Monday, November 29, 2010

South African Wine Fundraiser Tonight at Room 11

Tonight, Room 11 is eschewing from its normal Monday night beer event to host a fundraiser and tasting of sustainable South African wines. Here are the details:

$15 admission includes tasting portions of 6 wines, with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to the International Society of Africans in Wine, a US-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is building sustainable communities through viticulture. Add a cheese and charcuterie plate for the special price of $10. Seating is limited, so please make a reservation by e-mailing

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pancake Sculptures at IHOP Party on Tuesday

The new IHOP in Columbia Heights is the 1,500th restaurant of the all-American franchise and the grand opening celebration is set for Tuesday morning. Not only are they giving away 1,500 stacks of pancakes, but the 1400 block of Irving will be one big party, complete with a stilt walker, DC monuments made out of pancakes (for real) and more.

But will the pancake sculptures be as awesome as Jim's Pancakes

Here are the details so you can adjust (or not) your morning commute accordingly.

6 to 9 am -- Guests allowed to line up for free flapjack certificates
6 to 11 am -- Pancake monument sculpting 
7 to 11 am -- Live entertainment (stilt walker, clown, magician)
9 am --  Ribbon cutting

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Green Space Opens this Saturday

North Columbia Heights Green, the new green space and community garden, behind Red Rocks is celebrating the fall harvest on Saturday. Stop by from 3 to 7 pm for food, films, fun, fire, and musical celebration of the natural and cultural harvests of the community.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

24-hour pancakes have arrived

This may be the first restaurant opening announcement I ever read on Twitter. But, as posted this morning, the IHOP at 14th and Irving streets is now open for business.

Friday, November 12, 2010

CH News Forum Pretty Much Dead

The Columbia Heights News forum, once a place full of lengthy debates between everyone and William Jordan, is pretty much dead.

I haven't been checking in as often as I once was, and apparently nobody else is ether. The last update was November 8. Before that it had been awhile.

PoP's forums are also pretty quiet these days:

Guess everyone has moved on to the TWEETS. And in case you are interested, you can find us there at

Glogg and Blankets at Room 11!

My favorite thing is back! And that thing is GLOGG at Room 11. Just this past weekend Art Bart and I were harassing Room 11's Dan Searing about when it would make a return. He promised us soon and he delivered!

Added bonus: blankets and heat lamps so you can enjoy your glogg along with crisp fall air on the patio.

Here's what Dan had to say about it:

Starting today, Friday, November 12 we will begin serving our Swedish style mulled wine every weekend through the winter. From 5-7pm it will be only $4 a cup, after that $6. We have stocked up on some authentic Swedish fleece blankets (to supplement our heat lamps) for those who want to enjoy their Glogg alfresco in true Scandinavian fashion.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Social has closed, so what comes next?

Tim Carman at the Washington City Paper wrote a blog post this afternoon that announced Social "will be closed for an indefinite period of time." I always felt that the restaurant / bar / concept at 14th Street and Meridian Place was trying way too hard to impress its customers. That and the food and drinks were more than often disappointing. So as @DeuceInDC wrote on Twitter, this is a good opportunity to put a "not-awful restaurant" in that location.

So, I leave that to you ... if Social is indeed 100% gone for good, what should occupy its space on 14th Street, restaurant or otherwise? Leave your thoughts below or let us know on Twitter by following The Heights Life.

UPDATE from DCist: Social Closed Due to Tax/Ownership Dispute.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sherman Ave. streetscape starts next week

The DC Department of Transportation announced today that construction on the Sherman Avenue streetscape project is set to begin next week with water-utility work. DDOT states that the project will:

-- Make Sherman Avenue feel more residential rather than a commuter route by reducing vehicular lanes to one in each direction.

-- Improve pedestrian safety by widening the sidewalks to make them ADA compliant, and upgrading the wheelchair ramps and crosswalk markings.

-- Make Sherman Avenue more attractive by planting trees and shrubs along the corridor, upgrading street lights and upgrading traffic signals.

These changes won't happen overnight, though. For the next two years Sherman Ave. traffic may closely resemble that around 14th street in Columbia Heights, but all for the better. You can follow the streetscape progress online here --

Leaf Collection Starts Monday

DPW sent over some helpful tips on leaf collection, as well as a link to the schedule. Leaf collection stars Monday, November 8.

Here are some tips for a smooth-running leaf collection season:

* Look up your street's collection schedule at

* Rake leaves into the treebox space the weekend before your street's collection cycles.

* Please - leaves only! Tree limbs, bricks, dirt, rocks, etc., will damage the equipment and delay collections.

* Prevent fires, parking problems and possible flooding by placing leaves in the treebox space, not in the street. When it rains, leaves will block the storm drain and cause flooding. Please remove any leaves you see blocking the storm drain.

* If you choose to bag your leaves, please use paper bags. Plastic bags will damage the equipment. You may place bagged leaves in the treebox space or next to the trash/recycling container(s).

* Protect the safety of our crews by driving slowly around their work area or change your route and avoid them altogether.

Friday, October 22, 2010

826 DC Open House this Saturday

It looks like you can make a fun day for yourself tomorrow at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza. In addition to the farmers' market running from 9 am to 2 pm, the nonprofit 826 DC and its "Museum of Unnatural History" will open its doors from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

The group is encouraging people to: "Come explore our fantastic storefront, The Museum of Unnatural History, and hear about our workshops, field trips, in-school, and after-school tutoring programs for kids. The event is open to the public, so please: stop by. Say hi."

Image courtesy of 826 DC

Friday, October 15, 2010

Alero gets started on Halloween early

The Columbia Heights Alero is beginning its Halloween celebration a bit early this year with a party tonight. Drink specials and a DJ start at 10 pm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Tivoli North" community day this Saturday

Do you swear by the tacos at Taqueria Distrito Federal? Interested in seeing what's on stage at the Gala? Then check out the Taste of Tivoli North this Saturday.

The 1300 block of Spring Road NW is host to this community showcase, and the event is presented by Tivoli North Business Association. Stop by between 12 and 6 pm to see live music and sample local food, along with kids activities.

More information online at

Writes the organizers: Taste of Tivoli North aims to showcase talent of our surrounding community, attract neighbors to meet local business owners, and highlight cleanliness, safety, and beautification.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New view of Streetscape project via Google Maps

The great folks at Greater Greater Washington pointed out that Google Maps recently updated its DC satellite view. Where were you around 1 pm on Sunday, August 29?

I have been known to spend hours on Google Maps and Google Earth, but I was really surprised to see the full aerial shot Columbia Heights Streetscape Project. I never noticed the concentric circles before.

You can also see Columbia Heights Day, the day after.

View Larger Map

Friday, September 24, 2010

Call for another trivia night?

I like bar trivia. I often win at bar trivia. But do we really need another one in Columbia Heights? Organizers from Trivia Kings, who host a number of events at DC bars, have started a petition on Facebook to bring a trivia night to Meridian Pint. With a weekly trivia at Wonderland on Mondays, a bi-weekly game at Commonwealth on Sundays, when would be the best fit for our newest 11th Street spot? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New arts groups hosts fundraiser tonight

Looking for something to do tonight? A new music education group in Columbia Heights is having their first fundraiser. Stop by the Wonderland beginning at 8 pm to learn more about (and support) The Respect Music Foundation. There will be live music featuring an experimental set with Jason McMullen (drummer of The Drains) and DJ BlueMenthol. Drink specials include $5 PBR and Beam shot combos. Proceeds will go towards Resepct Music Foundation arts and educational programming, which will be used to obtain grants to build a community music cooperative, where artists may rehearse, record and produce for free in exchange for providing music lessons to the public.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

details on new 11th St. Mexican restaurant

The Washington City Paper has a nice interview with the folks who will be opening a new Mexican restaurant in the 3300 block of 11th Street. Writes Tim Carman at Young & Hungry:

Jackie Greenbaum, the restaurateur known for her eponymous industrial DayGlo eatery in Silver Spring, has signed a lease to open a casual Mexican restaurant in Columbia Heights. The tiny, 800-square-foot operation will be located at 3313 11th St., in a former liquor store, and will not only sell regional Mexican foods but also snacks inspired by the L.A. street food scene.

It's great to see that their plans includes being open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and maybe even a rooftop deck. Will this be the new hotspot of 2011?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Capital Bikeshare installed

I didn't notice this yesterday, so it must be a new addition. The Capital Bikeshare station, minus the actual bikes, has been installed at 14th and Harvard streets. Will you be one of the renters / cyclists?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Top 5 Things to Do on Columbia Heights Day

You know the details: Saturday, 10 to 6 pm, Tubman Field. Now here are some things to do.

1. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food rules at this year's festival. Not only are many Columbia Heights restaurants and bars offering all day specials, but some of your favorite food trucks will be parked on Kenyon Street.

2. Strike up the band. After grabbing some food, stop by the Main Stage for live music all day.

3. Cheer for the future Queen (at 11:45 am) or King (at 1:00 pm) of Columbia Heights Day. The competition will take place on the Second Stage at the festival and I am happily serving as one of the judges.

4. Cute overload. Bring your pup to the Dog Show (at 10:30 am) or be a kid again by stopping by the petting zoo but watch out of for the sheep.

5. Show your neighborhood pride with a Columbia Heights t-shirt. Two different styles will be on sale for $10 - $12.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Countdown to Columbia Heights Day

Next Saturday, August 28 is the 4th Annual Columbia Heights Day festival. Want to what's happening at Tubman Field and around the neighborhood, check out the schedule and map below. (Ed note: I am part of the Columbia Heights Day planning team)

10 am - 6 pm
Tubman Field - 11th & Kenyon St. NW

10:00 am Columbia Heights bike tour and scavenger hunt--starts at Tubman Field
10:00 am Morning yoga from Quiet Mind Yoga--Tubman Field
10:30 am Dog Show--Tubman Field
11:00 am Electric 11s (rock)--Main Stage
11:45 am Queen of Columbia Heights competition--Second Stage
12:15 pm Czars of Leisure (rock)--Main Stage
1:00 pm King of Columbia Heights competition--Second Stage
1:30 pm The Chariots (reggae)--Main Stage
2:15 pm Batala (percussion group)--Second Stage
2:45 pm La Unica Irish Band--Main Stage
3:30 pm Sticky Fingers Cupcake Eating Contest--Second Stage
4:15 pm Armchairs (rock)--Main Stage
5:15 pm Belladonna (belly dancing) --Second Stage
5:45 pm Flex Matthews (hip hop)--Main Stage

View Columbia Heights Day 2010 in a larger map

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Room 11 turns the big "1" today

Sometimes it's difficult to remember way back when there was no friendly, neighborhood wine bar at 11th and Lamont streets. All of 13 months ago. Tonight Room 11 is celebrating its 1-year anniversary with some special treats:

- Complimentary sparkling wine with a purchase. 
- Drink specials on wine and cocktails.
- There will be punch.

As it has been written here numerous times, I am a big fan of Room 11. Every visit I know I can get something good to drink, a nice bite to eat, and a wonderful dessert. Now if they could just get some citronella candles on the patio...

Monday, August 9, 2010

CH Neighborhood Tees

Columbia Heights Day is now less than three weeks away: Saturday, August 28 (mark your calendars!).  And while there'll be bands and food and a petting zoo, there will also be opportunities to increase your Columbia Heights t-shirt collection.

The list so far includes:

1. Columbia Heights Day - official 2010 festival shirts, plus DC flag shirts ($10 to $12)

2. North Columbia Heights Civic Association - see image

3. Chocolate City Beer

What other local shirts have you seen around? I know Pleasant Pops and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace sell them. My personal favorite is my Wonderland's 5th Anniversary Sundress Party tee.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DC National Night Out is tonight

You may have seen the signs around DCUSA, but tonight is National Night Out. Target is sponsoring a Community Block Party at the Columbia Heights Education Center Soccer Field (on Hiatt Pl by the DCUSA parking lot entrance). From 5-8 pm there will be There will be food and refreshments. Also presentations will be made by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association on securing your bicycle and by the Home Depot on securing your home.

For more info, visit MPD's listing of all DC events.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Transportation Briefs

Just a quick look at some transportation news affecting the neighborhood.

1. BeyondDC shares a great photo from DCDDOT of the finished (?) streetscape project. I still see orange cones and concrete barriers in my sleep, though.

2. The Coalition for Smarter Growth will lead a Columbia Heights walking tour on August 7. It features reps from the architects who were commissioned for the public realm improvements in the neighborhood.

3. The expanded Capital Bikeshare program will indeed have a few Columbia Heights locations: 14th & Irving, 11th & Lamont, 16th & Harvard, and 14th & Spring, among them.

View Capital Bikeshare in a larger map

Friday, July 23, 2010

A look inside 826DC's new HQ

826DC will soon be moving into the old Scores test prep space in the Park Triangle. The creative writing nonprofit's DC office will be housed at "the Museum of Unnatural History, a monument to the long-forgotten 'Unnaturalist Society'—a group of bizarre, outcast scientists who believed that “the path to truth often leads through the absurd.'"

Here's a look at their new space.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gin Happy Hour tonight at Room 11

There is a happy hour tonight at Room from 6-7:30 pm with free
Hendrick's gin samples and drink specials.

The 11th Street spot is also debuting tonight its Sexy St Germain
Summer Strawberry Sangria. (That's a lot of S's!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

DDOT to party when the streetscape project ends

I'll miss getting this e-mails every day, but at least there will be a party.

From: "Kovaleski, Kevin (DDOT)"
Date: July 12, 2010 4:37:08 PM EDT
Subject: Columbia Heights Update

Dear Columbia Heights,

Today, crews began the final paving of the Columbia Heights Streetscape project. Crews are scheduled to return on-site tomorrow to finish the paving, weather permitting. As described in my updates last week, along with completing the final street paving, crews are scheduled to install a new sidewalk along the west side of 14th Street from Park Road to Newton Street this week. Additionally, some smaller punch-list items will be underway.

This will be my last official project update that will go out to the community. However, feel free to contact me directly if you have any remaining questions or concerns that might come up in the next weeks and I'll be more than happy to address them. I will send you all an email with details of an event that DDOT will schedule to celebrate the end of construction.

Thanks again for your patience and flexibility throughout the project.



Kevin Kovaleski

Capital City Fellow
District Department of Transportation

Friday, July 2, 2010

Columbia Heights Media Project Starts Tonight

BloomBars, the community arts space on 11th Street, is kicking off a new program tonight with the Columbia Heights Media Project. You can learn about the project tonight at BloomBars from 6 - 8 pm.

Writes the organizer, Julie Espinosa:

The Columbia Heights Media Project is the vision for a participatory documentary and interactive media project with the potential to help us move past helplessness to a place of love—a place of awareness, care and understanding. Audio/visual media and the camera can be powerful tools. I invite you to join me in using those tools to document the stories of our neighborhood and transform the ways that we interact with one another.

For more information, visit

The website currently has a nice selection of neighborhood videos and vignettes that you may have seen elsewhere but now it's all in one place. It's a cool concept.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Target to get fruits and veggies

Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham had a surprise on the Columbia Heights listserv today -- the DCUSA Target is getting a produce section. He writes:

We have also been informed that Target will open some 100 positions in the near future. Target is opening a full grocery store in July and extra staff is required.

It's actually opening in the fall reports the Washington City Paper:

… Target is planning to expand its current dry goods section to include more grocery-type items, including produce–a critical factor making it a viable alternative to Giant's weekend lines. The remodeling will start any day now and finish sometime in October, taking out some abutting retail sections.

So with the expanding groceries selection at Target, the CH Farmers' Market, and the eventual opening of Ellwood Thompson's, maybe now we can stop complaining about Giant?

Meridian Pint Opens Thursday!

Long awaited and table tap enabled Meridian Pint is set to open

It's looking great and has an awesome vegetarian and vegan friendly

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Movie Nights in the Heights Premiers Tonight

So it's really hot out. But you know what? You chose to live in DC. So
get over it and get on over to Movie Nights in the Heights!

The Columbia Heights Day Initiative will be showing Men in Black at
8:30PM at Tubman Field on 11th and Kenyon. Starting at 8PM there will
be DJ entertainment.

You know what else? Men in Black was good. The sequel was not, but
that's why they aren't showing the sequel. So THL suggest you check it

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Columbia Heights Day June Events

The Columbia Heights Day Initiative has a lot more going on this summer than the awesome festival with the camel and cupcakes.

Coming up this month...

Thursday, June 17 - Fundraiser at the Wonderland. Drink specials with the purchase of an awesome Columbia Heights Day cup.
Thursday, June 24 - Movie Nights in the Heights premiers at Tubman field with a Men in Black showing. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Impression: Columbia Heights Farmers Market

The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace opened this morning to overcast skies but luckily no rain. I stopped by during my morning coffee run and was pleasantly surprised with the open set-up on the Civic Plaza, as well as the nice mix of growers and producers.

Price-wise, fruit and veggies were comparable to other farmers' markets I frequent, but I did find that lettuces were 50 cents to a dollar cheaper here than other neighborhood markets.

The Marketplace has a full list of vendors on its website, but here is a rundown of my favorites:
  • Dolcezza Gelato - yummy gelato and sorbet from the Georgetown and now Dupont gelato shop
  • Stachowski Brand Charcuterie - delicious artisan sausages and meats
  • Upper Crust Bakery - I am enjoying a scone from them right now
  • Twin Post Farm, LLC - farm fresh chicken eggs, and come September, duck eggs
Can you use the CH Community Marketplace as your one weekly farmers' market visit? Perhaps. But I think my ideal Saturday morning will now be visits to both the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights farmers' markets. You can get all the local fruit, veggies, cheeses, and breads you need. Plus even some gelato for dessert.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"These are not the hipsters you are looking for." **

Oh, the things you find on craigslist. This one is for an indie, hipster, robot movie. (The next great film genre, of course.)
DROIDSTER is a action/drama short set in Columbia Heights, DC. Robot hipsters are operating out of basements in the neighborhood, abducting unsuspecting preppies and turning their insides into oily mechanics. These aren't your father's evil robots, however -- they ride fixed gear bikes, wear skinny jeans, jeggings, christmas socks, and big sunglasses. They also suck at life.
** We are accepting other robot puns in the comments below.

Ellwood Thompson's set for January 2011 and IHOP to be 24 hours

Lots of news coming out of yesterday's North Columbia Heights Community Association meeting. The Washington City Paper reports that Ellwood Thompson's will open at DCUSA in January. Writes The Housing Complex blog:

Ellwood Thompson's, the elusive organic grocer that's had a sign in a window on Irving Street off 14th for at least a year now–having put plans on ice last April–is in final lease negotiations and expects to begin construction in July and finally open in January 2011, according to a company spokesman.

It's the second location for the Richmond, Virginia-based store. According to Chief Financial Officer Jack McGrath, food prices will be comparable with Whole Foods, and they'll also have in-store dining. "I like to say we're building a restaurant that sells groceries, rather than a grocery store that sells prepared food," he said at a meeting of the North Columbia Heights Community Association this evening.

We have heard quite a number of possible opening dates for the store numerous times over the past few years, but maybe the appearance of its CFO makes it a little more official this time around. The City Paper also shares the news that the on-its-way IHOP will be open 24 hours. Who wants pancakes at 3 am!

It's great to see more additions to DCUSA and perhaps the new retail leasing signage will bring about some more local and national businesses to the space. A flyer on the the Cushman & Wakefield website reveals a lot more details on the available space. IHOP will be on the second floor, utilizing a new entrance that will be accessible from Irving Street.

So the ever on-going question for Columbia Heights, what would you like to see at DCUSA?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Details on new 11th Street Development Project

The Washington Business Journal reports today that renovation has started on the corner building at 11th and Monroe streets. Located across the street from Columbia Heights Coffee, the building has been vacant for several years. The new developers plan on converting it into condos and retail space.

Madison Investments has bought a blighted apartment building in Columbia Heights for $3.2 million through a bankruptcy trustee sale. The 36,000-square-foot vacant building at 1020 Monroe Street NW encountered a string of lawsuits and has been sitting in Chapter 7 bankruptcy for the past year. The D.C.-based development company will renovate the 28-unit building under a condo conversion. The plan is to put retail on the ground floor and install a roof deck for residents.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Celebrate Bike to Work Day Friday in Columbia Heights

This Friday is the annual Bike to Work Day, organized by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections. There is a morning rally downtown at Freedom Plaza, among other locations throughout the area. But did you know there is also an evening rally in Columbia Heights?

Join other cyclists on the Columbia Heights Plaza from 4 - 7 pm for the inaugural "Bike From Work" rally. Weather is looking great for this year, too. High of 88 and low of 66.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two neighborhood fundraisers set for this week

Both the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace and Columbia Heights Day Initiative will be hosting events this week to raise funds and visibility for their organizations.

Tonight, The Heights will be donating 10 % of all food and drink sales to the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace from 4 pm - close. For more information visit

On Thursday, Columbia Heights Day will be hosting a luau fundraiser at The Looking Glass Lounge from 7 - 11 pm. There will be drink specials and even a limbo contest. More info on Columbia Heights Day on Facebook.

Friday, May 14, 2010

More info on the IHOP news

The Washington City Paper's Housing Complex blog is reporting that IHOP is coming to Columbia Heights this August. No word yet on exact location (whether it's DC USA or Highland Park) or the operation hours. Full story here -

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ever Want to Front a Band?

If you were at the Wonderland's epic Sundress Fest 2010, you might have heard some good music with bad vocals wafting out of the upstairs.

That's because there was live band karaoke.

If you've ever wanted to front a band and say... sing Madonna but like Morrissey... this is your chance! Because starting TOMORROW (Tuesday) Wonderland is hosting a weekly live band karaoke night. It's like... 7 to 10PM or something, every Tuesday, starting now.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meridian Pint previews its menu

We are just a few weeks away from the opening of Meridian Pint, the new restaurant and bar at the corner of 11th and Park. I was checking out its website this afternoon and lo' and behold -- the complete food and drink menu is now available at

Featured food items include a NY strip steak, pork chops, and roasted chicken, but the real surprises are the in fuller menu. There are a number of vegetarian and vegan options across all courses on the menu. Here is a rundown:
  • three soups, $7 each
  • three salads, $9 - $12
  • hefty assortment of appetizers, $5 - $10
  • ten entrees, $15-$18
  • sandwiches (finally someone is serving chicken salad in CH), $10 - $12
  • Brunch includes the usual plus entrees, $6 - $16
Meridian Pint also touts 25 beers, plus two casks, $4 - $8.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sundress Party Photo Galleries

Missed the Wonderland's annual Sundress Fest on Sunday? Or want a reminder of how much you really did drink? Check out these photo galleries to see if your where at your sartorial sunny best:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

News, notes, and happenings

It's time to clean out the inbox, go through that RSS feed, and read those tweets. Here is some news in and around Columbia Heights.

- The 14th & U and Mt. Pleasant farmers' markets open for the season on Saturday. Both markets run from 9 am to 1 pm. On the web at and (new website!)

- Mt. Pleasant Music Fest follows the farmers' market in Lamont Park on Saturday. The 2 - 7 pm line up features: Deleted Scenes (MT P), Four Horseman (MT P), Deutschmarks (Columbia Heights), Frau Eva (MT P), Aaron Thompson (MT P), Royal Forest, and DJ Wanako (Radio CPR)

- Sunday. Wonderland. Sundress party. Benefits Neighbors' Consejo. Nuff said.

- Also on Sunday, the Columbia Heights Target will indeed be carrying Zac Posen's new discount line.     

- Alero at the Tivoli will also be having its soft opening on Sunday. Grand opening on Cinqo de Mayo to follow. (via Prince of Petworth).

- DC public pools open in just a few weeks on Memorial Day weekend, and New Columbia Heights reports that Banneker Pool will have new chairs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good-bye Rita's, Hello Fro-yo

Fears of a summer treat-less Columbia Heights can be heeded. A reader wrote to the Prince of Petworth today that a frozen yogurt shop is set to take over the old Rita's Italian Ice spot in the Park Triangle building. FroZenYo (aka froyo) is set to open in about two weeks. The franchise has two locations already in DC: downtown at 10th and F streets and in Friendship Heights by the Mazza Gallerie. The store's novelty is its self-serve concept:

At froyo, you only pay for what you get. At only 39 cents an ounce, it's also the best deal in town. With an assortment of flavors, toppings, and fresh fruit, you're bound to come up with a concoction to your liking.

While I will miss Rita's this seems like a good replacement for the civic plaza. What do you think?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tennis anyone?

It's time to bring my decade-long break from tennis to an end. But before I make my comeback on the court, I need to know where to play. The DC Department of Parks and Recreation has a good list of outdoor public courts, but where are the best ones in and around Columbia Heights?

There are four DPR courts nearby, plus the Rock Creek Tennis Center is up 16th Street at the Carter Barron. But the Marie-Reed courts in Adams Morgan always seem to have at least a few people waiting at every hour on the weekends. Are the others the same?

So local tennis pros, let's hear from you. Where are the best places for a friendly tennis match?

View Tennis Courts Nearby in a larger map

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Streetscape Construction STILL continues

Pavers and cones and asphalt, oh my! So road and sidewalk construction (and accompanying traffic woes) will continue through the next few months as the Columbia Heights Streetscape project reaches its final stages.

Yesterday, DDOT issued an alert that 14th Street around the Metro stop will be one lane in both directions due to road resurfacing. Additionally the bus stop north of 14th and Irving will be moved south, close to CVS. This combined with the ongoing work between Park and Monroe will likely cause more traffic backups in the coming weeks.

The good news, though, is that the project will finally be complete by mid-summer. A full timeline is available here --

Friday, April 2, 2010

Neighborhood Yard Sale This Saturday

The Columbia Heights Day Initiative with partners Tivoli North Business Association and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace is throwing a neighborhood-wide yard sale on Saturday. You can also drop-off your (nice!) small household items for donation to Community of Hope at the Park Triangle Fountain.

Check out for info and the map below to find out about all the yard sales.

View "Columbia Heights Spring Clean!" in a larger map

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rita's is No More

I only thought it was a little bit weird that Rita's at the Park Triangle didn't open on the first day of Spring. And then I was a little confused that the Columbia Heights location isn't listed on its website. And now this evening, it is official ... our local Rita's is closed. Where will I get my Saturday post-pool lemonade/iced tea Italian ice? Or the occasional vanilla soft serve with sprinkles?

While I am sure there are challenges to operating a seasonal store, in the Spring and Summer Rita's was jumping. Often with lines out the door. And now there are two empty retail spots in the Park Triangle. Hey, Pete's Apizza ... when will that homemade gelato be ready?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ride Metro Rail or Bus? Attend a Public Hearing Thursday

Everyone has their own personal Metro gripe; Twitter is full of #wmatafail; and it is no secret the rail and bus system is in need of cash. But are the proposed service changes really fair? Metro is currently holding a series of public hearings on its proposed fare, route, and hour changes. The next one will be in Columbia Heights on Thursday, April 1 at 6:30 pm at the All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard St. NW).

A number of the changes Metro is considering greatly affects Columbia Heights, including a proposal to eliminate Yellow Line service to Fort Totten. Ward One Councilman Jim Graham has made it clear he is against the Yellow Line cut. And the MidCity Business Association has started an advocacy campaign to keep public transportation options available to locals and neighborhood visitors, alike. Visit midcitylife to sign the petition.

What are your ideas to fix Metro?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Columbia Heights Finalist for Land Use Award

This is actually quite exciting for the neighborhood. The Urban Land Institute has selected Columbia Heights as one of the 17 finalists for its Awards for Excellence: The Americas competition. The award honors urban development projects that are all encompassing and go beyond just design aesthetics to include planning, leadership, community participation, and private/public partnerships. The ten elite winners of the award will be announced in mid-April.

Here is what ULI had to say about Columbia Heights:

Columbia Heights, Washington, DC (The Government of the District of Columbia) Arising from a city-led initiative to revitalize a neighborhood destroyed in the riots following Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, Columbia Heights features 1.2 million square feet of new development, including more than 600 housing units, 650,000 square feet of large-format and community retail, and refurbished cultural and public spaces.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Columbia Heights “Best of DC” Winners

The Washington City Paper published its annual Best of DC issue today. As always, Columbia Heights was well-represented among the readers’ poll and staff picks. Let’s take a look at the neighborhood honors.

Readers' Poll

Best Bakery - 1st: Sticky Fingers Bakery

Best Burger - 1st: Five Guys

Best Electronics Shop - 1st: Best Buy

Best Neighborhood Bar - 1st: Wonderland Ballroom

Best Pho - 1st: Pho 14

Best Thai Restaurant - 1st: Thaitanic

Best Vegan Restaurant - 1st: Sticky Fingers Bakery

Best Outdoor Patio - 2nd: Wonderland Ballroom

Best Place to Smoke Weed - 2nd: Malcolm X Park

Best Singles Bar - 2nd: Wonderland Ballroom

Best Up and Coming Neighborhood - 2nd: Columbia Heights

Best Dive Bar - 3rd: Wonderland Ballroom

Best Greasy Spoon - 3rd: Florida Avenue Grill

Best Metro Stop - 3rd: Columbia Heights

Best New Bar - 3rd: Room 11

Best New Yoga Studio - 3rd: Quiet Mind

Best Pizza - 3rd: Pete's Apizza

Staff Pick: Best Bar with Board Games - Red Derby

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Prince of Petworth is reporting that ALERO is coming to Columbia Heights. Read it:
Alero provides some of the most generic Mexican food in all of DC. But their margarita pitchers are maybe my favorite... after Las Placitas on Capitol Hill.

And to answer your question PoP, YES this IS a good fit for that space. The problem I always had with Rumberos is that it was overpriced and not that interesting. Alero is not that interesting, but the price is right.

I really hope they do late night, because SOMEONE in Columbia Heights needs a better, cheap late night.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mt. Pleasant Library Renovations to Start

The Mt. Pleasant branch of the DC Public Library will be closing on March 27 for about 17 months to undergo renovations. The library is located at 16th and Lamont streets. During renovations, an interim library will be located at 3164 Mt. Pleasant Street beginning April 19.

More information about the renovation and expansion of the Mt. Pleasant Library is available here -

Monday, March 15, 2010

DCRA Launches Basement Rental Site

DCRA and DDOT are often neck-in-neck for helpful resident outreach on Twitter, but the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs may have won this round. Prompted by a discussion on Prince of Petworth last week, the DCRA started a new website called It provides homeowners -- and renters -- important legal information about DC's numerous basement aparment options. Do you have a question about your English basement or upcoming home buy? Let the DCRA help you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

ISO Public Art for Street Scape Project

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities  has issued a call for artists for the next phase of the Columbia Heights Street Scape Project. The agency is seeking neighborhood residents to submit public art proposals for the 17 mosaic medallions that will line 14th Street between Irving and Park. The medallions are expected to be installed by the end of the summer. Selected artists will receive a $500 honorarium.

Design Assistance Workshops:

Wednesday, March 24 from 6:30 - 8 pm
Saturday, March 27 from 12 - 1 pm

Both will be held at the DCCAH office – 1371 Harvard Street NW. Those interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to attend. The workshops will be facilitated by Jann Rosen‐Queralt who is responsible for the mosaic design of the metro and fountain plazas.

Proposal deadline: Monday, April 12 at 6:30 pm

Download the full call for artists here (424 KB pdf)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meridian Pint Needs a Mural

To the listserv from Meridian Pint:

As we prepare to open this spring at the corner of 11th & Park Rd. we are searching for an artist to help spruce the place up. Specifically we're looking for a mural to be painted inside the establishment. If you know of anyone, please have them email me at

Monday, March 8, 2010

Social Tries to Be Vegetarian Friendly (Fails)

Social is promoing a veggie special on Monday. As someone who doesn't eat meat and just attempted to have a meal at Social... I'd say skip it.

Just a few days ago they were out of one of the only veggie items on the menu - the mushroom dish. So we ordered the "Vegetable Tempura," which I would not describe as tempura at all, but rather deep-fried beer-battered carrots. The vegetables are grease soaked by the time they reach the table, there was probably a 2:1 batter to veggie ratio, and I think there were two or possibly three vegetable varieties at most.

In case you'd like to disagree and try it out, here is in the info:

Meatless Monday
$5/$11/$16 Veggie Tempura & Oven Roasted Madeira Mushrooms in the Living Room
Vegetarians need not be wary of the Living Room at Social our food specials will make any Monday better! The Oven Roasted Madeira Mushrooms are a delectable meat-free option served with creamy Herbed Goat Toast, coupled with the Veggie Tempura, Social can be your dinner destination.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Street Cleaning is Back and Better than Ever!

Our streets have become dried up rivers of sludge. Trash lines every curb. It's seriously getting gross. And that's why this year's return to street cleaning should be heralded and applauded like never before!

Street cleaning resumes March 22. Ticketing for not complying begins March 29.

More info here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CH Yard Sale Day Coming Up April 3

The Columbia Heights Day Initiative, which your THL bloggers are participating in, will be holding a neighborhood-wide yard sale dubbed "Columbia Heights Spring Clean" on April 3. Apartment dwellers will also have a chance to join in by selling their stuff in a local park. Got stuff but don't feel like bothering to sell it? You'll be able to drop it off at a central location to donate it! Details below. Don't forget to sign up if you have a yard sale you'd like to register - email

WHEN: Saturday, April 3, 2010 from 9AM – 12PM
: Across Columbia Heights in Washington, DC
: Columbia Heights Spring Clean is a neighborhood-wide yard sale and charity drop-off event
: The event is open to all Columbia Heights residents who want to hold a sale, participate in a group sale, volunteer or shop
: Email Josef Palermo at

Friday, February 26, 2010

Opening Day Set for Columbia Heights Marketplace

Mark your calendars for June 5, 2010, because that is opening day for the new Columbia Heights Community Marketplace. The news was first announced on DC Food for All. Since the opening of the civic plaza at 14th and Park last the fall, there has been talk of using the space for something more than just a farmers' market. So from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, June through October, the community marketplace will feature produce and food stuffs from local farmers, and according to DCist:


[O]rganizers are looking to line up local chefs to perform cooking demonstrations. Live music and other forms of entertainment, including a youth dance troupe, will also be regular features of the weekly event.


The organizers are still seeking neighborhood input and will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, March 4 at 6:30 pm at the office of Change Inc. (1413 Park Road NW). You can also e-mail with your suggestions or to volunteer.


With addition of a Columbia Heights location, a nice little farmers' market triangle has been created between here, Mt. Pleasant, and U Street. So much so that is needs a funny name. How about the CHMPUS Triangle? The MUCH Triangle? Either way, I am happy that Mt. Pleasant and U Street markets open in early-May and that each year brings more options for city residents to buy fresh, locally-grown food.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Would you by a parking space for $25K?

Seeing parking spaces for sale is not a new thing, but I was very surprised by the cost of this 96 sq. ft. spot at 11th and Columbia? So, would you purchase this parking spot for $25,000?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upcoming art and community events

Because you have to take a break from watching the Olympics for at least a little bit, there are two interesting happenings coming up.

After some weather-related days, ACTIVATION 2719 is finally opening on Saturday, February 20. Presented by ReadysetDC and the No Kings Collective, this row house pop-up gallery at 2719 13th Street will feature 11 artists and a number of musical performances. The free opening event starts at 6 pm. RSVP by visiting before 3 pm on Saturday.

On Tuesday, WAMU 88.5 and The Kojo Nnamdi Show brings its "Kojo in Your Community" tour to Columbia Heights' All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard St., NW) at 6:30 pm Topics to be covered at the radio taping include an hour-long discussion on education reform and an hour-long discussion on commercial development in Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant. Residents are encouraged to attend and be part of the show by asking questions, making comments, and sharing the view from their neighborhood with the wider WAMU audience. The show will tape that evening and air in two parts on February 25 and March 3.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Columbia Heights Community Marketplace meeting this Thursday

Planning in underway for the new Columbia Heights Community Marketplace and the organizers are holding a public meeting this Thursday. From the invite:

Interested community members are invited to attend the latest planning meeting for the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace,
which will include a farmers market, this Thursday, February 18th at 6:30pm at the offices of Change Inc. at 1413 Park Road NW.

The meeting will cover the latest developments in planning the market, including the results of a survey about the ideal days and times
for the market and a report on feedback from potential farmers, bakers and other food producers interested in selling at the market.

Robert Schubert
Market Manager

There is still time to take brief survey about what you would like to see at the marketplace. The survey is online here -

Columbia Heights Day Logo Contest

The Columbia Heights Day Initiative is looking for a new logo for use at this year's festival (8/28/10). Check out this very large poster for details...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reader Question: Do you smell like a pool?

A reader writes us with the following question:

What's been up with the water lately?  I live at 14th and Newton, and our water has recently taken on a terribly strong bleach/chlorine smell... I heard that DC Public Works was switching from using disinfecting chlorine gas to liquid for safety reasons, but I thought that wasn't supposed to change the taste or smell of our water.  However, it's gotten to the point where I smell like public pool when I get out of the shower.  Is it just CoHi North, or has anyone else had this problem too?

Come to think of it - I DO kind of smell like a pool. We've asked DCWASA what's up... does anyone else smell like a pool? Don't be shy.

UPDATE: Yes - you DO smell like a pool! Reader Emily points us to this release: You know, it also tastes kinda like a pool.  And it's going to last until about the time when the pool opens.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let's talk about the Olympics

Olympic-viewing hours clocked so far: approximately five. And the games aren't even 24-hours old yet.

Over the next two weeks, The Heights Life will be posting occasional musings about the Winter Games. It won't be all about figure skating, despite the video below.

So feel free to share your Olympic predictions, thoughts, and such in the comments.

Local meet-up set to shovel bus stops Sunday

Just received word from the bloggers at Greater Greater Washington that they are organizing a meet-up on Sunday to shovel snow from DC bus stops.

Give a hand. Save a hip. Bus stops all over the region are not safely accessible because of snow mountains, slush and ice. Taxpayer-funded Metro can't shovel out 12,000 bus stops. Let's make George Washington proud and go shovel.

There is a group meeting at the Columbia Heights metro (by Five Guys) at 3 p.m., as well as one at the Dupont metro (Q Street).

Friday, February 12, 2010

NBC News Segment about Park Road

Here is a NBC News clip about coping with the snow on Park Road in Columbia Heights.

Metro Snow Woes Continue

You'd think maybe today would be the day and Metro would be functioning like a mostly functional transit system. Don't get your hopes up. The AM commute on the Green line is slow and crowded, but doable. Transferring at Metro Center or L'Enfant though? Don't bother. Just walk. Single tracking, dangerously crowded platforms, screaming police officers, overcrowded trains and waits that will surely overrun your delayed start time at the office.

In good news land: OLYMPICS TIME! Seriously, the Olympics are the only thing right now that will actually make snow look awesome. Don't forget - Social has an Olympic special (so long as America WINS!).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard Survivors: What's Open Today?

So far the following restaurants have announced that they plan to be open for blizzard business:

Pete's Apizza

Twitter friends tell us WSC is closing at noon.

Any other openings/closings to share?

Thumbs Up for Mario Landscaping!

Our building in Columbia Heights uses Mario's Landscaping. I assume we use them for landscaping... but I noticed them because of their crazy good snow removal skills!

Every few hours a truck pulls up, a handful of guys jump out, and they shovel down to the brick and sidewalk. No packed snow or ice patches. Thanks Mario & crew!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Get your official Snowmageddon t-shirts

The Internet entrepreneurs are hawking a variety of t-shirt designs to commemorate this historic snowpocalypse. And after visiting Giant today, I am adding #SnovietUnion to the mix, given the state of our grocery shelves. Here is a list of what's available. Am I missing something, leave in the comments below.

Snomageddon by One vs Many - $24
A portion of every sale will be donated to SOME (So Others Might Eat), a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, and health-care services to the poor and homeless.
Update: The City Paper reports that 15% of the proceeds will go to SOME.

Snowcamp DC 2010 by Tastytronic
Industries - $16.90 to $69.90

I Survived Snowmageddon (via Cafe Press) - starts at $12.99

I Survived Snowpocalpyse (via Cafe Press) - starts at $12.99

Snowpocalypse Now (via Zazzle) - $23.80

Dupont Circle Snowball Fight (via Zazzle) - $22.95

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Got Power?

Lots of power outages reported by Pepco. Our area is in the 1000-5000 customers out. You can check out the map here:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Free parking at DCUSA for residents Friday - Monday

The DC Department of Transportation announced on its Twitter feed that DC residents will be able to park for free at DCUSA after 10 pm Friday to noon Monday.

The District has also declared a Snow Emergency as of 9:30 am this morning. Parked cars must be moved from all snow emergency routes. The list is here -

Snow emergency route streets in and around Columbia Heights:
  • Florida Avenue – H Street, N.E. to 9th Street, N.W.
  • Florida Avenue, N.W. – U Street to 22nd Street
  • Georgia Avenue, N.W. – Florida Avenue to Eastern Avenue
  • Harvard Street, N.W. / Hobart Place, N.W. – 5th Street to 16th Street (south side only)
  • Irving Street - Michigan Avenue, N.E. to 16th Street, N.W. (south side only)
  • Kenyon Street, N.W. / Kenyon Place, N.W. – Irving Street to 14th St. (north side only)
  • Park Road, N.W. - 14th Street to 16th Street (north side only)
  • U Street, N.W. – 9th Street to Florida Avenue
  • 16th Street, N.W. – H Street to Eastern Avenue

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Super Bowl Specials this Sunday at CommonWealth

From the latest Tasting Table DC (a great new foodie e-mail pub): Opportunity for free beer at CommonWealth during the Super Bowl.
Sunday, 2/7
5 p.m. to midnight

Bowl for Beer

CommonWealth Gastropub hosts a beer-fueled Super Bowl party. And it'll get competitive: Buy a beer or food item (such as pork pies or jacket potatoes) before the game starts and tell your server which team you're rooting for. Then get a free house ale each time your team scores a touchdown. 1400 Irving St. NW (between 14th St. and Hiatt Pl.); 202-265-1400 or

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snowlumbia Heights is Coming!

No, today didn't count. This was not a #snowpocalypse or a #snomg. But this weekend could be! I love a good Snowlumbia Heights Day!

The storm that's brewing:

Monthly Parking Now Available at DCUSA

Update: The Washington Business Journal has details on the $6 commuter parking deal.

The parking netherland that is the DCUSA garage now offers monthly parking. The cost is $145 a month, and you can come and go as you please -- no matter what the hour. Live in a condo building? Gather your tenants together to get special rates for groups of 10 or more.

Call Central Parking at DCUSA at 202-253-4938, or visit its offices on the P1 Level to get your spot.

See the flyer for more information.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Presumptive #snomg from Past Tense yoga

I think Past Tense yoga in Mt. Pleasant does a great job of marketing the studio, but their most recent e-mail is a little ridiculous. Especially since I have only counted about 10 snow flakes outside my office window. But SHOULD we get another snowpocalypse tomorrow, you can enjoy $10 yoga classes and hot chocolate.

BTW, the forecast is 3 to 6 inches.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New bike racks on 11th Street

It may be snowing today, but I like to think spring is right around
the corner. And in preparation there are some fancy new bike racks on
11th Street. The photo is from a bunch outside the Wonderland, but
another has already been installed by Room 11.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vacancy update: Tivoli Square

Is the former Nori / Mayorga Coffee space at Tivoli Square cursed? It is a prime location in Columbia Heights but in the past 3.5 years, not one establishment there has had much success. And now The Washington Business Journal is reporting that the operators of Nori are being sued by the Tivoli Square owner for unpaid rent:

The tenant "failed to pay all rent due and owing under the lease," said the complaint. That resulted in the tenant's formal eviction Nov. 16, but the 6,000-square-foot space was vacated months before in July.

 The article also includes this litle tidbit: the corner spot has "has generated a lot of interest," according to its broker at KLNB Retail. So what does $160,00 a year rent give you:
  • 3,012 SF vented corner restaurant space
  • Additional 3,095 usable SF on lower level
  • Lower Level has 12 ft. ceilings, is sprinklered and has two means of egress.
  • Space includes two large walk-in coolers
  • Conveniently located across the street from Columbia Heights
  • Metro Station and the new 550,000 SF DC USA Shopping Center
  • Join Giant Food, GALA Theatre, Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Washington Sports Club and many others in historic Columbia Heights
Also still available in Tivoli Square is the spot formerly occupied by Rumberos. Got some details on what may move in there, or have a request? Leave a comment below.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Olympic Special @ Social

We don't write much about Social on this blog because we never go there. But... Social has done it. They finally gave me a reason to go back after many many months.

In a few weeks, CH readers may notice this blog freaking out about how much we love the Olympics. Because WE LOVE THE OLYMPICS. I'm watching ice dancing nationals right now. No, I can't skate - but I do LOVE those twizzles.

Anyhow, Social gets my Olympic love and has a legit Olympic special. Actually, to make this really legit - Social best be showing the Olympics on all their TVs (if they have TVs... I can't recall). Anyhow, here it is:


2/12 – 2/28


$4 Bronze, Silver and Gold Margaritas in the Cellar on days the U.S. wins medals of that type.