie theater.

Today, Union Station sees more than 100,000 passenger trips per day, second only to Grand Central Station in New York City. The station also plays host to more than 30 million visitors annually, including shoppers, tourists and Washingtonians alike.

Although the plan has many supporters, including District Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), financing and funding issues remain critical concerns for the realization of this monumental undertaking that may change the gateway to our city.

So don’t pack your bags quite yet, but plan on (and hope for) many pleasant traveling experiences – coming to a platform near you.

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by July 26, 2012 at 6:00 am 0

"Saint Augustine"

“Saint Augustine” is by anokarina from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

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

Today’s photo, “Saint Augustine” was taken by anokarina on July 15 at 15th and V Streets NW. Learn more about Saint Augustine Catholic Church and its history in DC.

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 DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by July 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,075 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.


Building height restrictions in DC could change. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Last week the Congressional Committee with oversight over the District’s affairs began considering a measure that would allow DC buildings to exceed their current height limit.

If it came to be, the change would be the first alteration of the federal Height of Buildings Act, which has limited the city’s vertical – and many say economic – growth since 1910.

As Wikipedia notes, “The original act restricted the heights of any type of building in the United States capital city of Washington, D.C., to be no higher than 110 feet (90 feet for residential buildings). In 1910, the 61st United States Congress enacted a new law limiting building heights to the width of the right-of-way of the street or avenue on which a building fronts, which is the main law presented by this act.”

Committee members were quick to reassure District officials and concerned residents that the change would not allow skyscrapers and condos to overshadow the monuments. If enacted, the bill would allow DC buildings to turn roof space into occupied space, essentially adding one story to much of the city skyline.

City officials say the District suffers a disadvantage because the federal government owns approximately 40 percent of its land, rendering it non-taxable. This additional real estate would provide a new source of tax revenue to counteract this disadvantage.

While many people think The Cairo residential building on the 1600 block of Q Street NW is the city’s tallest building (other than the Washington Monument), that honor actually belongs to The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, according to Wikipedia.

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