August 13, 2016 - 5:07 pm

Did Hillary Clinton assassinate a Bloomingdale man? No, you idiot.

… Despite the ridiculousness of this claim, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder self-exiled in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, is actively fueling this conspiracy theory.

Some background: Seth Rich, a 27-year-old staffer for the DNC, was found murdered on a sidewalk at Flagler Place and W Street NW in Bloomingdale at 4:30 am on August 10. The police suspect his murder was a botched robbery in a neighborhood suffering a tripling of armed robberies this year.

When police found Mr. Rich, they found his watch, wallet, and credit cards on him. These facts have led conspiracy theorist away from the simplest explanation, a panicked robber, to a fantastical story of political revenge by Hillary Clinton on a DNC staffer who Mr. Assange strongly insinuates leaked tens of thousands of DNC emails.

This wild cloak-and-dagger theory has been thoroughly debunked, yet WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward to catch the killer.  While that may seem helpful, Mr. Assange is using one family’s tragedy to push some political agenda against Mrs. Clinton.

The Rich family and the police appealed to the public to come forward with information and the MPD is offering a $25,000 reward to informants.  Mr. Assange’s publicity stunt distracts investigators from real leads.

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August 11, 2016 - 3:47 pm

Explore fair housing law in LeDroit and Bloomingdale next month

Hurd v. Hodge HouseDid you know a house in Bloomingdale was the center of a landmark Supreme Court ruling on fair housing in 1948? Explore civil rights history in LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale on a walking tour next month. The tour, Mapping Segregation, will explore the history and eventual Supreme Court dismantling of de jure housing segregation.

Discover these topics on foot with historian Sarah Shoenfeld, who has extensively documented the history of racially restrictive covenants in DC.

Tour description:

In honor of the September 3 birthday of groundbreaking civil rights attorney Charles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950), historian Sarah Shoenfeld will lead a walking tour of DC’s adjacent LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale neighborhoods. Shoenfeld co-directs the online public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, which shows how racially restrictive housing covenants kept much of Bloomingdale off-limits to African Americans until the 1940s. Houston, former Dean of Howard University’s law school and a NAACP attorney, waged numerous legal battles over housing in this neighborhood. One of them, Hurd v. Hodge, contributed to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that racial covenants were unenforceable. This tour will feature some of the houses and blocks subject to battles over covenants, and the shifting geographic lines that divided African Americans from whites in this area over the first half of the 20th century.

Tour details:
Sunday, September 11 at 10 am
Meet at the arch at 6th and T Streets NW
Price: $15 – buy tickets online from the Hill Center

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July 28, 2015 - 10:04 am

Doug Brown, co-owner of Costa Brava, has died

Costa Brava Restaurant

Doug Brown, the co-owner of Bloomingdale’s Costa Brava restaurant, drowned in the Chesapeake Bay on Friday evening.

Mr. Brown had hosted LeDroit Park happy hours at his restaurant and welcomed the LeDroit Park Civic Association’s executive board to meet in the restaurant. Many remember Mr. Brown as the friendly guy managing operations upstairs at Costa Brava.  Mr. Brown’s generosity and his friendly and welcoming personality will be sorely missed.

Neighbors will be signing a condolence card on Thursday; please feel free to add your name.

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June 15, 2015 - 10:05 am

Meet your neighbors at July’s happy hour

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 9.59.08 AM

Meet your neighbors and check out Bloomingdale’s newest pub! The next LeDroit Park happy hour will be at The Pub and the People (1648 North Capitol St NW) in Bloomingdale on Tuesday, July 14 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

We hope to see you there.

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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 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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February 03, 2015 - 3:32 pm

Meet me (and your neighbors!) at Costa Brava on Tuesday

LeDroit Park residents at Bistro Bohem

LeDroit Park’s next monthly happy hour will be at Costa Brava (1837 First Street NW) in Bloomingdale on Tuesday, February 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  We will be at the upstairs bar.  All neighbors are welcome to attend.

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January 27, 2015 - 12:08 pm

Restaurant Costa Brava and Howard Univ. present tonight

300 Block of T Street

The January meeting of the LeDroit Park Civic Association is tonight at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (enter at U Street and Bohrer Street).

The owner of Costa Brava (1837 First St NW) will introduce the neighborhood to his new Catalonian restaurant.  I had dinner at the restaurant late last year and I highly recommend it.

Howard University representatives will propose changes to university policy regarding student conduct and public safety:

  • Expanding the area around the campus deemed subject to the reporting of crime statistics.
  • Giving universities broader authority to address student misconduct that takes place off-campus.
  • Giving the Mayor or a university President the ability to request the assistance of other campus police personnel in cases of emergency, thus allowing the Metropolitan Police Department to focus their resources elsewhere.

The meeting will also include the usual committee reports and a community open forum.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

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July 27, 2013 - 10:52 am

It’s now a little easier to cross Florida Avenue at R Street

New Crosswalk and Signal

After much neighborhood lobbying, DDOT installed a new traffic signal at Florida Avenue and R Street NW in Bloomingdale.  The light includes a pedestrian signal that will make it easier to cross Florida Avenue. Before DDOT installed the light, pedestrians had to pray that drivers on Florida Avenue would obey the law and yield at the crosswalks.

New Crosswalk and Signal

In unrelated news, two vintage transit buses are parked on the vacant lot at the northwest corner of the intersection.

Buses

Buses

Buses

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August 22, 2012 - 10:46 am

Video from the mayor’s presser on recent flooding

The mayor’s news conference on the establishment of an anti-flooding task force drew a lot of media attention. All the local affiliates covered it:

Watch the videos below.
Read the rest of this entry »

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