Tuesday, September 30, 2008

baraki meeting thursday at 7 pm

someone is distributing notices for a meeting to discuss the liquor license for baraki, the restaurant that will hopefully be opening at 1st, t, and rhode island ave. nw in the near future.

there is nothing on the flier that identifies the group that's calling this meeting, and they are only canvassing the unit block of t street, the unit block of seaton, and the stretch of 1st street that connects the two. i live on the west side of 1st street, and i did not receive one of these notices in my mailbox. the flier also doesn't mention if the owner has been invited.

anyway, i'm including the information below. (note that the flier lists an impossible address for st. martin's. the church is actually at t and north capitol.) i would encourage anyone from bloomingdale who wants to know what is going to happen with this restaurant to show up. i intend to be there.


to discuss

(at the corner of First and T Streets, NW)


to craft terms for a Cooperative Agreement


Thursday, October 2, 2008


7:00 p.m.


St. Martin's Church
(at the corner of First and North Capitol Streets, NW)

This meeting will allow residents with concerns (like noise,
loitering, hours of operation and trash, among other things)
to help craft terms for a Cooperative Agreement with the
tavern owner.

potholes—dc patches them on the super cheap

construction of the metropole (i can't think of a lamer name for a condo building) is nearly completed, at least on the exterior. this building, on the northeast corner of 15th and p nw, has kept the sidewalk, bus stop, and parking spaces on this corner in limbo for years as they've slowly put this building together.

now that the sidewalk has been given back to pedestrians and increased parking is back for patrons of the businesses on that block, i thought that maybe the city would pave p street between 14th and 15th. that block is one of the most pothole-ridden stretches of a major road in the district. biking along that block has been especially treacherous, since it's often impossible to avoid frame-shaking potholes because of the heavy traffic.

well, the district has patched the potholes! great news, right? well, not so fast. unfortunately, the execrable "pothole killer" service was used to patch some of these holes. hopefully this is a temporary fix until the road is completely repaved, and soon. look at these pictures below:

see all of that gravel that ends up flaking out of the cheap tar-and-chip job done by the pothole killer people? that gravel makes it even more dangerous for cyclists.

braking or turning (even slightly) on pea gravel like that can make your bicycle kick out from underneath you. it's dangerous, and the district is opening itself up to a potential liability issue, i'd wager. unfortunately, this is done all over the city. i guess ddot found a way to save a buck or two. i wish they'd just spend the few extra dollars and do the job right, instead of cheaply.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

vote for a bloomingdalian for craftiest bastard!

this sunday is the crafty bastards arts and crafts fair in adams morgan. it'll be taking place from 10-5 at the marie reed learning center on 18th street.

what does this have to do with bloomingdale, you ask? well, one of our neighbors, ranía hassan (aka goshdarnknit) is in the running for craftiest bastard! you can vote here, and you better vote often! it looks like ranía is well behind some of the others. can a late push from our neighborhood help put her over the top? get to it, bloomingdale!

yoga on 1st street

i know this was mentioned by sean a month and a half ago, but i thought i should mention it here as well. (since i was out of the country for a while, i'm just now catching up on some old blog posts here and there...)

with baraki and yoga district moving into our little commercial strip, the amount of foot traffic on the street will greatly increase, and other business owners might be tempted to take another look at the other vacant places in downtown bloomingdale, and start to invest.

Monday, September 22, 2008

shaw clean-up this saturday

this saturday (september 27th), treebox vodka and shaw main streets will be hosting the latest shaw streets clean up.

come out at 10 a.m. at 9th and O streets (in front of azi's cafe), bring a friend, and get ready to meet some more people who care about the city. i've met quite a few friendly people through these clean-ups, and it's a simple thing to do for an hour in the morning to help make our city a nicer place.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

bloomingdale civic association meeting

(i'm a little remiss in not getting this information up on monday night right after the meeting, so i apologize for that. i do want to make sure that the neigborhood stays up-to-date on all the information that i can get out there regarding bloomingdale, and will be sure to have the blog back up to full speed very soon....)

on monday, september 15th, the bloomingdale civic association held its monthly meeting in the basement of st. george's episcopal church at the southeast corner of 2nd and U streets. representatives from howard university came by to talk about this year's homecoming parade, which takes place on october 18th. they wanted to make sure that all neighborhoods near the school, not just ledroit park, would be aware of what was happening.

a church representative updated everyone on the ongoing construction at the church (which is coming to an end soon). they will be holding an open house after the construction is finished (i forget what the date will be for that, but it will certainly be posted to the neighborhood listserv).

members from kwame brown's office stopped by to inform the civic association that they would continue to be available to help constituents in the area. ms. cassandra costley, the association president, asked if there would be follow-up by the councilmember's office in response to the meeting that took place in june at big bear. we were informed that there is ongoing dialogue concerning how to help new businesses on both north capitol and new york avenue.

the big reason that everyone (everyone being approximately 10 people....c'mon, bloomingdale, do you have any neighborhood pride or not? show up at your meetings and make your voice heard!) came to the meeting, though, was to hear what had to be said regarding the proposed restaurant/tavern/bar at the corner of 1st and T, NW, and its liquor license.

there was about 45 minutes of serious discussion regarding how the establishment would affect the neighborhood. one resident was opposed to the license and asked how it could be guaranteed that the business would not get a license. another resident, a member of shiloh baptist church in shaw, told those in attendance that his church had spent $40,000 fighting the liquor license of queen of sheba restaurant, and they had failed. he warned that he felt the liquor license would be granted regardless of what happened at the meeting.

in the end, discussion seemed to coalesce around the idea that most in the neighborhood were welcoming of the possibility of a restaurant in the neighborhood, but the consensus was that the ownership needs to be more serious about their application (it was riddled with errors, some comical, some serious), they need to conduct more outreach with neighbors, and they need to present a serious business plan to assuage fears that this restaurant isn't well planned.

now, i've made it clear that i'm in favor of this establishment opening up on the block where i live. i think it has the ability to be the tipping point that helps bloomingdale's "main street" (1st street) become a viable little commercial strip. we have some good businesses now, but i feel this would help us prove there is enough foot traffic around here to fill up the other vacant places on the block. there is talk of a yoga studio moving in, and it was announced that kumon learning centers is planning to move in to the long-vacant shell next door to the proposed restaurant. but i agreed with the civic association when it voted in favor of a formal resolution protesting the liquor license application for "baraki".

the ownership needs to make an effort to reach out to the neighbors and the official neighborhood organizations in bloomingdale. as kris hammond notes, anc 5c voted to challenge the license as well. unfortunately, the term "protest" sounds more confrontational than it needs to be regarding this process. it's the only way that an official neighborhood organization can get on the agenda at the meeting when the license proposal will come before the ABRA.

ms. costley stated that she is in favor of baraki opening up in our neighborhood, and she will be the voice representing the civic association at the license hearing. but she wants the owners to answer some questions, fix up their application, and compromise with the neighbors over issues like parking, trash, noise, and opening hours. i agree with her. if the restaurant owners aren't willing to come to the neighborhood and discuss these things (no one representing the owners showed up at the meeting), then they're going to find quickly that they'll be in trouble. humbly coming before the neighbors, looking to become a neighbor yourself, would do them well here in bloomingdale. i hope the owners are listening.

Monday, September 15, 2008

bloomingdale civic association meeting tonight

today, (monday, september 15th) at 7 pm at st. george's episcopal church (160 u street nw), the bloomingdale civic association will be meeting to nominate candidates for leadership positions, and, more importantly (i believe) to discuss a resolution regarding the proposed bar at 1st and t streets nw.

come out and make your opinion heard tonight!