Thursday, April 30, 2009
Here's our list of top picks:
Makepeace Brothers are back at Bloom Bars, 8PM, just north of Kenyon on 11th. They like peace and love and there might be hugs.
Passport DC means open embassies all day and all around town. I'm going to Benin. No, I don't know why.
KIDS 90s hip hop dance party at DC9, $5 and free Old English until 10PM, just south of U on 9th. The party is apparently named after the movie... which is kind of disturbing.
Sundress Party at the Wonderland! Roast pig, happy hour, men in dresses... for charity. Spend the afternoon there.
Cursive & Man Man perform at the Black Cat. My friend caught the show in Nashville and called it "loud." Come see Tim Kasher emote. $15/$17DOS, 14th near S.
The Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers have a new website - http://malcolmxdrummersanddancers.weebly.com/index.html - and be sure to stop by Meridian Hill Park on Sundays after 3 pm for the weekly drum circle.
The Circulator has a YouTube channel with profiles of cool neighborhood businesses and people.
Since we have been posting about local history recently, check out this video: “Columbia Heights: The Legacy of Public Development in DC”
Check this website out, InnerCity.org. It's a turn of the millenium web creation dedicated to the neighborhood and appearing amazingly antiquated next to ten years of web development and ten years of neighborhood development.
Among the most interesting finds here - a list of businesses from the neighborhood. Notice how much the restaurants have changed, among other things. And a link to the Columbia Heights Yahoo! Group (still going strong).
They also host some media files, though a lot of them have gone dead. But these stories from people are the neighborhood live on.
And here's a story from 10 years ago about "disastrous development plans" that accompanied the opening of the Metro stop... plans and their consequences that I still hear regularly debated in the neighborhood.
I'm sure some of our readers remember using this site - anyone know who ran it? If it's a .org, it was likely a nonprofit or neighborhood association.
DC's own Top Chef (who totally should have won) told someone that she had checked out the Highland Park retail space. Apparently she wants something that will be part cooking school, part dining room.
In case she has a google alert on her name... HEY CARLA, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME TO COLUMBIA HEIGHTS! WE LOVE YOU HERE! PLEASE! HOSEA SUCKS!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The publication includes a rundown of the advantages of living in Columbia Heights, some of which haven’t changed for over a century: "street railway facilities" and "attractive residences will all the modern improvements." It also has photos of houses and row homes in the neighborhood. Some of the East-West streets have different names, for instance Roanoke is now Euclid. Does anyone know of other examples?
UPDATE: Flickr comes through with a map of Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights, and Pleasant Plains from 1887
The full booklet is available to view online here: http://www.archive.org/details/statementofsomeo00colum
And, of course, a post about Columbia Heights history is nothing without one of my favorite photos from 1926 of 14th and Irving.
But a few places still promise to show up and in the next two months we should be seeing Room 11 and Social bring some more places to booze and bite in the area.
Social - Tapas but don't call it that
So you can get small plates, or bigger ones, and you can share, but it's not mezze or tapas... it's "micro-dining." Whatever, I bet they have pretty cocktails. Here's how Social describes itself:
Social, located at 14th St NW & Meridian Pl NW, is soon to be the hottest new restaurant in DC. With a nod to the Columbia Heights community, partners AJ Guy, Scott Hammons & Tim Korzep, have created a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere to stylishly wile away the night. The inventive micro-dining menu guarantees no one will have to commit to the whole meal in one order or go home without being well fed. Walking distance from the Metro, Social is situated to closely serve its Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Petworth, & Shaw neighbors as friends.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Pete's Apizza turns one today and to celebrate you can get a HALF PRICE pizza all day. Click here for details. And Pete's has also added a few new menu items - which you can check out here.
You might know that The Heights Life is on Twitter, but did you know that Pete's is, too? We like them because they "follow" us. So follow them back - @Petes_Newhaven.
Monday, April 27, 2009
14th&U Farmers' Market
Reeves Center sidewalk - 14th and U streets NW
Saturdays - 9 am to 1 pm
May 2 to November 21
On the Web: www.14andufarmersmarket.com
Mt. Pleasant Farmers' Market
Lamont Park - Lamont and Mt. Pleasant streets NW
Saturdays - 9 am to 1 pm
May 2 to November 21
On the Web: www.mtpfm.org
Participating farms and producers:
View Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market in a larger map
Crime! It's warm out, which means more people on the streets and an inevitable crime spike. The Heights Life witnessed a good amount of police activity around the neighborhood this weekend. Yesterday evening, three police cars raced up 14th at ridiculous speeds. And the CH Yahoo Group has two disturbing reports. One person asked about shots fired in broad daylight on Sunday afternoon. Another says there is a groper in the neighborhood.
Love! The CH News Forums are notoriously nasty. Last year a group of forum posters held a happy hour to try to engender a little forum love, but DCDireWorlf and broNat continue to battle with CH Kool Aid and New2CH. Alas, one friendly forumite has decided to seek some common ground based on universal support for escalators at the Metro and universal hate for zombies. As of this update, nobody has joined in the attempt at forum community building.
Friday, April 24, 2009
“We believe that DCUSA in Columbia Heights is an excellent location choice and are eager to serve this community, which is a perfect fit for our products and philosophy. However, with this delay we are acting prudently to keep our company sound during these difficult times for retailers. We continue to work with DCUSA on a timetable to locate there," said Ellwood Thompson's owner Rick Hood on the company's blog.
This is unfortunate news for DCUSA and its tenancy. The most recent additions to the retail complex were the Bank of America and Panda Express, and Desi's chicken looks to be the next expected opening. But after that, who knows. But the real question is, does this mean a revival of the Whole Food for CH petition?
And just for an interesting comparison of where things were almost three years ago, here is the proposed tenant list and layout for street level.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The news that Highland Park was holding a rival open house party surprised me when I came home from work last night. But the ability to compare the two buildings, even with a year of occupancy on Highland Park, made me appreciate the Allegro that much more. Lame party theme but beautiful building. You win!
So, we cornered him in the pent house apartment kitchen and made him talk to us about the development, the neighborhood, and apparently his partying habits. Hey, he brought it up. No wait, maybe I did...
Either way, we bring you our EXCLUSIVE interview with Councilmember Jim Graham, and at the end Jeremy Rubenstein joins in.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
RSVP here. The Heights Life plans to attend.
And then come back tomorrow to discuss... Was this the douchiest party to ever occur in Columbia Heights? Or does that honor fall to that house across from the Wonderland that hosted a weak 80s themed fete last Saturday night? That's right white house on the corner - we all saw you!
*Ha - just kidding. There's no Tivoli North! Hahaha.
Another day, another escalator repair at our beloved Metro station. Just checked WMATA. This one is classified as a "CALLBACK/REPAIR" to be completed by 4/24/09. I read about it here first, though since that blog was posted half the escalator reopened for climbing only.
So the bad news is, we still have a busted staircase. And the worse news is, the side that is working is operating as shaky as a rope bridge with a fat lady on it.
April 25, 2009
North Columbia Heights Green, behind Red Rocks Pizza, bounded by Park Road on the north, 11th Street on the west, Lamont Street on the south, and Sherman Avenue on the east.
A community design charette, focused on planning the North Columbia Heights Green, recently acquired by Parks & People, in the context of the community’s green needs and assets, will take place at the site at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 25. It will be led by Columbia Heights resident John Henderson, a park planning veteran who helped design the renaissance of the Chicago Park District, along with Parks & People Landscape Architect and Columbia Heights resident Ian Tyndall. There will be food and music, and all are welcome. For more information call (202) 462-7275 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 20, 2009
Along Irving Street we discovered a simple looking tall red row house with a "for sale" sign. We looked it up, curious about prices in a down market and well... we did not discover a simple row house at all. Not.At.All.
We don't know what to say. We're still processing this. But take a look at the house. Like it? Hate it? Ever been in it? We are infinitely curious what people think of this place.
For shame I say! The replacement just maybe could be a bar with pool and ping pong, and that certainly sounds useful for those nights when the Wonderland decides to have a line. However, this leaves us with only one Columbia Heights sushi option.
And here at The Heights Life, we have long predicted the death of Nori. I know, some people don't agree that it sucks. But I'm telling you, mediocre sushi and crap service can't last, and that space deserves better!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Heights, 14th and Kenyon
Patio: The Heights patio is at the center of the Columbia Heights retail community. The good news: the patio is large and comes with umbrellas. The bad news: 14th Street traffic is omnipresent.
Food: Brunch-time offers anything from a burger to a steak salad to poached eggs on potato pancakes to a full dinner entree, and with their recently enacted recession prices you can expect to pay $8 - $15 for your food. Click here for the menu.
Drink: It's all about the Bloody Mary. Sure, the mimosas are good and the summer drinks are fruity, but the "design your own Bloody Mary" menu can't be beat. Try adding some vinegar. All basic combos will cost you $7.95.
Hours: Opens at 9AM on Saturday and Sunday.
Red Rocks, 11th and Park
Patio: The Red Rocks patio has had some ups and downs - including the attempt at a wintertime tent. The good news: the patio is elevated off the street and pretty big. The bad news: bench seating doesn't make for comfy lounging.
Food: Breakfast pizza, omelets shaped like pizza, and then just some regular pizza. The brunch menu at Red Rocks isn't offered online, but you can read a good review of the food here. The eggs could definitely be better, but at $9-$13 for a meal, the prices aren't bad. Click here for the regular menu.
Drink: Cough up a mere $9 and you can have as many mimosas as you want. The bubbly isn't high quality, but you can drink so many that you won't notice.
Hours: Opens at 11AM on Saturday and Sunday.
Commonwealth, Between 14th & 15th on Irving
Patio: The Commonwealth patio is tucked off the wide sidewalk on the south side of Irving Street. The good news: big tables for groups, small tables for two. The bad news: nothing much to look at but empty retail space.
Food: I will confess to never having sampled their brunch, and if they have a separate menu - it's not online. Commonwealth is certainly the priciest option in the neighborhood. Their "Butcher Breakfast" of poached eggs, bacon, black pudding, Surrey ham and pork and beans costs $17. For the menu, click here.
Drink: It doesn't matter what meal you're having at Commonwealth, just get a beer. It's not the cheapest beer in town, but the selection is certainly interesting.
Hours: Opens at 11AM on Saturday and Sunday.
The Wonderland Ballroom, 11th and Kenyon
Patio: The Wonderland beer garden is The Height Life's favorite weekend hangout and they frequently have live music. The good news: One can spend hours there drinking beer and meeting the neighbors. The bad news: It's a total dive.
Food: They don't offer a brunch, their website describes it as lunch. But, if your hangover requires some greasy bar food - then head here. The chili cheese fries are exactly what you'd expect. Check out the menu.
Drink: The beer garden is perfect for judgment free afternoon boozing. Beer, whiskey shots, whatever - it's all OK at the Wonderland.
Hours: Opens at 12PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Other Options: Red Derby has outdoor space and weekend food. Rumberos has a few seats. Sticky Fingers has some tables out front. Starbucks crams in a couple of chairs on the outside. Potbelly's and Pete's put up tables behind the Metro entrance. And coming soon, Room 11 - they have patio chairs!
We took a peak in the windows this afternoon and can say that the sign tease appears it will last a while longer. From the street view, Tynan remains a work with little progress. Maybe more has been done in the back. The good news is a wad of white paper means something might be afoot... like... origami?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
You can check out their blog here. The patio chairs are definitely a good sign. Moreover, they look pretty comfortable as far as outdoor seating goes.
The dessert and wine bar opening at 11th and Lamont will be home to a familiar face from Looking Glass Lounge, Mr. Dan Searing. The desserts will be done by Paisley Fig, the same place that does Cork's to-die-for sweets. And the food will be small plates, cured meats, soups, salad, sandwiches and cheese.
I am happy to report that SPARKY is back home and in good health. A good citizen saw some children that do not own a dog playing with it. SPARKY was taken and returned. I want to thank the community for the overwhelming support for SPARKY and it's owner.
ORIGINAL POST: A local dog was dognapped, leaving a 92 year old man from Columbia Heights puppy-less. Please help find him, and let us know if the story has a happy ending.
From the forums/email list:
This is a very sad, tragic story. Apparently two teenage boys stole a black shitzu right off the porch of a house on 11th Street. The owner - a 92-year old man - saw the boys take him. NBC 4 and the police are tracking this story and trying to find the dog named Sparky. They are handing out photos of the man and his dog -- the man is apparently understandably very distraught. Those of you in the neighborhood probably have seen him walking Sparky regularly. I know that a photo is posted on a tree in front of Red Rocks. Please check it out and keep your eye out for the little pup so he can be reunited with his owner.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
But today, after previous trial and failure, I succeeded in becoming a pho connoisseur (ok... maybe not connoisseur yet, but I'll get there).
The reviews from around my table: thumbs up, five stars, seven spoons... whatever, it was super good. Two of us had the pho, and my friend Ben went for the bun. We also tried both the egg and spring rolls, and I can safely say that a trip to Pho 14 isn't complete without at least one or the other. The sauces that came with everything were delicious, the food came out fast and hot, and I really don't know much about pho, but I know that this was good. I can also say that for $9.50, you could get a large take-out pho and get at least three meals out of it.
I've read reviews saying the service was spotty during the dinner rush, but our waiter (Jack) was fantastic, attentive, and made great recommendations. He informed us that they are working on the table configuration, and he offered up advice to his managers as he negotiated the small space.
He also said that pretty much every night, the rush comes after 6PM and lasts until after 9PM. If you're eager to try it, I'd suggest a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for a late lunch or early dinner.
Well the Wonderland's sibling bar, the Looking Glass Lounge, has hosted a Thursday night bar trivia contest for some time now. This past Thursday, the Heights Life checked it out.
- 8PM start time, arrive by 7:30PM to score a table.
- Trivia is upstairs, even though the Looking Glass website directs you downstairs.
- Five rounds, third round is picture, fifth round is audio.
- Ten questions per round.
- Up to five people per team.
- Mystery person question, one clue per round.
- Double up points on one round of your choosing.
The Looking Glass is a throwback to the original Wonderland trivia style with a regular host. His categories last Thursday included an open-ended "Easy Questions," a round about disease names, something on presidents' past jobs, a picture round on vampires, and a hip hop one hit wonder audio round. My team unanimously approved of the categories, even if we failed miserably on a few of them.
Host Dalton is a one-man trivia operation, asking and tabulating, which takes some time, but if you're looking for somewhere to talk and hang out with friends while also answering some trivia questions, it's a perfect option.
Trivia night in DC has grown in recent years, and there at lots of options in the Columbia Heights vicinity including the Wonderland, Looking Glass, Solly's, Duffy's, Nellie's, Stetson's and many others. For a list of where you can get your trivia on, click here.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
William Jordan posted some documents. To read the ongoing exchange, check out the Yahoo! Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/columbia_heights/.
Some explanation from William Jordan, ANC Commissioner for Ward 1A05:
While most Columbia Heights residents and other stakeholders did not know about the effort to rebrand/rename a portion of Columbia Heights to Tivoli North the CM and city officials did as they funded the plan to do so. Residents did not know because the city did not follow its own process for transparency and community involvement. I've attached the 2007 plan which should have had full public vetting but did not which started this process. DCUSA TIF/DHCD CDBG funds are likely paying for this process.
And an interesting email excerpt from a concerned citizen:
Back in the old days - pre-subway - few would even admit to living in Columbia Heights so Real Estate agents called the 14 to 16 hundred blocks of Columbia Heights "Mt. Pleasant East" or "Adams Morgan East", for instance.
Then comes the subway and these Balkanization attempts begin - North, South, East, West (and who knows what else) Columbia Heights.
And now "Tivoli North"?? Many of us fought long and hard to try to have the Tivoli Theater restored to its former glory. We failed. The City catered to special interests and gutted the Tivoli and replaced the former soaring space into a dinky little modern theater and offices.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I jogged by Pho 14 on Sunday afternoon, circa 5PM, and there were plenty of tables. Alas, I can't jog and eat pho at the same time, so I delayed my pho consumption. ArtBart and I decided that we should try it out tonight.
And that's when the pho fail happened. 7:30PM on Monday night and at least a dozen people were crowded and crammed into the Pho 14 entry, every last table full.
Impatience and a new episode of Greek on ABC Family (I swear to god that show is EXCELLENT) forced us home.
I know pho isn't sushi or anything... but I wonder if this place will finally send Nori do it's death?
Monday, April 6, 2009
• urban residential sanctuary
• cosmopolitan-inspired residences
• dramatic 297-unit ultra luxury apartment building
The developers think it takes this much superfluous language to sell a new rental apartment building? Apparently it also needs a gala grand opening celebration. A DJ, the “Velvet Allegro Cocktail Competition,” and more, is all yours to experience on April 22. There’s even a cheesy [read: strikingly evocative sensual milk-product] website at http://www.allegrospaces.com/desire/
Hidden in all this is the real news—Thai Tanic one of my favorite Thai restaurants is opening up Thai Tanic II in one of Allegro’s retail spaces.
It's almost 9:30 pm on a Sunday night in Columbia Heights. You are searching for something sweet. What do you do?
1. Ritas - Trash cans may be outside but the lights are off and the door is locked. 10 pm closing does not apply to Sundays.
2. Potbellys - Forget about the grabbing an oatmeal chocolate chip cooke or milkshake. Closes at 9 pm.
3. Petes - Success. Gelato may be off the menu for now but hot (somewhat) chocolate, Italian desserts, and fresh-baked cookies are available.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Last night they had a beer garden monitor who kept telling people it was "over capacity." He didn't seem to have an actual calculus for determining "capacity" and he couldn't control people going out the front door to smoke, but it was a little annoying, if understandable. Like that one time when the Wonderland had a line. A line!
It will be interesting to see how the attempts at control and balance with the neighbors develop with new night spots coming.
We heard from Room 11 that they should be opening within weeks.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Which local bartender is no more? Don't worry - in a few weeks he'll be back, closer to us all, and relieving a little pressure on the Wonderland's Saturday night crush.
Where should Columbia Heights residents be bringing some disinfectant spray? Rumor has it some ring worm was picked up at this local sweat spot.
Also, since that last item is totally obvious - can I just say that sometimes WSC smells really bad? And what's with dirt always speckling the stretching area? That place needs a scrubbing.
Our escalator is back!
The "up" escalator at the northbound bus side of our blessed Metro was RUNNING tonight. I am calling the Vatican to investigate, as it's certainly a miracle. The down side, however, was still unmoved. I suspect it may be due to the ground in yogurt pretzels. We'll be lucky if that thing survived the abuse... it's probably next on the "major repair" list.
Pho - for real this time!
We hear that Pho 14 is really actually supposed to open up tomorrow. This after a fake soft launch and some delayed permits. Report back to us if you go, we're especially interested in the FREE egg rolls. Yeah, I said it - free food. Let's storm the joint.
Don't be fooled by the Circulator bus!
So I was all jazzed up to take the Circulator bus to brunch on Sunday. I timed it, I left, I waited - and then I saw it! Red and glorious, it was coming right toward me as I stood on 14th by the CH Metro. And then... and then it just kept going. WTF? Well, apparently I was completely mistaken about where the Circulator picks up. I suggest you try Irving Street, not 14th. And I apologize here for the misguided curses I hurled at the bus driver in my head.