by August 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,558 0


MidCity Dog Days 2012 in pictures. (Luis Gomez Photos)

See photos from MidCity Days 2012!

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos or email him at luis[AT]

The MidCity Dog Days 2012 celebration took place Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5. Retailers and local organizations turned out in force on the  14th and U NW corridor to create a great shopping sale sidewalk party. There were sales, wonderful food and live entertainment for the thousands of local (and non-local) residents.

Pixie Windsor of Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and What not was the lead coordinator of 2012 Dog Days with retailers in the area. She said that several retail stores on 14th Street were reporting 100% increases in sales over last year’s Dog Days event.

“Plus, I think the the biggest boost was for the participating businesses on U Street. This year, Dog Days truly expanded from 14th Street to U Street as well,” said Windsor. She said the live music at sound stages was probably a contributing factor in the huge success of Dog Days 2012.

Once run by the MidCity Business Association (the organization is currently on hiatus) planning for this 13-year tradition was been taken over by the MidCity businesses themselves. This grassroots approach united local businesses and drew interest from new retailers as well as restaurants, community centers, and art and music venues. With street musicians, never-ending sidewalk sales, restaurant specials, and events up and down the corridor, the 2012 MidCity Dog Days just have been the most successful one yet. This year’s Dog Days had almost 50 local sponsors.

See you next year!

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by August 1, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,136 1 Comment

"Mid City"

Dog Days 2011: Click above for more pictures. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

This year’s MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Festival is right around the corner, August 4-5, and the organizers of the neighborhood celebration are giving us something to sing about. For the first year, the weekend event will have live music stages and performances along the festival’s walking route.

Listen Local First, a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues, teamed up with Dog Days to bring more than 40 local bands, artists and DJs to eight different stages throughout the weekend. Details on the stage locations and the scheduled musicians are below.

The MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Festival started in 2000 with six business, and has since grown to a full-neighborhood celebration with more than 70 local participating businesses. It is organized by businesses along the 14th and U corridor.

The Festival takes place on August 4 and 5 on 14th Street NW (between P Street and Florida Avenue) and U Street NW (between 9th Street and 17th Street). Times for the event are 9 am to 8 pm on Saturday, August 4 and 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday, August 5. For a list of the Festival’s featured events, see our Dog Days preview and visit the Dog Days website. is a proud sponsor of the MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Festival. For more information on the event and participating businesses, visit the Dog Days website  or email [email protected]; and stay tuned to for more information on specific Dog Days events.

Stage Locations and Scheduled Musicians

The Fashion District Stage (U Street between 16th and 15th St NW)
Time: 12 pm – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday
Artists Performing: Sara Davenport, Rachel Levetin, Karen Jonas, Linsay Demig, Margot MacDonald, Victoria Vox, By & By Bluegrass Band, Deb Felz, Maryjo Mattea, Dance for the Dying and Sweet Interference

Dog Days Stage at the African Civil War Memorial (Corner of U and 10th Streets NW)
Time: Saturday 9 am – 7 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 7 pm
Artists Performing: Jason Mendelson, Jim Shirey, Riverbreaks, Brian Franke, Kyle Crosby, Nathaniel Davis, 50 Machines, Fire and the Wheel, Jason Brunner, Charlie Harrison, Lunatic, Immobilaire, Javier Sparks, Dom-O, Grey Area, Harmonic Blue, Don Kim

14th and U St Farmers Market (Corner of 14th and U Streets NW)
Time: Saturday 10 am – 1 pm
Artists: TBA

Batala Performance – Sunday (more details on the way)
Place: 14th and U Streets NW

Whole Foods (P Street between 14th and 15th Streets NW)
Time: Saturday 11 am – 3  pm
Artists: Jon Blashford, Don Kim, Jim Shirey and more

Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Stage (Corner of 14th and Corcoran Streets NW)
Time: Saturday and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm
Artists: TBA more info at

Current Boutique Stage (1809 14th Street NW)
Time: Saturday  2 pm – 6 pm, Sunday 4 pm – 6 pm
Artists: Gordon Daniels, Stepbrothers w/ Frank Mitchell, holychild

Som Records  DJ Stage (1843 14th Street NW)
Time: Saturday and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm
Artists: DJ Naruka, DJ’s Uschi Obermaier and Rick Moranis, NiteKrawler, Justin Jouvenal, Jeyone and Frank Mitchell, DJ Neville C, DJ Provoke, DJ Retrospect, Moose, DJ D Mac, The Secret Chimp

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by July 25, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,663 0

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

"Local 16"

Don’t miss the pig roast at Local 16, Thursday, July 26. Above: Photos from Eat Local First’s Saturday Farm-to-Street party. (Luis Gomez Photos)

This Thursday, July 26, from 5 pm to 8 pm, Local 16 (1602 U Street NW) will hold “Pig Roast V” to benefit the MidCity Dog Days (August 4-5) and Think Local First DC.

For neighbors this is already a traditional summer event. True summer is about block parties and fun and what could be better than an all-you-can eat pig roast? This year Blues artist Jonny Grave will be on hand and there will be complimentary Peronis, too.

You can purchase tickets online through the Capitol Deal. Hint: They’re a bargain! Get them while you can.

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by April 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,647 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "U and 14th Street NW", Luis, Gomez, Photos, liquor, licenses, DC, nightlife

The 14th and U corridor has become of DC’s most popular destinations for restaurants, music and clubs. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT] and follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Late last week, on April 25 news of an online petition opposing the possibility of an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license moratorium in the 14th and U Street / MidCity neighborhoods landed in Borderstan’s email box. Bryan Martin Firvida created the petition on the site petition on Wednesday and it is already has almost 400 signatures as of Monday morning.

Martin Firvida is a past president of the U Street Neighborhood Association (USNA), elected president four times, 2002 to 2004 and again in 2010. He also served as chair of USNA’s Business Development and ABC Committee and served on the USNA Board of Directors. Martin Firvida also spent four years as a Special Assistant in the Executive Office of the Mayor and the Office of the City Administrator working on neighborhood issues.

In their comments, the petition’s signers overwhelmingly expressed their support for the growth, diversity and development of the U street area. Former president of the U Street Neighborhood Association, Martin Firvida, a resident of the U street area,  appears to have created the petition as a preemptive measure to the possibility of a moratorium.

Martin Firvida told Borderstan, “I set up the petition as a way for my neighbors to both proactively express their support for our neighborhood, and for addressing the issues we face in a smart and comprehensive way, while also registering their opposition to an ABC license moratorium. Just like any of the vibrant neighborhoods here in the District, we have a complex mix of quality of life issues that can really only be effectively managed through ongoing collaboration — which is accomplished by bringing residents, businesses and government to the table to work together. A moratorium does none of that.”

Another factor at play in the area is a current zoning restriction, which limits the total square footage of restaurant, club and lounge storefronts to 50%. This restriction was raised from 25% in 2010, and is part of an arts overlay district that was put into place a number of years ago.

The 14th and U/MidCity neighborhoods could prove to be a tricky area to navigate for any community group hoping to build support for a moratorium. The area includes blocks in Wards 1 and 2, at least three different ANCs (1B, 2B and 2F) and just as many neighborhood associations.

Five Moratoriums in Effect

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) lists five moratorium actions in DC. The neighborhoods with liquor license moratoriums are Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Glover Park, Dupont West and Dupont East (17th Street NW).

The moratorium discussion and process begins at the level of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) or neighborhood association. Martin Firvida’s petition states, “Once again, we’re hearing the idea of a Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) License (a/k/a “a liquor license”) Moratorium being discussed for the Greater 14th and U Street Neighborhoods.”

The commercial corridors of 14th and U Streets have seen rapid residential development in the past few years and have, as a result, drawn many new restaurants and bars. New businesses that desire an ABC license must navigate their way through the choppy waters of the public protest process. In most cases, businesses end up signing the now ubiquitous “voluntary agreement” or VA and agree to limited hours in serving alcohol in order to expedite the process.

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by February 10, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,332 0

MidCity Business Association, 2011 Dog Days Sidewalk Sale, Luis Gomez Photos

The MidCity Business Association created the Dog Days Sidewalk Sale on the 14th Street corridor. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? You can email him and follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

The MidCity Business Association (MCBA) announced that their Board of Directors decided to put the association into dormancy. In an email to members, Kamal Ali — owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl and MCBA President — said that dormancy means that the Association “will cease to accept annual dues, as well as cease all day-to-day operation; however, the Association will not be dissolved.”

Ali went on to say that the goal had always been to have a self-sustaining business association supported by member dues, but over time that model did not work due to lack of participation from the small business community in MidCity. MCBA had an executive director until late 2010 when the organization was no longer able to fund the position.

The MidCity BA was formed in 1998 to represent businesses along the commercial corridors along 14th Street NW from Florida Avenue to Thomas Circle and along U Street from 9th to 17th Streets. Their website lists dozens of business members, ranging from small independent shops such as Som Records and Rue 14, to landmark national retailers Room & Board and Whole Foods.

The MidCity BA had been the force behind the annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale which has grown in popularity over the past 12 years. Ali said the board hopes to keep Dog Days alive through a partnership with Think Local First DC (TLFDC). During dormancy several MCBA board members will explore options and hopefully find and organizational plan to keep things afloat and continue to be an advocate for the business community.

TLFDC has been growing and active in DC, including the MidCity area, over the past two years. The organization has an executive director, Stacey Price, and a number of it members in the Borderstan area are also MCBA members. The organization is a member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), which helps Think Local First organizations get established across the country. TLFDC was a driving force locally for the Think Outside the (Big) Box retail tour on Small Business Saturday, November 26.

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by November 23, 2011 at 10:30 am 2,035 0

Khelan Bhatia, Black Friday shopping tips

Khelan Bhatia has a warning about those “special versions of normal fare” you’ll encounter at some stores on Friday.

From Khelan Bhatia. You can follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at [email protected].

Hiya, Borderstanis. Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost upon us? While most people live to gorge on turkey, stuffing and mashed potatos on the day itself, I (unsurprisingly) spend most of the day mentally and physcially preparing for the midnight sales on Black Friday.

In other words, Tryptophan is out and espressos and copious amounts of five-hour energies are in. It also helps to get in some exercise the days leading up to the mad, mad sales. A brisk jog usually works best. And if you can get a run on a course that has large, people-sized obstacles, you’ll be incredibly prepared for the insanity that awaits you.

Black Friday (and Saturday) post-Thanksgiving shopping is not for the feint of heart! Not up for it at the big stores and malls? Shop locally in the neighborhood this Friday and Saturday. New to Borderstan and not sure where to start? Just start walking: The local business corridors on Connecticut Avenue, P Street, 17th Street, 18th Street and 14th Street, U Street and 9th Street NW are full of great local businesses.

This week many of us, like yours truly, are heading home to the ‘burbs where we were weaned as wee fashion victims in our adolescence. (Yes, I owned three pairs of Z Cavariccis. No, I will not share those pics). Not sure about you, but a trip to suburbia usually means a trip to the outlet malls.

Now, folks can get a little nutty and lose all common sense when heading to the outlets. I’ve seen it; I’ve experienced it; I’ve probably run over a few pedestrians to get that 38-chest Ted Baker suit that was only $200. Below, you’ll find a few tips that’ll help all of us “Keep Calm and Carry On.” BTW, this advice is as much for me as it is for you.

6 Tips for Black Friday

  1. Prioritize. Before heading out, think about what you really need to purchase and don’t let the flashy lights hypnotize you to buy something you’ll never wear. This isn’t Vegas, people.
  2. Amortize. Remember to mentally amortize. A bargain is only as good as how likely and often you’ll wear the article of clothing. For example, the pair of skinny Ralph Lauren Double RL jeans I got for $45 is a fantastic deal; the leather jacket I got from Theory for $200 isn’t so great ’cause guess what? I don’t normally wear leather jackets.
  3. Pass on “Specials.” Some of the outlet versions of stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic carry special versions of their normal fare. So, you’re not really buying a less expensive version of their normal ouevre; you’re likely buying a misshapen shirt or pair of slacks that isn’t fit for the human body. Be sure to look at the tags before you purchase the article(s) in question. If it looks dissimilar to the labels you see at their regular stores, I’d recommend not shelling out your hard-earned cash.
  4. Avoid Queues. Some outlet stores get so busy, they have a queue, velvet rope and a judgy bouncer determining whether you’re worthy or not. Seriously folks, this isn’t the newest bar opening on 14th Street, it’s the damn Coach outlet in Katy, Texas. You’re too stylish to wait in a line.
  5. Hydrate. Keep hydrated. Seriously, keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
  6. Have Fun. Remember, it’s fashion.

That’s it for me this week. Enjoy Turkey Day and Black Friday!

by August 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm 2,155 0

MidCity Business Association, Dog Days Sidewalk Sale, Borderstan, Logan Circle, Luis Gomez Photos

This weekend: 12th Annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale on the 14th and U corridor. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Despite what Florence and the Machine has to say, the dog days of August aren’t over. They’re actually coming up this weekend.

This week’s weekend picks is dedicated to the 12th Annual MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Sale, everyone’s favorite annual sidewalk festival — and it’s happening all weekend right here in Borderstan, August 6 – 7.

Stop by the 14th and U Street corridor (and surrounding area) to catch great deals at your favorite stores and restaurants. Here are some that look really good:


by August 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm 2,475 0

Dog Days Sidewalk Sale 2010 Luis Gomez Photos MidCity Business Association

Click on collage to go to slide show: Photos from the 2010 Annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale on 14th and U Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Click on the collage above for a slide show of Luis’s pics from Dog Days 2010 on Flickr.

If you’re in town this weekend, be sure to check out the 12th Annual Dog Days of August on the 14th and U Streets NW corridors. Local businesses, organizations and galleries set up shop on the sidewalks during daytime business hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Participating businesses and organizations stretch from 8th to 17th Streets along U Street NW, and from Thomas Circle north to Florida Avenue on 14th Street NW. The event is sponsored by the MidCity Business Association.


by December 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm 1,721 0

MidCity Holly Days Miss Pixie's 14th Street NW Logan Circle

Miss Pixie has her pink Christmas Tree up in her store window at 1626 14th Street NW. Santa Claus will pay a visit to Miss Pixie’s on Saturday, 4 to 6 pm, as part of the MidCity Business Association’s weekend Holly Days event. No, the tree is not for sale. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email.

The MidCity Business Association will rekindle the spirit of their always popular summer Dog Days event this holiday season with Holly Days, set to take place this Saturday and Sunday, December 11-12. More than 100 merchants along 14th Street NW from Belmont St. to Thomas Circle and U St. NW from 9th to 17th Street will participate in the event.

For the young, and young at heart, Santa will be at Miss Pixie’s Furnishing and Whatnot on Saturday from 4 to 6 pm handing out candy and listening to Christmas wishes.

Holly Days will feature special discounts, events, food, music and even a visit from Santa. Participating businesses include shops, galleries and restaurants. So, whether your weekend plans include gift buying or just relaxing, there is something for everyone.

Borderstan is a member of the MidCity Business Association.

by December 7, 2010 at 5:00 am 1,302 0

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Thursday: What Would You Pay for $680 of Fun at Duffy’s

Thursday, Dec. 9: Some great items are on the list for the silent auction at this Thursday’s holiday party of the U Street Neighborhood Association. Time is 7 pm at Marvin, 2007 14th St. NW (no admission). A silent auction fundraiser is part of festivities and items include Black Cat New Year’s Eve Ball – 2 tickets to the ball with Peaches O’Dell and her Orchestra; Nightclub 9:30 – 2 tickets to Gogol Bordello on Dec. 30; and Duffy’s Irish Restaurant and Pub Get the private party room  with 5 cases of PBR and 100 wings! (about $680 worth of fun). There’s more — get the full list of silent auction items at the association’s website.

Public Safety 305 Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 7: Tonight is the monthly meeting of Police Service Area (PSA) 305, which serves the U Street area. Time is 7 to 8:15 pm at the DC Housing Finance Agency Street, 815 Florida Ave. NW. The public is encouraged to come, along with MPD, Howard University Police and community group representatives.

ABC Board Unable to See Police File on DC9

When making a decision on whether to allow DC9 to reopen following the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board tried to obtain relevant documents from the police. But that request was a no-go. The City Desk over at the Washington City Paper had the story on Friday.

Weekend: MidCity Holly Days on 14th and U Corridor

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12: The MidCity Business Association is sponsoring its Holly Days weekend, Dec. 11-12. Events are on or just off the 14th and U Street corridors. Shops, galleries and restaurants will feature events, specials and giveaways with local artists, artisans, musicians, DJs and more. Get the complete list at MCBA’s website.

by November 29, 2010 at 4:30 am 1,851 0

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Tuesday: ANC 2B Meeting on Hank’s Oyster Bar

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B is holding a special meeting on Hank’s Oyster Bar tomorrow night, Tuesday, Nov. 30. Location is the Hotel Dupont (Dupont Circle and New Hampshire Avenue NW) at 7 pm. The meeting will deal with the ANC’s recent letter of protest sent to the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on Hank’s recently terminated V.A., it’s request to expand next door and it’s outdoor dining hours.

After the letter was sent, ANC 2B reached an agreement with Hank’s on the patio hours, with the current hours to be maintained and, apparently, written into the restaurant’s liquor license. See Tom Hay’s story from Wednesday: ANC 2B and Hank’s Reach Agreement on Patio Hours.


by September 13, 2010 at 6:37 am 1,782 0

U Street Movies Harrison Field

Showtime is at sundown on Tuesday at Harrison Field. (Image by Anat Gimburg, courtesy of U Street Movies Series)

The U Street Movie Series concludes for the summer on Tuesday night, September 14, with a double feature:  Duke Ellington’s Washington and Soul Power. The rain date is September 21.

The films are shown at the field at Harrison Recreation Center, 1330 V Street NW. Gates open at 7 pm and showtime is at sundown. DJ Yellow Fever and guests will be spinning from 7 to 8:30 pm. Free popcorn will be provided by Ventnor Sports to the first 100 attendees beginning at 8 pm.

The theme of this year’s movie series paid homage to the musical and culturally diverse roots of the U Street Neighborhood, with a series of documentaries and films telling moving stories of accomplished musicians. More than 800 people attended the previous showings of Michael Jackson’s This is It, the Buena Vista Social Club, and The Soloist in June, July and August.

The movie series is sponsored by the U Street Neighborhood Association, Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association, ANC 1B and MidCity Business Association. Donations and sponsorships towards the event benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

by September 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm 1,867 0

MidCity Business Association 14th Street NW U Street NW

The boutiques are participating in Friday’s Fashion’s Night Out. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay

Several MidCity clothing retailers are staying open late this Friday, September 10 from 6 to 11 pm for “Fashion’s Night Out” along the 14th and U Street corridors. It’s slated to be much like the popular Third Thursday events, but with a focus on fashion.

The event is being organized by several boutiques with support from the MidCity Business Association. Food, discounts,  drinks, prizes and music are among the offerings. Among the stores participating are Lettie Gooch, Redeem, Universal Gear, Caramel, Habitat, Rue 14, Stem and Palace 5.

You can check out the Fashion’s Night Out page for details.

by May 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm 1,704 0

Luis Gomez Photos U Street NW 14th Street NW Third Thursdays

Tonight is Third Thursday on the 14th and U Street corridor. (Luis Gomez Photos)

This Third Thursday MidCity shops and galleries are partnering with Cultural Development Corporation to celebrate the upcoming Source Festival (June 12 – July 3). Participating MidCity stores will offer special performances, workshops and artist talks about the interdisciplinary performing arts festival. Shoppers will also be able to win free Source Festival tickets and support the Festival.

Also,  all  customers will have a chance to enter the First Ever Third Thurday Raffle and win a grab bag of gift certificates to MidCity shops and restaurants, free tickets to a great 930 Club show and free tickets to Source Festival productions. The grand prize is worth more than $300. The sponsoring MidCity Business Association has list of tonight’s events and deals. Third Thursdays are held on the third Thursday of each month.

by February 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm 1,363 0

Tonight is Third Thursday for the members of the MidCity Business Association in the 14th and U Street corridors. Every third Thursday of the month, several dozen shops and galleries are open until 9 p.m. with sales and special offerings. A full listing is below the fold. You can find tonight’s specials and events online at MidCity Life as well as their Facebook Page.


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