A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

H Street Main Street @the Farmers Market

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Representatives from H Street Main Street (HSMS) will be manning a table at the H Street Farm Fresh Market for opening day (Saturday May 6th 9am-12pm). So, this is your chance to get more information on the group & find out how you too can volunteer your time.

Friday, April 28, 2006

What Happens When Nobody's Watching

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See where they've started demolition in the far left corner? (old photo, Richard's is newer).
Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space has a few shots of some of the demolition going on in the Florida Market area/wholesale food district (Richard has written about it too). I've also noticed this demolition (I spoke with someone who insisted that it would be only a renovation, but I don't think that usually involves leveling the building) & it is bad news (this particular demolition is Choi's work, but it is pursuant to an old request for proposals. I'm concerned about a trend developing). The buildings aren't in the greatest condition on the inside, but the bones are typically fine. I think this area has great development potential an historic market area that could appeal to residents, and tourists (note the dreamy location right across from a red line metro station). Taking down these buildings is a step in the wrong direction (and it could be the first sign of the dissolution of the market altogether).
Read more about the market through the links above, or here:
1. Meat Deals (from Rebuilding Place)
2. Another Point About the Florida Market Area (from Rebuilding Place)
3. AAGH on the Florida Market Area (RP)
4. Bib Bim Bap at Young's Deli --Tour of Florida Market Area as a Blog Meetup? (RP)
5. Developer Peddles a New Vision for an Old Market (Washington Post)
6. My reponse to the Post article (Frozen Tropics)
7. Flea Markets, Layering, and Placemaking (RP)
8. Buying Wholesale in Northeast (DCist)
9. Litteri's -the place for all things Italian (including the best subs in town)
10. Washington Post Review of Litteri's
11. Sausage Fest (Daily Candy)
12. Market Time (A Capitol Life)
*By the way, if you (like me) have a Manhattan Special habit, you can get your fix at Litteri's

Getting into the Farmers Market Mood

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The Post is hosting a live chat toady at 11am (but you can submit questions earlier & just read the transcript later) on vegetarian cooking. It seemed perfect to post this as we're gearing up for another season of the H Street Farmers Market (600 block of H Street). Don't be mislead, you can also buy meat at the market, it's just that I often find vegetarian cooking can get a little more creative with some of those veggies (and a vegetarian cookbook will often tell you how to cook those funny veggies that don't appear too mush in some of your other cook books). The H Street Farm Fresh Market returns on Saturday May 6th (9am-12pm).

Thursday, April 27, 2006

1200 Block of Florida

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From a few months ago when were doing a little work on the south side of Florida (1200 block). Speaking of tearing things up, has anyone seen any workers over at the condo site in the 1200 block of Morse (where that house fell over into their pit)? I'm told that the site of the mostly dug out & half built giant has been strangely silent in recent weeks.

Post: Prices in Transitional Neighborhoods

Check out this Post piece on price trends in transition neighborhoods. Not exactly ground breaking, but it does briefly mention the area around Gallaudet & the NY Ave Metro.

Post: New Metrobus Maps Coming

The Post has a nice story on welcome efforts by Metro to get more (and better) maps up for metrobus riders. The new maps, which also include the locations of metrorail stations, could help boost ridership.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Inside the Ohio Restaurant

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Located in the 1300 block of H Street, the Ohio offers southern food & burgers. There's a feeling inside of being some place far removed from the commercial strip of the H Street Corridor (despite the view of the street through the open door). It seems more like a place you might find while on a roadtrip somewhere.
Around three o'clock a table of three women in their twenties sat talking off to the side. As they left the woman on the end came in to relax with a Heinekin & the man sitting by the register ordered the pig's foot platter. I had a cheeseburger & sweet tea.
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A picture of Martin Luther King Jr. guards the entrance to the kitchen.
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Old photos adorn the wall above the Ohio's modest bar.
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The old phone booth visible on the right no longer affords patrons privacy when making phone calls, but it does remind you exactly how long the the business has been around.
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The chef discusses his hopes for the future at the Ohio.

NY Ave Metro

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About 8pm on a rainy Saturday.

Eviction in the 1300 Block

If you saw the mountains of stuff piled on the south side of H Street, you saw the aftermath of the eviction. Reverend Bynum's church was evicted after (I'm told) a long period of not paying rent. The Reverend was seen moving several truck loads of church materials to an unknown location. Tragically, the church was playing landlord to a number of rent paying tenants (including one family with young children), but the church reportedly failed to notify at least some of the tenants of the impending eviction (leaving their stuff out on the street & fair game to any passerby).

*******************************************
UPDATE
*******************************************
I've since learned that the information I received was not entirely correct. The individuals living in the church were not paying rent. That makes them squatters, not renters. It still appears that they did not have notice of the eviction, but it also appears that the actual property owner tries to assist them so they wouldn't just be out on the street. Obviously there is more to this tory than just the details I have seen & heard.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ward 6 Council Candiates Forum

When: Doors open @7pm & Forum begins @ 7:30pm Tuesday April 25th
Where: Hine Junior High School Auditorium

What: Straw Poll (non-binding) of Ward 6 Democrats starts at 7:30 p.m. and ends 15 minutes after conclusion of forum

Cosponsored by: the Ward 6 Democrats, the Voice of the Hill Newspaper, CHAMPS (the Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals), the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, and the Ward 6 Mini Commission of the Office on Aging.

A media panel of Ward 6 residents will question the candidates; participants are Lida Holland Churchville of The Southwester, Sam Ford of ABC-TV, Andrew Lightman of The Hill Rag, Mark Seagraves of WTOP News, and Patti Shea of The Voice of the Hill.

Written audience questions will provide other Ward 6 residents with an opportunity to ask hard questions of the five Democratic candidates who seek to represent Ward 6 on the DC Council. Participating Democratic Candidates: Will Cobb, Curtis Etherly, Keith Jarrell, Leo Pinson, and Tommy Wells have confirmed their participation.

For further information:
Jan Eichhorn, President
The Ward 6 Democrats
202-547-8855

1244 H Street For Sale

The sign just went up. 1244 is the building with the Clothing Cafe sign (used to be Elite Motors).

Argonaut T-Shirts Available!

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They're black with white print. They feature a skull and cross bones on the front & back. The front announces the name of the famed establishment, and the back suggests that the Argonaut boasts "The Best Booty Around" (no doubt a reference to the house draft Booty Beer). In other Argonaut news:
1. outdoor seating & weekend brunch are coming (pending a public space permit)
2. the upstairs bar will soon be open to the public (also pending approval by the correct agency)
3. They have a new chef & a new menu (which they are still tweaking a bit).

Condos & Catering @1015 H Street

In the now vacant lot that once held Pioneer Flooring, a new building shall soon rise. The coming structure shall be three stories high with the top two each consisting of one condo unit & the first floor housing a catering business. No word specifically on the food type & the space available would be too small for a restaurant in its own right, but the owner of Hair Rage (1017 H Street) hinted that the two owners might consider combining their spaces for a restaurant if all goes well.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

DCist Does H Street

Check these two recent H Street mentions in DCist-
the streetcars &
a possible H Street venture from the man that brought 14th Street the Garden District.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Farmfresh Coffee Hour Tomorrow

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Dear Friends of FRESHFARM Markets ~

R&B Coffee at 1359 H Street, NE is hosting a FRESHFARM Market Coffee Hour this coming Saturday, April 22 from 9 am to 11 am.

Enjoy a cup of coffee, sample some FRESHFARM Market cheeses and find out how you can help spread the word about our H Street FRESHFARM Market opening for its third season on May 6th in the parking lot at 625 H Street, NE across from the H Street Self-Storage. Pick up some postcards to distribute to your neighbors and friends.

See you on Saturday!

Donne Malloy-Murray, H Street Market Master
Bernie Prince, FRESHFARM Markets Co-Director

Neighborhood Meeting @the Argonaut

=From the Listserv:

Dear 6A Community,
The morning gathering on Saturday, April 8, resulting from our e-mail discussions, was a very positive experience. Thank you to everyone who came. Elise Bernard, of http://frozentropics.blogspot.com, did a great job moderating (thank you!), and more than 19 people showed up; we had a good and calm discussion, and not everyone agreed about everything.
There seemed to be general agreement, though, that there's room for improvement, especially in the general area of communication. We said we'd meet again this coming Saturday, to focus on some specific ways we could work on this, to strengthen and build our community. So -- we hope to see people again (whether you came to the first one of these or not) this Saturday, 9-10:30 am, at the Argonaut (1433 H Street). One general theme: "What Can We Do to Increase Communication, Trust and Respect Among Neighbors? Please let your neighbors know!
- Marc Borbely and Anwar Saleem

**************************************
UPDATE
**************************************
PLEASE READ AGAIN AS THE LOCATION FOR THIS MEETING HAS CHANGED (NEW LOCATION IS NOW REFLECTED ABOVE).

Still Waking Up

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Recreating Jazz History @ the Atlas

Levine School Jazz Quintet to Recreate Historic Massey Hall Concert

Members of the Levine School of Music’s Jazz Faculty will recreate the historic Massey Hall Concert at 3pm Sunday April 23, 2006 at The Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE. Tickets are free and can be reserved by calling the Atlas Box Office 202-399-7993.

On that long-ago evening, often called the “greatest Jazz concert ever,” Jazz’s biggest stars aligned to make music and history together. Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach performed jazz favorites such as Perdido, Salt Peanuts, All the Things You Are and A Night in Tunisia.

The audience was small due the promoters overlooking the heavyweight boxing championship also happening that same evening. The only surviving account of the concert was a personal recording taped by Charles Mingus and Max Roach which was eventually distributed on the Debut label. The evening was also unusual because Charlie Parker played a borrowed, plastic saxophone. The members Levine School of Music Jazz Faculty who will perform are Chris
Battistone, trumpet, Noah Getz, alto saxophone, Pepe Gonzalez, bass, Bob Sykes, piano and, Tom Teasley, drums. The musicians intend to recreate this historic concert by performing quintet selections played that evening. These tunes are considered jazz standards and are played frequently in concerts throughout the world.

Contact:
Jen DeMayo
973.953.9831
jdemayo@atlasarts.org

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tony's For Breakfast

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Chorizo, eggs, grits & toast (a breakfast special from Tony's Carryout).
Maybe you've eaten the food before, or maybe you've just seen the sign outside. I'd heard before that Tony's Carryout (1400 block of H Street) offered some of the best greasy spoon breakfasts around. Yesterday I was having a bit of a craving & decided to check it out. There was quite a crowd inside & I could tell from the interaction between customers & the ordertaker that many were regulars. The sign proudly proclaims that Tony's offers "More than just fast food," & it's absolutely true. The offerings are extensive. From the breakfast menu you can get either the special (with a choice of 10-15 different main "meats," which could be salmon if you prefer) that comes with a side & two eggs any style, or you can order a sandwich version of any of the meats with one egg. My food was tasty, even if I had forgotten how greasy chorizo really is. I should mention that they offer homebrewed ice tea (I even saw a guy come in specially to purchase a gallon for an event). If you aren't in the mood for breakfast, you can order something from the lunch menu even if it isn't past 9am. Tony's also features seasonal offerings (like bean soup, or beef stew in the fall). Tony's is closed on Sundays.
P1010114

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Peak Time For Azaleas @ Nat Arboretum

The azalea blooms at the National Arboretum are expected to be at their peak next week. A trip to the Arboretum is a great chance to enjoy a bit of nature without even leaving the city. The National Arboretum regularly host scheduled events & you can even take a tram ride through the arboretum if you just want a relaxing look at what is on offer. Thanks to Marc L. for the tip.

Farmers Market Makes Eating Healthful Food Easier

Today's Post featured this story on efforts to make sure that the meals the District provides to children in need are quality meals that meet the nutritional needs of the children. I remembered that on of the farmers at the H Street Farmfresh market (600 block of H Street) accepts WIC vouchers. So you have fresh produce at prices significantly lower than at Eastern Market (and frequently lower than at Safeway) available right here on H Street. Plus, unlike at a supermarket, the actual farmer is available to advise & offer suggestions on preparation (and that's good for all of us).
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This farmer accepts WIC vouchers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

VOH: Responses to Schwartzman

Check out the April 13th Voice of the Hill. Three items of particular interest are an article by Patti Shea (mentioned here previously), a piece on H Street by Commissioner Joe Fengler & a letter from Adele Robey (an owner of the H Street Playhouse). All three are reactions to Mr. Schwartzman's recent piece on H Street.

H Street Farmers Market Meet & Greet @R&B

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The H Street Farmfresh Market (600 block of H Street) will be back on May 6. The market will feature at least 2 new farmers. This a producer only market, so unlike Eastern market, all the produce is grown locally by the farmers selling at Farmfresh markets.

What: A chance to meet some of the farmers & drink some great coffee.
Where: R&B Coffee (1359 H Street)
When: 9am-11am Saturday April 22nd

The market traditionally runs through the end of October & is located in the south side of the 600 block of H Street.



Stephane Lazlo, the chef at Montmartre, will do a live cooking
demonstration on opening day.
P1010108

ANC 6A ABL Committee MTG Tonight

What: ANC 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee
Where: Sherwood Recreation Center 10th & G.
When: tonight at 7pm

This meeting could be particularly interesting because the committee will discuss the actual filing of the long talked about H Street moratorium on the sales of singles.

Monday, April 17, 2006

WBJ: Garden District Owner Seeks 2nd Location

The Business Journal reports that the owner of the 14th Street store Garden District is seeking to open a simlar store elsewhere in DC. According to the article:
H Street NE, Georgia Avenue NW or Hyattsville could be home to his next store. He wants to sign a lease as soon as possible.
It would be pretty cool to get something like this on H Street. I like Fragers, but something like this on H Street could really bring things together, and I think that such a business could be very successful. Thanks to Omar for the heads up. & thanks to the anonymous commenter who left the web address for Garden District & the email for its owner ( joecarmack@gardendistrict.biz ).

The Secret History

I'm in the process of digging up my backyard & I routinely come across all manner of items long buried in that soil. Primarily I find chunks of tar & pieces of broken glass, & I've found a bullet & a knife buried in my back lot, but yesterday I came across a tiny green bottle for Red Dragon Seltzer (click here to see an identical bottle). The bottle is tiny, which is probably the only thing that saved it from destruction over the years. I really wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a kid, so maybe this kind of thing is more appealing to me than to others, but I can't help but get excited over little secrets like this that the house slowly yields (like the silverware I found hidden under the floor when I ripped up the carpeting & removed a metal patch from the floor). Anyone else find anything worthwhile?

A Not So Restful Sunday on Florida

A resident (bi-polar) of a Florida Avenue group house added a bit of color yesterday when she yelled pretty continuously (for around 12 straight hours) about the resurrection & her mother. Around 8, or 9 a mystery individual called the police who arrived to collect the normally sedate & friendly screamer.

Class Is Not in Session

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The side door to Wheatley (1200 block Montello). The school has been vacant and awaiting renovation since 2003.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Red & The Black to Open in 3 Weeks

The Red & the Black (1212 H Street), which refers to itself on its website as a bar & bistro, will open its doors in around 3 weeks.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Progress Marches on @ Englert Spots

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The exterior of Palace of Wonders
I recently peered in the windows of the Red & the Black & Palace of Wonders (aka "Showbar") & both seem to be coming along nicely. The Red & the Black looks less divey that the Argonaut, so that should appease anyone fearing that all of these places will look/feel the same. The Red & the Black also looks very close to done. Palace of Wonders still needs work. I noticed that they have mounted what appear to be organ pipes along the back of the bar.

Last Night on Florida

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The 1200 block of Florida Ave looking east. Taken around 9pm.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

R&B Coffee Presents Soul in the City

R&B Coffee
R&B Coffee (1359 H Street NE) presents "Soul in the City" every Thursday night. Here are the vitals:

When: Every Thursday from 8pm-12am
What: Rare Grooves, Funk, Soul, and whatever else feels good...featuring DJ 2-Tone Jones
Who: Anyone with the inclination (all ages welcome).

VOH: Cluck-U & Post Article

The Voice of the Hill has a piece worth the read on the Cluck-U issue & the Post article.

3 of a kind

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The only three I've seen even remotely like this. On Montello Ave.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hillscape: Cluck-U Issue

The latest Hillscape column references the excitement over fast food regulation on H Street.

Council to Target Sale of Certain Items?

DCist is reporting that the DC Council is considering legislation that would ban or restrict the sale of certain items (including cigarette rolling papers) that could be used as drug paraphrenalia. You'll recall the Post's recent story on a fight over the novelty mini rose in a tube (easily employed as a crack pipe) in Anacostia.

Waiting For Something

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Montello's tiny commercial strip.

WP: Crime Maps

The Post has been looking at old crime data for each psa. They've got some maps if you have an interest in looking at psa breakdowns of crime for 2004 & 2005.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

PSA 504 Meeting Saturday

What: A Police Service Area meeting for PSA 504 (includes all of Trinidad)
When: 10-11:30am Saturday April 15, 2006
Where: Joe Cole Fitness Center 1200 Morse NE


Contact: Lt. Judith Anderson
202 698-0268
judith.anderson@dc.gov

Names on the Wall

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The side of a rowhouse off of Montello.

Overgrown on K Street

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This shot is a re-run, but I thought it made for an appropriate follow-up to yesterday's protest/rally. The photo doesn't really capture the full effect here. What you have is a gap space entirely filled in with green growth & topped off with a weathered flag. This always reminds me of photos of kudzo in the south. This is on K Street in late May of last year. Below is a closer-up shot.
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1015 H Street Disassembly

The former site of Pioneer Flooring (located right next to Hair Rage International) is currently being deconstructed piece by piece & then (presumambly) rebuilt. No word on any further plans for the space.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Serving It Up Southern Style @the Ohio

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I met one of the new owners of the Ohio Restaurant (14th & H) this weekend. It seems that an Ethiopian (I think) couple has purchased the place. Apparently they have kept some ot the same cooks, but also have some new staff (including other family members). She said she does not really know precisely how the business was run before, but they will run a clean & welcoming operation. The menu will continue to focus on southern cuisine & the old school jukebox features hits by the likes of Ray Charles & Sam Cooke.
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Iv'e added these photos at the bottom to better illustrate Omar's comments (click on the comments to this post) about the exterior of the building. The dirty looking bricks are actually covered in soot from a fire at the Ohio a few years back.

Sexual Assault Reported on 8th Street

A woman was reportedly sexually assaulted in the 900 block of 8th street last week. The incident occurred on Wednesday, April 5, at about midnight when a group of men armed with a gun forced her into the backyard of a house. If you have information regarding this crime, please contact Detective Carmichael or Sgt. Pierce at 727-3700 (WDC Sexual Assault Unit). If you are generally concerned about crime in the area, please attend tonight's PSA 102 meeting (location & time info below).
THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED TO BETTER PROTECT THE VICTIM & CLARIFY THE APPROPRIATE REASONS ONE SHOULD CALL THE OFFICERS MENTIONED ABOVE. PLEASE EXCUSE THE DISRUPTION.

*************************
The following are 4 responses from David Klavitter (PSA 102 volunteer coordinator)
*************************
As the volunteer citizen PSA 102 coordinators, Marc Lesnick and I have not seen any reports of this alleged incident. We have phone calls into PSA 102 Lt. Sharon Mcinnis, as well as to the MPD sexual assault unit to confirm and get more information.
Obviously we must protect the victim and not hinder any ongoing investigation. But we also have serious public safety concerns.
Marc or I will post on this dicussion thread any information we receive from MPD about this incident.
In the meantime, there is a regularly scheduled PSA 102 monthly meeting Tuesday, April 11, 7-8:30 p.m. at Sherwoord Rec Center, 10th and G Streets NE.

For more information, go to: http://psa102.blogspot.com

David Klavitter
Marc Lesnick

*******************************
According to MPD PSA 102 Lt. Sharon Mcinnis:

The only thing I can say about this matter is that is was reported, through a second party, to the MPD Sexual Assault Unit. There has been an allegation of a crime and it is being investigated.
This was not reported directly to MPD at the time of occurrence, that is why it was not in any crime stats. I understand the residents' concern, but this seems to be an isolated incident.
I will explain further at Tuesday's PSA meeting.

*****************************
I spoke Monday with Sgt. Rice of the MPD Sexual Assault Unit. I'm not familiar with all MPD protocols, but he told me that a report in this case had not been filed (as of Monday), pending the results of MPD investigation.

Dave Klavitter
PSA 102 volunteer citizen coordinator
http://psa102.blogspot.com

****************************

Metropolitan Police Dept. (MPD) First District Commander Diane Groomes and PSA 102 Lt.Sharon Mcinnis requested that Sgt. Rice of the MPD Sexual Assault Unit attend last night's
(April 11) PSA 102 meeting to address the community's concerns about an alleged sexual
assault, which reportedly happened on April 5 in the 900 block of 8th Street NE.
Information about the alleged incident was distributed Monday by a citizen's post to
several community blogs and listservs.
Sgt. Rice confirmed to the group that his unit is investigating an allegation of a crime, but
would not offer specific details of the case. He reiterated that if it was determined a crime
was committed—or there exists a potential danger to the community—his unit would
immediately notify PSA 102 officers.
When asked if residents should be concerned, he responded that residents always should
be mindful of their surroundings anywhere in the city.
Sgt. Rice explained that due to the difficult nature of sexual assaults, an investigation is
often necessary to ensure that a crime was committed. He said if police determine that a
crime has occurred, his team would file a report and proceed with a case.
Both Sgt. Rice and Lt. Mcinnis said they understood the community's concerns, but
emphasized, "this seems to be an isolated incident."
Lt. Mcinnis praised the online listservs and blogs as important communication tools for
the community. However, she cautioned residents to be careful about posting allegations
as factual information, especially when police investigations are not complete.
Full PSA 102 minutes of the April 11 monthly meeting will be distributed in the next few
days.

By David Klavitter
PSA 102 citizen co-coordinator
http://psa102.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Halfway There

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Montello Avenue.

Another Reaction to the Post Article

From the Progressive Review.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Argonaut on WP's Top Dives List

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H Street's own Argonaut (1400 block of H Street), made a list of readers' favorite dive bars in the metro area. Check it out here. Thanks to David Klavitter (Quest for Quiet blog) for the heads up. Here's a shot I took last fall (with my trusty laptop at the bar).

Friday, April 07, 2006

HSMS Press Release Re: Post Article

Public Statement
April 7, 2006
To: Washington DC Community
From: The H Street Main Street Board of Directors & Shalonda Hunter, Executive Director, H Street Main Street, Inc
RE: ANC6a and Cluck-U-Chicken, Birdland, and Taste of Jamaica Zoning Issues ______________________________________

HSMS Board members believe that the Washington Post "Who's H Street Is It, Anyway?" article written by Paul Schwartzman portrayed the ANC6a and Cluck-U-Chicken issues incorrectly and skims the surface of the real issues. Mr. Schwartzman wrote a story about H Street that could be construed to play up the race angle regardless of whether the facts really justified such a view point.
The mission of H Street Main Street, Inc. is to revitalize, support and develop a vibrant and thriving business community that offers diverse services, entertainment, and retail.
HSMS does not believe that the ANC is motivated by racism or classism on the fast foodIssue, as the article indicates. The real matter lies with the DCRA zoning regulations and definitions. The ambiguity in the DCRA zoning definitions has caused a public conflict. The making & enforcing of zoning regulations is within the government's role. However, Cluck-U-Chicken, Birdland, and Taste of Jamaica should not be made examples of.
HSMS supports DCRA and other government agencies tightening up compliance with existing rules, and in this case we support DCRA working with the ANC and business owners to find resolutions. HSMS Board of Directors recommends that Cluck-U-Chicken, Birdland, and Taste of Jamaica be allowed to continue to operate, since each establishment sincerely attempted to do what they understood was right, according to DCRA's currently stated regulations. We also ask the ANC and the DCRA to expedite the changing or defining of the present definition of fast food to alleviate future issues.
The HSMS position is that we encourage our current and prospective merchants to join us in redeveloping H Street NE, while keeping in mind that all have a responsibility to contribute to a decent quality of life for the residents of our community. As we have done in the past, HSMS supports all merchants.
Over 40 new businesses have opened in the past 2 years on the H Street Northeast corridor. HSMS has partnered with DC Commission for the Arts to foster the Expressive Signs Project, which impacted over a dozen businesses. Main Street will continue to be a reliable partner in advancing the needs of H Street, the surrounding community, and the District. If there are any questions or if you should need additional information, please contact Shalonda Hunter at the H Street Main Street office at shunter@hstreetdc.org.

HSMS Economic Restructuring Committee Mtg

The HSMS Economic Restructuring Committee will be meeting tomorrow.
When: 10:30am Saturday 4/8/06
Where: R&B Cafe 1359 H Street NE

The 38th Anniverasary of the Riots

A post from Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space reminded me that we're just drawing to the close of the 38th anniversary of the riots that devasted parts of DC following the assasination Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I've been busy recently, and this anniversary completely slipped my mind. I suggest checking out Richard's post & this page he links to containing an online journal account of the riots including photos of H Street burning & the aftermath (pretty powerful stuff).
You might also want to have a look at these two posts from In Shaw (& second post).

The Rec on a Saturday

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Joe Cole Fitness Center 1200 Morse Street NE.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

PSA 102 Meeting April 11th

April 11 Meeting to Address Lower Burglary, Festering Robbery Numbers

WHAT: Police Service Area (PSA) 102 monthly meeting
WHEN: April 11 (2nd Tuesday of each month)
TIME: 7-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St NE

AGENDA:
* Hear from MPD First District Focused Mission Lt. Ron Wilkins, who will discuss his unit's concentration on hot spots of criminal activity.

* Assess results of MPD burglary focus (CHART posted at http://psa102.blogspot.com). Discuss festering robbery problem. Review other statistics.

* Identify problem areas in PSA 102 which citizens can remedy through the Partnership for Problem Solving (PPS) process.

**** PSA 102 meetings enable residents and police to discuss, identify and take action against crime and other quality of life issues in the community. The meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at the Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G Streets NE. 7-8:30 p.m. Tell your friends and neighbors! ****

BOUNDRIES of PSA 102 are (clockwise) the railroad tracks at Union Station, Florida Avenue NE, Maryland Avenue NE, 9th Street, East Capitol Street, 2nd Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and Columbus Circle. See the MPD website and map to determine your PSA


FOR INFORMATION ABOUT PSA 102, photos, crime maps and more go to
http://psa102.blogspot.com.

QUESTIONS can be answered by PSA 102 Citizen Coordinators:
Marc Lesnick: 202-543-3736 (marc_lesnick@yahoo.com)
David Klavitter: 202-547-5745 (klav@questforquiet.org)
Or
Alphonso C. Coles, MPD Community Outreach Coordinator:
202-497-5033 alphonso.coles@dc.gov

Community Conversation Proposed

When: Saturday at 8:30am
Where: R&B Coffee (1359 H Street NE)

Here's the proposal from ANC 6A Commissioner Marc Borbely:

Okay everyone -- please let's take a deep breath.

I'll take credit/responsibility for starting some (either long-overdue, or divisive/harmful, or both) discussion, but it would be a shame if we as a neighborhood couldn't emerge from this stronger, with better connections, more trust and more understanding among us.

There's obviously so much going on here, all of it SO important:
- desire to improve our neighborhood generally
- desire to avoid negative impacts on quality of life (odor, trash)
- desire to maintain an economically diverse neighborhood
- desire (by all sides) to have a say, when decisions are made
- desire to bring investment to the neighborhood
- desire to bring businesses that will bring more diversity (wealthier people) to H Street
- desire to have an H Street that serves everyone
- desire to be fair to businesses already on H Street
- desire to be colorblind and fair to everyone
- a history of societal disregard, and worse, of low-income people
- a history of societal disregard, and worse, of black people
- uncertainty about the city's plans for H Street
- an insufficient amount of communication among diverse groups of neighbors

E-mail and the Post article and maybe the Cluck U appeal itself have sparked a lively and passionate conversation.
But I wonder if we might benefit from some informal conversation to try to bridge some gaps.

Anyone up for getting together Saturday at 8:30, at R&B Coffee, 1359 H St NE, to talk about some of these things? There's a neighborhood cleanup at 10, nearby, that some people could head over to afterwards. Maybe the neighborhood cleanup could be combined with an H Street cleanup somehow.

If anyone likes this idea, just show up (I know it's short notice and people may already have other plans). I hope those people who see things differently than I do, come too. This'll be a civil, calm, informal but controlled conversation -- just an opportunity for us to hear each other without engaging in personal attacks. If someone knows a good professional without a stake in this who'd be willing to facilitate, please holler.

- Marc

New Taebo Studio Open on H Street

There is a new Taebo Studio in the 500 block of H Street (southside, in the space formerly occupied by Quimby's Shoe Booutique). Apparently it is run by Bridget Smith, who is known for her work with the founder of Taebo (Billy Blanks). Thanks to Anwar Saleem for providing this info.
*Does anyone know what is happening above Stan's at the corner of 9th & H?

Online Metrorail Exhibit

Check out this online exhibit about the DC metrorail system. A got the link from this Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space post.

$10 Tickets to the Condensed Mikado @the Atlas

A message from the Atlas:
Tickets to the the Washington Savoyard's Condensed Mikado, will be available for $10 for the 7:30 performance Thursday April 6th and for the 2:30 matinee Saturday April 8th. Call the Atlas box office at 202-399-7993 to reserve or go to www.atlasarts.org. The Condensed Mikado is being performed at the The Atlas Performing Arts Center as a part of this year's Cherry Blossom Festival.

Jen DeMayo
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
202.399.7993

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What is That New Sign in the 500 Block?

I keep seeing this sign in the space formerly occupied by Quimby's Shoe Boutique & it appears to be for some sort of yoga/martial arts/personal training thing. Is this the yoga studio someone mentioned on the south side of H Street (as opposed to the one at Luna Laundromat).

Rebuilding Place: Post Article on H Street

Check out this post from Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space that looks at the recent Post article on H Street in a larger context.

Post H Street Graphic

I missed this before, but here is a graphic from the Washington Post showing some of the new business that have opened on the eastern end of H Street. The opening date for R&B should read 2005, not 2003.
For a similar map click here.

Slight Differences

IMG_1228

Responses to the Post Article

Thanks so much to Klav for posting his response to the Paul Schwartzman article in the Post. I really wanted to mention this (Klav had mentioned his interaction w/Schwartzman to me), but I didn't want to reference a private communication. I too have spoken with Mr. Schwartzman (but not on this present article) & I feel (after having read this article) that he probably wanted to write a story about H Street that would play up the race angle regardless of whether the facts really justified such a view point. While the topics of race & class certainly hover over H Street & the surrounding neighborhoods, I can't possibly believe that anything is really as simple as Mr. Schwartzman's article makes out. We have lots of things going on within the H Street Corridor. We have issues like:
-trash (includes not only litter, but also illegal dumping)
-inappropriate conduct (public urination, public drunkenness)
-noise (amplified speech at 8th & H Street)
-public safety (muggings, harrassment)
-how to support the businesses we have
-how to attract new businesses.
I think that most residents are interested in attracting & retaining a variety of businesses for the corridor. As I've stated before, I do not believe that it is at all impossible to have in the same corridor a variety of businesses that primarily cater to different socio-economic groups.
I don't believe that the ANC is motivated by racism or classism on the fast food issue. I think this is about DCRA & enforcement of zoning regs (making & enforcing zoning rules on things like locations of fast food restaurant are within the government's historical role & are partly based on considerations like those I've listed above). Each of us may, or may not agree with the proposed changes in the zoning definitions, but obscuring the issue by pretending the divisions fall strictly along racial lines (as I feel this article largely does) is not useful. ANC 6A holds committee meetings that are open to the public & where anyone can speak up and voice opinions about the issues listed above (including zoning issues).
Mr. Schwartzman could have written a lot of other things about H Street that would not have supported his thesis here, but he chose not to do so. He chose to give us an article that barely skims the surface (because to go any deeper would expose Mr. Schwartzman's cherry-picking of the facts & quotes he uses), and relies mostly on vague quotes from an African American business owner saying he sees racial motives behind the ANC's moves (Clifton Humphries has stated that he was misquoted, or his words were taken out of context), & from a white business owner saying he likes Georgetown. Mr. Schwartzman's article is simplistic & sensationalistic. I don't think it captures what's going on here very well at all. I'm not personally offended by this piece. I just think it expresses an overly simplistic view of the situation (a stereotypical knee-jerk reaction). I would expect better work from a journalist trying to really capture the feel of what's going on on H Street.

WP: Novelty Rose Pipes

It's hardly news that those minature novelty roses in tiny tubes are more sinister than they look, but the Post has a story on efforts in Anacostia to force stores to stop selling the items. In case you haven't heard, the way it works is that you toss the rose & stick a little piece of Choreboy in your tube, and then your crack goes in the end. The Anacosta effort is viewed as special because it is so organized. As part of the campaign, the liquor licenses of 19 stores are being challenged on the grounds that they knowingly sell drug paraphrenalia. Speaking of knowing what you are selling, a few years ago I walked into a store on Florida Ave and after looking around, asked if they had any scouring pads (I may have asked for Choreboy, I was scrubbing gunk off my old kitchen cabinet doors). The woman behind the glass asked me if I wanted a whole pad, or just a little piece of one.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

City Paper Story on Lack of Seats

I thought this City Paper piece might be relevant to our conversation about restaurants on H Street (and also relevant to Mr. Schwartzman's article).

City Desk, The New City Paper Blog

I've been watching the Washington City Paper's new blog City Desk just to see what it would be like before adding a link. I noticed that City Desk now has its first post in the neighborhood section, so I'm going ahead and add a sidebar link. City Desk is still small, but I think it shows potential, so check it out.

Mayor Requests Funding For Temporary Relocation of R. L. Christian Library

I received a pdf of a letter from Mayor Williams to Linda Cropp requesting that the Council approve the Neighborhood Investment Act Spending Plan (being considered at the April 4th legislative meeting). This act would provide funding for various neighborhood projects, including the temporary relocation of R. L. Christian Library (1300 block of H Street) during construction of a new mixed use structure on the library's existing site. Once the new structure was completed, the library would return to the H Street location, but would actually occupy more square feet.

A Reflection of the Past

P1010139
Wheatley Elementary (1200 block of Neal Street NE). DCPS is considering consoldating Wheatley Elementary with nearby Webb Elementary (Mt. Olivet Road). Wheatley has been shuttered and awaiting renovation for the past few years, while it's students have been bussed to anotherr location for classes.

WP: Whose H Street Is It, Anyway?

Here's a story from the Post on the division over fast food zoning regulations & how this disagreement reflects larger concerns about change in the neighborhood.

WP: Winds of Change Blow Uneasily on H Street

Check out this photo gallery from today's Post.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What's Really Good

IMG_1202
Bladensburg Road.

DCist: Farmers Market to Return in May

P1010106

DCist is reporting that the H Street Farm Fresh Market will return the first Saturday in May. The H Street Market is located in the middle of the 600 block of H Street.

Hill Rag on Grocery Store on H Street

Here's an article from the Hill Rag on the likely Harris Teeter at 3rd & H Street.

Yuppies Out

Richard from Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space has a couple of shots of anti-gentrification graffiti on the sign for the New Yorker condos at 3rd & L Street. I have yet to see any anti-gentrification graffiti in Trinidad (mostly we get names & the corner of Montello & Morse is tagged Simple City). This is probably as close as we come to anti-gentrification graffiti in Trinidad.
P1010111_1
P1010112

Rebuilding Place on Historic School Buildings

Check out this post from Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space on the future of the buildings post school consolidation. Richard has a photo of Webb where you can actually see the building, unlike my shot where you basically just see the flower box.

The Controversy Over Fast Food

The hottest topic recently on the listservs has been the Economic Development & Zoning Committee's proposal to alter the definition of fast food. The regulation of fast food restaurants is always a touchy subject around here for a number of reasons:
1. Fast food places produce lots of trash that often winds up on H Street.
2. This topic tends to evoke associations with race & class for many people.
3. Poor sanitation & unenclosed dumpsters can bring rats.
4. Many people are frustrated that H Street has a large number of carry-outs & few sit down restaurants. They feel that this makes the area seem too down market to potential investors.
5. The crowds (such as the line that often stretches well out the door of Horace & Dickie's) can be a problem. I know that I have seen plenty of public urination go on in the alley about 10 feet away from Horace & Dickie's front door.

This next bit (bolded) is from an email that Richard Layman sent out on the listserv (useful because you can actually see the numbers for what is present on H Street). Non-bolded portions in with the bolded portions are my changes/comments.

I am into data, and there has been a paucity of such in this discussion.
Using industry categories of:
Quick Service (fast food, independent, coffee shops, places like Panera)
-- carryout only
-- with seats
Casual Dining (chains like TGI Fridays, independents like Banana Cafe)
Upscale dining (Sonoma, Montmartre)
Fine Dining
Tavern/Nightclub
H Street has:
-- 16 quick service/carryouts; (I count 17)
-- 6 quick service establishments with seats, although four would be thought of as "fast food" with little appeal to traditional sit-down segments;
-- 2 casual dining establishments that appeal to narrow segments; (I count 3)
-- 1 upscale dining establishment with a defective offer; (he means the bad service at Phish Tea)
-- zero fine dining establishments;
-- 3 tavern/nightclubs with food service. (I count 2)
1. Quick Service no seats --
- Citipizza
- Taste of Jamaica (which has a seat-based license)
- Danny's 600 block This place is actually called Good Danny's
- Platinum Cafe
- Grace Deli
- Major Carryout
- Crown Fried Chicken
- Alex Seafood Carryout
- McDonalds
- Horace & Dickies
- Philly Water Ice (sells hotdogs)
- Danny's 1200 block
{H Street Cafe, 1200 block, sign coming soon, was previously a carryout]
[New York Pizza/Redskin Cafe, 802 13th, does not appear to be open]
- Rainbow Cafe
- Caribbean Best
- Tony's Carryout
- Checkers
-Northeast Carry-Out
2. Quick Service with seats and restroom

[Blimpies would go here, not counted]
- Subway
- Freddies Subs
- Cluck U
- Birdland
[Rib Tip has sign that will be opening, not counted]
- Popeyes
- R&B Cafe R&B Coffee
3. Casual Dining
- Majestic-Gwen Reese
- Daavi's
-The Ohio
4. Upscale Dining
- Phish Tea (where they perceive that they are, plus the pricing)
5. Fine Dining
6. Tavern/Nightclub (limited food)
- H Street Martini Lounge
- Rose's Dream (this place doesn't serve food, but you can bring food from the carry-out Caribbean Best upstairs to eat at the bar because the 2 businesses have the same owner).
- Argonaut
[3-5 more places are in the process of opening]

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Solving DC's Problems Contest

Full of ideas on how to improve DC? If so, you might want to check out this contest.



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March 30, 2006

Greetings!

Do you live or work in the District of Columbia? If so, tell us about the District's biggest problems and how you think they should be solved.

To get you thinking, we're putting real prize money on the table.

The best idea will receive $5,000, the second-best $2,500, and the third-best $1,000--all sponsored by the June and John Hechinger Family Trusts and donors to the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

You have until May 5 at 11:59 EST to send us your ideas.

Visit www.solvingDCproblems.org to learn more.

Who will pick the best ideas? You will! You will have the chance to vote online to select the three best ideas from 20 finalists.

And the three winners will get to present their ideas to the Mayoral candidates at a forum in June.

We will compile your great ideas and present them to the public, government officials, and candidates running in the District's 2006 elections.

This is your chance to have city leaders listen to how you think the city should be run, and to infuse the elections this year with the issues that matter most to you.

Make sure your voice is heard!

Visit the Solving DC Problems Campaign 2006 website.

Sincerely,


Walter Smith

DC Appleseed


phone: 202-289-8007

Post Piece on Consolidation of Schools

Here's another Post piece on the school issue. This one specifically looks at Webb & Wheatley elementary in Trinidad.