From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWBP (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.
As a parent living in Borderstan, I am very interested in having improved play spaces for our community’s children. I know I’m not alone. One of the sacrifices we make living in such an urban area is the general absence of private backyards big enough to run around in. Our parks and play spaces are wonderful places to meet as a community and enjoy being outside. I enjoy taking Baby on walks around Borderstan, and we often go to Stead Park because it is close to where we live, but I’m always looking for new places for her to run around and play. Harrison Recreation Center, located on V Street NW, between 13th and 14th streets, is one I’ve been meaning to check out and I was excited to hear that it is due to get some updates.
“Washington Gas will sponsor an open house at the Harrison Recreation Center this Saturday, November 17th, from 11:30-1:30pm. There will be light refreshments and activities for the kids, and it will provide a wonderful opportunity for the community to see the recent renovations that have been completed. The event is rain or shine.”
The Friends of Harrison Recreation Center held a meeting at the Source on Thursday, November 8, 2012, to get input from the community about playspace renovations for the center. Harrison Recreation Center (HRC) has been identified as one of 32 play spaces that will be renovated by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) this fiscal year, with a total budget of $30 million to be divided among them.
Manisha Modi ([email protected]), the chair of the Friends of Harrison, a committee within the U Street Neighborhood Association, led the meeting. Manisha shared a conceptual design that the Friends of HRC had developed as part of a long-term vision of how to make HRC a neighborhood asset. She also described recently completed improvements to Harrison, which were paid for by Washington Gas. These included repaving the basketball courts and infrastructure improvements in the building, such as a new HVAC system, a new water heater, new cabinets and appliances in the kitchen, landscaping and interior and exterior painting. Manisha then facilitated a discussion to create a community wish list to be presented to the DPR for consideration during the playspace renovation process.
DPR’s current plan is focused on renovating the play spaces at the Harrison Recreation Center, but the Friends of HRC’s long-term goals include expanding what the Harrison Recreation Center can offer, which might include expansion of the existing building. The plans for improving the play spaces will not reduce the size of the sports field. The DPR representative and Friends of Harrison committee members were all quick to express their awareness of how important the sports field is to the community, and to ensure that it will be in no way diminished by these projected renovations.
Brian Card ([email protected]), president of the U Street Neighborhood Association, discussed some of the work they have been doing to help Harrison. The association has sponsored a movie series for the past three summers, as a means to raise community and local business awareness and to raise funds for the Friends of HRC. Brian said that the U Street Businesses “have been great partners in these events in providing funds or other services – such as the DJ that (the restaurant) Marvin has provided as part of the event.”
Norman Williams, the site manager at Harrison Recreation Center, said that the center is ready for transformation and open to ideas from the community. Mr. Williams has been recognized by local residents for his efforts to improve HRC.
Brent Sisco ([email protected]), a landscape architect and representative of DPR, said that all of the 32 play spaces will receive the same standard amenities: lighting, seating, fences, trash receptacles, and signs. He pointed out the HRC was one of the higher priorities and would likely get more improvements. DPR will take into account the community’s input in deciding what renovations will be made, and has provided an email address for this purpose: [email protected] The DPR has set a January 1, 2013 deadline for the completion and submission of the community plans. Construction would then begin between March 1st and March 15th, with a projected completion date of June or July. This timeline and the project budget are for the outside play spaces only.
Some of the ideas floated at the meeting were:
- separate area for small children
- creative activity equipment
- better lighting
- picnic spaces
- all weather play space surface (recycled rubber safety surface)
- water fountains
- multi-use water feature
- increased security
The first DPR meeting will be held at Banneker Community Center, at 2500 Georgia Avenue NW, on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6pm. DPR will facilitate a discussion about what the community wants for HRC. The landscape architecture firm working with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Lewis Scully Gionet (LSG) Landscape Architecture, will be in attendance to hear the community’s ideas. Examples of completed play space projects will be presented at this meeting, along with the budgets for each, in order to give the community some idea of the possibilities.
Another meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 19th, again at 6pm, location TBA. At this meeting LSG Landscape Architecture will present design concepts based on the November 28th meeting , and get feedback from the community.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the meetings, and DPR would like to get the younger stakeholder’s views on what should be included in the plans for the rec center.
It is important for everyone to have access to safe and creative play spaces. These spaces need to be improved and maintained; they are an investment for and in our community. It’s reassuring that so many talented people are working together on this project. I look forward to getting involved in this process, and I encourage my fellow Borderstanians to attend the upcoming meetings and make their voices heard.
After having to cancel last month’s movie due to rain, the U Street Movie Series is back for its third year with the first movie of the season happening this Wednesday, June 27.
This Wednesday, join the U Street and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Associations at the Harrison Recreation Center field (the 1300 block of V Street NW) from 7 pm until 10 pm for “DC Cab.” An early Mr. T movie, “DC Cab” profiles an over-the-hill hippie who manages a run-down cab company and its oddball drivers — an aspiring pimp, a Rastafarian and a driver with no license.
The movie starts at sundown, but attendees are encouraged to come early, grab a spot and a bite to eat and listen to music spun by a local DJ from Marvin’s.
Admission to the event is free, but donations and sponsorships are accepted. All proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with the Department of Parks and Recreation to improve the Center through investments, design changes and programming.
Can’t make it this Wednesday? Upcoming movies in the series include, “Protocol” on July 25th, “The American President” on August 22nd and “The Pelican Brief” on September 26th.
The monthly meeting of the U Street Neighborhood Association is tonight, May 10, at the Third District Police Station community room at 7 pm.
On the Agenda
- DDOT will give updates on the U Street streetscape project.
- The DC Office of Planning will provide an overview of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.
- JBG Cos. will have updates and will describe the variances they are requesting for the project at Florida Avenue and 8th Street NW. (See Feb. 2: ANC 1B Takes Closer Look at Florida Avenue Development.)
- Hiba Abdallah will talk about a facility planned to be built at 9th and S Streets NW for people aging out of the foster care system.
- Zahir Rahimi (owner of Mila at 2015 14th Street NW) will present his case for converting his clothing store to a restaurant.
- The U Street Movie Series: Harrison Field Under the Stars. The summer schedule of outdoor films series starts May 23 with The Pelican Brief.
For more details see the agenda at U Street Neighborhood Association website.
About the U Street Neighborhood Association
The boundaries of the U Street Neighborhood Association in Northwest DC are:
- 16th Street to the West
- 8th Street to the East
- S Street to the South and
- Barry Place to Florida Avenue to W Street to the North
The January meeting of the U Street Neighborhood Association is Thursday, January 12, at 7 pm. Location is the Source Theater, 1835 14th Street NW. On the agenda: presentations by the owners of Matchbox and Black & Orange, two new eateries coming to 14th Street NW.
Matchbox will open another location at the northeast corner of 14th and T Streets NW. Black & Orange will open at 1931 14th Street NW.
Concluding the second season of the U Street Movie Series, the U Street Neighborhood Association‘s Education Committee is hosting a free screening of Waiting for “Superman” followed by a panel discussion on education policy. The event is Saturday, October 22 from noon to 3 pm at Shaw at Garnet-Patterson Jr. High School at 2001 10th Street NW.
Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film by director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott, which analyzes the failures of American public education by following several students though the educational system, hoping to be selected in a lottery for acceptance in charter schools.
Admission is free and open to the public. However, advanced registration is required to attend, as seating is limited. Please register at Eventbrite.
The panel following the movie consists of a variety of local education leaders, including:
- Jackie Gran (Moderator) – Chief Policy & Partnerships Officer at New Leaders for New Schools
- Kelly Young – DCPS Interim Chief, Office of Family and Public Engagement
- Evelyn Boyd Simmons – ANC 2F Education Committee Chair, parent of Garrison Elem. students
- Reuben Jacobson – Senior Associate for Research/Strategy for Coalition for Community Schools
- Patrick Mara – Ward 1 DC State Board of Education Representative
- Robinette Breedlove: Principal, Meridian Public Charter School
- Kerry Sylvia: Teacher, Cardozo High School
- Ann McLeod: Garrison Elementary PTA President, and parent
Donation proceeds from this screening of Waiting for Superman and panel discussion will support the HandsOn Greater DC Cares 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January 2012, and will directly benefit our neighborhood schools. For over six years, HandsOn Greater DC Cares has used this day as a vehicle to recognize Dr. King’s leadership, legacy, and life through acts of service focusing on school and education based non-profit organizations and engaging youth in service.
The U Street Movie Series is back with a second season, which gets underway on May 24 with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Gates open at 7 pm at the field of the Harrison Recreation Center on the 1300 block of V Street NW.
Admission is free, and all films, with the exception of October’s Waiting for Superman, will be shown outdoors at the field at Harrison Recreation Center on the 1300 block of V Street NW. Attendees are encouraged to come early, starting at 7 pm, to picnic in the park and listen to music spun by local DJs. Free popcorn will be provided to the first 100 attendees beginning at 7 pm by Ventnor Sports Cafe.
All shows will begin at sundown, so the exact times will vary. Several local food truck vendors will be on site serving food. On the June and August “family” nights, children can play in a moonbounce from 7 to 8:30 pm before the films.
Donations and sponsorships towards the event are accepted online and benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. The movie series is organized by Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association. (See Summertime: U Street Movie Series Starts May 24.)
The U Street Movie Series is back with a second season, which gets underway on May 24 with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Gates open at 7 pm at the field of the Harrison Recreation Center on the 1300 block of V Street NW — the same time for each film.
A total of six films will be shown, one each month, May through October (the final movie will be indoors). Movies are held on Tuesday night with a rain date of the following Thursday. Full schedule is below the fold.
The movie series is organized by Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association.
Megabus Adding 10 New Cities Starting Wednesday
Megabus is going international. Dr. Gridlock over at The Washington Post reports that the bus company, known for its double-decker buses, is adding 10 new routes starting December 15, including Toronto, Boston and Pittsburgh.
Neil MacLean’s Special Borderstan Logos
Did you notice the special holiday logo on the top of the Borderstan landing page? Our friend and designer Neil MacLean did it for us. He’s the same guy who designed the original Borderstan logo. Neil and his wife recently departed the U Street area for Brooklyn — but he still works with DC clients. Look for more of his special event/holiday logos on our landing page. Thanks, Neil!
Shaw Dogs Meet Wednesday; No Clean Up this Month
The next meeting of Shaw Dogs is Wednesday, December 15 at 7 pm. Location is different this month: the new Shaw Library at 1630 7th Street NW (at Rhode Island Avenue) in Conference Room 2. Meetings (usually at Hotel Helix on Rhode Island Avenue) are open to the public. Shaw Dogs is the volunteer group that takes care of the Shaw Dog Park at 1673 11th Street NW. There is no organized cleanup scheduled for this month, but impromptu clean up of trash and litter while at the park is encouraged.
The Latest on the Switch Over at Brickskeller
The Young and Hungry over at Washington City Paper has the latest on the replacement for the Brickskeller on 22nd Street NW: Brickskeller’s Replacement Announces 50 Beer Taps, Searches for a Name. The new to-be-named place for beer connoisseurs is scheduled to change hands December 22 and reopen December 26.
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.
From Michelle Lancaster
Communication emerged as the primary campaign issue with candidates in local ANC races at Thursday’s U Street Neighborhood Association Meeting. The area has a surprising number of contested races this year and each candidate stressed the need for improved and expanded communication with residents, differing mainly in the method of delivery rather than the messages themselves.
Challengers raised concerns over the frequency, style and reach of communication from current ANC members. In ANC 1B04, William Girardo called for “more communication to residents,” specifically to newer condo residents through attendance of building board meetings.
Sunit Talapatra, running in ANC 2B09, said that in his conversations with local residents, the majority were unaware of the role of the ANC and who their representative was. More effective and proactive communication is necessary, he argued, to ensure the residents’ priorities are adequately represented. In ANC 1B02, both challengers Tucker Gallagher and Aaron Spencer spoke of the need for more frequent dialogue with the district and to facilitate discussions with all constituents, including business owners.
There are two opportunities to meet political candidates this evening — both of them in the neighborhood. Democratic mayoral candidate Vincent Gray will be at Foundry United Methodist Church, while the U Street Neighborhood Association hosts a forum for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) candidates at the Source Theater. (See Borderstan post, 5 Contested ANC Races; Estrada, Raia Get Opponents.)
Ward 2 Town Hall Meeting with Gray
- When: Oct. 14 at 6:30 pm
- Where: Foundry United Methodist Church, corner of 16th and P St. NW
- Who: Vincent Gray is the Democratic mayoral candidate on the Nov. 2 ballot; he currently serves as Chairman of the D.C. Council. Event being co-hosted by Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2)
ANC Candidate Forum
- When: Oct. 14 at 7 pm
- Where: Source Theater (2nd Foor Rehearsal Room), 1835 14th Street NW (between S and T St.)
- Who: The U Street Neighborhood Association has invited candidates from the U Street area from districts in both ANC 1B and ANC 2B. They include ANC 1B-01: Myla Moss; ANC 1B-02: Peter Raia, Tucker Gallagher, Aaron Spencer; ANC 1B-04: Deborah Thomas, William Girardo; ANC 1B-11: Gail Hollness; and ANC 2B-09: Ramon Estrada, Sunit Talapatra.
The U Street Neighborhood Association meets tonight, June 10, at 7 pm at 815 Florida Avenue NW (offices of the DC Housing Finance Agency). On the agenda are updates from committee chairs, recap of first movie series event, and Dog Days planning.
Michael Jackson’s This is It is the first outdoor summer movie of the season at the Harrison Recreation Center on Tuesday night. The center’s address is 1330 V Street NW with the gates opening at 7 pm and the movie expected to start around 8:30 pm.
“U Street Movie Series – Harrison Field Under the Stars” is sponsored by Friends of Harrison Recreation Center. The series is a project of the Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association, Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association, ANC 1B and the MidCity Business Association. Check out the website or the group’s Facebook Page.
All donations and sponsorships will benefit the Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a committee of the U Street Neighborhood Association, and an official Park Partner with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, which works to involve the community to improve the recreation center through capital improvements and design changes, and to enhance management and programming of the park, with the goal of making Harrison Recreation Center a better designed, cleaner, safer, and better managed park in the neighborhood for all to use and enjoy.
Washington Post columnist Colbert King has a good write up on the race for Ward 1 DC Councilmember where Jim Graham is the incumbent seeking a fourth term. King attended the May 13 candidate forum of the U Street Neighborhood Association. King’s column offers a overview of the Ward 1 race and a quick look at the candidates.
The U Street area and a small swatch at the northern tip of Logan Circle are in Ward 1. It is the most densely populated of the city’s eight ward and the smallest in area (see Ward1 Map). The Dupont Circle neighborhood and the huge bulk of Logan Circle are in Ward 2, which is represented by Jack Evans.