by January 25, 2013 at 8:00 am 3 Comments


Howard Town Center on George Avenue NW ready for a make over? (Allison Acosta)

From Allison Acosta. Email her at allison[AT]

Plans are in progress to revive an underused property across from Howard University Hospital at Georgia Avenue and V Streets NW. The development, known as the Howard University Town Center, would encompass 2100-2146 Georgia Avenue. Plans include a 41,000 foot grocery store, a 15,000 foot apparel store, a national or regional bank, and 445 apartments with 320 underground parking spaces. Eighty-eight of the apartments, or 20%, would be dedicated for affordable housing built to the same standard of quality as the market rate units.

Fresh Grocer, a Philadelphia-based chain that focuses on urban locations, has signed on to anchor the site.

This project has a long and somewhat complicated history. Last December, the City Council voted to extend a tax abatement to the project, despite city Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi’s analysis that no tax abatement is necessary to move forward the financing for the project. Now Mayor Gray must decide whether to include the abatement in the DC Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 or 2014.

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by April 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,006 0

"Borderstan""Caribbean Carnival Parade"

The Caribbean  Carnival Parade is on Georgia Avenue NW. (Aaron DeNu, Flickr pool)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

The Caribbean Carnival Parade on Georgia Avenue NW is one of the parades that draws a reliably strong crowd year after year. Despite that, the organizers are in debt from previous parades and the city is unlikely to lend a helping hand to keep it going. The parade is tentatively scheduled for June 23 and 24.

The current situation may be due to the outbreaks of violence at last year’s parade, particularly since the organizers’ debt includes a $200,000 IOU to the city for police protection overtime.

DCist reports that new parade routes are being sought, as the Gray administration appears to be reluctant at the prospect of shutting down Georgia Avenue, despite the $176,000 in city funds the parade received last year. We’ll keep you posted on the funding and location status.

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by March 21, 2012 at 11:00 am 2,250 1 Comment

"LGTB March Against Hate Crimes" "Borderstan"

The Tuesday night march started at IHOP in Columbia Heights and made its way to Cobalt in Dupont. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez and Matt Rhoades

A group estimated at more than 500 people walked from Columbia Heights to Dupont last night to recognize the victims of recent hate crimes against members of the LGBT community in DC, and to call attention to the problem still face gay and transgendered people in DC. The event was organized on Facebook by friends of one of the victims , Daniel, who was shot March 11 at the IHOP restaurant in Columbia Heights after an incident which involved anti-gay slurs. Police have listed the incident as a hate-related assault with intent to kill.

Starting off at the IHOP at 14th and Irving Streets NW, the group walked to Georgia Avenue and Irving Street NW for a second brief ceremony at the site where another gay man was beaten and robbed on March 12; he suffered a broken jaw. According to Kyan Brady, one of the March organizers, both of the men were released from the hospital yesterday, March 20.

What is a hate or bias crime? Wikipedia says: “In crime and law, hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation,disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, gender identity, social status or political affiliation.” What does the term mean under DC law? Check out the DC Police definition of a hate crime.

Patrick Pressman, one of the March organizers said he believed that DC Police had estimated the crowd at 520 people. Pressman said the turnout was definitely in the 50o to 600 range. More than 700 people had said they would attend on the Facebook event page.

Video and Photos of March: More Borderstan photos on our Facebook Page. The march drew a great deal of local media coverage, including The Washington Post, as well as local TV stations. Video of the march is available at ABC-7NBC-4CBS-9 and Fox-5. The Washington Blade has posted a photo gallery from last night’s march as has The DC Center on flickr. (A hat tip to Chris Wiggins for organizing media coverage.)

The march ended at Cobalt lounge at 17th and R NW, where  a fundraiser was held for Daniel, the shooting victim at IHOP –proceeds are going to help cover his medical costs. In addition to a donations bucket at Cobalt, Cobalt General Manager Mark Rutstein said the business was donating a portion of bar receipts to Daniel’s medical fund and that the DJs and the evening’s drag show performers were also donating the cost of their time on Tuesday night for the fundraiser. There is also a Facebook Page, Benefit for Daniel, where you can make a donation through PayPal.

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier was at the kickoff at IHOP, along with Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), and Council Chairman Kwame Brown. The marchers were also joined by some members of Occupy DC who came to show support.


The organizers have also recommended two organizers where you can make donations in addition to the Benefit for Daniel Fund:

"LGBT Marcrh Against Hate Crimes" "Borderstan"

Click above for more images on Facebook from the March 21 march against ant-LGBT violence in DC.  (Luis Gomez Photos)

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by March 20, 2012 at 7:45 am 1,455 0

A silent march has been organized for 7 pm this evening, March 20, to recognize the victims of recent hate crimes against members of the LGBT community in DC.  The event is being organized on Facebook by friends of one of the victims who was shot March 11 at the IHOP restaurant in Columbia Heights. The Washington Blade has full details on the recent attacks.

"Borderstan""Columbia Heights"

14th Street NW in Columbia Heights. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Following the March from IHOP in Columbia Heights (14th and Irving Streets NW) to 17th and R Streets NW, there will be a fundraiser at Cobalt lounge. The fundraiser at Cobalt is to help cover the medical expenses of the man shot at IHOP.

According to news reports, a 31-year-old gay man was shot at 6 am on March 11 at the IHOP on Irving Street NW, just west of 14th Street NW in Columbia Heights after an incident which involved anti-gay slurs; he is still hospitalized. According to the Blade, ‘Police have listed the incident as a hate-related assault with intent to kill.’

A Washington Post story adds more details: “The march also supports the victim of a severe beating and robbery of a gay man March 12 at Georgia Avenue and Irving Street. The beating left the man with a broken jaw. It was classified as an anti-gay hate crime. A day later, a transgender woman was assaulted and knocked unconscious in northeast Washington.”

March Details

Details from the organizers on the event’s Facebook page:

  1. Gather in front of the IHOP located 3100 14th Street NW in observance of the gunshot victim who was attacked on March 11.
  2. The silent march then continues east on Irving Street to Georgia Avenue.
  3. The march will stop for a brief statement recalling the details of the second attack, which happened at that location on March 12.
  4. March then continues to Florida Avenue and goes west on U Street. At 14th Street, the march goes south to R Street and continues eastward to Cobalt lounge at 17th and R Streets NW.
  5. Wear a solid colored T-shirt of your choice in recognition of the Rainbow flag. If you wish to carry a sign or write on your T-shirt, we ask that you simply put one word such as Sister, Brother, Son, Daughter, Neighbor, Husband, Wife, Boyfriend, Girlfriend , etc. to let everyone know exactly who is being attacked.


The organizers have also recommended two organizers where you can make donations:

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by October 19, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,371 0

Wonder Bread, P Street NW, Logan Circle

1400 block of P Street NW. We’ll assume the plates were not expired and the driver had not been taken away by police. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

DC Forgives Your Expired Registration, Sort Of

That’s right — my fellow procrastinators need not worry about getting ‘cuffed for expired tags. DCist reports that fines will replace arrests for expired registrations, thanks to emergency legislation passed by the City Council. The Council will have 90 days to discuss the change and make it permanent (or not). It’s nice to know that the City Council can move quickly when enough hysterical media headlines mount into something that resembles public outcry.

Transforming (Not Gentrifying) Georgia Avenue

The Washington Post has a pretty interesting piece outlining some of the resident groups that have formed to take some decision-making power back for themselves as Georgia Avenue NW is developed and redeveloped. The Georgia Avenue Community Development Taskforce is doing some pretty cool things on the Avenue, including art installations in abandoned storefronts. The community pride and focus on improving their community, without rolling over to gentrification, is not a new concept in the district, and it will be interesting to see how the Taskforce does in meeting their goals. We’re rooting for you!

How to Survive U Street During Howard Homecoming

The Post has a a fair number of blogs within its coverage, and one of those is the Root DC, a blog aimed at African-American audiences. A Howard alumna penned a blog post which I found rather amusing about how to survive Howard’s homecoming. When someone writes this, ” If you remember when the U Street area was extra cracky, you should not attend any events where rappers (born after 1975) are scheduled to perform. Doing so means you’re the old man or woman at the club,” I cannot help but be entertained.

Spotting Suicidal Metro Jumpers

Our friends out on the Orange Line will not soon forget the aftermath of an alleged suicide attempt last week. Neither will Metro, as they are planning to train workers on identification and intervention. It is a program long in the making, reports Washington Examiner. The paper also reports the man who jumped in front of the train last week passed away from his injuries just moments after writing this round up, which seems to indicate the program should start immediately. The man was the 11th jumper in 2011.

I Predict a (Wine) Riot

What to do with your Saturday? How does tasting 200 wines sound? If you don’t like that, well, I don’t like you either. If you do, check out the post at We Love DC. Look for unique sips, some food from Luke’s Lobster and bottomless refills for your approximately $60 ticket. It coincides nicely with the events of  DC’s Wine Week, founded by the delightful @DCEventJunkie and @VanessaFrench. Some of those are happening in Borderstan, so get your terroir on in the hood if you missed last night’s event at Kramerbooks.

by August 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm 2,224 7 Comments

L & N Thrisft Store (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s not really a surprise in a changing and increasingly expensive neighborhood: the L & N Thrift Store at 1830 14th Street NW has moved to a new location in a more affordable area. I noticed over the weekend that the sign on the door says L & N has moved to Georgia Avenue NW near Columbia Road.

The space is empty and–except for the large new Room & Board furniture store–there are no other businesses on the Swann to T block on the west side of 14th. As the neighborhood changes and becomes more wealthy, the customer base undoubtedly shrank as well.

It would be interesting to know what the owner is asking for the space. Last week the owner of MOVA Lounge at 1435 P Street NW told the Washington Blade that he was moving his business because monthly rent for the two-level space exceeds $25,000 per month.

What neighborhood is Georgia and Columbia NW? Google Maps says it’s Pleasant Plains, which is south of Park View, which is south of Petworth.


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