From Dafna Steinberg. Follow her @AlizaySteinberg. Email her at dafna[AT]borderstan.com.
Sorry folks… I have had a crazy week… between working at Union Station all day yesterday for a “vintage is green” fashion show and pop up shop to having an exhibition tomorrow (which you can read about here on Borderstan), I have been swamped. Which means that I didn’t have a chance to write an advice column or trend alert.
So here are a few upcoming events to check out in the meantime!
- Friday, April 19: Tonight, Ginger Root (1530 U Street NW) will be having a Champagne Toast & Spring Line Premier for YB Green, the makers of beautiful recycled glass jewelry. Stop by between 6 and 9 pm for a glass of Champagne and some awesome accessories!
- Saturday, April 20: Caramel (1603 U Street NW) will be having a sweet Saturday with desserts by pastry artist Sarah Krueger and jewelry by ADMK from 1 to 7 pm. Designer Megan Kurtz will be on hand to talk about her new designs. There will be special discounts throughout the store and a 10% discount off the Spring designs from ADMK!
- Wednesday, April 24: Room & Board (1840 14th Street, NW) is having their summer kick off party! RSVP here
- Sunday, April 28: Nana, a boutique that formerly had its home on U Street, will be having a trunk show for Meg, one of their favorite labels. Designed by New York designer Meghan Kinney, the line will be showcasing its Spring 2013 looks at Cork Tasting Room (1805 14th St NW) from 1 to 5 pm.
- Happy Fashion Partying! Will get back to you all in a couple weeks!
On Thursday, October 18, join Danny Harris, Chris Keener, SM Shrake, Amy Saidman, Jen Tress and Patrick White at Room & Board for an evening of storytelling.
From 7 until 9 pm, guests are invited to get under the covers, gather around the table or get comfy on the couch while enjoying a few stories and sipping some complimentary wine. Attendees will also have the chance to win a $250 gift card to the 14th Street NW contemporary furniture store.
Room & Board hosted a similar event last February with Stories About Not Love. $10 gets you in bed with a storyteller. Room and Board is at 1840 14th Street NW; the event is on the 4th floor.
For more on the story, and to RSVP, visit the event’s Facebook page.
People’s District‘s Danny Harris invites you to join in an anti-love fest in honor of Valentine’s Day (yes readers, it’s next week). “The Anecdote: Stories About Not Love” will take place on February 7 at Room & Board (1840 14th Street NW, 4th Floor), from 7 to 9 pm. Presenters will share tales of romance gone awry.
Participants can get comfy in the store’s furniture displays and listen to stories about bad dates, no dates, and every awkward, intimate detail in between. Local talent Danny Harris, Chris Keener, Vijai Nathan, Amy Saidman, Jennifer Tress and Patrick White will be there to keep the laughs coming.
While Lady Gaga is not scheduled to make an appearance, she would no doubt be proud of the bad romance celebrated at “The Anecdote.”
Also of note, Room and Board will be giving away a $250 gift card to one attendee of The Anecdote. That would count as getting lucky!
Four local artists, all members of Mid City Artists, will be part of an exhibition at the Room & Board furniture store at 14th and T Streets NW. Works by Gary Fisher, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor and Charlie Jones will be featured in the exhibition, “A Neighborhood of Art and Home Furnishings,” from October 20-23. Sixteen pieces of artwork, four from each artist, will be displayed throughout the store to compliment furniture groupings on each floor. An opening reception is scheduled at Room & Board on Thursday, October 20 from 6 to 8 pm.
The exhibition coincides with the Mid City Artists Fall Open Studios which runs from 12 to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23. There are a total of 21 artists at 15 locations —download the map! The Fall and Spring Open Studios have been a popular weekend event for a number of years.
Artist Charlie Jones explained how the collaboration between the retailer and the artists came about. “I visited the store early on when it first opened and met Scott Jussila, a leadership associate with Room & Board. Scott and I had an instant rapport and as I learned about his role at Room & Board developing local public outreach efforts, I mentioned Mid City Artists… and how cool it would be to combine Room & Board furnishings with our art for an exhibit — especially given how spectacular the space and light is.”
The landmark Room & Board store opened in June 2010 after an extensive renovation of the historic building. Built in 1919, the location was once a showroom for the Ford Motor Company and was known as the R.L. Taylor building. The renovation preserved the open floor plan and large windows of the original building which now give the showroom a loft-like gallery feel.
The artists practice in different mediums, including photography and silk screen on wood. Included in the exhibition are “Indian Head Nickel” by Glenn Fry, “Red Candied Apples” by Gary Fisher, “Monterey” by Charlie Jones and “DeLuxe” by Charlie Gaynor.
Mid City Artists Open Studios This Weekend
The exhibition coincides with the Mid City Artists Fall Open Studios which runs from 12 to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23. There are a total of 21 artists at 15 locations. The Fall and Spring Open Studios have been a popular weekend event for a number of years.
Like Borderstan, the Mid City Artists area encompasses several neighborhoods, including Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and U Street. Member artists work have been featured in exhibitions at Borderstan area galleries including gallery plan B on 14th Street NW and Long View Gallery on 9th Street.
Late last year the Mid City neighborhood was in the midst of a branding effort to give a new name and identity to what was officially known as the Uptown Arts District. Funded with D.C. Neighborhood Investment Fund grant money the design and marketing effort saw lots of heated discussion during the public forums over naming of the district. Eventually the process led to the name DC Arts District and the installation of banners on light poles on the major streets in the area.
Mid City Artists Profiled on Borderstan
- Regina Miele: Local Artist, Global Reach
- Gary Fisher: Art Changed My Life
- Mark Parascandola: Abandoned Architecture
- Peter Alexander Romero: Color, Movement and Texture
- Shaw Artist Chuck Baxter: Trash to Treasure
- The Inspiration of Dupont’s Ryan Epp
- French Artist Isabelle Spicer Finds Color in DC
- Robert Wiener: From Accounting to Art Glass
- Thomas Drymon: Showing the Hand in His Paintings
- Dave Peterson’s Brand Mixes Graphics, Captions, Materials
- Joren Lindholm: “Between Abstract and Representation”
- Glenn Fry’s Silkscreens: From the Fed to the Real World House
- No Regrets: Betsy Karasik’s Transition from Lawyer to Painter
- Cole’s Metal Sculptures Part of Dupont-Logan Landscape
The week of September 4 is National Suicide Prevention Week and the Washington, DC Ambassadors Committee of The Trevor Project is holding a fall fundraiser this Friday.
The September 9 event is from 7 to 9 pm at Room & Board, 14th and T Streets NW. Tickets are $50 in advanceand $75 at the door.
The Committee is a group of volunteers dedicated to helping raise awareness of The Trevor Project‘s mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. They work with schools in the DC area to reach kids directly and raise awareness of the issue. The Committee also helps through volunteerism and fundraising to help The Trevor Project carry on their life-saving efforts.
From Tom Hay
Furniture retailer Room & Board opened the doors to its first DC store this weekend at 1840 14th Street NW, at the southeast corner of 14th and T. Based on the crowds in the store just an hour after opening, it appears 14th Street has a new landmark. Furnishings are in the classic contemporary style, which will have strong appeal among the young professionals who have moved into the area in recent years.
The Saturday and Sunday opening was a preview and the official grand opening of the 36,000-square-foot store is Monday, June 14. Jill Byrnes, Creative Director for Room & Board, said she expects several thousand to visit the store in the first few days.
First, some background on the building. The store is a complete renovation of the former R.L. Taylor building which was built in 1919. The location was a showroom for the Ford Motor Company.
In recent memory, the building was home to the Church of the Rapture which sold the property in 2005. Various plans came and went in the past five years, including condominiums and then a combination yoga studio-comedy club-restaurant.
The “Georgetown style” renovation of the once drab building is impressive inside and out. Many of the formerly bricked-up windows have been opened up, giving the store a welcoming facade and providing great daylight for the interior spaces.
A few interior highlights:
- Grand three-story staircase, which is flooded with natural light from a new window on the west (alley) side of the building.
- Garden “showroom” on the T Street exterior.
- Abundant natural light from the large windows on every floor.
Room & Board has received both praise and criticism in the local press and neighborhood blogs. Some argue that a national chain with a massive footprint such as R&B will harm independent retailers such as Vastu, Muléh, Urban Essentials and RCKNDY, which have operated in the 14th and U corridor in the past few years.
Supporters say that the Room & Board will anchor the area as a home furnishings shopping destination, in turn bringing more foot traffic and new customers to the area. Only time will tell, but if the crowds I saw this weekend on 14th Street are any indication I predict and hope this is a win-win for all.
Tom Hay is a business and general news contributor to Borderstan. A 23-year resident of the neighborhood, he is a law librarian by profession.
- The real treat for shoppers is the fourth floor addition, with walls of glass and a terrace with spectacular views of the U Street corridor.
It appears that plans for turning the large building at the southwest corner of 14th and T NW–including a 24-hour diner, theater, yoga center and comedy club –may be dead. Seems a large furntiture retailer has come along and made an offer to the owner. Two accounts of the matter, at Greater Greater Washington and Washington City Paper.
From Greater Greater Washington:
Prospects for the Tryst/Diner/ comedy club /yoga studio/dance company plan for 14th and T, which has become a major campaign issue in 2B09 are looking dim. The City Paper found out that the owners have decided to sell to a big-box furniture store, Room and Board, instead.
The deal isn’t totally done, and some neighborhood activists including 2B09 candidate Doug Rogers are already pushing Room and Board to pull out of the deal (which they have the option to do).
We learned today that Dave Chappelle, yes the Dave Chappelle, has signed on as a potential investor with the Diner/Tryst/ comedy club planned for the old Church of the Reformer at 14th and T Streets NW, the development plan we wrote about in July.
The bad news? That plan is close to imploding. Sources close to the deal say that the earlier agreement to lease the space from the current owner fell through. Rather than let their dream die, Diner/Tryst/Open City owner Constantine Stavropoulos and DC-Improv and Riot Act comedy impresario John Xereas, along with a few others–including Chappelle, a Xereas acquaintance who has D.C. roots–worked to get a deal together to buy the building. The bid is in the neighborhood of $9 million. The problem? They’re not the only ones interested.