May 20, 2015 - 5:04 pm

Learn about street improvements; run for the civic association board

300 Block of U Street NW

Learn about DDOT street improvements, review a neighbor’s request for a variance, and vote for civic association officers at the next week’s civic association meeting.  The next meeting is Tuesday, May 26 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave – enter at the rear).

DDOT will present its plan for installing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater flow into the sewers during storm events.  Such infrastructure can include rain gardens and pervious alleys that absorb water.

A neighbor at 2118 2nd St NW will present her plan to add a 90-square-foot addition to her house.  She will request support for a zoning variance to build her addition.

The association will also hold annual elections for officers. The positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All association members are eligible to run and vote.

President Golda Philip and Secretary Brian Footer, who is also our ANC Commissioner, have chosen not to run again. At least one person has agreed to run for each position, but we will open the floor to additional nominations (you may nominate yourself).

(Disclosure: I am now the Vice President and will run for President.)

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May 20, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Glen’s Garden Market coming to 8th & Florida

Glen's Garden Market in Dupont

Local grocer Glen’s Garden Market will open a second location on Florida Avenue just west of LeDroit Park.  Glen’s first store, which replaced the “Secret” Safeway on 20th Street in Dupont several years ago, is a small market specializing in locally grown food.

The new location in the new Shay apartment building at 8th Street and Florida Avenue will only cover 2,100 square feet.  Unlike the Dupont location, the new space will forgo the pizza oven and smoker, but will cordon off an area for a beer garden, presumably on the spacious 8th Street front.

Read the City Paper story for the full details.

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May 15, 2015 - 8:23 pm

What does LeDroit Park look like from a drone?

Over a year ago someone launched a drone from the roof of the Progression Place apartments on 7th Street by the Shaw Metro. The drone recorded high-definition video footage of the LeDroit Park, Shaw, and U Street neighborhoods.

Before you go launching your own drone, remember that they’re illegal in DC’s airspace!

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May 12, 2015 - 12:07 pm

Watch a film about the flooding of 2012

IMG_0414

The National Geographic Society is sponsoring a free film screening and discussion about the street and basement flooding that afflicted parts of Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park in 2012.  The film, Neighbor to Neighbor: The Bloomingdale Story, will be shown on Thursday, May 21 from 7 to 9 pm at St. George’s Episcopal Church (2nd & U Streets).

Here’s the full description from the flyer:

In September 2012 Bloomingdale was hit by one of the severest storms in recent memory. As Mike Thomas’ home flooded, neighbors—from different backgrounds and walks of life— came together to help him recover from the storm. This film tells that story.

Why Attend: Storms are hitting the District at an ever-increasing rate. In addition to infrastructure problems, weather crises due to climate change are on the rise: flash floods, severe freezes and snowstorms, and intense heat waves.

Katrina and the Chicago Heat Wave taught us that knowing your neighbors is one of the best predictors of survival. We know that communities with the strongest social connections are also the most resilient (able to bounce back from a challenge).

Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, and the Southwest Waterfront are on the front line of critical weather events. Come see this insightful short film, share some food (provided), conversation, and wisdom about human connections and the resilience of our neighborhoods. The director of the film, Steve Droter, and Mike Thomas will be available to participate in the conversation.

This screening is funded in part by the National Geographic Climate and Urban System Partnership (CUSP).

Photo: A drop shaft in Bloomingdale for the tunnel boring machine that will drill a stormwater retention tunnel under First Street in Bloomingdale. The tunnel is expected to resolve flooding problems for good.

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April 27, 2015 - 6:54 pm

Discuss transportation, McMillan, taxes, and more at tomorrow’s civic association meeting

Tulipmania

Learn about the McMillan development, DC property tax relief, and transportation fixes for LeDroit Park at tomorrow’s civic association meeting. The meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28 and 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave – enter at the back). Everyone is welcome to attend.

Here is the full agenda:

  1. Nominations Committee – Nominate yourself or someone else for the civic association board.
  2. McMillan Development – Background and Current status
  3. DC property tax relief
  4. Targeted incentives for homeowners
  5. Transportation survey report – Read the full proposed parking and pavement changes.
  6. Public safety report
  7. Parks report
  8. Community open forum and announcements

See you tomorrow!

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April 21, 2015 - 4:36 pm

DDOT will improve T Street in early May

ANC Commissioner Brian Footer informed me that DDOT will apply a slurry seal to T Street from Second Street to Sixth Street one day from May 1 to May 6.  The sealant fills cracks and slows asphalt deterioration.  During the special day that DDOT applies the sealant, parking will be prohibited on T Street and driveways will be inaccessible from 8 am to 5 pm.  DDOT will post notices 72 hours before the work begins.

DDOT applied the same treatment to Fifth Street back in 2013.  Here are some photos of the process and the results.

DDOT Applies a Slurry Seal

DDOT Applies a Slurry Seal

DDOT Applies a Slurry Seal

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April 20, 2015 - 9:16 pm

The Royal brings wifi, Colombian food, and vermouth next month

Fifth Street NW

The Post reports that next month LeDroit Park will get an all-day cafe and restaurant that will morph into a bar at night. After many months of renovations, the Royal will open at 501 Florida Avenue (photo above, far left), and will be run by the Carlson family. The son, Paul, has run Vinoteca (1940 11th St) for many years.

The Royal’s menu will focus on Colombian plates like arepas, empanadas, blood sausage, and plantains and will serve Counter Culture coffee, which currently fills coffee cups at Big Bear Cafe, Peregrine Espresso, and Tryst.  If you’re tired of walking five minutes to Mockingbird Hill for sherry, consider stopping by the Royal for vermouth, which they will serve on tap.

The telework/freelancer set can also rejoice.  Paul Carlson tells the Post that the Royal will beam wifi into both floors during the day for neighbors who come in to work.  So if you find any typos in future posts, blame the vermouth!

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April 07, 2015 - 10:51 pm

President Obama comes to Howard, Wizards may come to Howard

President Obama visited the Howard University College of Medicine today to deliver a speech on the negative impact of climate change on public health.  I caught some footage of the president’s motorcade as it passed up 7th Street and crossed Florida Avenue.

In other news, the Wizards are considering constructing a practice facility as part of a mixed-use building on university land just west of Georgia Avenue.  No deal has been finalized and the team will likely seek a tax-exempt bond from the District Government to finance the building.

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April 06, 2015 - 7:21 pm

Yet another Spanish restaurant set to open near LeDroit Park

"The Capture of the Spanish Galleon St Joseph" by Peter Monamy

“The Capture of the Spanish Galleon St Joseph” by Peter Monamy

People of the Americas, beware! The conquistadores are coming to fill you with tapas, sherry, and now cider! The City Paper reports that Anxo Cidery & Pintxos Bar is coming to 300 Florida Avenue NW, just outside LeDroit Park. The cider bar and restaurant marks the third Spanish establishment to open within walking distance of LeDroit in the past few years.

Anxo will focus on sagardoa* (cider), pintxos* (small plates), and regular dishes from the Basque region of Spain.  The owners intend to distill cider on site, but will start off serving beer and wine as well as a cider distilled in collaboration with Millstone Cellars in Monkton, Md.

The owners have not announced an opening date, but renovations will start on the building, currently vacant, this summer. [Update: Scott Roberts reports the owners intend to open in the fall.]

Lord have Murcia!

Has our part of Washington reached Peak Spaniard? We already have the Andalusian ham-and-sherry bar, Mockingbird Hill, on 7th Street and a superb Catalan restaurant, Costa Brava, on First Street in Bloomingdale. Are the fortunes of these Iberian restaurateurs set to decline like the Spanish Empire?

Furthermore, how will you choose a restaurant when you’re suddenly struck with your frequent craving for Spanish food? No need to tilt at windmills. Use this handy matrix to guide you across the Atlantic:

Left for LeDroit Spanish Food Matrix

Name Signature Food Signature drink Region
Mockingbird Hill
1843 7th St NW
jamón (Spanish ham) jerez (sherry) Andalusia
Costa Brava
1837 First St NW
various Catalan dishes Catalonia
Anxo
300 Florida Ave NW
various Basque dishes sagardoa (Basque cider) Basque Country

* Wait, these words don’t sound like Spanish. That’s because the Basque language is a language isolate and is one of the few non-Indo European languages spoken in Europe.

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April 02, 2015 - 2:24 pm

Whole Foods is coming!

Whole Foods on P Street NW, Washington, DC

The Washington Business Journal reports that Whole Foods is slated for a new development on the parking lot at Florida and Sherman Avenues.  The retailer’s arrival is typically a harbinger of soaring real estate values for surrounding neighborhoods. Whole Food is the latest iteration of potential tenants, which had before included Harris Teeter.

The Whole Foods is part of a proposed mixed-use development by developers MRP and JBG, the latter of which is finishing several development projects just a few blocks away.

The development proposal is far from final. Since the development involves the disposition of District-owned land, the DC Council will have to approve the deal.

Area residents have enjoyed a grocery renaissance over the past two years. A new Giant, the largest grocery store in DC, opened at 7th and P Streets in November 2013. A new Trader Joe’s opened at 14th and U Streets in March 2014.

Here’s an updated list of of LeDroit Park’s nearest grocery stores, as measured from Anna Cooper Circle.

Store Location Distance (mi)
Giant 7th & P Streets NW 0.6
Whole Foods (proposed) Florida & Sherman Avenues NW 0.7
Trader Joe’s 14th & U Streets NW 0.9
Safeway 5th & L Streets NW 0.9
Harris Teeter 1st & M Streets NE 1.0
Whole Foods 1400 blk. P Street NW 1.1

 

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