Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ALERT! William Jordan has a blog! ZOMG!

William Jordan, aka Bronat aka CH Forum Troublemaker aka ANC Commissioner, HAS A BLOG!

Check it out by clicking here.

He says, in a forum post, that he hasn't promoted it yet. Well the word is out and I am totally going to tweet about it like... now.

Except that he also hasn't updated this year, and has only posted four times ever. Umm, I'm not sure if that even counts as a blog yet. I mean, I guess it counts, but come on ANC Commish, you have more to say than that!

There is also an entire forum thread devoted to BroNat's view of the world, blogging philosophy, criticism of locals, and thoughts on the mainstream media.

Hey William Jordan - we'll link to you if you link to us. Deal?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Real Housewives of DC... Do we have to?

Apparently, the Real Housewives franchise wants some DC action.

I'm willing to wager that this show falls apart.

I'm also willing to nominate my friend DS to participate, since she has a house and a husband and a cat. And maybe ArtBart and I will participate, too, since they have a thing for letting unmarried people on these shows anyhow. They, like Beyonce, love the single ladies. And then DS and I will gang up on ArtBart and start a fight in front of DCUSA, probably over a man or some shoes, and then we'll hang out at Commonwealth and talk about it and then we'll all go home and talk about it some more... and play Dance Dance Revolution or maybe Sega while drinking red wine from d'vines.

Or... Bravo could just get some Georgetown/Bethesda/Cleveland Park/McLean botox beasts whose husbands have no concept of what their likely estranged wives just signed them up for. Yeah, that sounds more like it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We'll Decide What's Hip or Not, Thankyouverymuch

While some readers and a few friends might be fans of Mike Allen's Playbook, I never understood his inane party coverage. Saturday's round-up include a rundown of the usual cocktail and birthday party gossip but the real treat was a tipster quoting a reveler that "Wonderland is way past hip." This was a preceded by party goers choosing between coming up to Columbia Heights or playing Taboo.

And you wonder why DC has a nerdy reputation? Full disclosure: Yes, I did play Jenga last night, and I might have tweeted about it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Details on the Sherman Ave. Streetscape Improvement Project

In March it was announced that the Sherman Avenue Streetscape project would be receiving federal stimulus funds. While the start of construction is not set to begin until 2010, the DC Department of Transportation has released new details about the project:


The current design recommends road repaving, field surveys, roadway design, landscaping, new tree planted median, street lighting, traffic signals, pavement markings, signing, and modifications to on-street parking and safety improvements for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.


This information and more is available in the presentation presented at the Sherman Avenue Streetscape working group earlier this month:

Greater Greater DC also has a, well, great photo of Columbia Ave. and Sherman Ave. then and now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Parking Bill Would Change Ward 1 Rules

Greater Greater Washington provides an update and analysis on a pair of DC parking bills, one of which would apply to Ward 1 parkers:

Parking on one side of every residential street in DC's Wards 1 and 6 could be reserved for residents only, at all times of the day, under a pair of bills introduced by Jim Graham and Tommy Wells, the Councilmembers for those two wards. Tomorrow, the Council will hold a hearing on both bills, the Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act of 2009 and the Ward 6 Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act of 2009. In addition, one or both bills would provide visitor parking passes to residents, expand RPP sticker eligibility, and adjust RPP fees.

The first covers Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights and U Street, while the second would encompass Capitol Hill, Southwest Waterfront, Near Southeast, and Mount Vernon Triangle. Both would reserve one side of every block with Residential Permit Parking (RPP) for residents of the individual wards. Households would each get one visitor pass to hand to daytime domestic workers or out-of-town visitors, entitling that visitor to park in a residential space. The Ward 1 bill also specifies that every household in the ward can receive a sticker for their car. Currently, residents of some apartment buildings facing commercial streets, or people who live on non-RPP zoned streets, are not eligible for the stickers, and thus receive no RPP privileges at all.

According to William Jordan (aka BroNat), Council Member Graham's staff said nothing will move forward until a public meeting happens in Columbia Heights. Greater Greater Washington has some reservations about the plan, asking if it will be bad for business, but I think ArtBart likes the sound of it (hey ArtBart, is that true?). What do you think?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Closing in on new CH bar options

Ruth Samuelson over at the City Paper has an 11th Street update. Room 11 work keeps plugging along.

We saw Room 11's Dan Searing at the last punch event he hosted. He told us that they are now mostly waiting on inspections and permits. They are also working to see how they can keep up the punch concept, and he floated the idea of a Sunday or weekend afternoon regular punch affair. The Heights Life loves this because Sunday afternoons, not necessarily Saturday nights, make it a good neighborhood bar.

And - here is a photo of THL testing out the stools they will be using at Room 11. They had just arrived and will be covered for additional comfort.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sketchy Turtle Sales in CH!

Mr. T in DC has the scoop on some shady baby turtle sales going on in Columbia Heights. It's about as unsafe as it gets, for both turtle and human alike, to have out of a box curbside turtle sales, so if you see turtle man - say something about turtle man (to the police, human society, the kid buying the turtle, whatever).

And now lets get to the subheadline of this turtle story: William Jordan Terrorizes Columbia Heights Forums!

You can't have a CH Forum Chat without a BroNat disagreement these days, and the turtle sales forum discussion is no different. Check out the thread here. BroNat is William Jordan, ANC Commissioner and the man with something to say about everything. Like the time he accused this blogger of "civic laziness" for asking if someone could help us cover ANC meetings then suggested I "send someone," which is what I was trying to do when I asked if someone could help us cover ANC meetings. THANKS FOR THE TIP BRONAT.

Also - anyone want to help this blog cover ANC meetings? We'll take notes and updates from any regular attendee.

We'll take other stuff, too, like recipes - but only if you give them funny Columbia Heights names, or restaurant reviews, or event announcements, or rants - we like rants.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fatal Shooting on 14th & Columbia

There was a fatal shooting last night right on 14th Street at Columbia, with cops and neighbors around. The update from Councilmember Jim Graham:

Dear Friends, I am now just returning from the crime scene at 14th and Columbia. A 19 year old male was shot in the head, and killed. I have the name/address of the victim but I am not releasing it since his family may not have been notified. I am told he lived in the immediate area. Our prayers and sympathy go to those who loved him.

The shooting was targeted, and reportedly related to gang beefs that have been ongoing since the murders in Dec/Jan. Another young adult, Paul Jones, was shot and killed by LaFonte Carlton this past January on the 1300 block of Columbia. Carlton is now facing two murder charges.

There has been a constant police presence in this block ever since.

In this shooting, at least three police officers were right there at the shooting. There are various cameras, including an MPD crime camera at 14th and Columbia, and other cameras on the buildings. All of that is now being checked for evidence.

All of this reinforces my support for fast Council action on Mayor Fenty's omnibus crime bill. We held a press conference on that on Thursday at 14th and W.

Guess the whole notion that a well-lit well-trafficked street keeps you safe just went out the window in CH.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rep. Polis in the 'Hood

Out and about Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) says he barely ever gets to leave the Capitol area, but he did mention Columbia Heights as one of the DC 'hoods he's managed to hit.

I'm going to guess since he's new in town his visit was for the DCUSA shopping. But I like to think that maybe he also visited the Ruby Tuesdays Salad Bar (we haven't mentioned that place in a while - had to work it in!).

From Metro Weekly:

METRO WEEKLY: How are you settling in, both with Congress and the District?

REP. JARED POLIS: Well, as a member of Congress, we don't get to see the city that much. Probably 90 percent of my life is just within a few square blocks of here -- the Capitol campus and where we live. I walk four blocks to work. But my partner and I really enjoy our excursions into Washington. We've been to Columbia Heights, the Dupont Circle area, Georgetown -- we enjoy going out when we have the chance.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sign Goes up for Chicken and Steak

Before grabbing lunch at Pho 14 Sunday, we noticed the sign for Desi's Chicken & Steak is now up. There is a lot of work going on inside, but it still looks a few months away. There has been only bits of news about the restaurant but luckily the Google came through with some more information. An interview with the owners was in the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights newsletter last year:


The Camacuari's have been in business for over 16 years and own three other Peruvian eateries in Maryland and Virginia. Their success is credited to their recipe and motto "to bring back the best of Fine Peruvian Cuisine; creating innovative dishes with incomparable Peruvian flavors." Dishes like their Aguadito de Pollo (chicken soup made in the traditional Peruvian style) and their Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) fits the bill.


And reviewers on Yelp are liking the Falls Church location.

CVS: The Perfect Spot for Late-Night, Last-Minute Gift Shopping

OK, I wasn’t really gift shopping at CVS around 10:30 pm last night but if I needed to this would be the perfect spot. For the Green Thumb, weed killer was 50 percent off, as well as some sort of garden gnome bobble head doll. Near the back left corner of the store there is a section dedicated to “As Seen on TV” products but sadly not the ever-popular Snuggie or ShamWow. For the less than savvy gardener, though, you could buy a variety of Chia Pets. The biggest surprise though was the gift card kiosk by the greeting cards. It wasn’t in order, but I saw gift cards of varying amounts from major retailers and chain restaurants.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is Columbia Heights in US Weekly Far Behind?

Sure, the President has played hoops at the local Washington Sports Club, but it's certainly something when Hollywood actresses (and moms), a legendary children's rights advocate, and the First Lady of DC come to the neighborhood. Yesterday Keri Russell (total girl crush going back to her "Felicity" days), Jessica Alba, Regina King, and Ali Wentworth, along with Michelle Fenty and Marian Wright-Edelman, celebrated Child Watch Day at the Unity Health Care Upper Cardozo Clinic on 14th Street. At the clinic they met with families on the need to improve the access to health care for children.

Coverage from DCist, People, and the Children's Defense Fund.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Punch Club Friday with Room 11's Dan Searing

Dan Searing, soon to be opening Room 11 in Columbia Heights, is hosting another Punch Up at the Warehouse Bar near the Convention Center this Friday. The Heights Life went to the last one and strongly advises you to check it out. Searing also says they are "weeks" not "months" away from opening Room 11!

From the WaPo's Going Out Gurus:


Punch Club at the Warehouse

Punch Club, the weekly cocktail night that was such a hit at the Warehouse in January and February, is making a special return to Seventh Street tonight between 6 and 8. Bartender Dan Searing whips up large bowls full of potent "adult punches" and then ladles out glasses for $5 bucks a pop. For this event, Searing is bringing back the killer Rocky Mountain Punch (rum, champagne, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice) and Bombay Government Regulation Punch (rum, cognac, limes, sugar, nutmeg), and serving up Pisco Punch (with South American pisco liqueur) "and maybe another one or two into the mix." Beer and wine will also be available, but I can't imagine why you'd drink anything other than the punches.

Searing's forthcoming wine and cocktail bar, Room 11, will be open soon in Columbia Heights. Two inspections have already been passed, Searing says, "so we're talking weeks, not months."

Want to Stalk the New Neighbors?

Wondering if your new neighbors are here to stay or just squatters? Curious when they got married or what they do or a living?

Well then e-stalk away with BlockShopper. Here's a link the latest comings and goings in Columbia Heights.

BlockShopper is "a local news and market data service for current and aspiring homeowners, home buyers and home sellers."

Apparently in the last few weeks we've acquired a Peace Corps couple, an orthopedic surgeon, a VP, a communications manager and a creative director.

The sketchy part is that it doesn't seem as though these people volunteered the info, but rather BlockShopper writers just got their sales docs and googled the crap out of them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Men in Sundresses: A Photo Essay

It is a surprisingly simple premise. Neighborhood bar throws a party every year on the first Sunday of May, everyone is encouraged to wear sundresses, and also eat some pig to raise money for a local cause. Having gone to four of the five Sundress parties to date, I have to say accessories ruled during this year's fashion show. Our sartorial look of this year's wears are below.

Sundress Fest 2009 - Rain or Shine

Sundress Fest 2009 at the Wonderland Ballroom proved that it doesn't take sun for a solid sundress party. More to come, including video and a slide show of the best men's sundress competition. In the mean time... feast your eyes on these beasts:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Columbia Heights Streetside Art

Between 14th and 15th on Irving Street:

Stop Teasing Us Ellwood

I think Ellwood Thompson's should probably take these signs down now... I walked by today and they still have two of them up as well as the appearance of work going on inside the space. No bodies, just stuff. But still... stop teasing us.