by Borderstan.com November 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm 0

"pulp"

Join Pulp a local staple celebrating its 10th anniversary. (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.

Most residents in the neighborhood are familiar with the purple hued PULP building on 14th Street NW, but what many don’t know is that PULP was one of the first businesses to plant its roots on 14th Street before the area’s changing demographics and upswing made it the city’s cultural epicenter.

Last week, PULP celebrated its 10th anniversary, and we sat down with Beverly Jones, general manager and buyer for the eclectic gift store, to discuss how the store has grown and changed as much as the neighborhood in which it resides.

Borderstan: What do you think it is about PULP that makes it so successful?

Jones: It’s lots of things all wrapped-up together. We Pulpsters try hard to remember Ron’s (the original owner) love and kindness, and share it with our customers. Our customers share it right back and all that love makes for a happy time in the store. PULP’s current owners, Sharon and Tony Boykins, recognized that dynamic when they bought the store, and they encourage us to continue it. Our doggie customers, the babies, the kids, everyone contributes to the energy of the store, making it Pulpy and delicious.

Borderstan: The residents near the 14th Street area have changed over the past 10 years (younger residents, families, etc.) – Has PULP had to change to continue to grow with the neighborhood?

Jones: Absolutely. I think it’s amazing how the neighborhood has evolved. It’s great to see all sorts of folks now walking up and down the street. It’s a great mix of people who’ve lived here all their lives, the GLBT community who invested in the neighborhood years and years ago when no one else would, the students, the hipsters, young families with babies and toddlers, the foodies… what a great scene! Oh, and we carry a lot more baby merchandise than we did 10 years ago.

Borderstan: The story of “The Miracle on 14th Street” is heartwarming – Do you think PULP has changed at all under the new ownership?

Jones: Yes and no. As I mentioned earlier, Sharon and Tony love the energy of the store and the product mix, and wanted to keep it the same. Our back office operations, however, have changed a great deal, and it’s put PULP in better shape going forward. Next year we’ll tweak our product mix a bit, but things will basically stay the same.

Borderstan: How did PULP celebrate its 10-year anniversary?

Jones: We celebrated with cake and sparkling cider during the day, and with champagne and a potluck dinner for our Pulpsters, sales reps and vendors (like Amy Smyth of Ecka and Pecka who live in the area) in the evening.

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by Borderstan.com December 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm 2,017 0

"Borderstan""Decorations"

Everything for your Christmas/Holiday Tree (plus Hanukkah candles and Menorahs) can be purchased in the neighborhood: Housewares on 17th Street, Logan Hardware, Tabletop, Miss Pixie’s Furnishings  & Whatnot, PULP, Home Rule and Reincarnations.

From Matty Rhoades. Email him at [email protected].

Got your Christmas tree? Getting it this weekend? Maybe it’s your first tree away-from-home and on-your-own? Whether this is your first tree or you’re looking for new ornaments and glitz this year, you’ve got a number of local shopping options — all of them locally owned businesses. You can buy your tree, locally, too, and have it delivered: Here are your options.

You don’t need to board a bus, navigate Metro or get in the car. You can buy everything you need for your Christmas Tree (Holiday Tree, if you prefer) in the neighborhood — from the tree stand to ornaments and lights to the star on top.

For Hanukkah: Logan Hardware has “Festival of Lights spirit to spare.” They carry Menorah candles ($8.99 to $11.99) and Draydels filled with candy and gum ($2.99). Housewares on 17th also has candles and three different Hanukkah Menorahs ($17.99 to $29.99). You can get Hanukkah cards at PULP. FYI, Hanukkah begins December 20 this year.

The Basics

For the basic necessities of decorating and caring for your tree, you have two local options:

Tree Stand and Disposal Bag. You need a tree stand for the tree. Logan’s tree stands run from $19.99 to $119.99. Over at Housewares on 17th, there are three models from $13.99 to $24.99. (OLD CITY green carries tree stands, too.) While you’re at it, pick up one of those tree disposal bags for a few bucks — you put your tree in it come January and haul it out to the curb ($2.29 at Logan). Buy one: It will keep dried needles from falling all over your floor when you take out the tree. You will thank me for this.

Lights. Options! Multi-colored or clear? Blue or red, perhaps? Large or small? LED rope lighting is an option for the truly energy-efficient. At Logan, they have LED, icicle and traditional string lights in white and multicolored ($2.99 to $39.99). At Housewares on 17th, there is a plethora of lighting options right by the counter, including blue and red strands. Examples: a string of 100 clear lights will set you back $5.49 while a strand of 25 of the large old-fashioned sized bulbs goes for $10.99.

Basic Ornaments and Add-Ons. You want to go basic and not spend a lot of money on ornaments? For example, a box of six colored ball ornaments at Housewares will cost you $7.49. Logan also carries tool-shaped ornaments for a fun touch ($4 to $8.99). Both hardware stores also carry the add-ons: ribbons, garland, icicles, and even spray-on snow ($8.99 at Logan).

Ornaments: Fun and Glitz Time

Now for the really fun part of decorating your tree — unusual, creative, fun ornaments… the kind you collect or give as holiday gifts. You’ve got five great options in the Dupont-Logan area — one right off Connecticut Avenue and four on 14th Street.

Home Rule, 1807 14th Street NW. Home Rule carries a wide variety of fun ornaments, but the store says they are selling out very fast: “We carry plain white lights on green cords, garland (two styles this year), mini ornaments, full-sized ornaments, ornament hooks, 3-foot faux trees. Ornament prices range anywhere from 75 cents to $34.99.” Check out photos of their ornaments and holiday offerings on the Home Rule Facebook Page.

Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot, 1626 14th Street NW: Miss Pixie carries a beautiful selection of vintage ornamentsfor the tree: “We have lots of ornaments. Most are vintage dating back to as early as 1920 — most are from the ’40s and ’50s — and some are new. Most are $5 each, a handful are $8 and some are $1. We also have garland, trees and little houses for under the tree and maybe a handful of nutcrackers left at $5 to $22.” Check out some of the photos on Pixie’s Facebook Page.

PULP, 1803 14th Street NW. PULP is carrying round, flat porcelain ornaments with the DC flag logo design on them ($14.95); mini glass charms for little trees (Cracker Jack, Monopoly iconic images, he Keep Calm and Carry on designs ($4.95 each); tiny mustache charms that work on tiny trees, and zipper pulls and backpacks ($3.75). PULP also has round, glittered, blown glass ornaments with geometric shapes on them ($39.95). In addition they have rainbow ornaments, and rainbow mirror ball ornaments. Check out photos of their ornaments and holiday offerings on the PULP Facebook Page.

Reincarnations, 1401 14th Street NW. Reincarnations owners say they “try to get unusual and different ornaments each year.” This year they have Rockette reindeer ($15 and $45), space/rocket Santa ornaments which are glass and very retro, selling from $10-$15 each; the snowman collection consisting of a cloth ‘shopping snowman/woman at $25 each, a lava snowman lamp at $79; snowman ornaments at $10 to $15 each; and various Santa glass ornaments at $20. We also have a cupcake ornament collection at $5 each. “We also have the over the top 6-foot feather Christmas tree in pink, blue, green, white and gray at $259 each.” Check out photos of their ornaments on the Reincarnations Facebook Page.

Tabletop, 1608 20th Street NW. Just off Connecticut Avenue, Tabletop carries a selection of Jonathan Adler ornaments that range from $24 (white ceramic) to $28 (multi-color decal) for the singles… and a set of two Mr+Mrs Muse ornaments go for $48. Check out photos on Tabletop’s Facebook Page.

by Borderstan.com October 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm 1,252 6 Comments

"Borderstan""14th Street NW""Pulp"

PULP’s miracle maker: Tony Boykins in front of PULP on Monday afternoon. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The good news came late last Friday: PULP will not be closing November 23. The staff of the popular neighborhood gift store got the good news from owner Paul Hempel, who had been searching for a new buyer.

On Saturday, the signs announcing the store’s closing were gone, replaced by “It’s a Miracle on 14th Street.” What was known was that a DC-area businessman had purchased PULP.

It turns out that Tony Boykins is the miracle maker. Boykins is a DC resident who lives on Capitol Hill, and used to work in the telecommunications industry. According to store management, Boykins was one of three interested parties who expressed interest in buying the store after the initial November closing was announced.

A year ago Boykins was interested in purchasing the store, but the time wasn’t right. Boykins said his wife was the inspiration for him to buy the store. “She thought it would be wonderful to own a business like PULP,” said Boykins.

Boykins said he is “very exited” to join the 14th Street neighborhood and business community. He sees the city, overall, coming into its own and wants to help shape this transition. For now Boykins doesn’t see big changes for PULP. He said he wants to hear from the customers and get their feedback. Bev Jones will remain as store manager and Raven Bradburn as assistant store manager.

“I want PULP to remain a partner in the growth of the community,” said Boykins.

Jones said they are working to replenish the store’s offerings: “We’re working as fast as we can to replenish our merchandise inventory — please be patient, it’s taking time. Our lovely shoppers will soon see new and wonderful cards and gifts.”

There will be a store “re-opening party” on Saturday, October 29 from 11 am to 2 pm: “PULP – The Next Generation.”

by Borderstan.com October 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm 2,186 3 Comments

PULP, 14th Street NW, Logan Circle

The sign went up Saturday morning at PULP: “It’s a ‘Miracle on 14th Street!’ ” A local businessman is purchasing PULP and the store will stay open. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matty Rhoades

Less than three weeks after the owner of PULP announced the store would close November 23, a new sign went up Saturday morning on the door of the 14th Street gift store:

“It’s a ‘Miracle on 14th Street!’ Thank you all for your good energy! We’re staying open under local ownership. Stay tuned for details!”

According to store staff, the owner is a “local businessman from the metro area.” Bev Jones, store manager, said she got the good news Friday evening from the current owner, “who said to change the signs, we have a buyer.”

When the store’s thought-to-be demise was announced September 27, the current owner of PULP was in the process of selling to new owners, but the business deal fell through. The original owner, Ron Henderson, died in February 2009. PULP also had a Provincetown, Massachusetts, store for several years as well as a Capitol Hill location.

The gift and card shop at 1803 14th Street NW carries a variety of gifts, cards, and children’s books and toys.

PULP, 14th Street NW, Logan Circle

PULP is at 14th and S Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It has been a tough fall for a number of the locally owned retail and food establishments on  the 14th Street corridor.

The owner of 1409 Playbill Cafe announced he would move to find a more affordable space. The store joins several other 14th Street NW stores that have closed in the past year, including Garden District, El Paraiso (which has another location in Alexandria), Ruff ‘& Ready furnishings (owner looking for a new location) and go mama go!

PULP was one of the stores that opened on the 14th Street corridor in the early part of last decade as the retail strip was beginning to transform to meet the needs of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Together with Home Rule, go mama go! and Garden District (when it was located at the Standard BBQ location), the four stores formed a mini shopping block.

by Borderstan.com September 30, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,251 0

The World War II Memorial. (From tedSeverson in the Borderstan flickr pool)

From Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancasterEmail her at [email protected]

It’s the end of September already. How did that happen? For me in my day job, it means end of the month invoicing. So let’s check in on the state of the District for their monthly ‘activity report’. If you disagree with the grade, rationale or the final invoice, feel free to tell me in the comments. All agreements are considered paid in full, anything else may be subject to an upcharge.

DC Economic Health, By the Numbers

Grade: Above Average. Rationale: While every Gallup poll will show that people think the country is on the wrong path and the economy is in the toilet, recent numbers on the state of DC may indicate our little bubble is intact. The Washington Business Journal has found that some real estate is returning to pre-recession levels. Median housing prices in some parts of the area (DC, and parts of Arlington and Alexandria) are back up to the boomtime, eye-popping listing and closing figures of 2005. And our unemployment number is holding steady at 6.1% for the area and dropped .4% in DC proper. I know that’s not great news, or a surge, especially since DC’s number is one of the higher percentages in the nation (also the WBJ). But in a time of so little optimism, I’m going with no news is good news.

DC Economic Health, By the Businesses

Grade: Needs Improvement. Rationale: While the idea that a rising tide will lift all boats (see: Reaganomics), it seems the 14th Street NW corridor is a case study in what a higher tide of rent means to established at sea level businesses. The evidence is in the shuttering of businesses that helped create the growing community — 1409 Playbill Cafe (from us), PULP (DCist), go mama go (14th and You). While not all of the closures (and there are more beyond that short list) are rent-related, the majority of them are, according to their owners. If you get motivated to do something about it (at least about the building edifices), check out this awesome read on the DC Preservation League and what to expect with gentrification, growth and changes from the Washington City Paper.

DC Food and Beverage on 14th Street

Grade: Delicious. Rationale: Estadio has been open a year now to mostly rave reviews on 14th Street NW. We Love DC went back to check things out and found some yummy scallops, shrimp and wine. The success of small plates continues on the strip of street, with Cork Wine Bar as one of the original purveyors of tiny bites. But fans should be aware that Washington Post is reporting their head chef is departing. Cork has new chefs in contention already, so the bites and sips should continue with little disruption.

DC Interaction with Businesses

Grade: Needs Improvement. Rationale: Exhibit A is unfortunately the Lincoln Theatre. DCist reports that without a $500,000 infusion of cash from the city government, the Lincoln may close this year. Apparently, it costs $60,000 to run a month and they have $50,000 cash on hand. Mayor Gray has said the model is not sustainable and has, according to theatre supporters, been less than available to discuss the state of the Theatre. There are not a lot of scheduled shows there, which seems to be a cause of the cash shortage as well (at least to our untrained in theatre economics eye).

Services and Start Ups in DC

Grade: Kicking some serious butt. Rationale: Regardless of how you feel about bicyclists on your daily commute, it is difficult to argue the success of Capital Bikeshare. In one year, they have expanded service, had over one million rides and have over 1,110 bikes on hand in various areas. This is a great public/private partnership example and we hope to see more of these models emerge and thrive in the future. To celebrate or to check out the ‘hood while this current iteration still exists, check out their Vintage Shopping itinerary on The Washington Post.

by Borderstan.com September 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm 3,304 21 Comments

PULP, 14th Street NW, Logan Circle

After nine years at 14th and S Streets NW, PULP will close its doors on November 23. (Borderstan file photo)

From Matty Rhoades

PULP, the locally owned gift and card shop at 1803 14th Street NW will close its doors November 23, according to Bev Jones, store manager. The store opened in November 2002 and carries a variety of gifts, cards, and children’s books and toys.

The current owner of the store was in the process of selling to new owners, but the business deal fell through, according to Jones. The original owner, Ron Henderson, died in February 2009. PULP also had a Provincetown, Massachusetts, store for several years.

Word of PULP’s closing comes just after the owner of 1409 Playbill Cafe announced he would move to find a more affordable space. The store joins several other 14th Street NW stores that have closed in the past year, including Garden District, El Paraiso (which has another location in Alexandria), Ruff ‘& Ready furnishings (owner looking for a new location) and go mama go!

PULP was one of the stores that opened on the 14th Street corridor in the early part of last decade as the retail strip was beginning to transform to meet the needs of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Together with Home Rule, go mama go! and Garden District (when it was located at the Standard BBQ location), the four stores formed a mini shopping block.

by Borderstan.com October 29, 2010 at 9:25 am 0

14th & U Farmers Market

Market breads. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time

Oh me, oh my! Folks, this is a busy weekend! Raise your hand if you have folks in town for (1) Halloween (2) the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert Rally and/or (3) the annual Marine Corps Marathon. (*meekly raises hand*)

But before you head to the National Mall Saturday morning, walk over to the 14th and U Farmers Market — it’s open from 9 am to 1 pm. While the food line up (details below) is great, I think the best part of this weekend’s market might be the Halloween costume contest for kids and dogs.

Judging starts at 11:00 am, so get there early and get your shopping done. But, stick around for the festivities. Prizes will be awarded for best girl, boy and dog costumes. Pulp on 14th Street has donated prizes for the kids.

Saturday Offerings

Robin from the 14th & U Farmers Market notes a few handy snacks for your guests — all available at this weekend’s market:

Baguette and Apple butter, croissants and jam, those terrific Panorama square multi-grain rolls with pumpkin seeds. Slather a few with one of Cherry Glen’s goat cheeses and top with sliced heirloom tomatoes. I am very partial to the blue ribbon Chipotle which starts out creamy, turns smoky and ends with a kick. But the chevre is also good paired with one of Copper Pot’s jams-with-attitude. Kuhn and McCleaf have a wide variety of apples between them. Take some cider along, too and a pint or two of cherry tomatoes. You could even slice up a small smoked ham for a picnic.

Sweet Tooth?

And for those of us with a (very strong) sweet tooth:

Pecan Meadow may be snack central on Saturday. Introduce your out-of-town friends to their pumpkin whoopie pies. Ryan also has peanut buttered popcorn  popped from his Indian Corn and his huge slices of his addictive Dried Honeycrisp Apples. Half sprinkled with cinnamon, half plain. Mini carrot cakes, carrot and pumpkin sweet breads and maybe some individual apple crisps and pies.

Who has the best pet costume this year? Plan on bringing your pooch down? I’ll be there taking photos!

by Borderstan.com October 31, 2009 at 4:00 am 1 Comment

IMG_1908

The “Venetian” and the “Mandarin.” Got them at Pulp for $4.50 each. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

What are you doing tonight? Luis and I got these great “traditional Victorian” style paper-cardboard masks at Pulp (14th & S Streets NW) for only $4.50 each. Luis is the “Venetian” and I am the “Mandarin.” We got the last ones in these styles and there was only one other style for men, “El Capitano.” However, they had a number of masks left for women as of Thursday evening.

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