Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pawn Shops and Pot in 4B

I was a bad Brightwoodian and failed to attend last night's ANC 4B meeting, at which a vote was placed that will just about kill Famous Pawn's hopes of relocating one of their stores to our neck of Georgia Avenue. Housing Complex gives a summary of the meeting and the issue here.

Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn And his wife Stephanie, a nurse, were also on hand to discuss their plan to run a medical marijuana dispensary on 4th Street, by the Takoma Metro.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Caribbean Parade 2010

pardon my thumb

The first DC Caribbean Carnival that I experienced as a Brightwoodian got off to an auspicious start; the fact that I live just a couple of blocks from the parade's commencement site meant that the music got started for me and my immediate neighbors at seven a.m., since sound checks started then. Over the past few weeks, various neighbors had warned me that things would get a little nuts up here on the day of the parade, so I was somewhat prepared for our sleepy little residential area that normally doesn't see much action except for the occasional homicide or two to be turned into a party zone for one day.

And it was quite a fun day. I spent most of it biking up and down Georgia Avenue, following the parade route (occasionally being told by cops to "ride closer to the curb"...so I could collide with pedestrians?! made no sense to me, MPD-4D), which was by far the best way to get around the clusterfluckiness of it all and enjoy the festivities.

Muriel Bowser led the parade; I caught up with her around the intersection of Shepherd St. (about halfway through the three-mile-plus parade route from Missouri Avenue to Banneker H.S.) and she looked like the heat was going to get the best of her pretty soon...I would have handed the poor woman my water bottle, if I had any water left in it. Fenty and his sizable entourage followed her, with the Mayor dancing (?!?!) exuberantly and joyfully tossing Fenty-green Mardi Gras beads into the crowd. A few more political folks followed (Vince Gray, Clark Ray, Leo Alexander...) before the fun parts came along; throngs of people adorned in feathers, booty shorts, sequins, bustiers, and every color of body paint you can name. The vibe was incredible.

And that vibe was felt well into the night, after the parade ended, on Georgia Avenue, even far north of Banneker, where the Carnival was being held. Riding up and down the street in the evening, there were more people out than usual, more music than usual, more businesses being patronized than usual, all with a fun and celebratory mood. I wish it happened more often than just one day out of the year.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fenty canvasser allegedly selling crack


A canvasser for the campaign of D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) was fired after being arrested Friday in connection with an alleged attempt to sell crack to an undercover police officer in Northwest.

Demetrius Eccles was arrested at Georgia Avenue and Piney Branch Road, according to a law enforcement source. No age or address was available. He began working this month for the campaign, but a campaign spokeswoman said he is “no longer” on the staff. She said he was not on duty at the time of his arrest.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trouble on the 71

Metrobus driver accused of assaulting passenger. This happened on the 71 bus, on Georgia near Van Buren Street.

Homicide in 5900 block of Georgia Ave. last night

From 4th District Commander Kimberly Chisley-Missouri:

Around 11:30 pm, units were summoned to the 5900 blk of Ga Ave for sounds of gunshots. 3 juvenile shooting victims were located and transported to area hospitals. Detectives are on the scene investigating.

And later, from Captain Francis Hill:

Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, one of the individuals who was shot could not be saved and has succumbed to his injuries. This is still an open case, and anyone with any information is asked to call the Homicide Branch on 202-645-9600.

And from the WP:

Investigators said early Saturday that the shooting apparently followed a go-go concert on Georgia Avenue at which fights broke out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

WBJ report on development plans for upper 14th Street

Great news from Michael Niebauer of WBJ. Plans are underway to develop 14th Street between Spring and Madison:

District planners are eyeing a 1.8-mile stretch of 14th Street NW for a makeover, one that may usher in a streetcar line, a redeveloped Metro bus garage and a more diverse commercial lineup along a corridor often overshadowed by Columbia Heights just to the south.

Running north from Spring Road to Madison Street, the Central 14th Street corridor drives through several middle-income communities, including Petworth, 16th Street Heights, Brightwood Park and Crestwood. Minority-owned storefronts, generally neighborhood-serving retail, dot the strip. A century-old Metro bus garage, which D.C. government planners deem “potentially historic,” comprises two blocks between 14th Street and Iowa Avenue.

Area residents say the strip falls well short of its potential. There are too many liquor stores, carry-out joints, barber shops and hair salons, not enough sit-down restaurants or midsized retail stores, said Joseph Vaughan, a Ward 4 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and resident of nearby Shepherd Street. The strip needs better lighting, wider sidewalks — enhancements to make the corridor more inviting.

“The key is diversity of selection of goods and services to accommodate the broader community,” Vaughan said.

Vote for Capital Bikeshare stations to come to our neighborhood

Even though I'm an avid cyclist, I have not joined the Smartbike bike sharing program, mainly because the locations of this pilot program's stations aren't particularly convenient to any place I normally travel (and also because I own more bikes than is truly necessary, but that's an entirely different issue!).

Well, the pilot program has been successful enough that DDOT is expanding the program and giving it a new name, Capital Bikeshare. And now DDOT is looking for input from citizens regarding where they think Capital Bikeshare stations should be located. Take a couple of minutes to plot your points on the interactive map.

Some locations that I chose: the Takoma Metro stop, the (current) Walter Reed site, the corner of Georgia and Missouri (especially if when it gets developed, finally), and 14th and Colorado. Any other suggestions for good station sites in Ward 4?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Washington Deli comes to Brightwood

"Do you remember the great bakeries, great delis, and great slices of pizza when you were a kid?" asks Washington Deli owner Jim Doherty. "Well, I Do!"

Well, me too! I'm a native New Yorker and I often bemoan DC's lack of great bakeries/delis/slices, and though I'm sorry to say that I've never visited Washington Deli's Foggy Bottom location, I've heard decent things about it (Yelpers give it high ratings). So I was pretty excited when I noticed that their sign was put up above the storefront at 5830 Georgia Ave. in Brightwood this week.

I peeked through the papered-over windows (which enabled the lovely reflection of the old Bank of Brightwood building you see in the above photo) and it doesn't appear that they're very close to opening yet, but I've put a query in with the owners and I'll post if I hear of a projected opening date.

Update From the owner: "I am having a tough time with the Pepco service to the building! Once that is squared away things should move fast but no date yet..."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Great Streets for "Middle" Georgia

Kent Boese reports that Middle Georgia Avenue's Great Streets treatment is underway.

I thought that what is considered "Middle" Georgia Avenue extended further north, with Missouri Ave. being the border between "Upper" and "Middle" Georgia.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gateway-Georgia Avenue Revitalization Corp. Goes Kablooey

Washington Business Journal reports on the disintegration of Gateway. Another setback for Georgia Avenue.

Police raid two drug houses on 6300 block of 8th St.

This is the stretch of 8th Street NW between Sheridan and Tuckerman, I believe.

From the MPD-4 listserv:

The Fourth District Vice Unit, Crime Suppression Team and the Major Narcotics and Special Investigations Divisions Gun Recovery Unit executed two narcotics search warrants in the 6300 block of 8th Street Yesterday evening. As a result of those warrants several arrests were made and an amount of illegal narcotics was recovered. The investigation into this case is continuing. Therefore, at this time, I cannot disclose any further information on the events. However, I can assure you that we will continue to monitor the area.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Party on the Metropolitan Branch Trail this Saturday


The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is sponsoring a party/showcase for the newest addition to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. (The new section of the trail allows people from our neighborhood to easily bike or walk through the city's NE quadrant while bypassing the clusterfluckiness of RI Ave and NY Ave, making getting from upper NW DC to the Capitol/Union Station much, much easer than it used to be.)

WHEN: Saturday, June 5th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHERE: Meet the Met will take place on and along the trail from Franklin St., NE to New York Ave. Metro station. The main activity center will be 700 Rhode Island Ave., NE, Washington, DC

Complete info here!