by Tim Regan October 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Stead Park Recreation Center

(Updated at 4:38 p.m.) A popular public park in Dupont could get a bigger, more modern recreation center.

Community organization Friends of Stead Park has asked the District to allocate funds in its 2018 fiscal year budget to upgrade and expand the recreation center inside of the park at 1625 P St. NW.

As it currently stands, the recreation center can only hold about 25 people at a time. The building is also not ADA accessible.

An expanded recreation center would give locals a larger indoor space for meetings and activities, said Kishan Putta, vice president of the Friends of Stead Park. The expansion would also allow for the creation of an affordable childcare program at Stead Park.

“The current space is very old and very small,” Putta told Borderstan. “It was actually deemed by the city to be unsafe for holding a toddler play program.”

So far, the idea has garnered the support of Dupont’s ANC 2B and Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans.

The organization’s next step would be to partner with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to solicit input from park users and community groups and work on possible designs.

If all goes according to plan, construction could tentatively begin as soon as winter or spring in 2018, Putta said.

by Tim Regan April 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Photo via Instagram : Golden Triangle BIDIf you’re reading this post, you (very likely) live on the planet known as Earth. And since you live there, why not clean up the place every once in a while? It’s a real mess sometimes, to be honest.

If you’re interested in pitching in, you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways to participate in the festivities tomorrow and this weekend. Here are just a few of them.

(more…)

by Jennifer Currier October 14, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

Little Goblins parade

Goblins hungry for candy are plotting take over Logan Circle next weekend, all in the spirit of Halloween.

The 5th Annual Little Goblins Parade will fill the streets with children with their parents on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. The crowd will begin its slow march at Logan Circle, then walk along the 1400 block of P Street NW. (Click here to view the full parade route.)

Employees from businesses along the block will hit the sidewalks and pass out candy to participants aged anywhere from 12 months to 10 years old.

Parade organizers Joelle Myers and Evelyn Boyd Simmons have planned the event together since its inception and have watched it grow every year. This year, they’re expecting a crowd of about 400, including kids, parents, grandparents and dogs.

Executing an event of this size takes the collaboration of community organizations, area businesses and key sponsors like TD Bank and Whole Foods. Volunteers and the members of the Metropolitan Police Department also help the parade run smoothly.

“This is an event that has been growing and evolving right along with the community,” Simmons said. “Our goal is to have it become institutionalized and a tradition in Logan Circle.”

One of the most significant changes made this year is that the parade route will be reversed. Marchers will gather in Logan Circle around 12:45 p.m. and end in Stead Park, where activities and live entertainment will keep the festivities going at Stead Park.

“With dance groups and music, this year we really wanted to have entertainment for kids, by kids,” Myers said. “It’s amazing to see how the community comes together, so we changed the entertainment to maintain the interest of everyone who attends.”

No matter how big the parade gets or how much it changes as the years go on, Myers and Simmons hope to keep their original purpose in mind.

“It’s a great way for kids and their families to really enjoy Halloween,” Myers added. “That’s just something we really want to continue bringing to the community and making it better and better.”

Myers said that she’s searching for five more volunteers to “wrangle” goblins, hand out candy at Whole Foods and Lululemon on P Street and generally monitor the crowd. Click here for more information on how to volunteer.

Photos courtesy of Little Goblins Parade

by Tim Regan September 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm 0

Capital Pride Outdoor Film, photo via Facebook/CapitalPrideDCHumidity, warm temperatures, a Nationals gaffe in the headlines. Is it summer again? Well, no. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend.

Capital Pride will take a page from the summer playbook by screening Disney’s “Maleficent” tonight at Stead Park (1625 P St. NW) at 7:30 p.m.

Though an outdoor film screening may feel July-esque, the film, which stars Angelina Jolie as the infamous Sleeping Beauty antagonist, isn’t. In fact, Capital Pride says tonight’s screening is meant to usher in that time of the year when winds howl, people wear cardigans and ghoulish skeletons drink pumpkin spice lattes.

Attendees are free to bring along picnic baskets, popcorn and blankets, but are asked to leave their pets at home.

Photo via Facebook/CapitalPrideDC

by Kishan Putta September 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm 0

Stead Park

Kishan Putta is a former ANC Commissioner and current Vice President of Friends of Stead Park. He can be reached at [email protected] and @kishanputta on Twitter.

If you haven’t been to Stead Park yet, this fall will be great time to visit.

Until last fall, Stead was mostly known for its nice, but crowded playground at 1625 P Street NW. But the playing field was little-known and little-used by the local community; partly because it was hidden by buildings on P Street, 17th Street and 16th Street NW; the tall, prison-like fence and gate that was not reliably unlocked by citywide park rangers; and partly because the field itself was noteworthy only for its bumpy, patchy and barren condition.

All that changed last year when Friends of Stead Park (FOSP) and residents successfully advocated for a field revitalization that includes a jogging track, a spray park, a performance stage, soft turf with water-retention, trees and flowers and entrances from 17th street and 16th Street for the first time ever.

But many still walk by without having ventured in to see this new community treasure. FOSP hopes that will change this fall with a great lineup of events for all ages.

Their first fall event is a musical movie night on Saturday Sept. 19 at 7:00pm.

“Grease” will be screened and will feature singalongs and prizes for the best 1950s outfits.

A second, likely animated film is planned for Saturday, Oct. 3.

World’s Cutest Parade

On Oct. 24, FOSP is cosponsoring the world’s cutest parade: – The 5th Annual Little Goblins Parade along P Street NW, an annual pre-Halloween tradition.

For the first time, FOSP will be hosting the parade’s after party at Stead Park on the new playing field with a concert, dance performance, games, and of course sweetstuff!

The fun will start at Logan Circle. Cheering on the long parade of cute costumes is popular with all ages. Many businesses and restaurants along P street get into it, so, even if you don’t have children, you can get a spot or a restaurant seat early and cheer the kids on as they strut by. It’s also fun to volunteer for a bit. It’s a blast for everyone.

According to the parade organizers, Joelle Myers and Evelyn Boyd Simmons, the parade has evolved with the neighborhood and entertainment will be fun for all, but targets kids up to 12 years old.

Following the parade, the last event before the cold sets in will be a fall festival on November 14.

Revitalizing the Small/Old Recreation Center

Once it’s cold outside, Friends of Stead Park will be partnering with businesses and organizations such as Whole Foods on P Street and the Foundry United Methodist Church to hold events for children at their venues rather than at Stead’s old brick recreation center building. Currently, the park cannot meet the demand for FOSPs popular indoor programs, but a recreation center is actually one of FOSP’s top priorities for the future of the park.

Last year, we asked the city to open a cooperative daycare program at Stead. But they determined that the rec center was not safe enough for toddlers to use for this purpose.

Clearly the recreation center needs to be modernized. But, with so many families moving to the area — and staying here — this is a good opportunity to expand the public indoor space available to the community. If you would like to help us work toward this goal, please contact us.

Learn more about Friends of Stead Park and follow us on our website, our Facebook page and at @SteadParkDC.

To volunteer for the Little Goblins Parade, please email [email protected]

Photo via Friends of Stead Park

by Borderstan.com June 24, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

What? You haven’t seen an outdoor movie yet this summer? Come out Tuesday, June 25, to Stead Park (1625 P Street NW) at 8:30 pm for the 1991 version of Father of the Bride with Steve Martin.

Screen on the Green at Stead Park. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Bring your blanket to the movies at Stead Park. (Luis Gomez Photos)

One of East Dupont’s best kept secrets is Stead’s huge acre of green space. If you haven’t been before, bring a blanket and enjoy a nice evening outside in the neighborhood — free of charge (and free popcorn).

Stead Park turns 60 this year and has a rich history in our neighborhood. Recently, Friends of Stead Park has been working with the community and the DC government to transform the underused acre playing field to include:

  • A running track along the perimeter
  • Trees and benches (no shade/seating currently)
  • A stage for concerts/shows/films
  • A kids splash park for hot days
  • A smooth, even turf (currently very bumpy and patchy)
  • Enough space to continue hosting two kickball games at a time and volleyball and other leagues.

The Friends were successful in securing the funding to start renovations this year and are looking for a few more thoughtful community members to help guide the transformation of the park into an even greater community resource.

Here’s how you can help:

The film event is sponsored by Lindsay Reishman Real Estate and Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets.

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by Borderstan.com April 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.

Stead Park is one of the many places perfect for a pick-up game of wiffle ball. (Borderstan)

Stead Park is one of the many places perfect for a pick-up game of wiffle ball. (Borderstan)

You may want to sit down for this. I’m serious, you really might faint. Are you ready?  Okay… here goes.

The Sandlot” turned 20-years-old on Sunday.

I promised myself I wouldn’t start to feel old until I turn 30 later this year, but when I heard that one of the greatest sports movies of my childhood was turning 20, I logged on to AARP and registered for a membership.

If you’re somehow unfamiliar with “The Sandlot,” it tells the story of a group of adolescent boys spending their summer bonding over their love of baseball. Because really, who doesn’t love summer. And baseball.

The movie has everything my 10-year-old self could have ever wanted. Baseball, a treehouse, s’mores, a legendary “beast,” and of course, a smokin’ hot lifeguard named Wendy Peffercorn. Intrigued?

Check out the 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray edition, which apparently includes collectible baseball cards of the characters. You’ll keep this FOR-EV-ER.

And if you’re feeling extra nostalgic, strap on your PF Flyers and take a road trip to meet up with the 20th anniversary “Sandlot” tour where they’ll be showing the film at baseball stadiums around the country.

After you’re done taking a trip down memory lane, call up a couple of your closest buds and organize your own game. Borderstan has lots of parks where you can play a quick pick-up game.

Check out the grassy areas at Stead Park (1600 block of P Street NW), Harrison Field (1300 block of V Street NW) Mitchell Park (S and 23rd Streets NW) and Kalorama Park (Columbia Road and 19th Street NW). Sure, you might need to exchange that baseball for a wiffle ball, but it’s the same thing.

We’ll see you out on the lot.

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by Borderstan.com January 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

"Stead Park"

Rendering of proposed Stead Park redesign. (Courtesy of Friends of Stead Park)

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

Friends of Stead Park, the organization that works with a private trust and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to run the Logan/Dupont park, will present proposed renovation design plans to ANC 2B/Dupont on Wednesday, January 9, at the monthly meeting. Stead Park is in 2B on the 1600 block of P Street NW.

The proposed design (pictured above) includes some bench seating along the south wall, a grassy berm at the southwest corner and a large field to allow for two simultaneous kickball games.

Since October, Friends of Stead Park has worked with community members on proposed renovations to the 1.5-acre facility at 1625 P Street NW. According to Jeff Garigliano, treasurer of Friends of Stead Park, the space is in need of some “desperate love.”

On Sunday, December 2, Friends of Stead Park presented the revised renovation plans (updated to include community input) back to the community. Now, the organization is taking those revised plans to ANC 2B for the next step in the process.

Wednesday’s ANC 2BF meeting will take place at 7 pm at the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

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by Borderstan.com November 29, 2012 at 8:00 am 2 Comments

"Stead Park"

Proposed rendering of the Stead Park redesign. (Courtesy Friends of Stead Park)

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

On Sunday, December 2, Friends of Stead Park will present updated plans to the park’s redesign project to members of the community at 10 am at the DC JCC (1529 16th Street NW).

In October, the Friends of Stead Park held a community meeting about proposed changes to the design of the field at Stead Park. Prior to the first meeting, a petition opposing the design was circulated by a local adult sports league that frequently uses the space. However, after the meeting, residents, board members and local officials worked together with Friends of Stead Park to build a plan that aims to address all of the aired concerns.

“The feedback we received was largely positive, but many people felt that we’d taken too much space away from the athletic field,” said Jeff Garigliano, a board member on the Friends of Stead Park committee.

Since October’s meeting, the board made a few tweaks to the proposed design, including, reducing some bench seating along the south wall and a grassy berm at the southwest corner.

“That adds valuable space back to the playing field, making it big enough to accommodate two simultaneous kickball games (a specific request from the adult sports leagues who use the park),” said Garigliano. “Yet the design still includes benches, shade trees, the walking track and the spray ground.

This weekend’s meeting allows community members to see the design changes and provide feedback on the updated plans. After the meeting, Friends of Stead Park will incorporate any comments and feedback from Sunday’s meeting into a final design, which will be presented to the ANC in early January for approval.

All are welcome to Sunday’s meeting.

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by Borderstan.com October 8, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,413 1 Comment

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

"Stead Park"

Friends of Stead Park Board members met with the community to discuss design changes to the park. (Rachel Nania)

On Wednesday, October 3, Friends of Stead Park Board of Directors met with community members at the DC Jewish Community Center to discuss a proposed $1.5 million renovation to the park. Landscape architects from Studio 39 made the presentation.

Friends of Stead Park is an organization that works with a private trust and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DCDCP) to govern and maintain the park. With the proposed changes (which includes a pavilion, linear bench seating, a rain garden, a new fence, a water park feature and a synthetic playing field), the city would pay for the cost of the renovation and the park’s private trust would pay for the maintenance; currently, $150,000 to $175,000 is spent from the trust each year.

According to Jeff Garigliano, treasurer of Friends of Stead Park, DCDPR has the final say in the park’s changes.

Community Reaction

The topic on Stead Park’s design has been a source of controversy with community members. Martin Espinoza, co-founder of Stonewall Sports and ANC 2B-04 candidate, started a petition in light of the proposed re-design changes, called “Save Stead Park.” According to Espinoza’s petition, the proposed plans will reduce the active field space at Stead Park by 25 percent, which could jeopardize current community leagues such as soccer, volleyball and kickball.

Espinoza and the petition’s supporters were present at Wednesday night’s meeting. Garigliano and Sarah Rabin Spira, secretary for Friends of Stead Park, offered to work with Espinoza and members of the adults sports leagues on the exact dimensions of the playing space.

Victor Wexler, ANC commissioner for 2B-05, which includes Stead Park, applauded the sports teams that use the field, but reminded them that the park should also cater to the area’s changing demographics (more families and more children).

“It’s important to remember that we are not losing the park to non-recreational use,” said Wexler. “It’s being made in to other types of recreational use.”

"Stead Park"

Illustration of  proposed changes to Stead Park. (Courtesy Friends of Stead Park)

Will Stevens (ANC 2B-08) and chairman of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, was also present at the meeting along with Commissioners Jack Jacobson (ANC 2B-04) and Ramon Estrada (ANC 2B-09).

Overall, the meeting’s attendees seemed receptive to the proposed design changes. One woman thanked the designers and the Friends of Stead Park for including the idea of a water park feature. “If I want to take my kid to a water park playground, I have to drive all the way to Anacostia,” she explained.

Another attendee wanted to see fewer changes to the design of the park. “Let’s aim to keep the park the same and just make some improvements,” he said. “I don’t think we should fix what isn’t broken.”

Information and Next Steps

Spira told the meeting’s attendees that Friends of Stead Park wants to hear from the community on the proposed changes. The group is aware of the lack of its information available to the public, but encouraged anyone with questions or concerns to email Friendsofsteadpark{AT}gmail.com.

The next steps in the renovation process are to make adjustments to the proposed designs and present the plans to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B.

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by Borderstan.com October 2, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,139 1 Comment

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

"Stead Park"

The proposed changes to Stead Park will be presented to the public on Wednesday night. (Courtesy Friends of Stead Park)

A meeting on the recently proposed design changes to Stead Park will take place on Wednesday, October 3 at 7 pm at the DC Jewish Community Center (16th and Q Streets NW). The Stead Park Recreation Center and field are a 1.5-acre facility located at 1625 P Street NW.

The topic on Stead Park’s design has been a source of controversy with community members.

For the past nine months, Friends of Stead Park, an organization that works with a private trust and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to run the park, worked to upgrade the field at Stead Park. According to Jeff Garigliano, treasurer of Friends of Stead Park, the space is in need of some “desperate love.”

“The grass is patchy at best and the fence (16-feet high, falling over in spots) cuts the field off from the rest of the park,” said Garigliano in a guest post for Borderstan. “The site looks like a minimum security prison. Because of these factors, it usually sits empty on weekdays. Adult sports leagues use the field many weeknights and weekends, but there’s not much there for anyone else — no shade, no place to sit.”

However, not all members of the community are as open to the change. Martin Espinoza, co-founder of Stonewall Sports and ANC 2B-04 candidate, started a petition in light of the proposed re-design changes, called “Save Stead Park.” According to Espinoza’s petition, the proposed plans will reduce the active field space at Stead Park by 25 percent, which could jeopardize current community leagues such as soccer, volleyball and kickball.

"Stead Park"

Stead Park: The recreation field is to the north. (Luis Gomez Photos)

According to Garigliano, Friends of Stead Park spent several months reaching out to neighborhood groups (parent listservs, the PTA organizations at Ross and Garrison, day care centers, 17th Street NW businesses and leaders of the sports leagues) to gauge the wants and needs of local residents for the space.

Wednesday night’s meeting is a chance for community members to come and see the result of the integrated plan, and for residents to add further suggestions.

And for those who can’t make it to the meeting, Garigliano openly invites questions and comments. He can be reached at jeff.garigliano[AT]gmail.com.

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by Borderstan.com September 25, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,057 9 Comments

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

Featured image: “2012 Fall Kickball opening” is from tedeytan in the Borderstan Flickr pool and was taken at Stead Park.

"Stead Park"

Stead Park: The recreation field is to the north. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The co-founder of Stonewall Sports, Martin Espinoza, started a petition last week, “Save Stead Park,” to protest a reduction in field space at Dupont Circle’s Stead Park (1625 P Street NW).

According to Espinoza’s petition, plans are being proposed to reduce the active field space at Stead Park by 25 percent, which would jeopardize current community leagues such as soccer, volleyball and kickball, while also keeping local schools from using the fields. The petition is to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

“DC already has a limited number of green space available for children and adults to play on, so reducing this unique gem in Dupont Circle would impact the health and wellness of residents who use the park daily,” says Espinoza in his petition. (He is also an ANC 2B-04 candidate, running against Kishan Putta and Stephanie Sheridan.)

According to one source familiar with the proposal, part of the space would used to create a track for running and walking — under one option being proposed.

The reduction in field space comes from a plan drafted by Friends of Stead that would allocate $400,000 to the park’s renovations. According to Espinoza, members of Friends of Stead will be present options for the renovation to the Department of Parks and Recreation. These options reduce the active green space, and, according to Espinoza, cost much more than $400,000 to complete.

On the petition one supporter writes, “The health of ourselves and our children is essential. We need green space to use for outdoor activities. I play kickball and through the experience I have made many friends.”

Another supporter states, “There is no need or reason to reduce the active field space at Stead Park. As the surrounding area continue to grow with new condo and rental buildings, there is an even greater need for residents to have an open space for activities and a sense of community.”

The petition, which already has more than 450 supporters, will be hand-delivered by Espinoza at a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, October 3 ,at 7 pm at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center (1529 16th Street NW).

According to the meeting’s webpage, the October 3 meeting (called the Stead Park Field Re-Design Meeting) will be an opportunity for the public to review and comment upon a plan to re-design the park. More information is available on the DC Jewish Community Center’s website.

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by Borderstan.com August 27, 2012 at 11:50 am 0

"Movie Night at Stead Park Field"

It’s Movie Night at Stead Park Field on Tuesday, August 28. (Borderstan file photo)

Bring a blanket and enjoy E.T. under the stars at Stead Park Field on Tuesday night! Tomorrow night’s free movie night is the last one of the summer, sponsored by Lindsay Reishman Real Estate.

Details

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by Borderstan.com July 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,538 0

"Kickball Players"

The DC Stonewall Kickball League plays at Stead Park Field, 1625 P Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Dan Segal. Email him at dsegalAT]borderstan.com and find him on Twitter @segaldg.

Following the annual Drag Kickball tournament and festivities during Capital Pride Week in June, our curiosity was piqued on how the Stonewall Kickball-DC League started. Stonewall sports leagues are LGBT friendly and while most team members across the country are LGBT, everyone is welcome. I talked to Martin Espinoza, one of the founders of DC Stonewall Kickball.

Segal: When did the league start?

Espinoza: Mark Gustafson and I began planning the league over the summer of 2010 and introduced the inaugural Sunday season of Stonewall Kickball in the fall of 2010.  Our Sunday season started with six teams and 90 players and now has grown to 20 teams and more than 525 players. With this fast jump and high demand, we were able to most recently partner with DC Kickball, offering a Thursday night league now that has over 300 players and 12 teams currently.

Segal: What made you want to start this league?

Espinoza: Mark and I had played in other kickball leagues in DC and realized our teams wanted a less competitive, LGBT-friendly league that could better give back to the community. We had the perfect opportunity to create a new league where we could bring the people together and help raise money for local, LGBT non-profits. Looking for locations, we found Stead Park right off the 17th Street neighborhood [1625 P Street NW] and thought it would be a great fit. We knew we were onto something when JR’s and Cobalt were ready to sponsor and support our venture.

Segal: What separates you all from any of the other sports leagues/kickball leagues in the DC area?

Espinoza: The difference is, our main priority is FUN. We have created an environment for everyone to play, network and have a good time competitive or not. We also are the only social sports league in DC focused raising money for the community with more than $20,000 annually going to The DC Center for the LGBT community and other community-based organizations. The excitement and spirit of the league led us to create Stonewall Sports offering a range of sports with this same interest in FUN and charity. We now offer Stonewall Bocce and soon Dodgeball.

Segal: Funniest moment during/after a kickball game?

Espinoza: One of the funniest moments in kickball was the day a handful of players decided they would wear high heels to the game. Not only was this fun to watch, but also helped spur the idea of a drag kickball game. We later created the Stonewall Kickball DragBall as an annual Capital Pride event with real DC drag queens and Stonewall Kickball players dressed in drag.  Last month, our second annual DragBall raised over $11,000 for The DC Center and for Capital Pride.

Segal: Best team name?

Espinoza: That is hard to say, we have so many from My Caucus Enormous, Sit On My Base to Pitches Be Crazy.

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by Borderstan.com July 24, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

Park

Watch the classic musical, “Mary Poppins,” outside at Stead Park tonight. (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

UPDATE: Tonight’s movie at Stead Park has been canceled due to severe thunderstorms expected to come through DC and the surrounding area this evening.

• • • • • • • • • •

Break your summer routine with a free outdoor movie in the neighborhood tonight! On Tuesday, July 24, Lindsay Reishman Real Estate will screen the 1964 musical, Mary Poppins, at Stead Park (1625 P Street NW).

Bring a friend, a blanket and your singing voice for this family musical classic. The film starts at 8:30 pm. The forecast for tomorrow looks promising, but just in case, be sure to check the Reishman Real Estate blog for rain cancellations and event updates.

The next movie at Stead Park will be E.T. — it is scheduled for August 28.

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