by Andrew Ramonas November 15, 2016 at 10:40 am 0

Turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls and other Thanksgiving trimmings were served at the Safeway Feast of Sharing in 2015The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to help with its annual Thanksgiving meal for locals in need at the Walter E. Washington Convention next week.

The free Safeway Feast of Sharing from the Salvation Army needs helpers to assist with the preparation of food and coats in advance of their distribution at the dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Volunteer opportunities are available on Monday, Nov. 21, and Tuesday, Nov. 22, as well as the day of the meal.

Only helpers who are at least 18 years old are allowed to assist with advance food preparation. But children who are at least 12 years old can help with the dinner when it’s served.

Interested locals can register online.

The feast is expected to feed 5,000 community members.

by Tim Regan September 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

National Book Festival 2016Each year, the National Book Festival brings hundreds of authors and thousands of literature lovers to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mt Vernon Place NW) for a free celebration of books.

Organizers are scheduled to throw open the doors to this year’s event Saturday at 8:30 a.m. From 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., attendees are free to wander the convention center in search of fun activities and booths manned by their favorite authors.

Author Stephen King, writer and former basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and famed Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward are just some of the celebrity guests that will attend this year’s event.

Not sure what you should do and see this year? Here are a few highlights:

  • Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will be on hand to sign autographs and talk about his new book for kids, “Grover Cleveland, Again! A Treasury of American Presidents.”
  • Kate Beaton, the creative force behind “Hark! A Vagrant!” will promote her children’s book, “King Baby.”
  • There will be a poetry slam for teens that will “will include some of the nation’s top youth slam groups.”
  • Newt Gingrich writes fiction. He’ll attend the festival to promote his newest story, “”Duplicity” (Center Street),” a thriller set in the District.
  • Rep. John Lewis is slated to promote the third volume in his graphic novel trilogy, “March.”
  • Two words: Diane Rehm.
  • Joyce Carol Oates, author of more than 40 stories, plays, novellas and works of poetry, won’t be there to promote her Twitter account, but she will attend the festival to talk about two of her latest books.
  • Frequent NPR guest and pop-science writer Mary Roach is scheduled to speak about her latest book, “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.”

Of course, these are just a few more than 120 appearances and signings planned. Attendees can formulate their game plan by checking out the festival’s map or downloading its app.

Learn more about the festival in the press release below:


by Tim Regan June 17, 2016 at 8:40 am 0

Car fire near 6th and L, photo courtesy of Mark Bjorge

Authorities have closed roads near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to fight a car fire.

The fire broke out on the 1100 block of 6th St. NW around 8:20 a.m. this morning, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Oscar Mendez said.

One person escaped the car safely and is being evaluated on the scene, Mendez added.

This story will be updated as we know more.

Photo courtesy of Mark Bjorge

by Andrew Ramonas June 6, 2016 at 8:40 am 0

Unconventional Diner

A self-described “modern diner” is slated to arrive in Shaw in the coming months.

Unconventional Diner is scheduled to open at 1211 9th St. NW in “winter 2016,” according to new signage we spotted on the restaurant’s windows over the weekend.

Mintwood Place co-owner John Cidre and Hu’s Shoes and Hu’s Wear owner Eric Eden, who are behind the eatery, have released few details about their new venture. But a news release last year called the restaurant a “high-end diner concept.”

Unconventional Diner is one of several businesses slated to open in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center’s street-facing retail space. The places include Union Kitchen Grocery, fast-casual sandwich shop Smoked & Stacked and craft cocktail bar Morris, among others.

It wasn’t immediately clear when those businesses will begin operations.

by Tim Regan February 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm 0

Convention Center hallConvention goers will soon be able to freely connect to the internet across every inch of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Events DC, the District’s “official convention and sports authority,” announced the expansion today.

“This expanded service, available this spring, will enable attendees visiting the Convention Center a level of complimentary Wi-Fi service to complete routine tasks such as checking email, utilizing social media tools and navigating online platforms and applications, hassle-free while enriching the guest experience,” the Events DC press release reads. “This enhanced Wi-Fi capability will also allow attendees the ability to get online with ease without depleting their personal mobile data.”

Though the center launched its free wi-fi service in 2011, wireless internet wasn’t freely available in areas like meeting rooms and exhibit halls, said Events DC spokeswoman Ashley Forrester.

Photo via Facebook / Events DC

by Tim Regan November 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

More than a thousand hungry people gathered at the Washington Convention Center this morning to eat and share memories during the 16th annual Safeway Feast of Sharing.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and D.C. Councilmembers Jack Evans, LaRuby May, Vincent Orange and Brandon Todd were in attendance to celebrate the event.

“I’m always happy to be here for the Feast of Sharing to celebrate and give thanks for all the many blessings we have in our great city,” Bowser said, addressing the crowd. “I want to thank you for all the trust in the faith that you’ve put in me to focus on the things that are important to Washington D.C.”

Those in attendance dined on a traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls and other Thanksgiving trimmings and were served by hundreds of volunteers.

by Andrew Ramonas November 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm 2 Comments

Mayor Muriel Bowser at a Nov. 23 news conference (Photo via Twitter/Mayor Muriel Bowser)

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A diner, a corner market and four other businesses are set to open in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced today.

According to a news release, the businesses are:

·         Unconventional Diner, a locally owned and operated high-end diner concept and brainchild of two DC residents/business owners.

·         Union Kitchen Grocery, a locally inspired corner market that will be expanding the brand’s footprint to the Shaw neighborhood.  Union Kitchen Grocery has an existing location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

·         Smoked & Stacked, a fast-casual sandwich shop that will showcase in-house brined and smoked pastrami.

·         Morris, a craft cocktail bar, featuring notable DC-based chef and restauranteur, Spike Mendelsohn.  This cocktail bar will be an expansion from their Sheppard concept which had its original location in Dupont Circle.

·         Urban Athletic Club and Composition ID, a motivating and inspiring fitness marketplace and health diagnostic center. Urban Athletic Club has previously existing locations in both Georgetown and Glover Park.

·         A Barbershop Concept that will relocate their pre-existing location in the Shaw neighborhood.

Construction is expected to begin next year for the businesses, which will fill up all of the convention center’s vacant, street-facing retail space.

“The realized potential of the convention center’s retail is yet another sign of DC’s economic vibrancy,” Bowser said in a statement. “I’m excited to see District-based businesses bring new services to residents and tourists in the Shaw neighborhood.”

Photo via Twitter/Mayor Muriel Bowser

by March 13, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Rob Fink. Follow him on Twitter @RobDFink or email him at rob[AT]


CBC at the Washington Convention Center. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The Craft Brewers Conference (dubbed “CBC” for short) is an annual gathering of breweries, brewpubs, restaurant managers/beer directors/cicerones, as well as those who manufacture brew kettles, draft systems and kegs, amongst other things. Thankfully, CBC is being held in our fair city this year at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center March 26-29.

Although it’s specifically for brewing industry professionals, that doesn’t mean that us regular folks are prohibited from indulging in the vast array of events happening during that week.

Given there are so many events in and throughout the city, some of my must-go-to-or-else-you-should-relinquish-your-human-sanctity type of events are not in Borderstan proper.  In no particular order, here are my top three choices for CBC 2013.

Tuesday, March 26, 5 pm

Where and What: Smoke and BarrelFirestone Walker and Ballast Point featuring Beer Cocktails with BeerAdvocate.

For this event, Firestone Walker is bringing a formidable lineup of barrel-aged rarities (one of which I’ve written about here) such as Parabola (barrel-aged imperial stout), Sucaba (barrel aged barleywine), and Velvet Merkin on nitro (barrel-aged oatmeal stout).  If you’re more hop-inclined, Ballast Point will be slinging their inimitable Sculpin, both on draft and on cask.  This is an event not to be missed.

Thursday, March 28, 4 pm

Where and What: Churchkey: The California Craft Beer Extravaganza.

Quite naturally, Churchkey has some of the best events for all of CBC week and Thursday’s will be particularly burdensome on the palate (in a good way, of course).  Although the specific beer list has yet to be released, I already know I’m going to be here.

The list of breweries currently includes The Lost Abbey, Stone Brewing Company, Green Flash Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and 21st Amendment — that list alone should be sufficient to convince you to make an appearance.

Friday, March 29, 1 pm

Where and What: Meridian Pint: Drink Local! Sponsored by BeerAdvocate.

Although CBC is really about bringing craft brewers from across the country together in one place, I would be remiss to not mention what’s looking to be the best event surrounding local beer. Twenty local breweries from Maryland, the District and Virginia will occupy all tap lines in addition to 20 different gravity-fed casks.

Although the beer list has yet to be released, look for not only Meridian Pint collaborations with some of the breweries, but also for standalone offerings from the likes of DC Brau Brewing Company, Flying Dog Brewery and Port City Brewing, just to name a few.

I want to stress that this is just a minute smidgen of the entire week; comrades in arms and fellow beer lovers at DC Beer have done a wonderful job of cataloguing the wide spectrum CBC events — please check out their webpage here. Cheers!

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by January 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm 0


The 2012 Auto Show at the Convention Center. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

The Washington Auto Show is back in town, and it runs February 1 through February 10 at the Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place). The show will feature more than 700 models from 42 manufacturers, and will highlight some of the leading technologies and most sustainably built cars in the auto industry.

Discount for Borderstan Readers: WANADA and The Washington Auto Show are offering a special discount to Borderstan readers. Save $2 on your ticket by going to the ticket purchase page and entering code BSTAN2OFF.

At this year’s show, the 2013 Green Car Technology Award will be given to a maker of an important technology in use today that’s helping create a new generation of fuel efficient, alternative fuel or low emission vehicles.

Some other events at this year’s show include the Fiat Indoor Drive & Ride, Military Day, speed dating and appearances from cartoon characters for the little ones. For the full schedule of events and daily hours, check the website.

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by October 12, 2012 at 10:10 am 1,899 0

"gun robbery"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

DC Police reported last evening that a gun robbery occurred around 9 pm on the 1300 block of 7th Street NW, which is between N and O Streets and close to the Washington Convention Center.

From last evening’s Police Alert: “Police Alert- Robbery Gun. UNIT FS3082 CONFIRMED A Robbery in the 1300blk of 7th St NW. LOF 2 unknown males armed with handguns. DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20120514769. Sent on: 10/11 21:21.”

You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts  by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts.

You can get more information about crime in the Borderstan area through the MPD listservs for the Second and Third Districts on Yahoo! Groups.

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by October 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,760 0

"DC Green Festival"

DC’s 8th annual Green Festival was last weekend at the Washington Convention Center. (Kim Vu)

From Kim Vu. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT]

As a committed “eat-whatever-I-want-ivore,” walking into last weekend’s DC Green Festival was like being in a particularly low-stakes episode of Covert Affairs, spying on a faction I definitely didn’t belong to. On the one hand, I’m decidedly pro-environment. But on the other, I’m also famously non-vegetarian.
On this fact-finding mission, would my wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing identity peek through the thin veneer of my cover (or in this case, my media pass)? Would this just be a solid hour of me making faces after taking wheatgrass shots? Or would I find some diamonds in the rough?

Spoiler alert: I found a lot of surprisingly cool stuff. Here follows some of the cooler green products and services I found:

Capital Kombucha: Borderstan previously profiled the District-based makers of fermented tea, but this was the first time I had encountered it or even dared to drink it (mostly because of my trepidation at the word fermented, which evoked images of fuzzy things in mason jars). But with two of the founders presenting at the Festival’s Good Food Stage, it was our time to taste the antioxidant- and probiotic -loaded beverage.

Like Ashley before me, I found it tart, like a thin balsamic vinaigrette with some light carbonation. Perhaps the most striking fact though was the display of sugar contents, comparing the light Kombucha against sugar-loaded Coke, Arizona Iced Tea, Snapple and Gatorade… it was grossly jarring.

Runa: In the non-fermented division, Runa tea was probably the best thing I sipped all day. Sold in both looseleaf, and more recently bottled form, this brand of guayusa teas was wonderful, light but brightly flavored. A mint tea was clean and compared favorably to Moroccan style pours, while a lemon-lemongrass combo was upfront and bold. The company, a fair-trade shop out of Brooklyn started as a co-op at Brown University, sells its wares at most Yes! markets.

The Chocolate Rumble: The largest battle of the day was between two chocolate purveyors: Equal Exchange and Divine Chocolate. The former provided a delightful mid-level dark chocolate with cool blasts of mint and crackle texture, while the latter wooed me with combinations like hazelnut, dried cranberry and orange zest. Both sold in Borderstan markets, the winner by a hair was Equal Exchange, but only by that much.

Love and Carrots: In the coolest “oh hey, this is a totally great idea” moment, we stumbled upon two charming ladies at the Love and Carrots booth. Their business is an organic home garden service, which is to say that they’ll come to your home, design and install a tailored vegetable garden at your residence, and come back to maintain it.

For someone like me, who’s always wanted my own urban garden, but has a habit of not watering plants and the carpentry skills of a toddler with a toy hammer, this sounds like pretty much the best idea ever, especially in our fair neighborhood.

And now for some non-food related green topics…

DC Greens/Common Good/Mundo Verde: Surprisingly, one of the larger set-ups was Ford’s; turns out they were promoting their new greener line of cars and sponsoring a contest where festival-goers voted on one (of five) local charities to which Ford would donate $5,000.

Three of these charities have Borderstan roots: DC Greens works to restore the District’s eighty-something public school gardens, working with teachers to develop yearlong green curricula for students; Common Good is a city farm right near Howard University that takes on volunteer labor, and based on income, exchange it for up to 10 pounds of fresh produce (sort of like a work-CSA exchange program); and Mundo Verde is DC’s first green public charter school which moved in August from its 20th and S Street NW location to a new site in Mount Pleasant.

Nusta Spa – A Dupont Circle business since 2004, Nusta Spa recently underwent a renovation which earned itself Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainable interior (the first ever spa to receive that certification). I can’t speak for the decor, but any owner whose vision includes sustainability for something we wouldn’t normally think of as needing to be sustainable… that’s cool.

Mr. Ellie Pooh – I’m not joking with you: this guy sold paper made out of elephant dung. And cute cards, too! Definitely not what I was expecting.

All in all, a lot of surprises and great work being done at the DC Green Festival. See you next year!

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by September 28, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,399 0

"Green Festival"

The 2011 DC Green Festival. (Courtesy of Green Festival)

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

Organic food, healthy lifestyle demonstrations and all-things sustainable will take over the Washington Convention Center this weekend for DC’s eighth annual Green Festival.

Festival Highlights

Here are some highlights of the Green Festival:

  • Bike Valet: Arrive in style (on two wheels), park with the valet and receive free admission to the event.
  • Good Food Stage: Be sure to stop by the Good Food Stage at the festival for some hands-on cooking demonstrations and workshops by local DC chefs.
  • Yoga Pavilion: Feeling a little tense? Stop by the Yoga Pavilion for a few classes and demonstrations. Namaste.
  • Speakers and Panels: Check the weekend’s schedule for panels, speakers and other demonstrations.
  • DIY Workshops: Local experts that teach participants a variety of skills to take home.
  • Green Kids Zone: The family-friendly festival includes a kids zone for the little ones that includes everything from eco-crafts to yoga, story time, trivia and more.
  • Green Pet Stage: Experts offer training tips and care methods for our pets.
  • Eco-Fashion Show: The fashion showcase will highlight the latest and greatest in sustainable clothing.

The festival runs from 10 am until 7 pm on Saturday, September 29, and from 11 am until 6 pm on Sunday, September 30. The Washington Convention Center is located at 801 Mount Vernon Place NW.

For more information on the Green Festival, visit the event’s website.

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by April 26, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,299 0

"Borderstan""9th Street NW"

“Down 9th NW” is by s.paykin from the Borderstan flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “Down 9th NW” was taken by s.paykin on January 9. The Washington Convention is at the left in the photo.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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