Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ballpark Preview

Through pure luck, Mr. 14th & You scored free tix to tonight's game from a club-level season ticket holder in his office. The first game in Nationals Park was great and made all the better by the 3 to 0 win over the Orioles.

There were a few operational ballpark kinks that may or may not be worked out my tomorrow evening. The ushering and concession staffs are a little, er, inexperienced. (It took about an inning and change to get dinner.) We also saw the DC Fie Department report to one smoking griddle on the club level. But the paint is dry, most of the signage is in place, and the important stuff -- escalators, bathrooms, elevators -- are all working. I think that the official opening day should get rave reviews.

Our one bit of advice to Metro riders would be to walk to the Navy Yard Metro entrance furthest from the park's main gate; there were far fewer people waiting on line there to get down the escalators. Also, Greenbelt-bound passengers do not gain advantage from boarding at Waterfront or L'Enfant Plaza as most of the cars are already full when the trains pull into those stations.

Spring In DC

The Mall and Tidal Basin were crowded this afternoon, but I still loved seeing the cherry blossoms and the kite festival. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CDC Meeting Tomorrow; a new Museum for Downtown?

The next CDC meeting will take place on Wednesday--details are below. The agenda looks to be rather light, but the first item caught our attention: a proposal to redevelop the former National Bank building at 14th and G St. downtown by an organization called "the Armenian Genocide Museum of America". Might DC be getting a new museum in its downtown core (and the second to deal with the unpleasant yet important issue of genocide)?

This project had, admittedly, slipped through our radar. Of course, it's not in the Logan Circle/U St. area we typically cover with this blog, but anyone who has walked along 14th St. into downtown knows that the National Bank building is a building with enormous potential to be redeveloped. With regards to the Museum itself, the museum's website indicates that it "will be the premier institution in the United States dedicated to educating American and international audiences about the Armenian Genocide and its continuing consequences. " The website lists initial plans to develop a 50,000 sf complex with room to expand "before 2011".

Curious to find out more? Attend tomorrow's CDC meeting!

*Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 7:00 PM
The Washington Plaza Hotel
# 10 Thomas Circle, NW*Agenda

*-- Approval of Agenda

-- Concept Review and Zoning Variance Request for a project at the southeastcorner of 14th and G Streets (former Federal American National Bank building)
Owner: Armenian Genocide Museum of America
Presenter: Martinez & Johnson Architecture
The architect will make a concept presentation. The project has beensubmitted to HPRBfor concept review at the March 27 hearing. In addition, this project is requesting a zoning variance regarding exemption from the rear yard requirement.

-- DDOT Public Space Permit for a new driveway at 1050 K Street, NW
Owner: The Lenkin & Tower Company
Presenter: TBA
This Public Space Permit is needed to install a new 20 foot drivewayapron on 11th Street.
Project will also include two new handicap ramps at 11th and K Street corner; new stonepavers along 11th and K Streets; repaving of an alley; and installation of landscaped planters.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cafe Collage Returning to T St. in April

Those of you who have been in the 14th St. neighborhood for a few years might recall a small coffee shop/cafe known as "Cafe Collage" that used to occupy a spot next door to Saint Ex on T St. The owners of the cafe, in addition to being longtime DC residents and coffee connoisseurs, were also dedicated art patrons, and the Cafe functioned as both a neighborhood coffee shop and an art gallery.

Several years back, the Cafe closed--and though their sign remained on the building's exterior, there have been no signs of life at the location. Until now, that is.

According to a source close to the owners, Cafe Collage is set to re-open within a couple of weeks. By the looks of the building and property, it appears as though they may be set to also have some type of outdoor patio seating--which would be fantastic. No word yet on what, specifically, will be offered in the way of drinks and food, but I can say that prior to its closing it was known as one of *the* places to go in DC to experience a true Ethiopian coffee ceremony; no doubt that practice will resume upon their reopening. It will also be interesting to see what artwork is displayed in the space when the cafe reopens in April.

Though we weren't around for Cafe Collage's first go-round, we're excited to see this small business return and can't wait to try what has been described to us by one of their former patrons as "the best coffee (they) have ever had in (their) life".

Monday, March 10, 2008

Street Sweeping (and Parking Enforcement) to Resume March 24

For those who may not know (because the city doesn't exactly go bonkers promoting this kind of thing), residential street sweeping will resume on Monday, March 24. This means that not only will the sweeper make a weekly appearance on your street to get rid of the fast food wrappers, leaf detritus and other stuff collecting in the gutters--it means that parking enforcement will be out as well. For those of us along the 1200 and 1300 blocks of R St. and sorrounding blocks, it also means that the olympic event of scrambling for a spot on the "right" side of the street with all of the Sunday church-goers is about to resume as well.

So, game on.

Below is the email sent out by ANC2F06 commissioner Mike Bernardo on the subject.

This is to inform you that weekly residential street cleaning operationsresume on Monday, March 24, 2008. Alternate-side parking restrictionsduring street sweeping hours will be in effect once again. Parkingcitations will be issued to vehicles parked during street sweeping hours inareas posted with "No Parking/Street Cleaning" signs.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Thoughts

I know there's been a lack of posts here recently, Mr. and Mrs. 14thandYou have been busy doing whatever it is hip, trendy kids living in a hip, trendy neighborhoods do. Namely, vacuuming, doing laundry, working late hours and cleaning cat puke off the carpet. Ah well, who said the cool life is always interesting? Anyway, there's been a number of thoughts kicking around Mr. 14thandYou's (mostly) empty head, and he finds The Internets a great forum to express these thoughts. (He occasionally also makes use of The Google.)

  • So, has the crime in Columbia Heights gotten worse with the opening of the Target store and its DC USA box store retail brethren? Some people seem to think so. Personally, I'm of the opinion that ColHeights hadn't turned the corner as much as some people (namely, area real estate tycoons and government cheerleaders) thought it had. Yeah, it's miles better than where it was a decade or so ago, but so long as people are getting mugged in broad daylight on Metro escalator steps, well, that's totally not alright. But, yeah, it will continue to improve, and one can only hope with a sizable investment now taking shape in the neighborhood the city will have a greater impetus to crack down on violence and crime there. (Sad, but unfortunately true.) Oh, and all of the "gentrification" talk--come on, the development includes a Target, a Marshalls, and a Giant. That's about as "high end" as our 1998 22" color TV with the broken picture tube.

  • When in the world is the Q St. destruction, er, restructuring going to be completed? They're at least three months behind schedule--at least according to the original project timeline. Really makes Logan residents wet their pants with anticipation over the pending 14th St., 11th St. and P St. projects, eh?

  • "Heat pumps" are like "fast food": wrong on both counts.

  • Hillary Clinton is accusing Barack Obama of having ties to shady real estate investment deals? Golly, who else does that remind me of? Thinking...thinking...

  • The 14thandYous are looking at upgrading our household technology--which could only be fairly described as "Pre-Cambrian". Chief among this project is an upgrade from our current computer, a 1982 Commodore 64, replete with a 5 1/4" floppy drive and pre-installed versions of Oregon Trail and Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego. We've done a little research, but if anyone has any tips or suggestions--we're all ears. (Serious suggestions only, please--no "Speak and Spells" or "IBMs").