by Borderstan.com August 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,149 1 Comment

"13th Street"

Scott McIntosh and Chad America of 13th Street Meats. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Dan Segal. Email him at dsegal[AT]borderstan.com and find him on Twitter @segaldg.

As a city, DC is not really known for having a regional food item. Especially when compared with the other large cities of the Northeast. For New York, it’s pizza; for Philly, it’s the cheesesteak; and for Boston, it’s the chowdah’. But there is one item that DC put on the map: The half-smoke.

Thanks to Ben’s Chili Bowl, sausages have become the patron food of the district, and Chad America and Scott McIntosh of 13th Street Meats are helping to spread the gospel to the Borderstan faithful.

13th Street Meats is a year-old, local area sausage startup that is converting the masses one link at a time.  You can find their half-smokes at a monthly pop-up shop held at Pharmacy Bar in Adams Morgan, or on the menus at several other local bars, including U Street Music Hall, Dodge City, and Black Cat (the highly-demanded pho dogs from U Street Music Hall are made with 13th Street Meats’ sausages). Their sausages are even included on the menu at the presidentially approved restaurant, Boundary Stone.

Grill them! (Luis Gomez Photos)

13th Street Meats sausage choices include:

  • A traditional half-smoke
  • Thai chicken
  • Chorizo
  • Roasted poblano
  • Lemon-basil chicken.

Luckily for fans of meat in tube form (insert sexual innuendo joke here), 13th Street Meats is said to be looking for a brick-and-mortar location in the DC area where they will have both retail and sit-in options to devour tasty sausage.

Ideas for Convention Dogs

Seeing as this week is the start of the Republican National Convention, I leave you with an idea for two convention-themed dogs to chow down on using 13th Street Meats’ sausages:

  • The ‘murica dog: Cue the patriotic music and light some fireworks: this dog is straight artery-clogging American. Start with the traditional half-smoke (because Thai chicken, poblano, and chorizo are just so foreign sounding and this is ‘murica). Wrap the half-smoke in bacon and fry it up in a pan. Cover it with a slathering of sweet cream cheese, then top with sliced scallions and crispy chopped garlic. Make sure to use a potato roll. None of that fancy bun nonsense.
  • The “a hotdog a day keeps the doctor away” dog: Healthcare is a hot issue in this year’s election. It’s possible you may soon not have healthcare or be able to afford it, so you’re going to need to make sure to stay healthy and get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients. Use the lemon-basil sausage; it’s a healthier option because it is made with chicken. Pair this with fresh arugula, a toasted wheat bun, and a dollop of homemade spicy yogurt sauce (I like to make mine with lemon juice, yogurt, and a squeeze of sriracha sauce).

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by Borderstan.com August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,859 0

"Tropicalia"

Click on the collage to see more photos of the interior: Tropicalia will open at 14th and U NW, one of DC’s legendary corners. (Luis Gomez Photos)

See more photos of the interior of Tropicalia. Update: Tropicalia officially opened Thursday, August 30.

By Alejandra Owens. You can find Owens at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Owens also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita. Luis Gomez also contributed to this piece. Catch Gomez’s photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Being unfamiliar with early ’60s Brazilian artistic movements, I originally thought Tropicalia was an unironic name for a new concept bar opening at 14th and U NW. Plastic palm trees, bright colors and little umbrellas in my Tiki-style rum drinks, right? Well, bright colors yes. Okay… and maybe rum, too. But the kitsch, Caribbean-inspired, “yeah mon!” feel?

Nooooo. Repeat after me: No

When we sat down with JD Quioco of Tropicalia to discuss the new place, my first question was about the name. Dubbed “Tropicalia,” the basement space located below Lost Society and Subway at 14th and U is set to transform into a “global dance hall” at one of DC’s legendary intersections with an opening date of “very soon.”

“I don’t want to use the word ‘nightclub’ or ‘venue.’ You want to get the feeling you get from watching Buena Vista Social Club, and we want it to be a place where friends can gather for good drinks, some dancing and a fun night. In other words, a neighborhood place,” said Quioco.

The Dance Hall and Design

Tropicalia brought together a team with the best talent they could find — artists designers, and architect and sound people. Clocking in at 3,500 square feet with a capacity for 200 dancing people, Tropicalia has the potential for becoming DC’s next great dance hall. The music will come from a mixture of live musicians and DJs.

The DJ booth is mobile and can be moved to different locations on the dance floor depending on the night. The bar is a glowing one. Made out of white plexiglass and steel, it has thousands of programmable LED lights inside it that can be programmed depending on the music or the mood of the moment.

The Drink Menu

A menu of Caipirinhas with various fruit juices as the base are the foundation of the drink menu, but five types of Cachasas will also be offered. Cachasa is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane and is similar in nature to rum, but largely unheard of or sold in the DC area. Quioco told me it has a “smokey, molasses flavor” which piqued my interest.

Not one to don my dancing shoes and head out on a Saturday night, I’m actually really excited for Tropicalia to open. It seems to be just what the neighborhood needs at the right time, off-beat drink offerings and music that won’t leave this 30-something feeling woefully uncool from the moment I walk in.

It’s a very unusual space, there’s no way around it. Puffy “clouds” (chandeliers) dot the sky above the plexiglass, lit bar, a psychedelic mural of a forest scene hangs prominently next to the front bar and some 60 hand-painted neon pink chairs drip with a rainbow motif.

Part of the Neighborhood

Aside from some questions about how the neighborhood, and DC at large, will receive a new place inspired by a mixture of art forms and music types, Quioco says, “Time will define what we really are.” Though he hopes the spot soon becomes a place where neighborhood folks can convene on quieter nights, enjoying good drinks and company.

After spending more than a decade in the 14th and U Street neighborhood, it’s an understatement to say that Quioco is deeply embedded in the fabric of the community. Quioco spent years as general manager of two 14th Street restaurant-bars.

“You have to stay responsible, and loyal to people in the neighborhood. You need to have employees who can interact with the public,” said Quioco. “Anyone who is successful in this city knows that they need to work with the neighborhoods and the city government… to reach out and be responsive to people’s concerns.”

Tropicalia is like nothing DC has experienced before, and I think that’s just what the city needs right now — something to shake us up a bit.

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by Borderstan.com August 29, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,593 0

"Jefferson 14W"

The 14W Jefferson at 14th and W NW is nearing completion. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Groundbreaking got underway in December 2010 on the Jefferson 14W project, and the massive residential-retail complex will open in stages during the next few months. The massive complex at the northeast corner of 14th and W Streets NW will also include a new YMCA on the 1400 block of W Street.

A spokesperson for the developer, Perseus Realty, said, “We are currently planning to open the residential portion of the project in late November or early December. The first three floors will open with the initial delivery. The top four floors with the subsequent turnover three to four weeks later.” It is anticipated that the YMCA will open sometime in January.

According to Perseus, the approximately 320,000 square foot project will include 231 rental apartments, an all-new 44,000 square foot YMCA facility, and more than 11,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

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by Borderstan.com August 29, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,279 0

"Starbucks Dupont Circle"

Starbucks Dupont Circle is by Joe in DC from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

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

Today’s photo, “Starbucks Dupont Circle” was taken by Joe in DC. The photo was taken at the renovated Starbucks location on Connecticut Avenue NW, just north of Dupont Circle.

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 Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm 0

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

A week without DC’s soul-sucking August humidity is enough to have me say “sayonara” to summer, while running with open arms towards fall.

Yes, we can all finally look forward to a frizz-free hair and fewer melting makeup disasters, and embrace new pallet of colors, textures and styles. Yes, bring on the tweed, the corduroy and jeans! Oh, how I have missed my jeans…

But best of all, there is no need to venture to a suburban “mall” or even an overpriced designer storefront to find some of this season’s best looks — it’s all in the neighborhood. Here are some of this season’s trends worth checking out in the area.

Accessories

Neighborhood boutiques are overflowing with colorful, textured clutches and vibrant, chunky necklaces. One of my favorite finds is a tad-bit unconventional. Yes, it’s a Turkish bath towel — the perfect multi-purpose accessory that can be used as a scarf, a shawl or a fall picnic blanket at a local park or vineyard.

These great accessories are from Table Top (1608 20th Street NW), Lou Lou (1601 Connecticut Avenue NW), Redeem (1734 14th Street NW), Current Boutique (1809 14th Street NW) and Axis Salon (1509 Connecticut Avenue NW).

"Accessories"

Colorful, textured clutches and makeup bags. Makeup bag (top left) from Table Top. Clutches from Lou Lou. (Rachel Nania)

"Accessories"

Chunky, colorful necklaces from Redeem and Current Boutique. (Rachel Nania)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Clothing

For early fall, women’s styles are trending towards comfortable patterned dresses (and chunky necklaces, above). Pair these with a pair of boots and a cardigan and you are set!

Men’s Clothing

Bold colors and traditional plaids, tweeds and prints are in for the gents. Here is an example of a show-stopping outfit from Ginger Root Design. Don’t forget to grab a comfortable, textured sweater for the chilly evenings, like this one from Redeem.

"

Get ready for Fall. (Rachel Nania)

Pictured: A patterned fall dress from Current Boutique pairs perfectly with a bold, colorful necklace; patterned fall dresses from Current Boutique; a bold men’s outfit from Ginger Root Design; a textured men’s sweater from Redeem.

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by Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,344 0

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

"Matt Connolly - ANC"

Matt Connolly is a candidate for ANC 2F-08.(Courtesy Matt Connolly)

The deadline for filing to run for a seat on DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission is past, and election time is right around the corner.

In the Borderstan area, there are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.

So now it is time to meet your candidates. Here at Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors, campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will provide follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.

Matt Connolly is  running for ANC 2F-08, a new district on the ANC 2F map. District 2F-08 runs along M Street, between 13th Street and 11th Street, down 11th Street until I Street NW, and then north on 14th Street, east on L Street and then north on 13th Street. Connolly was appointed as an ANC 2F-05 commissioner, but the new district lines qualify him for the 08 district. This fall, Connolly will face Howard Marks for the 2F-08 seat on election day.

Borderstan: Why did you decide to run in your neighborhood’s ANC race this year? Also, have you run before and/or been an ANC commissioner before?

Connolly: I have been privileged to serve as a commissioner on ANC 2F since January. I ran then and am seeking re-election now because the ANC plays an important role in shaping our neighborhood, on everything from advising new business establishment, to working with government officials, addressing important community concerns and meeting with councilmembers on legislation affecting Logan Circle. We have accomplished a lot in the last eight months, and I hope to continue doing so during the next two years.

Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?

Connolly: I have lived in the Logan Circle area for three years and in DC for seven.

Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?

Connolly: In addition to serving as a commissioner, I regularly volunteer as an advocate for citizens in our area having problems with their landlords. I have also volunteered as an attorney at Bread for the City, a local charity that provides vulnerable people with food, clothing, medical care and legal and social services. I am an alumni Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?

Connolly: Logan Circle has seen enormous change and growth over the last several years and is now one of the most vibrant areas in DC.  This change has brought many challenges, including an influx of new restaurants and liquor licenses, traffic and parking concerns, and public safety issues. I hope to continue working to create a community that respects the rights of its current citizens while welcoming new neighbors.

"ANC"

The new ANC 2F/Logan map for the 2012 election. (DC Board of Elections)

Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?

Connolly: In the next term, I want to continue being an advocate for my neighbors, both on the ANC and with the DC government. Specifically, I will continue working with city officials to address issues affecting our neighborhood, including:

  • Improving the intersection at 12th Street and Massachusetts Avenue (one of the most dangerous in the District) and at Logan Circle
  • Addressing the prostitution problem in Burke Park
  • Eliminating the rat problem plaguing the neighborhood
  • Redeveloping the Franklin School Building

Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?

Connolly: Experience. I am proud of the progress we have made on these issues over the last eight months and look forward to accomplishing more in the next term. Only one other sitting commissioner of ANC-2F is running for re-election, and my knowledge of the commission, DC government, and the current challenges facing Logan Circle will be critical as the ANC welcomes at least six new members next term.

Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?

Connolly: I am an attorney at Covington & Burling, a DC-based law firm. My experience advocating for clients before government agencies and knowledge of DC laws will continue to help me influence the issues important to our area.

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by Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

From Zak M. Salih Email him at zak[AT]borderstan.com.

Fall seems to be the Oscar season of literature: a season packed with books by big-name authors commonly associated with the best that modern writing has to offer. And 2012 is no different. There’s a lot to choose from, folks. And this is only a small sampling of what’ll be hitting bookshelves in September, October, and November.

Whatever you hope to read, plan accordingly, fellow bookworms. It’s going to be a busy season.

"Books"September

“NW” by Zadie Smith (September 4)
Smith’s first novel in years is another multifaceted and multicultural look at contemporary London – this time through the eyes of four residents of an urban corner of the city.

“Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon (September 11)
Chabon foregoes comic book heroes for a more down-to-earth look at the struggles of a fictional used record story in the author’s stomping grounds of Berkeley and Oakland, CA.

“This is How You Lose Her” by Junot Diaz (September 11)
The second short story collection by the author of “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” promises touching and haunting stories about the problems of love and romance.

“Joseph Anton: A Memoir” by Salman Rushdie (September 18)
This highly anticipated memoir covers the popular author’s years in hiding during the infamous Iranian fatwa on his life between 1989 and 1999 (the title comes from one of the author’s aliases). (Cover Courtesy of Random House, Inc.)

“The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling (September 27)
J.K. Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel focuses on one of the least magical subjects of all: political battles between the citizens of a small English town.

 "Books"October

“The Twelve” by Justin Cronin (October 16)
The second in a trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by bloodsucking monsters, “The Twelve” finds a band of survivors tracking down twelve specific “virals” whose death could save humanity. (Cover Courtesy of Random House, Inc.)

“Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture” by Daniel Mendelsohn (October 16)
This latest collection of essays by classicist and cultural critic Daniel Mendelsohn features insightful commentary on Greek poetry, Broadway musicals, blockbuster films, and even “Mad Men.”

“The Fifty Year Sword” by Mark Z. Danielewski (October 16)
Expect postmodern wizardry, typographical experimentation, and head-scratching befuddlement from Danielewki’s horror story about a woman’s 50th birthday party.

“Back to Blood” by Tom Wolfe (October 23)
Having eviscerated college culture in “I Am Charlotte Simmons,” new journalist and social novelist Tom Wolfe is back with an equally expansive investigation of life at all levels of Miami society.

"Books"November

“Both Flesh and Not: Essays” by David Foster Wallace (November 6)
This posthumous collection brings us the novelist and essayist’s hyperanalytical thoughts on everything from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” to tennis phenom Roger Federer.

“Dear Life” by Alice Munro (November 13)
A new collection of Alice Munro’s short stories – always quiet, meditative, and heartfelt, and restorative – may be just the thing to curl up to as the weather gets chillier.

“Sweet Tooth” by Ian McEwan (November 13)
McEwan’s latest novel is a Cold War thriller set in 1970s England that blends the holy trinity of an interesting read: sex, espionage–and literature. (Cover Courtesy of Random House, Inc.)

“Woes of the True Policeman” by Roberto Bolaño (November 13)
The posthumous publications by the Chilean writer keep on coming; this one follows the wanderings of an academic from Bolaño’s grand epic, “2666” in a remote border town.

Still not sure which books are worth investing your hard-earned time and money? Look for reviews of many of them in the coming weeks. Any other books coming out in the next few months you think your fellow Borderstan neighbors should read? Let us know in the comments section below.

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by Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,235 0

From Kim Vu. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT]borderstan.com.

"Barack"

Where would it be next? (Luis Gomez Photos)

By now, you know the signs: the unforeseen and seemingly arbitrary road closures; the excited tweets from food bloggers; the ominous white tent outside a restaurant’s front door. It’s clear: the Obamas are out on the town again.

And more exciting for foodies is that, perhaps more than any other sitting president, our First Couple eschews the power lunches and steakhouses in favor of our fair city’s more imaginative culinary hot spots; I mean the Obamas just took their last donors dinner at Adams-Morgan’s Mintwood Place.

It’s pleasant to imagine our Commander-in-Chief as a food nerd, just as obsessed with the Washingtonian Top 100 as the rest of us… or well, at least that he has someone on his staff report out to him on it.

So what new spots, dishes, and drinks in Borderstan are about to get the Obama bump? Here’s the crib sheet:

The donor dinner: Obelisk. The Obamas have already shown they’re fans of restaurants that combine the intimate date night with world class food (see: Komi). Dupont Circle’s own Obelisk meets many of the same criteria. Warm and charming dining room? Check. Prix fixe menu filled with small tasty delights building into complex and wonderful entrees from a James Beard nominee? Check; Chef Peter Pastan’s dishes are some of the most composed and elegant in the city. Ability to close down the entire restaurant for one large group table? What better than a second floor townhouse walk-up tucked away on P Street?

That one must have dish: The si krong muu at Little Serow. Among all of the superlative plates at Johnny Monis’s it restaurant, the one that the Obamas will close off 17th Street to try will most certainly be the pork ribs marinated in Mekong whiskey and dill. Bright, herb-forward, and with heat for days, this tender meat is the definition of a presidential dish.

The burger craving: Shake Shack, BGR, Black and Orange. For all his foodie-friendly restaurant choices, our President seems to consistently love ordering bacon cheeseburgers. Time to expand his burger palate with three of DC’s premier burger palaces, all located within the Borderstan area. For his likely lunchtime pop-by, our bet is he goes for Rogue State’s Square One (sea salt and black pepper).

Date night: Iron Gate Inn or Cork. If you need a table where you can sequester off space but still retain that romantic candlelit night? How about the back room of Cork, with its dim but friendly vibe and extensive wine list? Or if he’s patient enough, perhaps Barack will wait for the impending revitalization of DC legend Iron Gate Inn? Something tells me Chef Tony Chittum, who’s already served the First Couple at Vermillion, can save his best opening night table for a visit from the White House. Plus both restaurants can provide that tucked-away, private backdrop where the Prez can feel free to serenade Michelle with some Al Green along with great food and wine.

The photo op: Florida Avenue Grill. If BO’s stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl tells us anything, it’s that he appreciates DC’s rich history and local businesses (and knows exactly when to stop by for a well-publicized lunch at a small greasy spoon). Bet on Barack to affirm his DC cred by patronizing a diner with 68 years of serving the Washington community, and some of the best hotcakes on the Eastern seaboard.

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by Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,133 0

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

A guide to dining out and conflict resolution.

"Baby"

Baby dinning. (Leslie Jones)

I love going to restaurants. I like to try new places and I keep a close eye on the Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants. I also worked as a sever in a busy upscale restaurant in NYC, in another life when I was pursing an acting career. And now I’m a mom.

I dealt with some unbelievable people and situations working in the restaurant industry. People, with and without children, feel free to really let their crazy hang out when dealing with waiters. I’ve also been surprised, since becoming a mom, how much unsolicited parenting advice comes my way; and I’ve even written about it!  A recent discussion thread on DC Urban Moms and Dads made me think that perhaps some guidelines for dining out were in order.

Guide to Dining Out with Baby

1. Don’t leave a mess.

Kids are messy and Baby loves to throw food on the floor. So I do something really novel. I pick it up. I’m not suggesting that you crawl under the table and make a scene, but you can give your child foods less likely to cause a mess and pick up what you can. When I was a server, it used to drive me crazy when families would create a disaster zone around their tables and just pretend it wasn’t there. If you’ve got your hands full with your child and you can’t address the mess, at least apologize for it and leave a big tip.

2. If your child is being disruptive, do something about it.

Please don’t just continue your conversation as if nothing is happening. You may have developed a super human ability to ignore the noise, but other restaurant patrons have not. It doesn’t matter where you are, the Diner or Cork, a screaming kid in a restaurant is not appropriate. Do what you have to do*, bribe her with food and toys, and when all else fails, take the child outside until he calms down, or get the check and leave. Any noise above the volume of a normal conversational tone isn’t appropriate. If it’s a loud family restaurant, the acceptable volume will be a little higher; if it’s an upscale restaurant, it will be a little lower.

*Banging silverware on the table is not an appropriate distraction activity

3. Choose an appropriate destination and/or time. 

We took Baby to Bourbon Steak for my mom’s birthday back in March. However, we went at 5:30pm, right when they started serving dinner, when we knew the restaurant would be pretty empty and the “serious” diners wouldn’t have arrived yet. I knew that Baby could stay calm and quiet for about an hour, and Husband and I were both prepared to leave when necessary. Baby was very accommodating, but she started getting restless after the second course. We skipped dessert.

I met a friend for lunch at Commissary earlier this summer. Baby has become less cool with dining out as she’s gotten older. I brought lots of snacks and toys, and it was a quick lunch. I wasn’t as concerned about baby chatter because it was lunchtime at a casual restaurant, but I handed the waitress my credit card at the first sign of trouble.

Choose a casual restaurant and/or an early dinnertime, or go for brunch or lunch. Be realistic about your child’s ability to sit still and eat quietly. Bring lots of supplies. And just accept the fact that you may have to leave abruptly. If you can’t resign yourself to a doggy bag, get a sitter.

4. Teach older children to say please and thank you.

“I wanna ‘nother coke!” is not the appropriate way to make a request to your server, no matter your age.

Guide to Dining Out Near Baby

1. You are not the parenting/etiquette police.

The discussion thread on the DC Urban Moms and Dads forum addressed the issue of dining out with kids. The original poster described being verbally assaulted by another patron while having breakfast with her self-described “spirited” toddler who she said was being relatively well behaved, but somewhat vocal. Confronting another diner is NEVER appropriate. I don’t care if the child is screaming, while banging silverware on the table, and throwing food on the floor. If you have a problem, appeal to the management. And maybe give the offending party the “stink-eye” as one forum poster mentioned.

Most parents are pretty horrified that their child is acting up. And just because I’m bribing my kid with food to stay quiet at the moment a) doesn’t mean that’s my standard practice, I’m just trying to make it through this meal, and b) doesn’t mean you have any right to critique my parenting. If someone is abusing a child, call CFSA; otherwise, feel free to think all kinds of snarky thoughts, but keep your mouth shut.

Another poster on the same forum thread recommended the McSweeny’s article, “Hello Stranger on the Street”, by Wendy Molyneux. Super funny and perhaps helps people put their parenting advice in perspective. It made me giggle.

When you head out to dinner with your little one, just be realistic about the situation and acknowledge the fact that not everyone finds your baby as adorable as you do when she shrieks with delight. And if you’re on the receiving end of baby noise in a restaurant, try to remember or imagine what it’s like to be a parent and cut the offending parties a little slack. I’ve been on all three sides of the dining out experience, childless patron, server, and patron with child. And these are the rules according to… well, me.

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by Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,838 0

"green 14 & U"

Can the 4th and U  area become a sustainable, green district. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Real estate developers, small business owners and restaurant entrepreneurs see a lot of economic potential in the flourishing 14th and U Streets area. But when Brianne Nadeau peers into the crystal ball of the popular neighborhood, she envisions another kind of green; she sees potential in a highly sustainable and community-driven district.

“The 14th and U area is thriving right now,” said Nadeau, a former commissioner, secretary, vice chair and chairperson of ANC 1B. “So now is a great opportunity to create a sustainability district in our city.”

And so Nadeau is doing just that, as she works to spearhead the early stages of a 14th and U green initiative. The initiative aims to resolve quality of life issues that are constantly under discussion in the growing neighborhood (i.e., trash, parking and congestion), while simultaneously promoting programs already in place and establishing more long-term sustainable solutions for the area.

“Sustainable growth is smart growth,” said Nadeau, who is now vice chairperson of the Ward One Democrats. “We need to think creatively about green space and piggyback with local businesses and the community’s development.”

Examples Nadeau gave for the initiative, include ideas such as options to buy into solar power systems, creating community composting opportunities, promoting existing Federal sustainability programs and working with community organizations and small businesses already promoting sustainability, such as Smucker Farms and the Farmers’ Market at the Reeve’s Municipal Center.

Nadeau’s long-term goal for the project is to make the neighborhood a friendlier environment for community engagement. “I want people in the neighborhood to come together,” said Nadeau, who helped start the popular U Street Movie Series for this reason.

For now, Nadeau is working to set-up a community meeting sometime in September. The meeting will give residents a chance to become involved in the initiative and to discuss next steps for implementation. Nadeau has also reached out to neighborhood associations and ANC groups for additional input/ partnerships, and plans to work with other city-wide organizations in the future. The date and time of the meeting are not yet set — stay tuned to Borderstan.com for more information on the project.

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by Borderstan.com August 28, 2012 at 6:00 am 0

"Scottish Rite of Freemasonry"

Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is by TheRobbStory from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

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

Today’s photo, “Scottish Rite of Freemasonry” was taken by TheRobbStory. The photo was taken on 15th 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 Borderstan.com August 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm 0

"Howard Times"

The newly restored Howard Theatre is the focus of an article in “The New York Times.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

The Borderstan neighborhood is continuing to generate national attention as more than just residents take note of the area’s transformations. From 14th Street to U Street, and even some areas of Columbia Heights, the neighborhood is in the national spotlight for its revitalization. “An Encore in Washington,” published two weekends ago in The New York Times about the revival of the Howard Theatre and the neighborhood, is the latest to join the collection of the neighborhood’s positive press.

“Many see the theater’s rebirth as the most recent sign that the neighborhood is on the rise,” writes the article’s author, Sarah Wildman. “Suddenly streets that had emptied because of a rise in crime are filled with people.”

In the article, Wildman goes on to cite some popular additions to the neighborhood that couple with its upswing, including Bistro Bohem, Shaw’s Tavern, Seasonal Pantry, Sundevich, Blind Dog Café and a recent point of controversy for some critics, Brixton.

While it is nice to receive applause and some national attention, one thing is for sure: The collection of articles from The Times focuses on the shiny, monetarily driven high rise apartment and trendy restaurant surface of what is really happening in our neighborhood. Yes, the area is becoming the city’s epicenter for food, fashion and culture with each new restaurant opening and restored million-dollar condo, but these stories paint a false picture of the area’s past and future struggles with gentrification.

Read more about local critics’ pros and cons of gentrification in the neighborhood in our recent articles: “DC’s Gentrification and a Reporter’s Case for the Positives” and “What’s All This Talk About Swagger Jacking?”

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by Borderstan.com August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,846 0

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

"Stephanie Maltz ANC"

Stephanie Maltz is a candidate for ANC 2B-o3. (Courtesy Stephanie Maltz)

The deadline for filing to run for a seat on DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission is past, and election time is right around the corner.

In the Borderstan area, there are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.

So now it is time to meet the candidates in the six contested races. Here at Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors, campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will provide follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.

Stephanie Maltz  is  running for ANC 2B-o3. Long-time incumbent Bob Meehan is retiring and Maltz will face Bevan Mace in November’s election. Essentially, the 2B-03 district runs from the west side of 17th Street, west to Dupont Circle/Connecticut Aveneue NW and from Q Street north to Riggs Place, with one section going as far as north as Swann Street (see the map below).

Here’s a little bit more about Maltz.

Borderstan: Why did you decide to run in your neighborhood’s ANC race this year? Also, have you run before and/or been an ANC commissioner before?

Maltz: I am running because I love my neighborhood, I am proud to be a DC resident, and I intend to have a positive impact on my local community. This is the place where I want to raise my family, and I am invested in ensuring our neighborhood continues to be a welcoming community for young professionals to retirees. It is important to me that the members of our ANC are representative of the diversity within our neighborhoods. This is my first time running for ANC.

Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your ANC neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?

Maltz: My first experience in the District lasted six months when I was a summer intern at the White House. I stayed through the fall semester to participate in the Washington Semester program at American University. I fell in love with all that the DC area has to offer and relocated here permanently, shortly after graduating law school. For the past six years, I have lived in the Dupont Circle area. My husband and I purchased our condo in ANC2 B0-3 in May of 2010.

Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?

Maltz: I am extensively involved and invested in this community. I am the treasurer of my condo board and I volunteer at Ross Elementary as a “Girls on the Run” coach, a program that instills confidence in 3rd- to 5thgrade girls through running. I am helping the Urban Neighborhood Alliance (UNA) with the 17th Street Festival in September and am assisting with the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) house tour in October. In July, I was appointed to serve as 2B-06 liquor liaison. I have already worked with local establishments and residents on several liquor-licensing issues.

"ANC 2B"

Click for a larger image: ANC 2B. (DC Board of Elections)

Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?

Maltz: My main area of focus will be on strengthening the positive relationships between residents and local businesses. Our neighborhood is stronger when community residents and neighborhood businesses work together. This will be especially important with the East Dupont Circle Moratorium set to expire next fall.

Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?

Maltz: I hope to be the clear and consistent voice for residents of the ANC2B03 area on all issues of importance to our neighborhood. I want community members to have a better understanding about the ANC, to receive more information about neighborhood projects, and to always know how to contact me with their questions and concerns. My website, stephaniemaltzfordc.com, will be up and running soon. In the meantime, I can be reached via email at smaltz[AT]gmail.com or on my cell at (202) 309-5138.

Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?

Maltz: Since January, I have been attending the ANC monthly meetings to understand the specific issues that come before the Commission. I have taken the time to get to know the current commissioners and learn from their expertise. As the 2B-06 liquor liaison, I have gained direct experience working with the commissioners and establishments, while reaching out to residents for input. Most importantly, I understand the responsibilities, dedication, and time commitment involved to be successful in this position.

Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?

Maltz: During the day, I split my time between serving as an education policy specialist and a government relations consultant for a public health organization. This, in addition to my prior experience advocating on behalf of small businesses, allows me to bring a unique perspective to the table.

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by Borderstan.com August 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,809 0

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

"Dog Trainer"

Rachel Jones joins the Borderstan team of columnist.s (Courtesy Rachel Jones)

Borderstan is happy to introduce a new columnist to the team, Rachel Jones.

Jones will help us to better understand our pets in order to have a healthier and more relaxed relationship with them. Jones owns K9 Divine, an obedience training and behavior consultation service that not only trains dogs in the neighborhood, but also offers the option of taking your pets to a farm where they can spend the day running and playing with their mates.

Recently, we sat down with Jones to get to know her and her businesses.

Borderstan: Tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you been in DC? and how did you end up here?

Jones: I came to DC in 1994 to attend Georgetown University and never left.

Borderstan: How long have you been in Borderstan?

Jones: I bought my house in Borderstan five-and-a-half years ago.

Borderstan: You have an education that does not normally lead to becoming a dog trainer? Fill us in on that!

Jones: I was a Spanish major and spent my first six years as a Spanish-to-English translator. I was terribly bored and depressed in the job, and I noticed that every evening when I came home and saw my dogs that I would instantly feel happy. So I decided to quit my job and become a dog trainer.

Borderstan: How did you become a dog trainer?

Jones: I went to an internship program in New York to learn how to train dogs, did a lot of independent study and volunteered at the Washington Humane Society.

Borderstan: Why is important to have a dog trainer?

Jones: It is important to learn how to communicate effectively with your dog so that you can have a happy and relaxing relationship together.

Borderstan: Tell us about your farm? What do the dogs do there?

Jones: Our farm is located in Harwood, Maryland, which is close to Annapolis. It is a former horse farm and has 13 acres of fully fenced pastures. We pick up dogs in DC and drive them out to the farm to play all day, then drive them home in the evening. There is a house on the property with a full-time staff person, so the dogs can board there as well.

Borderstan: What have we missed… what would you like to add?

Jones: It is so important for dogs to be able to run outside, off leash. It really improves their temperament to be able to get out of the city and act like dogs all day.

Look for Jones’ columns in the following weeks.

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by Borderstan.com August 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,587 0

"salt" "zucchini"

Salty chocolate zucchini cake. (Rachel Nania)

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

As someone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth (yet, ironically, will never turn down dessert), I am constantly on the hunt for traditional dessert recipes that have a savory spin. Sweets like chili-infused dark chocolate or strawberries drizzled with a balsamic reduction are my idea of the perfect ending to a meal.

To achieve the “savory” factor, one trick I frequently use when baking is to make salt the star of the dish. Salt is really quite an amazing ingredient when it comes to making desserts; it works to bring out the sweetness of an ingredient (like chocolate), while simultaneously keeping a dish from being overly sweet.

One of my favorite “sweet breads” is zucchini bread. This time of year, my mom used to make several loafs at once, due to an abundance of zucchini in the garden. While I don’t have a garden, I do have a neighborhood farmer’s market — and with some fresh, local zucchini, I’ve taken my mom’s traditional zucchini bread recipe and added my own spin.

This salty chocolate zucchini cake is incredibly moist (thanks to the zucchini), sweet and, you guessed it, salty. The lack of an icing (common to most traditional cakes) keeps it from being too dessert-like, making it O.K. in my book to eat for breakfast, alongside a steaming latte.

Salty Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt (plus a little more for sprinkling on top)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini (about 2 large zucchini)
  • 1 tbsp of quality vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, melted
  • 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease two round cake pans.
  2. In a food processor, shred fresh zucchini until you have enough for 2 cups (about two large zucchini).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Mix together with a spoon and set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix together the following ingredients with a large spoon: the melted butter, the sugar, the brown sugar, the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Combine the bowl of wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon. Spoon in the shredded zucchini and continue to mix the ingredients. Once the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated, add the bag of chocolate chips and continue to incorporate.
  6. Divide the batter and pour into two round cake pans.
  7. Sprinkle the tops of the cakes with a pinch of sea salt.
  8. Bake the pans in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  9. Eat plain or serve warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Enjoy!

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