Thursday, September 30, 2010

4807 Georgia Avenue

This space is on Georgia between Decatur and Delafield, same block as Fusion, Moroni & Brother's, and RAS. I'm not sure how long this intriguing window display has been up, but I first noticed it at the beginning of the summer. The building permit in the window says, "Conversion from beauty salon to retail establishment". Interested in knowing what's planned for this; anyone know what's up?

Modern Mobler celebrates grand opening on Upper Georgia Ave.

Image from

The Modern Mobler had its soft opening back in the spring, and now its holding a grand opening celebration, from today through Sunday. There are significant discounts to celebrate. Hours are from 11 am to 7 pm. I stopped by a few days after they soft-opened, and I liked it a lot...the owner is also very into what he's doing. Go support them and help to bring more similar businesses to that stretch of Georgia (which could certainly use them, as we know).

Greenhouse/garden outdoor classroom to be built at Coolidge HS; community volunteers requested

Sounds like a very good thing! From the TakomaDC listserv:

Tuesday, at the Takoma DC Neighborhood Association meeting, the Coolidge High School Alumni Association gave a truly impressive presentation of the Greenhouse Restoration Project. This is part of a longer term - and I mean they are thinking REALLY long term - whole campus beautification plan. And it is quite impressive.

Construction is beginning this week on the first phase of the project: the Greenhouse Garden, which will serve as an outdoor classroom and park. Those of you who havent already seen the plans are gonna be so impressed with when you see how amazing this project is - really! The old greenhouse is located on the south end of the school and the Greenhouse Garden will be just outside of it, taking up much of the space between the school building and Sheridan Street.

A "Community Plant-It Day" will be held on Saturday, October 16 from 10 am to 4 pm. If you'd like to help plant-it, RSVP to Ann Beman, abemanabeman at gmail dot com

While browsing the Coolidge Alumni Association site, I also found an interesting video about the history of the greenhouse at Coolidge:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vincent Gray's town hall meeting for Ward 4 is scheduled for October 26, 6:30 pm

When: Oct. 26 6:30 pm
Where: Peoples Congregational Church, 4704 13th St. NW


The presumptive mayor is holding eight town hall meetings in October, one in each ward of the District. The goal with this "listening tour", his spokespeople say, is to hear citizens' concerns, and to win the support of those who voted for Mayor Fenty. This will be a good opportunity to have Gray's ear and let him know what's most important to you and your community.

The dates and locations of the other town hall meetings are as follows:

Ward 5: Oct. 5, 6:30 pm
Community Academy Public Charter School, 1400 First St. NW

Ward 3: Oct. 7, 6 pm
St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albermarle St. NW

Ward 7: Oct. 12, 6:30 pm
Sousa Middle School, 3650 Ely Place SE

Ward 2: Oct. 14, 6:30 pm
School Without Walls, 2130 G St. NW

Ward 1: Oct. 19, 6:30 pm
Columbia Heights Youth Center, 1480 Girard St. NW

Ward 8: Oct. 21, 7 pm
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, 2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE

Ward 6: Oct. 27, 6:30 pm
Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol St. NE

Al Jazeera English on DC demographic changes

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The closing of Walter Reed and the redevelopment of its land will affect Silver Spring, too

Interesting piece from the Citizens League of Montgomery County on the challenges that the closing/redevelopment of Walter Reed will bring, and the importance of smart development to spur economic vitality, for both SS and DC.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In the pawn wars, Middle GA Ave's gain is Upper GA Ave's loss

Rendering of The Heights at Georgia Avenue from

The new Heights at Georgia Avenue building at Georgia and Lamont Streets NW will begin construction within the next 60 to 90 days, according to Councilmember Jim Graham.

Graham stated in an e-mail that the Heights will be built on "the current site of a vacant lot and a pawn shop". The pawn shop he refers to is Famous Pawn, which residents of Upper Georgia Avenue know as the shop that is relocating intends to relocate to 7301 Georgia Avenue (at Georgia and Fern Streets NW) following a lengthy struggle to keep them out of the neighborhood led by ANC commissioner Sara Green and championed by Councilmember Bowser. The ANC and other residents of the Upper Georgia Avenue corridor are concerned that the pawn shop's presence there will encourage criminal activity while representing a step back in the neighborhood's progress. Residents understandably are pushing for more savory businesses to open up along the corridor, but I have to note that the presence of Crown Pawnbrokers at 1726 14th Street NW has hardly hurt the development of the 14th Street business corridor between Logan Circle and U Street. Crown seems to be coexisting fairly peacefully with its neighboring businesses and residences...a neighborhood in which The Heights, with its "accessible green roof with fourteen different types of vegetation, photovoltaic panels, passive solar heating and cooling, a central water system and water conserving / Energy Star appliances and fixtures among many other environmentally friendly attributes", would fit nicely.

Developer of Curtis Chevrolet site (still) seeking funding

I placed a call over to Foulger-Pratt to ask if we could expect any movement on development at the Curtis Chevrolet site in the near future. Apparently the developer has been having so much trouble finding financing for its initial plan, which envisioned 399 apartments above 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, that they're redesigning the plan to exclude the residential aspect and focus entirely on retail. The developer is hoping this will expedite financing, as lenders are more willing to take chances on retail developments than on mixed-use ones these days.

I'm damn hungry for something to happen at this site. If done right it has so much potential for Brightwood.

Urban Turf features Brightwood

Urban Turf writes about Brightwood and all of its "unhip", inconvenient glory, "but local residents and realtors are fairly certain that in a couple of years, it will be on people’s radar." Consider yourselves warned!

The Brightwoodian is now Twittering

Follow me.

I set up a personal Twitter account eons ago which I've unfortunately failed to put to use. (My first post: "I wonder how much I'll use this thing"; it was also my last post.) I'm hoping The Brightwoodian account will be useful for disseminating news/observations as they happen (that's what Twitter's for, right?).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Petworth narcotics investigation concludes with several arrests

MPD's Fourth District officers have been on quite a roll lately. From the MPD-4D listserv:

As a result of a recent quadruple shooting in the area of 2nd & Upshur nearly two months ago, the Fourth District Vice Unit began a narcotics investigation in the area. The investigation was headed by Vice Officer Edelen of the Fourth District Vice Office. Officer Edelen was able to gain information from confidential informants about a business in the area that was selling cocaine from within. Officer Edelen formulated a plan to attempt and address this problem. Officer Edelen employed the use of an undercover police officer who was able to infiltrate the business and befriend the owners. As a result the Vice Unit was able to purchase on numerous occasions various amounts of cocaine from one of the owners of the business and an employee. The investigation was brought to a conclusion late last night when the vice unit made three arrests and executed a search warrant at the location of the Limeno Bar and Restaurant. The unit seized a substantial amount of cocaine, U.S. Currency and assets including two vehicles.

Commander Missouri has been working tirelessly all day with additional D.C. Government agencies to ensure that the location does not reopen, to include A.B.R.A., Office of Attorney General, and D.C.R.A. Officers Edelen's tireless work on this case and that of the undercover police officer along with the rest of the Fourth District Vice Unit proved extremely valuable. The Fourth District Detectives Office also assisted and worked side by side with us in this investigation.

Go use Capital Bikeshare; Montreal Gazette could use a fact-checker

Happy Car Free DC Day, folks. Even though Capital Bikeshare is woefully underrepresented in our neighborhood (I hope this changes in the near future), I encourage you to celebrate by using the new system.

The closest CaBi station to Brightwood will be at 901 Upshur Street NW. I rode by this morning, and the station is yet to be installed. I'll definitely report when I see movement on it. (EDIT: Another station that's reasonably close to us is slated for 4768 14th St. NW, near the intersection of 14th and Crittenden.)

I also learned via TheWashCycle that Montreal, that bastion of bike-sharing, has reported some pretty major misinformation about Capital Bikeshare via its newspaper, The Gazette:

Most of the bikes -about 1,000 - will be on the streets of Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, where 100 bikes will be in service.

Sorry, Gazette, but last I heard the total number of stations planned for the District is 100 (many are operational already; the rest will be rolled out through the month of October) and 14 for Arlington.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Multiple shootings in Brightwood and Petworth

From CM Bowser:

I've been briefed by Chief Lanier and Commander Missouri about the most troubling shootings we've experienced in 4D this week. 
Chief Lanier has made additional police resources available to assist 4D in providing increased visibility and investigating these crimes and preventing others.  It does not appear at this point that the crimes are related.  MPD will continue to post look out information and developments related to the investigations.

Rundown of the incidents, from the MPD-4D listserv:

Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 12:20 AM
Units received a call for the sound of gunshots in the 500 blk of Shepherd St NW. Nothing was found. A short time later, 3 shooting victims arrived at an area hospital reporting being shot in the 700 blk of Shepherd. Units are currently on the scene on Shepherd investigating. Lookout is for a dark colored SUV. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-888-919-CRIME.

Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2010 10:40 AM
On today’s date at approximately 4:45 am, Fourth District units received a report of shots being fired in the area of 9th and Decatur Streets, NW.  A few hours later, the Fourth District received a call from an area hospital for a shooting victim.  After being interviewed, it has been determined that the victim, an adult female, was shot while in the area of 9th and Decatur Streets, NW. The victim transported herself to the hospital and is currently being treated for a non life-threatening injury.

Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:22 AM
Shortly after 2 am on September 19, (sic) 2010, MPD Fourth District units responded for the report of sounds of gunshots in the 100 block of Kennedy Street, NW.  Upon their arrival on scene they discovered an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound to the body.  The male victim was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Shortly thereafter, a second adult male victim arrived at a local hospital, also suffering from gunshot wounds.  He reported that he was also in the 100 block of Kennedy Street when he was shot.  The second victim’s injuries were also non-life threatening.  Fourth District detectives are on the scene investigating the incident.  Anyone with information is asked to call 1-888-919-CRIM[E] or 202-727-9099.

Sent: Friday, September 17, 2010 12:53 AM
> MPD Fourth District units are currently investigating a shooting which just occurred in the 600 block of Longfellow Street, NW. An adult male was found suffering from what appears to be a gunshot wound to the body. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-888-919-CRIM[E] or 202-727-9099.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maureen Dowd on Fort Stevens

Maureen Dowd reminisces about her Brightwoodian childhood in today's NYT, and also opines about the planned development around Fort Stevens.

Friday, September 3, 2010

On Georgia Avenue: lots of new stuff!

Quick rundown of openings, groundbreakings, and other projects happening on Georgia lately:

I've often thought that all of these empty storefronts would make good temporary gallery/performance spaces. Artist Joseph Hale is making it happen. [Housing Complex]

The Restaurant Row on Georgia between Decatur and Delafield continues to grow with the opening of RAS, serving a Jamaican-Ethiopian inspired menu. [POP]

(I'm also very interested in the empty storefront that's right next to currently has a bicycle wheel and a skateboard sitting in the window, but not much else...looks like it could be being used for something interesting...)

The new Senior Wellness Center will open soon, around the same time as Top Spanish Restaurant. [Park View DC]

And of course, further to the south we've had groundbreakings for two long awaited projects. [Housing Complex, TBD]