by Tim Regan July 29, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Magic Bullet, Image via Upshur Books

Borderstan residents can now pick up a copy of the latest issue of D.C.’s free comic book newspaper, Magic Bullet.

The paper is organized and edited by small press comic book collective DC Conspiracy and features one-page comics and illustrations from dozens of locally sourced contributors.

This is the semi-annual newspaper’s 11th issue since it was created in 2010.

Copies can be found at the following Borderstan-area locations:

Adams Morgan

  • Crooked Beat Records (2116 18th Street NW)
  • Idle Time Books (2467 18th Street Northwest)
  • Red Onion Records (1901 18th Street NW)
  • Smash Records (2314 18th Street NW, 2nd Floor)
  • Songbyrd (2475 18th Street NW)
  • The Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Road NW)
  • Tryst (2459 18th Street NW)

Columbia Heights

  • Coffy Cafe (3310 14th Street NW)
  • Flying Fish Coffee and Tea (3064 Mt Pleasant Street NW)
  • Palace 5ive (2216 14th Street NW)
  • The Coupe (3415 11th Street NW)
  • Blind Dog Cafe (944 Florida Avenue NW)*

Dupont Circle

  • Fantom Comics (2010 P Street NW)

Logan Circle

  • Miss Pixie’s (1626 14th Street NW)
  • Peregrine Espresso (1718 14th Street NW)
  • Som Records (1843 14th Street NW)*
  • The Coffee Bar (1201 S Street NW)*

Petworth

  • Upshur Books (827 Upshur Street NW)

U Street

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U Street NW)
  • Big Planet Comics (1520 U Street NW)
  • Joint Custody (1530 U Street NW)

Image via Upshur Street Books

*Denotes a business that was lumped in with its closest neighborhood for clarity

by Tim Regan July 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm 0

Dept. of Justice, photo via Wikimedia CommonsA D.C. man today pleaded guilty to six counts of voyeurism and five counts of stalking after admitting he secretly recorded women “in various
stages of undress” through their apartment windows between 2012 and 2014.

Former U.S. State Department official Daniel Rosen, 45, said he used his cell phone to secretly record women in Mount Pleasant, the U Street Corridor and Adams Morgan.

“Daniel Rosen crept through alleys and peered through windows to secretly film women during intimate, private moments in their own homes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen, Jr. today in a press release. “Today he admitted to being a serial stalker and voyeur who robbed women of the privacy they expected in their own bedrooms and bathrooms.”

Rosen often spied on women under the guise of walking his dog, reads the press release, and sometimes returned later to record the same woman again.

Rosen will be sentenced on Oct. 9. Each of the counts of voyeurism and stalking carries a maximum penalty of one year and potential fines.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

by Daniel Levitt July 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

Image via Litter Free DC

D.C. residents can ask members of the Department of Public Works and Metropolitan Police Department questions about keeping the District litter free from the comfort of their computers.

A live webcast will take place on the DPW’s website tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m.

Residents can submit questions to the DPW’s Interim Director Chris Shorter as well as a representative from the MPD’s Litter Enforcement team, as part of the DPW’s Litter Free D.C. campaign.

As the name implies, Litter Free D.C. is a program sponsored by the DPW that aims to eliminate litter from streets in the city.

Future DPW webcasts will cover graffiti, leaf collection, recycling and parking, said DPW Public Affairs Specialist Nancee Lyons.

“We’re always open for topic ideas and encourage residents to let us know what they would like to discuss,” Lyons said.

More information can be found can be found on the DPW website.

Image via Litter Free DC

by Tim Regan July 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm 0

A Starbucks at the intersection of 18th and N Streets NW is currently closed due to a broken air conditioning unit, said employees at the store shortly before noon today.

“We apologize but we are currently closed,” reads a sign in the store’s window. The front and side doors of the Starbucks are currently locked.

The employees did not say when they expect the location to reopen.

 

by Tim Regan July 29, 2015 at 10:45 am 1,156 0

Police CarA man and a woman were held at gunpoint during two robberies that occurred just steps away from one another in Adams Morgan early this morning , say D.C. Police.

During the first robbery, police say a woman was approached from behind by two suspects on the 2000 block of Columbia Road NW around 12:23 a.m.

One of the suspects pressed a handgun to the woman’s back, say police, and told her to let go of her property. The second suspect took the woman’s property, and the pair fled into a nearby alley.

Police later tweeted that they were on the lookout for the two suspects; one wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans, the other wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.

Though authorities have not released a detailed description of what occurred during the second robbery, they confirmed it happened steps away from the first on the 2000 block of Wyoming Avenue NW around 12:40 a.m.

During that robbery, say police, a man was held at gunpoint by two men who fit the description of the previous robbery’s suspects.

Police added that they think the two robberies “might be connected.”

No arrests have been made in connection with either crime.

by Daniel Levitt July 29, 2015 at 9:15 am 1 Comment

Rundown 35

Seven Robberies, Seven Hours — Seven robberies were reported around the area in less than seven hours, and police think some of the robberies might be connected. [NBC]

Tool Time — The group behind Logan Hardware and several other hardware stores in D.C. will open a new 5,000-square-foot hardware store at 1700 Columbia Road NW, the site of the former Ontario Theater. [Washington Business Journal]

Frankencondo — A “bizarre new Frankenstein condo” has one blogger in Columbia Heights perplexed: “I was walking down 13th Street and at Otis saw something odd under construction: a modern-ish residential building where there used to be a townhouse with a big porch. What’s extra strange though is that it’s attached to what looks like other half of the townhouse.” [New Columbia Heights]

Jerk Store — A restaurant called “Jerk Station” will open in the former Sweet Mango space in Park View. [Park View, D.C.]

Going Up — A Dupont office building houses one of D.C.’s rarest professions. [Borderstan]

by Tim Regan July 29, 2015 at 8:30 am 0

metrobusfire 1

(Updated at 9:05 a.m.) D.C. Fire and EMS crews responded to a report of a Metro bus on fire in Columbia Heights earlier this morning.

Officials tweeted that they received reports of a vehicle fire near the intersection of 14th Street and Park Road NW around 8:13 a.m.

Metro employees on the scene told a Borderstan reporter that fire crews came because there was smoke coming from a belt located in the engine compartment.

“You know how it is in this town, a little smoke and everyone freaks out,” said a DDOT worker at the scene.

There is no visible damage to the bus.

When reached by phone earlier today, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson Oscar Mendez said that fire crews responded to reports of flames coming from the radiator engine compartment of a Metro bus.

A Metro spokesperson was reached by phone and is currently looking into the incident.

by Tim Regan July 28, 2015 at 4:25 pm 0


3000 Georgia Avenue, photo via Google Street View(Updated at 5:07 p.m.)
 Six people riding a Metro bus in Park View were treated for exposure to pepper spray around 3:45 p.m. today, say D.C. Fire and EMS officials.

The incident occurred while the bus was stopped near the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Irving Street NW.

According to Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly, a man and a woman began to argue with each other while the bus was stopped. As the female passenger began to leave the bus, the man followed her.

The woman then turned and sprayed the man with pepper spray, catching several others in the line of fire.

Both the woman and the man left the scene before police arrived, says Ly.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson Oscar Mendez says emergency crews treated the victims for minor injuries related to pepper spray exposure near the 3000 block of Georgia Avenue NW.

Three of the victims were children, authorities say.

Image via Google Street View

by Jared Holt July 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm 1,175 0

Step inside an elevator at the Ring Building south of Dupont Circle and you’ll find a relic of the past.

Each weekday, a small troupe of elevator operators transports more than a thousand people up and down a 12-floor office building.

It doesn’t take a local historian to know that elevator operators are rare in D.C. Most, if not all, of the other elevators in the city are operated by the users themselves.

But the Ring Building, built in 1947, may be the last public office building in D.C. that employs elevator operators, apart from the U.S. Capitol.

Visitors to the Ring Building will always find at least one operator working, no matter the hour or day. (Full disclosure: Visitors to the Ring Building will also find Borderstan’s office.)

Would it be more cost-effective to use an automated system? Probably. But 49-year-old elevator operator Cleveland Johnson says his profession has more to do with sentimentality than efficiency.

According to Johnson, the man who built the building, Gustave Ring, made the job permanent as one of his final wishes.

“It was one of Mr. Ring’s wishes on his deathbed that the building always have elevator operators,” says Johnson while making eye-contact through his reflection on the polished door. “It makes it feel fancy.”

Operating the elevator is more complex than it would seem. To change floors, operators must press a floor button, then tug on a brass lever to close and open the elevator door. There are also three switches to control the light, ringer and air inside the elevator.

Ascending or descending inside the cars can sometimes feel like an amusement park ride.

“If [the elevator] was a car, it’d be stick, not automatic,” Johnson says.

Johnson adds that elevator operators at the Ring Building are actually licensed for the line of work, and that he was required to take a three-minute test about maximum weight capacity and occupancy. Still, Johnson says his job isn’t too involved.

“There’s nothing to it, really. It helps if you’re not claustrophobic,” he says with a laugh. “And good hand-eye coordination helps, I guess. That’s pretty much it. It’s not rocket science. The hard part is dealing with peoples’ personalities.”

A group of young men dressed in khakis and button-downs and loaded with carry-out food from a neighboring restaurant step inside the elevator. Johnson selects the seventh floor, closes the door and sends the elevator lurching up.

“I know a lot of people’s floor and I don’t know their name,” Johnson says. “It goes both ways. Sometimes people see us and sometimes they don’t. People get used to us being there and they just zone out.”

Johnson has worked at the Ring Building for seven years and said he makes about $1,700 per month after taxes. He estimates that he travels up and down the elevator shafts more than 200 times during each eight-hour shift.

Though there are rumblings that management plans to install new, automatic elevators in a couple of months, Johnson is confident he’ll have many more years to hone his button pressing and lever pulling.

“I don’t think they’re just gonna toss us out of here,” says Johnson.

by Tim Regan July 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm 2 Comments

1400 block of Meridian Place NWA man was robbed at gunpoint near the 1400 block of Meridian Place NW over the weekend, say D.C. Police.

Now, that man has come forward semi-anonymously to tell his side of the story.

The man, who goes by the handle First4Metallicalbums on Reddit, said in a private message exchange with Borderstan he was robbed by three men around 10 p.m. on Saturday.

This is his firsthand account of the crime:

“I walked outside my apartment, looking for my friend to arrive,” he says. “I am on the lookout for her on the street, and three people rushed me from the alleyway next to the apartment. It was very quiet and they didn’t make any [noise].”

The three people that rushed him were “skinny, probably around 5’7”,” he estimates. “[They looked] around 20 years old, wearing dark clothes, one of them probably had a bright orange shirt on.”

One of the men, says First4Metallicalbums, flashed a gun and pointed it in his direction.

“One is pointing a long [barreled] gun in front of me, saying to give him what I got,” he recalls. “The other two went through my pockets from behind [and] took everything I have, which wasn’t much. Just keys and phone. They both took off running in the alley, toward 14th Street.”

First4Metallicalbums says the entire robbery took just 30 seconds.

“Lesson here is that it can happen anywhere, anytime, and sometimes there is nothing you can do,” he said later in a post to the /r/WashingtonDC subreddit. “[I] wasn’t expecting it outside of my apartment. … Hopefully you won’t have to deal with this.”

Police say they have not made any arrests related to the crime.

by Tim Regan July 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm 0

(Updated at 2:24 p.m.) A car caught fire near the intersection of 11th and L streets NW earlier today, says D.C. Fire and EMS.

Parker Willie, the Adams Morgan resident who owned the car, told a Borderstan reporter on the scene that he noticed that the car’s breaks didn’t feel right, so he pulled over and called a mechanic.

“The brakes starting failing, depressing very slowly and then the brake light came on,” Willie said.

His BMW 525i erupted into flames shortly thereafter.

D.C. Fire and EMS arrived at the scene within 3 to 5 minutes after Willie dialled 911. The fire was extinguished soon after.

“I feel pretty good, just a little shaken up,” Willie said.

by Tim Regan July 28, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

1201-1203 Kenyon Street, NW properties as seen on Google Street View(Updated at 8:22 p.m.) An ANC commissioner has joined a chorus of voices questioning the actions of an embattled local developer.

Developer Jay Gross is currently involved in a nasty fight with Petworth residents, reports WAMU, over what Gross says is a conspiracy to keep him from renovating three rowhouses located on Grant Circle.

The fight has already prompted several heated exchanges between residents and the developer, and recently culminated into a $25 million lawsuit filed by the developer.

Now, Gross may soon have to fight a war on a different front.

Gross has of late drawn the ire of Commissioner Patrick Flynn, who serves on Columbia Heights ANC 1A.

Flynn says his problem with Gross started when he tried in June to obtain a copy of the developer’s plans to renovate two homes on Kenyon Street NW on concerns that the property’s maximum lot occupancy requirements would not be adhered to.

“Without knowledge of [the] lawsuit I recently asked Mr. Gross for a copy of his plans to redevelop ,” Flynn wrote to Borderstan in an e-mail.

“Given all the illegal construction that has taken place in my neighborhood,” Flynn said, “I think I am fully within my rights, and fulfilling my duties, to request to see copies of the plans and permits for any property or development in my single member district.”

Though Gross responded to Flynn’s request, he did not include a copy of his plans. Instead, Gross attached a scanned building permit and asked a question of his own.

“Would you mind telling me why the ANC is interested in the lot occupancy for this project since it’s not an issue you all are usually involved with?” asked Gross.

Flynn has also asked the zoning administrator and the director at the DCRA for a copy of the plans, but has not received them. “Again,” said Flynn. “I received no plans, just delays, despite repeated follow ups.”

Flynn said he will look at the plans even if it means finding the time as an unpaid elected official to obtain them in person.

“It’s a shame that it’s come to this,” Flynn added. “I certainly hope that DCRA hasn’t been spooked by the lawsuit and that is why they still haven’t produced the plans for me and my constituents.”

Flynn continued: “Private property is a sacred and constitutional right, and I understand that. But I also know I was doing my part in protecting the public trust against illegal construction.

“The public has a right to know that what is being built is within the code and the letter of the law,” Flynn said. “If it is in fact in the minority of construction that is built within the letter of the law, then it should be left alone.”

“If the developer doesn’t answer and the city doesn’t answer, who is watching out for us?” said Flynn.

Both the DCRA and Jay Gross were contacted by e-mail shortly before this story was published.

DCRA spokesperson Matt Orlins told Borderstan by phone that, although he had no comment on the matter, he would look into the case for Flynn.

Roger Simmons, a lawyer who represents Gross, said in a letter and e-mail sent to Flynn this evening that he was unaware the commissioner was “harboring ill-feelings toward [Gross] personally and the developments on which he works.”

The letter continues: “In contrast to [Flynn’s] public statements, Mr. Gross has always been prompt and transparent with [Flynn], and [he] has not had any bad experiences with [Gross] or his company. Further, Mr. Gross has worked promptly and continuously with the neighbors at his project on Kenyon, and knows they have appreciated his responsiveness and thoroughness in responding to them and addressing any concerns that have come up.”

Image via Google Street View

by Tim Regan July 28, 2015 at 10:15 am 0

Police CarPolice have arrested a man they say was caught red-handed by the owner of the Columbia Heights residence he was burglarizing.

Kevin W. Jones is suspected of entering a home on the 1100 block of Park Road NW through an unlocked window on July 16 around 11:21 p.m.

According to the police report, Jones allegedly climbed through the window and was immediately spotted by someone inside the residence. When the homeowner said he was calling the police, authorities say Jones then exited the home through the same window.

Jones was arrested in connection with the burglary on the 1100 block of Park Road NW yesterday around 8:10 p.m.

Information on the suspect’s lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

by Daniel Levitt July 28, 2015 at 8:45 am 2 Comments

Stock

Post Washington Post — Take a look at Fanny Mae’s plans to replace the Washington Post headquarters on the 1100 block of 15th Street NW. “The building that’s replacing The Washington Post is basically the same,” tweeted Post reporter Mark Berman. “Only it’s from the year 3035 and taller.” [Urban Turf]

Eggs Over Tree-sy — Thip Kao in Columbia Heights is now selling three dishes that feature tree ant eggs as an ingredient. Thip Kao’s Chef Seng Luangrath told Eater that the ant eggs are “one of Lao’s delicacies and an [excellent] source of protein.” [Eater]

Olympic Anticipation — Now that Boston is out as a candidate for the 2024 Olympic Games, should D.C. try again? Here are five reasons why we should. [Washingtonian]

BEACH Trip — Ward 2 residents can visit the “The BEACH” at  the National Building Museum between 9 and 11 a.m. for free. [Borderstan]

by Tim Regan July 27, 2015 at 4:20 pm 0

Rainbow_DC_Borderstan

(Updated at 7:11 p.m.) It looks like the worst of the weather is behind us.

Still, the Borderstan coverage area may see a few spotty storms as we head into the evening hours.

Earlier this afternoon, the National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm and a flash flood warning amid a storm that dumped about an inch of rain on the D.C. area.

Though the storms gave way to sunny skies, the NWS says there’s still a chance some storms could roll our way before 1 a.m.

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