Tuesday, December 16, 2008

mcmillan meeting notes

(i want to apologize for not getting this post up sooner, but sometimes you have to spend time taking care of people who need help, and putting the blog off until later...)

here are some brief notes from the mcmillan meeting that happened saturday at trinity university.

donuts and coffee for everyone who came out at 10 a.m. to trinity's library. the meeting started about 25 minutes late.

i'm not a good judge of crowd sizes, but i'd wager that 50 people showed up for this meeting. much smaller turnout that the first meeting in april.

after introductions from councilman thomas and aakash thakkar, eya's vp of development, emily eig gave us a brief history of the site. she showed old photographs of the construction of the sand filtration cells and the fountain that used to be located northwest of the corner of first and channing streets, along with some of the original plans as layed out by frederick law olmstead, jr.

tony norman, a longtime bloomingdale resident, gave more history of the site, and discussed how families remember the site from more recent years. he admonished those present to make sure that we care for our history, because, as he put it, "if we (the district of columbia) don't respect our history, how will the rest of the country respect us?

finally, after the history, aakash thakkar took to the mic again to describe the development to those at the meeting. he was joined by bob youngetob of eya, jair lynch, and barrie daneker of anc 5c07 in fielding questions, as well as others whose names i did not write down. the powerpoint that was shown was pretty similar to the one i have. if you'd like a copy of what i have, please leave a note in the comments and i'll email it to you.

anyway, some of the big details are that there are estimated to be $50-$60 million in infrastructure costs in the site—both to make it available to build on, and to save some of the historical elements of the site. the plans include approximately 1.8-2.3 million square feet of residential to support the retail on site. the developers are operating under the assumption that the city will not provide financing in the form of bonds, so they will have to find the up-front money on their own.

i included the image above to show some of the ideas of retail for the site. the retail element will be the first phase built at the site, with office and residential following. a grocery store will anchor the corner at north capitol and michigan. the developers are currently in discussion with grocers for this corner, but they can't reveal whom at this early point in the process. the image on the screen, though, lists many grocers including harris teeter, trader joe's (please, please, let this be the one), elwood thompson's, whole foods, giant, my organic market, safeway, shoppers food warehouse, fresh market, and yes organic market. since the developers said the site will support a smaller grocery store (in the 35-40,000 square foot range), my guess would be a trader joe's would be perfect for this spot. yes, giant, and safeway would be cannibalizing stores they have nearby, bloomingdale just isn't a whole foods neighborhood (sorry, but true), and i don't know if the space is big enough for a shoppers.

anyway, to step back from the grocery speculation, the developers stated that there would be room for up to 20 smaller stores, including 7-8 neighborhood serving restaurants. we were told to think of the city vista project at 5th and k nw, as well as barracks row, as examples of the feel this project would have, retail-wise.

comments from those in attendance were varied, and i don't wish to recount them in-depth here. suffice it to say that residents of park place, the condominium community to the northeast of the project don't feel that they've been adequately represented in the process of designing this project. members of the brookland community who are opposed to any development anywhere made themselves heard, often to the detriment of bloomingdale neighbors who had the floor. some residents who would rather see the site remain green space made themselves heard, but i believe that they are fighting an uphill battle here.

the next community meeting regarding the project will be held on saturday, january 24th, so mark it down on your calendars now!

i'd be interested to hear from others who were at the meeting, who might disagree with the way i've summarized things, and who feel there are things i glossed over that were important and should be discussed here. please continue the discussion in the comments, i hope we can get a good dialogue started here!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

mcmillan site meeting this saturday

click on the image to the right to view the flyer for this weekend's meeting regarding the proposed development at the mcmillan sand filtration site. i received a paper copy of this flyer in the mail on wednesday, in addition to a PDF via email a few days earlier. here are the important details:

date: saturday, december 13th
time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
location: social hall, trinity university (125 michigan ave. NE)

concept plans for the site will be presented. a presentation has already been given to "select" members of the community, and i've received a copy of that presentation, so i felt some of it should be shared with the wider community so you can get a feel for what you'll see at the meeting this saturday.

this image shows a proposed site plan. note that first street is at the top, channing is at the left, michigan at the right, and north capitol at the bottom.

open space in the proposed site plan is highlighted here.

this artwork shows the southernmost park area, as view from north capitol street.

this artwork shows some of the retail frontage at the corner of the northernmost row of filtration towers and a proposed road that would be halfway between north capitol and first street (half street NW?)

finally, here's a ground-level view from the southwest corner of the retail stretch and what i'm calling half street NW.

for the most part, i like what i'm seeing so far. i don't know if i would lay out the rowhouses on the southern third of the site the way the plan shows currently, and i hope there's more differentiation at the northern half of the site to break up facades and make things visually interesting, but since this is a first draft, let's all go to the meeting on saturday and discuss things!

fixing the intersection of florida and r

i want to draw attention to this post over at sean's bloomingdale blog.

the intersection of florida avenue and r street, nw, on the southern edge of bloomingdale, is dangerous. period. for pedestrians, cyclists, and even drivers of automobiles on r street, you often take your life in your hands when trying to cross florida.

traffic on florida avenue is not required to stop, and the lights one block in either direction are timed in such a way that there is nearly always cross traffic on florida at this point. if you are driving westbound on r street, your best bet is to pull into the middle of the intersection when westbound florida avenue traffic clears and hope that traffic on eastbound florida will stop and let you proceed. that's an iffy proposition.

those trying to cross by bicycle or foot might as well prepare for a lifesize version of frogger.

apparently, the city is aware of the shortcomings at this intersection, and are looking into doing something about it. what that is isn't clear, but you can email mike goodno of ddot and let him know you share concerns about safety at florida and r.

his email address is mike.goodno@dc.gov. how about sending him a friendly email letting him know you'd be happy to throw your support behind making this dangerous intersection a safer place for all of us.

the case for bringing back truxton circle

just before thanksgiving, there was some discussion on the bloomingdale listserv regarding the past, present, and future of truxton circle. for those who don't know, truxton circle was a traffic circle on north capitol street, located just north of the current intersection with florida avenue.

as you can see in the graphic to the right, q street and lincoln road fed directly into the circle, while florida avenue ran just to the south. a photo of the circle (with the fountain that resided at its center) can be seen in this graphic, provided by bloomingdale resident tim sloan. he has written a very eloquent defense of why we should bring the circle back, as part of a reconstruction of north capitol street, that would bring the road back to a more human level, away from the car-centric near-freeway that it is today. his letter, in its entirety, is below.

(note: the 2005 ddot study referred to below can be found here.)



I have researched the 2005 DC DDOT study to rebuild Truxton Circle. In my opinion, it was flawed. It was conducted in a way where the only conclusion could be to NOT recommend building a new circle.

My case starts with the 11th Street bridge project in SE over the Anacostia River. That project begins construction next spring. When completed in 2015, the new 8 lane highway speed bridge will take thousands of cars off of New York Avenue. These cars will bypass NY Avenue and the 395 tunnel in NW for the faster, direct connection to the SE/SW freeway along 295.

Currently, DC DDOT is doing a feasibility study to close the entrance to 395 at New York Avenue NW. This closure cannot happen until the bridges over the river are open in my opinion. The hope is to return NY Avenue into a “grand boulevard” with green median strip.

All these traffic flow changes will affect North Capitol, as well, making the 2005 Truxton Circle study data obsolete.

Traffic heading south on North Capitol Street at R Street in the morning rush is about 2500 vehicles an hour. By the time you get to H Street, that number has dropped to 1250 vehicles an hour. Where are the 1250 cars going that turned off North Capitol? I suspect they are headed to the 395 tunnel entrance on NY Avenue, NW.

The other flaw in the Truxton Circle study is they focused on building a traffic circle that ONLY allowed 2 lanes of North/South traffic to enter the circle. North Capitol has three travel lanes in each direction crossing Florida Avenue currently. So, of course, the wait queues would be enormous due to merging traffic entering a two lane circle.

Chevy Chase Circle in NW has 3 traffic lanes entering and exiting the circle along Connecticut Avenue. It has no problems and higher traffic numbers than those of North Capitol Street.

DC DDOT still has the mind set that New York Avenue, Florida Avenue and North Capitol streets’ sole mission in our neighborhood is to feed the 395 highway beast. This is why cars on North Capitol wiz by at over 50 mph in our neighborhoods. They have no interest in stopping, shopping or slowing down. They are just cutting through, many on the way to Virginia via the 395 tunnel.

The right-of-way for North Capitol Street at Rhode Island Avenue is 110 feet wide, including the very narrow sidewalks. Some are only 4 feet wide. By comparison, the grand section of Pennsylvania between the White House and the US Capitol averages a 100 foot wide roadway width and 20 to 40 foot wide sidewalks on each side. On Pennsylvania Avenue, the 100 foot wide road way provides 4 travel lanes in each direction with a 16 foot wide median.

What do we get for our 110 foot wide road way? Two high speed lanes in each direction with a median barely wide enough to stand on and all buried 25 feet below grade (street level). At grade, we have 1 local lane in each direction, 1 parking lane and narrow sidewalks. Pedestrian deaths and high speed accidents are common on this section of roadway.

The highway designers of the 50’s and 60’s tunneled North Capitol to serve the unfinished 395 freeway, making a bad transportation plan even worse. We lost a walkable and connected neighborhood.

North Capitol Street will never be a thriving retail district and majestic northern gateway” to the “old city” until there are significant transportation changes in this area:
  1. Complete the 11th Street bridges in SE connecting 395 to 295. (completion 2015)
  2. Closing the 395 tunnel entrance at New York Avenue NW (entry to the Tunnel will be from Massachusetts Avenue NW).
  3. Building a modern three lane Truxton Circle at North Capitol and Florida Avenue.
  4. Return the intersection of North Capitol and New York Avenue to a grade intersection.
  5. Eliminate the long below grade section of North Capitol Street (W Street to Randolph Street), thus returning Rhode Island Avenue to a grade intersection with North Capitol Street and in the process creating a grand vista L’Enfant would be proud of.
"We must invest in our neighborhood commercial corridors so that they can thrive and flourish." - Councilmember Thomas while talking about the burying of utilities on 12th street NE.

Now imagine cars traveling 25 mph along a tree lined North Capitol with pedestrian friendly intersections and wide medians with trees. Walk along wide brick sidewalks once the underpasses are removed and the street correctly proportioned. Only then can you begin to imagine cafes, shops, restaurants and new housing along North Capitol Street.

The success of a thriving North Capitol Street business district will depend on new infrastructure and transportation projects, not street light flower baskets and banners. Now, let’s get to work.


here's a comparison of the circle before it's removal, and the same view up newly widened north capitol street immediately after reconstruction.

this graphic, from the 2005 ddot study, shows the proposed circle being centered on the intersection of north capitol and florida avenue. this would require the condemning of property to the southwest and northeast of the intersection. i believe that placing the circle in its proper former location would be more intelligent, and less damaging to the existing neighborhood.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


god bless alice thompson, the outreach person for the mayor's office here in ward 5. she sent this email out yesterday:












Alice A. Thompson
Outreach and Services Specialist W-5
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s
Office of Community Relations and Services
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 211
Washington, D.C. 20004
Tel. (202) 727-5746
Fax (202) 727-5931
this is the second email i've seen from her office referring to our neighborhood as "bloomingdales". is this in reference to north bloomingdale + south bloomingdale? are there two "bloomingdales"?

and why all caps? no need to shout! :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

george will grammar tic #7

continuing my irrational obsession with one man's need to make one-word sentences consisting of four letters eerily similar to his last name, i present you with this. end of the third paragraph...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

even more blogroll fun!

i have a couple more blogs to add to the blogroll (i've been on a real "read as much about the city as i can" kick lately):


  • borderstan—the name may be debated, but the content isn't. a consistently updated blog covering the area between logan and dupont circles.
  • off seventh—one of the best shaw blogs has been back for a while, and it's time it was back on the blogroll.
  • river east idealist—another east of the river blog (one that actually would like to rebrand "east of the river" as "river east"). good to see more activity from an underblogged part of the city.
(sorry i didn't add your blog to the list, hillrat, but i felt yours was less dc news, and more a personal blog. you can argue this one with me as you'd like!)

there are many, many other DC blogs on my radar, and i post these updates mostly to give these blogs a shout out, not to just announce what's on the blogroll. i'll talk about more of them very soon.

am i an old curmudgeon?

yesterday evening, i had a pizza in the oven, and was sitting in my room reading the dupont current (total nerd alert, here), when i heard some crashing of glass out in front of the house. i leapt to the window, looking outside to see a group of kids who couldn't be more than 9 years old tipping over my garbage and recycling cans.

i had seen these kids hanging out in front of the dc mini mart (our wonderful friendly neighborhood liquor store at 1828 1st street nw) about 45 minutes earlier when i was taking the garbage out to the curb. my first reaction was anger, and i wanted to just run downstairs and pummel the brats.

in the amount of time it took me to throw on a coat and my shoes, i managed to think about things rationally (a little bit, anyways) and i decided to pursue a different course of action. when i got downstairs, i walked right over to the liquor store, where i found the four young boys standing by the front door.

one of them asked me if i wanted to go into the store. i quickly said, "no," and proceeded to ask them why they tipped my garbage over. before they could deny doing so (which one of the boys started to try to do), i told them that i just watched them do it from my window. i told them, "i know you just want to have a little fun, but you can't do what you just did. i want you to come over here and help me pick things up."

one of the boys started to claim that he had simply bumped into one of the cans while walking by. i quickly stopped him and told him i had watched them "bump" into all four, and pull them to the ground. there was no accident here, and they knew that i knew it. i started walking over to the cans, and motioned for the boys to follow me. two of them walked over to the cans with me and helped pick things up. the other two did not.

i thanked the boys who helped me pick things up, and they walked back to the liquor store while i walked back inside. one asked me if i really lived here, and i pointed to the apartment upstairs and said, "yep, right up there."

now, looking back at this event, there are a couple of things i would have done differently. i wish i would have asked their names, and gave them mine. i think i missed out on a chance to really connect with at least one of these boys, and i didn't take advantage of that. i wish i would have been a little more calm when i first went to confront them, because i realize now that i was still too worked up emotionally when i first approached them. i wish i wouldn't have let the other two boys just stand there and do nothing. they were part of the problem, and they needed to be part of the solution.

i asked if i'm a curmudgeon in the title of this post because i wonder 'am i just keeping kids from having a little fun'? sure, what they did was pretty harmless, but at the same time, i want to know what kind of parents let elementary school aged boys run around alone, and hang out at a liquor store, at 8:30 on a school night? these boys are at an age where they're going to be very susceptible to getting involved with stuff that's a lot worse than tipping over garbage cans. the lack of good parenting here really makes me much angrier than any spilled recyclables ever could...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

used bike sale at big bear this saturday

there will be a used bike sale on saturday, december 6th, at big bear. sounds like an awesome chance to get a really good bicycle!

from thewashcycle:

On Saturday, December 6, four local, non-profit bike programs are joining forces to bring more bikes to DC streets. The programs, Phoenix Bikes, Renaissance Community Youth Bike Project, The Mount Rainier Bike Coop, and the Rockville Youth Bike Project, use bikes to help young people get active, have fun learning, and serve their communities. There’ll be 20 - 30 road, hybrid, single-speed, kids, and mountain bikes, refurbished by youth, volunteer, and staff mechanics. Best of all, proceeds go to keeping these programs and their cyclists moving. Come by the Bike Sale, running from 10am – 3 pm at Big Bear CafĂ© to find a new ride for 2009!

Friday, November 21, 2008

st. martin's apartments groundbreaking ceremony

today was the groundbreaking ceremony for the st. martin's apartments complex in eckington. there was a lot of concern expressed on neighborhood listservs and blogs over the last couple years regarding this project, which will bring 178 apartments to the corner of summit and T streets NE, across the street from mckinley tech high school.

one of the big neighborhood concerns stems from the fact that 50 units in the building will be dedicated to the mayor's housing first program, which will take people off the street and out of homeless shelters, giving them the stability of their own apartment. some neighborhood residents believed that this was "warehousing" by putting this many former homeless in one location. i don't wish to get into the politics of this story one way or the other, but i'd like to just show a few pictures from today with some brief comments.

here's the old convent on the site, which will apparently be moved down the hill somewhat, closer to the corner of summit and T streets (away from the camera at this angle).

shovels and a fake pile of dirt were set up in the parking lot beforehand to the used for the ceremonial groundbreaking. there were seven speakers in the tent this morning, including opening and closing remarks from the emcee, ed orzechowski, the CEO of catholic charities of DC. following his welcome to the crowd, we heard from leila edmonds, the director of the DC department of housing and community development, allison ladd, the associate executive director of the DC housing finance agency, and michael kelly, the executive director of the DC housing authority.

in this photo, councilman harry thomas, jr., of ward 5 speaks, with community members around him (including robert brannum, alice thompson, and current and former ANC commissioners. councilman thomas, sporting a democrats.org ballcap, talked about the long road that it took to get this project off the ground.

in a cheesy comment, he noted that he had driven from the wilson building in a v8-powered SUV, while mayor fenty had driven over in his smart car. councilman thomas told mayor fenty that he should abandon the smart car and get back in something with "more horsepower" so he could make it to these events more quickly. all things said, i'd much rather that those driving would all follow the mayor's example instead of barreling around in gas guzzlers like the councilman.

here's that smart car of the mayor's, parked outside of the tent, and not taking blocking sidewalks and street corners, like a lot of the other cars at this event. just sayin'...

speaking of the mayor, he had a lot to say about the need for low-income housing in the city.

the archbishop of the catholic church, donald wuerl, spoke as well and offered a prayer.

after the speeches, the assembled dignitaries left the tent to turn the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt. construction (mostly clearing and grading of the site) is already underway, as rumbling dump trucks made clear to everyone at the site.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

who the heck is urbanturf?

as a connoisseur of many, many local blogs, you sometimes notice that a lot of blogs are covering the same story.

that's ok. often, one blog approaches a story from a different angle than another, and you learn different things from different people. i feel like it really gives you a stronger understanding of local stories (which is one of the best things about hyper-local blogging in the first place).

so, i thought it was interesting that at least three of the citywide blogs here in dc all started pushing this relatively new blog called dc urbanturf by giving guest real estate (pun intended) on their blogs to this new "home buying guide."

dcist, dcmetrocentric, and now prince of petworth all have guest posts supplied by urbanturf on their sites. it would appear that whomever the folks are behind urbanturf (check here for some brief bios) are doing a really good job selling themselves to the heavy hitters in the dc blogosphere.

Friday, November 14, 2008

bloomingdale civic association meeting on monday the 17th

remember, monday at 7:00 p.m., it's the monthly meeting of the bloomingdale civic association (at st. george's episcopal church on the corner of 2nd and U streets)

here's a reminder from association president cassandra costley:

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. St. Georges Episcopal Church (160 U St, NW). We will host the District's Water and Sewer Authority's (WASA) public forum on its 20-Year Plan to Control Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). Some of Bloomingdale's newer neighbors may not be aware that this community's failing CSO system has been the cause of significant flooding and property damage in this neighborhood. So, you can learn what has been done and is in store for Bloomingdale. This meeting is also your opportunity to learn more about the $2.2 billion plan to control pollution in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and Rock Creek. WASA and its customers - you - are spending more than $2 billion to reduce 96 percent of the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in our waterways. Please attend this meeting to learn more about this water pollution control program, flooding, share your views, and find out how you can help reduce pollution in our area creeks and rivers and control flooding.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

yoga district grand opening schedule

here's the information on yoga district's grand opening this weekend:

yoga by day,
art & music by night

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yoga District, with its not-for-profit mission to bring affordable yoga classes to diverse communities in eco-sensitive environments, is having a Grand Opening & Winter Peace Benefit. Proceeds will benefit Delfa Hercules' family & the Peace Initiative.

  • 9am-9:45am: Meditation class, all levels ($5 donation suggested).
  • 10am-11:15am: Yoga 1-2 class ($10 donation suggested).
  • 11:15am-12:30pm: Open House, Meet the Teachers, Winter Peace Initiative Volunteer Sign Up, and Art Exhibition by area artists.
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm: Vegan / Vegetarian Chef Cooking Demo- Light Lunch will be served ($6 donation suggested).
  • 2:00pm-3:15pm: Flow Yoga 1-2 ($10 donation suggested).
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm: Kids Yoga (ages 5-9) ($10 donation suggested).
  • 6:00pm-?: Music, live graffiti art, art by local artists, freestyle performance, open mic, drinks & munchies ($10 donation suggested).
1830 1st Street NW (purple building)
202 265 YOGA www.yogadistrict.com

Copyright 2008-2009 Yoga District LLC.
All rights reserved.

Steve Abate
Studio Assistant Manager

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

reconfiguration of a major intersection?

before the election last week, ted mcginn, a candidate for an ANC seat in SMD 5C02 brought up some of the things that were discussed at the edgewood civic association meeting that would affect his SMD in the near future.

(ted is also one of the principals behind the bloomingdale farmer's market every sunday.)

anyway, one of the things that was brought up was that ddot was planning to implement a "virtual traffic circle" at the intersection of florida and new york avenues beginning in february of 2009. needless to say, i was rather intrigued, and asked ted for more background. he directed me to this website, which is home to an old corridor study that ddot did for new york avenue from mt. vernon square all the way to the maryland line, where one can find the map below (modified with a few corporate logos by yours truly):

if this map is correct, florida avenue will be turned one-way westbound (towards U street) from the eastern end of the ATF building over to the XM building. eastbound traffic (towards trinidad and gallaudet) will be routed onto 1st street NE, then will have to make a left turn onto the short stretch of O street that is usually used as a loop for current eastbound florida avenue traffic to get onto eastbound new york avenue.

the site says this is a "temporary" solution, but it appears that a final solution for redesigning this intersection hasn't been agreed on. leave a comment and let everyone know what you think about this. i, for one, am not a big fan of one-way traffic, as it seems to make roads more apt to be racetracks. of course, eastbound traffic would be doing anything but racing through this redesign...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

blogroll changes

i took a look at my blogroll, and decided it was time for some major changes. there were a few blogs there that are dead, and new ones that i've been following for a while now via RSS. so, just so you have a better idea about what i check to keep up on news here in DC, here are the changes to my blogroll.


  • free ride—the express newspaper has removed newsiness from its blog, and just sticks to info about "going out". not my thing, thanks.
  • new kid on the eckington block—guess eckington can't support that many blogs. this one has only posted once in 2008.
  • climbing the mount—looks like this blog died out about 3 months ago. hasn't been anything new from mt. pleasant since early august.


kwame brown—where's the action?

just a quick question for kwame brown as he most likely cruises to an easy reelection today. back in june, you were here in bloomingdale to discuss things you could do to help our neighborhood. one thing that was brought up was how the house (pictured here) at 1727 1st street nw is boarded up, crumbling, a nuisance property, and owned by an absentee landlord from bethesda. you said you'd get that house worked on, get something happening with it.

it's been almost 5 months, mr. brown, and still nothing is happening at the corner of randolph and 1st streets. i know you don't need to come back to us for 4 years to ask for our vote, but it would be nice to fill this promise to the bloomingdale community before then.

will CPR work here?

on the southwest corner of 5th and rhode island nw a few weeks ago, someone drove up over the curb and ran over this parking sign. it's still lying there, face down. i think the patient might be dead, jim.

copyright infringement?

does anyone from washingtonian magazine want to tell me if the new name for the former lowest price gas station on the southwest corner of rhode island and new jersey avenues is breaking any copyright laws?

new streetlights for rhode island avenue

i was biking down rhode island avenue on monday, and i saw a sign announcing construction and lane closures at the corner of new jersey avenue. turns out that the right-hand lane was being closed for this:

i saw two of these on westbound rhode island (between new jersey and 5th, and between 5th and 6th streets nw) and one on eastbound rhode island (at 8th street). i asked the construction workers what was going on, and they said they were installing the bases for new streetlights. guess this stretch of rhode island won't be so dark at night anymore!

fixed in time for election day

a couple weeks ago, i pointed out the typo in robert vinson brannum's signs announcing his run for the ward 5 school board seat. well, just before the election, looks like he has new signs up.

i have to say, bravo! these are much easier to read from a distance (as in, you can actually tell who the signs are for without needing to get very close). well done, sir, and good luck today!

1823 1st street nw—bloomingdale's public restroom

check the guy in the light blue shirt. he's not checking for leaks in that building's windows. this isn't the first time that i've brought up the area in front of 1821 and 1823 1st street here in "downtown bloomingdale." it's a place where a lot of guys with nothing else to do hang out all day. the usual crew needs to heed nature's call once in a while, and it seems that most of the time, that entails walking around to the alley behind shearard's accounting to relieve themselves. sometimes, you just can't wait, so the stairwell at 1823 serves as a men's room.

going to the dc citizen atlas tells me that the owner of the property is l. g. mckinnie. anyone know how i can search for this person's contact info to see what they think about their property being reduced to a urinal?

why change from duke city?

saw on prince of petworth that duke's city on u street was undergoing some renovations. while i was across the street at the saloon on saturday, i took this picture. looks like they've changed the name to "indulj." god, that spelling is lame, but it looks like this is their new direction.

Monday, November 3, 2008

interesting voting map

just a quick link to fredo alvarez's blog for a cool map showing when polls close across the country tomorrow.

by 7:30 p.m. DC time, ohio, virginia, and north carolina will all be closed. three of the biggest swing states in this presidential election will be (potentially) able to be called at that point.

Friday, October 31, 2008

yoga district official opening

here's the information from steve abete at yoga district regarding their pre-grand opening party on november 16th


Yoga District (www.yogadistrict.com), known for its not-for-profit mission to bring affordable yoga classes to diverse communities in eco-sensitive environments, announces its Bloomingdale studio's Grand Opening & Winter Peace Celebration, with activities throughout the day and night on Sunday, November 16th. Proceeds will benefit Delfa Hercules' family and a Winter Peace Initiative, a fund to organize citizen street patrols around the yoga studio, as well as volunteers working with nonprofit agencies fanning out on area street corners to help those in need of social services. The November 16th celebration marks the start of the new studio's full schedule of classes and grand opening on Monday, November 17th.

The November 16th schedule of events at the new studio, located at 1830 1st Street NW, includes:

  • 9am-9:45am: Community all-levels meditation class ($5 donation suggested).
  • 10am-11:15am: Yoga 1-2 class ($10 donation suggested).
  • 11:15am-12:30pm: Open House, Meet the Teachers, Winter Peace Initiative Volunteer Sign Up, and an Art Exhibition by local artists (accepting submissions- email info@yogadistrict.com if interested).
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm: Vegan & Vegetarian Chef Cooking Demo- Light Lunch included ($6 donation suggested).
  • 2:00pm-3:15pm: Flow Yoga 1-2 ($10 donation suggested).
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm: Kids Yoga (ages 5-9; $10 donation suggested).
  • 6:00pm-?: Evening events including DJs, acoustic performances, live graffiti art, freestyle performances, open mic, drinks and munchies ($10 donation suggested).

For more information, please see www.yogadistrict.com or email info@yogadistrict.com.

Steve Abate
Studio Assistant Manager

Thursday, October 30, 2008

bad economy?!? what bad economy???

downtown bloomingdale is booming! yoga district has a sign up now (it's just a temp. looking one, hopefully a more permanent one is coming soon). but what's that next door?!? another commercial space is getting fixed up? are we really in the middle of an economic downturn, 'cause it doesn't feel that way 'round here!

i talked with the gentleman doing the painting here at 1832 1st street (which is getting a color scheme similar to yoga district—purple, green, and yellow), and he said he doesn't know what's going in here, but whatever it is will be opening in two weeks or so. i'll update you all when i find out more.

yoga district schedule

commenter aparker asked to have the schedule at yoga district posted. it's available online here (warning: that's a PDF at that link), and here's the comment that jasmine included as well:

Hi! There's a limited class schedule until the Grand Opening on November 17th (fundraiser party on November 16th for Delfa Hercules' family and a Winter Peace Initiative- see www.yogadistrict.com for info). Until Nov. 17th, classes are 6:45pm-8pm every night, except Saturdays, which has morning class 10:45am-12pm. Details at www.yogadistrict.com under the "the classes" link. All the teachers are very different, so be sure to try a few. Classes free 10/27-11/2! Peace and thanks for your support!
for those that didn't know, yoga district is located at 1830 1st street nw, in the heart of downtown bloomingdale!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

everyone's favorite sport—new grocery store speculation!

so, here's a fun little rumor that i picked up on sunday.

trader joe's, quite possibly the best low-cost grocery chain i've ever seen, has only one location in the district, at 25th and L in foggy bottom. there were rumors back in the day that they might be looking at opening a U street location at 14th and V (where yes! organic market will be opening soon).

while checking out, i was chatting with the cashier and asked her when trader joe's was going to be expanding in order to take over the city. she told me pretty matter-of-factly that she's heard that tj's is looking at new locations in "upper georgetown" (which sounds to me like either burlieth or glover park) and at 14th and S streets nw.

now, the 14th and S location would be of more interest to bloomingdalians. i'm not sure exactly which building that would be located in, but whitman-walker just sold their buildings on the northwest corner here, so maybe those parcels could be configured to make space for a grocery store.

near that corner, there's also the central union mission building (which they're leaving for 65 mass. ave nw) and the old church of the rapture building (on the southwest corner of 14th and T). that one's being fought over by the owner of tryst/the diner/open city and a furniture store from minnesota, so i'm sure that's not a possibility here.

so, does a trader joe's on the 14th street corridor sound like a real possibility, or was i just hearing unsubstantiated rumors?

Monday, October 27, 2008

wee kan speel

guess this is how you spell "avenue" in baltimore.

(picture taken in hampden on 36th street)

creative bumper sticker

saw this on the way home from the bloomingdale farmer's market this weekend. pretty clever mixing obama with the outer banks.

geography lesson on an onion!

this is a picture of an onion that i picked up last weekend at safeway (i'm calling it the "seven safeway" [in ward 7 at minnesota and benning] since i haven't seen it nicknamed elsewhere) after the coalition for smarter growth's downtown ward 7 walking tour.

why write about an onion? well, i thought this was a good spot for a quick geography/history lesson. note the name of this onion brand—mayan sweets. then note where it's from (you can click on the picture to view a larger image).

if you didn't know already, the mayan empire was in present-day guatemala, belize, and mexico. the incan empire was in peru (where this onion is from). someone needs to rename their brand...

shots from this weekend's BFM

this weekend's bloomingdale farmer's market included a couple of new vendors: keswick creamery was selling cheese and pudding, and chez hareg was selling cookies and cakes at their tent. in addition, culinaerie was giving cooking demonstrations (and letting us sample some mean butternut squash soup!) i hope the new vendors come back; the cheese was flying off the shelves, so to speak, and hareg seemed to have brisk sales of her baked goods. hopefully our little farmer's market is growing up!

hareg is getting more cookies out and ready to sell. i bought some of the vegan sugar cookies (very, very good stuff!)

the cameras film the cooking demonstration from culinaerie.

this is where i always get my peppers, beans, and squash!

this little guy was at least getting most of his drink down the hatch!