Monday, November 30, 2009

From the inbox: Celebrate Scots tonight and Block Captain training next week

Room 11 is hosting another celebration tonight for those who want to extend the Thanksgiving festivities just a little longer. Stop by for its Scotland's National Holiday, St. Andrew's Day, from 5 pm to closing. Writes bar manager Dan:

We'll have guest tap Brooklyn Winter Ale, a Scotch-style Ale (think dark rich and malty) on draft while it lasts. From 8:30 to 10 pm Scottish gin Hendrick's will be offering free samples and free shoeshines! We'll also have Scotch whiskey and cocktail specials from Compass Box and we'll declare the winner of the Highland Bitters Scottish Cocktail Smackdown. Will the Mel Gibson (Hendrick's Martini with house-made Highland Bitters and a house-pickled onion) or the Liam Neeson (Compass Box Asyla with sweet and dry vermouth and house-made Highland Bitters) emerge victorious.

Next week on Tuesday, Dec. 8 the Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association will be hosting a block captain training session for the neighborhood watch program. To RSVP, please e-mail by Sunday, December 6. More information about the neighborhood watch is available from MPD.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shop, Eat, and be Merry

Do you have your eye on a great deal at Best Buy on Friday? Or just need to run to Target to get some toilet paper? Either way, save your receipts and head over to CommonWealth. On Friday, November 27 only you can get a free 16 oz. pint or dessert with the purchase of a lunch or dinner entrée. All you have to do is show your receipt from Target, Best Buy, or Bed Bath & Beyond from earlier that day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tynan's new wifi policy

Another question to ponder today. What is up with Tynan's new - and
quite strict - wifi policy? I haven't been to the coffee shop in the
past week, so I was surprised to see it's new laptop rules. It seems
like an extreme step to take in today's computer & coffee lifestyle.

Let's see how long this one lasts ...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Escalator storage at DCUSA

Has anyone else seen the escalators just chilling in the empty store
front at Irving and Hiatt Place? Are these for the rumored second
DCUSA / Ellwood Thompsons entrance? Share your thoughts below.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Real Estate Agents Discover 11th Street

William Jordan is going to hate this one.

I was checking out some local real estate and came across some great copy for condos around 11th Street / Pleasant Plains. The agent for this one-bedroom at 907 Euclid writes that the place is "a few blocks from the new 11th St party zone." And this two-bedroom at 11th and Columbia has a "great location on that trendy part of 11th. .. wonderland bar, hot rocks pizza, new wine bar plus more."

So maybe this is why I encountered yet another line at the Wonderland last week. Hype from real estate agents. Do you have another great example of Columbia Heights real estate hyperbole? Post it in the comments.

Once again, The Post just doesn't get Columbia Heights

I am sure a number of folks have read Petula Dvorak's column in The Washington Post today, "Columbia Heights still has far to go." If you haven't, go ahead; I'll wait.

Once again the paper takes misguided look at Columbia Heights. It was a just a few months ago that the WaPo jovially wrote: "Columbia Heights is still edgy. A few blocks from the Target, semi-permanent police cars monitor the muggings and shootings that still happen ..." And as today's headlines states, the neighborhood does indeed have some ways to go. So why doesn't the newspaper make an effort to use its award-winner editorial staff to take a real look at Columbia Heights, rather than skirt around the issue of how the boom of gentrification is affecting a one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods.

The Prince of Petworth posted a letter from local ANC commissioner Cliff Valenti, who rightfully addresses the problems with Dvorak's column:
Your column today would have been really good if it wasn't for the intentional deception you added at the end to portray newcomers as shallow self-absorbed yuppies. PrinceofPetworth's blog had a section dedicated to this murder where people listed all sorts of ways they are involved in trying to reduce crime, but your article referenced a separate issue about service at a coffee bar as if it was related to this event.
Never before have I lived in an area where newcomers and old timers alike are working together so hard to improve a community. Some of the same people who frequent coffee bars are working with groups like Mentoring Works, In the Streets, and DC Youth Power Network. In this area of Ward 1 black/white rich/poor are working together in a lot of creative ways to improve life for everyone living here, rather than move out to the suburbs where they can live in peaceful bliss. I really resent that you chose to lay insult to our diverse community rather than explore the positive ways people are working to improve the situation around here.
Cliff Valenti
Chairman, ANC1A

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Allegro Apartments Sold at Auction

Following up on a post from last week, The Washington Business Journal reports that the Allegro Apartments were sold at auction. "After bidding started at $60 million, Federal Capital Partners, a Georgetown real estate investor and developer, took the property for $77.5 million," writes the paper. The article continues with some more details on why the building had to go to auction.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Civic Plaza planning meeting this Saturday

Do you think the new civic plaza can be more than just a cool fountain and weird light poles? Then attend a planning meeting hosted by the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace team. This Saturday they are having a planning meeting to discuss:

  • a Columbia Heights Farmers Market
  • programming for the civic plaza
  • maintenance and upkeep
  • fundraising opportunities

The group's goal is to have a Farmers Market and other programs in the civic plaza set by Spring 2010.


Saturday, November 21

10 am – 12 pm

The former SCORE space next to Ritas

CH civic plaza, 14th / Kenyon / Park

Drinking on the Green Line: The Passenger

Remember the Warehouse Bar? The one by the Warehouse theater where Room 11 Dan used to mix up his amazing punches?

Well that's called The Passenger now and it's re-opening as such tomorrow, just down the Green Line by Mt. Vernon Square.

It still looks a lot like the Warehouse - same general configuration, same bar. It's definitely received a face-lift and the back area of the space will soon be a new addition designed to look like a rail car.

The drink menu has a range of wine by the glass (broad range of prices), beer (Pils, Arrogant Bastard, Bells and more) and a couple of specialty cocktails (which you can buy by the pitcher at $40 a pop). One of the gin punch variety which was very popular and another incuded egg whites - the sherry flip. I'm not sure I want egg in my drink - a little too sweet and tangy, but the proseco I sampled was excellent and if you like the protein with your booze, you can get it here.

The highlight for me wasn't the drink menu - it was the food... which I guess is bar food with a twist? The kimchi hot dogs ($7) Moroccan almonds ($3 a bowl) and paninis ($10 including chips) were delish. Worth checking out with the added bonus of green line convenience.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Countdown Columbia Heights: Drinks We Like

Let's count them down - The Heights Life's picks for best boozy concoctions in the neighborhood. Some of these are seasonal, so drink it while they've got it!

Countdown Columbia Heights: Best Boozy Concoctions

5. Bottomless Mimosa, Red Rocks: So what if the French are offended by the very idea of the Mimosa? It's bottomless, people!
4. Red Pill/Blue Pill, Wonderland: Does Wonderland still make these? Because they used to - and they were NEVER a good idea.
3. Jack-O-Bite, Commonwealth: Strongbow hard cider + pumpkin ale and a few spices on top. Fabulous for the Fall.
2. Bloody Mary, The Heights: Hair of the dog, guys. On Saturdays, ask for the Dalton Special.
1. Glogg, Room 11: This warm mulled wine with spice, almonds and raisins is the perfect pairing for a chilly night on the patio.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More on the Shooting at 14th and Columbia

Details on last night's shooting from Councilmember Graham:

Dear Friends, I have just returned from a tragic scene at 14th and Columbia. Just before 10 PM, a nine year old boy was shot dead in the presumed safety of his apartment at 1433 Columbia Road. AT this time, it appears that there was some kind of fight in the hallway, shots were fired, one of which entered the apartment and killed this boy. I have the name of the boy (who happens to be Latino) but I am not releasing it since I do not know whether the entire family has been notified.

Chief Lanier and Mayor Fenty--who were both on the scene-- stated that there are persons in custody.

MDP was out in force in the neighborhood, it being an All Hands on Deck weekend. Police were on the scene immediately.

More information will be available soon.

Our hearts and prayers go the family. I have sent messages that my office is prepared to do we can to help.

Sincerely, Councilmember Jim Graham

High Crime Night in CH

First, we heard a tip of a large police presence outside the Wonderland. Word is that a guy taking some groceries home was jumped by three kids. Haven't heard anything official about that.

Then, we were walking home down 14th street after 11PM and saw a massive police presence and crime scene tape closing off 14th from Irving to Columbia. Channel 7 news was on the scene. It looked like they were starting to remove the crime scene tape to re-open the road as we walked by.

Apparently the reason for 7+ police cars was a child getting shot and killed. DCist has the breaking news and is updating with developments. You can read that here:

And here is the WUSA story: WJLA was still on the scene interviewing folks as of about 11:30PM.

Chipotle: Actually Going to Open

We've had some disappointments food-wise in the neighborhood recently. The sushi options have all left us. The Mediterranean bistro never came to be. But Chipotle - that's one that I think we can count on.

The sign is shining bright, the menu is up, and we only have to be taunted by burrito dreams for about another month.

Random aside on Chipotle - my favorite thing about New York's calorie labeling laws is the Chipotle menu. Because you can customize so much at Chipotle - they just post ranges next to any item. And so if you look at the burrito, for example, it says something like 150 (if you just get the shell?) to 3,000. Or the burrito bowl of like 10 calories (if you just get lettuce?) to 1,500.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yoga for Martha's Table

I don't do yoga, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. It's apparently good for you. And this weekend, you can help out Martha's Table by taking a class from a newly certified teacher:

support Martha's Table at our donation class this sunday at 4:00!

quiet mind is happy to present our recent graduates from the YogaWorks teacher training program, while supporting causes close to our hearts. for the next month, we will be supporting a local charity, martha's table (14th and v street). martha's table's mission is to help at-risk children, youth, families and individuals in our community improve their lives by providing educational programs, food, clothing, and enrichment opportunities.

join us for a one-hour class with our recent teacher training grads!

Street Sweeping Confusion & Tickets

ArtBart monitors the end of street sweeping like she does sales at Macy's. But - some people aren't so vigilant and apparently this year it caused a bit of confusion. If you got a ticket because you didn't realize street sweeping was over, you're probably pretty ticked, huh? You can stop being mad now and instead call the Department of Public Works and make the ticket go away (but will it? will it really...):

Dear Friends:

I want to thank those that called and wrote my office yesterday regarding
street sweeping and tickets.

Here is what we know. There was much confusion caused by the Dept. of
Public Works' quick decision to suspend street sweeping last Friday. This
resulted in very little warning to residents as there was only one
announcement of the decision.

This week, tickets were issued to residents who moved their cars to comply
with sweeping regulations unaware that cleaning was suspended. In all of
these cases, residents receiving tickets lived on streets where parking was
allowed on one side only, except on days of street cleaning. I requested and
received assurance that the Dept. of Public Works will review and dismiss
such tickets. Only tickets issued for violating a date and time restricted
zone connected to the same day of street cleaning will be rescinded.

If you have received such a ticket, please contact Ms. Nancee Lyons at the
Dept. of Public Works for help. Send the ticket information to

Bests, Jim Graham

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

City car owners rejoice ...

Residential street cleaning has stopped until the Spring. This week marks one of my favorite times of the year. It's a week where I don't have to move my car because of weekly street cleaning. The DC Department of Public Works announced yesterday that all residential street cleaning is suspended until the spring. Read the full release here.
Also, since tomorrow is a federal holiday, there is no parking enforcement or trash and recycling pick-up.

Help Harriet Tubman Elementary Tonight (By Drinking)

Open Bar Happy Hour to Benefit Tubman Elementary School

Local 16, 1602 U St. NW (Metro: U St.)
6:00-9:00 P.M.
OPEN BAR beer, wine, and rail drinks
(Federal employees: Veterans Day holiday tomorrow!)
$20 minimum donation (cash only)

At Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Columbia Heights, 87% of students are in poverty, and only 42% of students are reading on grade level.  Reading All-Stars is a new volunteer reading program at the school—in addition to weekly one-on-one reading sessions with the kids, volunteers are doing a variety of parent outreach, greening, and other projects to help transform Tubman into a full-service community school.  Proceeds from the event will be used for books, school supplies, and educational programs at the school.  For more information, visit:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

WBJ: Allegro facing foreclosure

The Washington Business Journal reports that the Allegro on 14th Street is facing foreclosure despite over the half the units being rented:

"...the building's developer, Metro Properties Inc., hasn't rented enough apartments to pay the bills. The company was served a foreclosure notice in October from one of its lenders, New York-based iStar FM Loans. And in a sign of how the economy still hasn't kicked the crutch of the housing market, the problems are still going up the ladder: iStar FM is also in danger of a cash shortage.
The result is that the Allegro Apartments, the largest apartment building in Columbia Heights, is headed to auction Nov. 18. Alex Cooper Auctioneers ran advertisement listing it Friday."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Do: Australian Wine Tasting at Room 11

Room 11 will be hosting a free wine tasting tonight featuring
Australian wines from 5 to 8 pm. Wineries represented at the tasting
to include Puppeteer, Gotham, and Stalking Horse and all will be
available to purchase by the glass. Also be sure to try some
Australian small bites from Room 11 Chef/Partner Ben Gilligan.