Dupont – Logan – U Street

Stuff You Might Have Missed (But Shouldn’t Have)

Luis Gomez Photos dc streetcars DDoT

The first streetcars since 1962 will hit DC tracks in 2012 on the H Street-Benning Road NE line. The Anacostia line comes next in Phase 1 of the city plans. Phase 2 plans show lines on U Street and 14th Street NW—will that actually happen? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Will we eventually get steetcars in Borderstan? At 9th and NW last week, the DC Department of Transportation (DDoT) exhibited one of the new street cars that are scheduled to hit DC tracks in 2012 (several of the Czech-built cars have been sitting in a warehouse in Maryland for some time). The return of the streetcar is probably one of the most covered and written about public works projects in recent years in DC. DDoT has started construction of a streetcar line in Anacostia, with service expected in fall 2012. Tracks are being laid on H Street and Benning Road NE for a second line and there are plans for more lines in the city. In Borderstan, we can hope that Phase 2 plans come to fruition—Phase 2 of streetcar plans show a 14th Street line that links to other lines on K Street NW and U Street NW. The last streetcar line stopped running in DC in 1962 and the city once had 200 miles of track.

Don’t mess with yoga. There was an uproar last week when locals realized that a DC Council propose to levy sales taxes on services, as well as goods, would apply to gyms and yoga centers. The Flow Yoga Center on P Street NW launched an email campaign, asking people to contact members of the DC Council to protest the idea. Loose Lips over at Washington City Paper reported that Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) each received more than 2,000 emails from DC residents against the “yoga tax.” Loose Lips also pondered, “LL Daily wonders where were these people when D.C. General was so overcrowded? Where where these people yesterday protesting the layoffs at CFSA? Is this what District residents really care about—yoga? Yes! Hundreds, thousands even spammed the D.C. Council to make sure they knew that they wanted their $18 hot yoga class to stay $18 and not $19.06 with a 6 percent DC sales tax of which $1.06 would go to pay for teachers and trash pickup and child care etc.”

Woman Sues MTV for Real World DC cameo. Read the details yourself at dcist.

Young whites prefer cities to suburbs. No kidding—it’s a trend we have been seeing in Dupont-Logan-U Street for a decade now as younger, white newcomers replace or join older African American residents. The Huffington Post reports on a study done by The Brookings Institution: “In a reversal, America’s suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as many younger, educated whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.”

What’s up with senior apartments at 15th and U NW? City Paper has an interesting story on the Campbell Heights apartments  at the northeast corner of 15th and U NW, “Is There Still Room For Seniors at the New 15th and U?” The short story: This is valuable real estate in a trendy neighborhood. The 10-story apartment building offers subsidized, independent living for senior citizens. The residents’ association voted to buy the building in conjunction with a local real estate developer—and the developer (Jair Lynch) will retain 99.5% of ownership.

Nora Amaya murder remains unsolved. The Washington Post reports that the October 31 murder of Nora Amaya remains unsolved. Along with her brother, Amaya owned Coppi’s Organic restaurant on U Street NW.


May 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Mystery City #7: What Southern California City is This?

Luis Gomez Photos mystery city Borderstan

Mystery City #7: Where is this beach in southern California? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Here is Mystery City #7 from Luis’ photo collection. Where is this beach-front location in southern California? Is it in Los Angels or Orange County? Choose from one of five choices in our weekly reader poll of mystery cities; we will give you the answer on Friday. The first six mystery cities were Caracas, Valparaiso, Sydney, Bratislava, La Paz and Santiago.

Make your selection below the fold.

Continue reading

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia

U Street and Vermont Avenue NW: There was a wreath-laying ceremony yesterday at the African American Civil War Memorial to mark DC Emancipation Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Today is Emancipation Day in Washington, DC. On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an emancipation proclamation that freed 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia. This proclamation came five months before Lincoln’s more famous Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the states of the Confederacy. April 16 became an official DC holiday in 2005.

The DC government website has a full listing of Emancipation Day events. Busboys & Poets at 14th and V NW has a program at 4 p.m. today, “2010 Emancipation Day Celebration: DC Almost 150 Years Later.” The event is co-sponsored by Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE DC).

The African American Civil War Memorial at U Street and Vermont Avenue NW is a lovely—and too often overlooked—memorial here in the neighborhood. It opened in 1999 and honors the African American soldiers who fought with the Union Army in the Civil War. Check it out when you are on U Street; it is next to the U Street-Cardozo Metro Stop.

Regarding city services: The city is picking up trash and recyclables today even though the DC Government is closed. Parking enforcement is suspended except for the area around Nationals Park. However, normal workday traffic patterns are in effect.

April 16, 2010 Posted by | news, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

An Interview with “Mugged”

Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan Dupont Circle

Looking toward 17th Street on the 1600 block of R Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Spring is in the air and in DC—not unlike other big cities—pollen and daffodils are often accompanied by more street crime, especially robberies. Last Wednesday, March 17, there was a gun robbery in the area. From the Police Alert:

Robbery (Gun), 2148 hours, 1600 Block of S Street NW. LOF: 2 Black Females wearing puffy hoodie jackets, blue jeans both armed with guns, last seen eastbound towards 16th Street. DO NOT TAKE ACTION. CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20100132077.

By chance, we were able to contact and interview the victim of the mugging described above. Here is what she has to say. We refer to her as “Mugged” to protect her anonymity.

Borderstan: Where had you been the evening you were robbed?
Mugged: At a friend’s house near 13th and Corcoran for a St. Patty’s Day celebration—I was walking home from the dinner by myself.

Borderstan: Do you often walk on the 1600 block of S Street… were you in familiar surroundings?
Mugged: Very familiar. I live at 17th and S so this was an extremely frequent walk home.

Borderstan: What were you doing at the time?
Mugged: I was talking to my brother on my iPhone.

Continue reading

March 25, 2010 Posted by | crime, Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments

Crime Snapshot: 18th and Florida NW; Thefts, Burglaries Drive Rate Up

We’re doing something new here with crime statistics at Borderstan. We normally report crime stats for the defined Borderstan crime reporting area.¹ In addition, we sometimes provide stats from Police Service Area (PSA) 208/Dupont and PSA 307/Logan-Shaw.

However, we are going to occasionally pick a different location in the area and show a snapshot of crime trends, using information from the MPD crime database. The first guest-crime-location is 18th Street and Florida Avenue NW, right on the cusp of the Adams Morgan, U Street and Dupont Circle neighborhoods/areas.

Roughly, this circular area runs from 16th Street west to Connecticut Avenue and from R Street north up to Belmont Road.  The stats from the crime database encompass a circular area radiating 1,500 feet (0.28 mile) in all directions from 18th and Florida. The area is in PSA 208 and PSA 303.

Guest blogger Back from Boulder prepared the stats and analysis for Borderstan. Here’s what he found.

Continue reading

December 11, 2009 Posted by | crime, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

NEXT TUESDAY: Annual 17th Street High Heel Race is Oct. 27

17th Street NW during the 2008 High Heel Race event. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

17th Street NW during the 2008 High Heel Race event. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

How time flies. The annual 17th Street Halloween High Heel Race is only week away: Tuesday, October 27. Starting time is 9 p.m., but 17th Street north of P Street will begin filling up between 6 and 7 p.m.

In what appears to be an historic change (yes, I’ve attended a few), the race course is reversed this year, with the contestants running south. The race will start at R Street and end at Church Street in front of JR’s Bar & Grill. The course is 0.2 miles—1/5 of a mile—in case you are thinking of donning a pair of heels and finding out just how fast you can run.

The Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program is the designated beneficiary this year. According to HDCMS Executive Director Paul Williams, the group has created a roped off VIP area at the finish line at Church Street “for those that wish to arrive as late as 30 minutes before the event for a secured, prime viewing area! Ticket holders will also receive a Bar Fast Pass to head directly in front of any lines at JR’s, Cobalt, and 30 Degrees following the event.”

The VIP section is limited to 50 ticket holders at $40 per person, and there are apparently some tickets left. Williams estimates a crowd of more than 15,000—an estimate I find entirely believable.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

News Bits, Movie Rentals, Weekend Marches/Walks, Stuff to Do

Happy Friday morning, Borderstan. A few news items… some news bits… happenings this weekend. So, read this posting and then turn off your computer and go enjoy the fall weekend. See you Monday.

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Borderstan Weekend October 10/11

Here are my picks for things to do during the weekend in Borderstan, really close by or in the city… restaurants, galleries and theater.

Thaiphoon, 2011 S St NW.(Photo:Luis Gomez)

Thaiphoon, 2011 S St. NW.(Photo: Luis Gomez)

Etete, 1942 9th St NW.(Photo:Luis Gomez)

Etete, 1942 9th St. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Bar Pilar, 1833 14th St NW.(Photo:Luis Gomez)

Bar Pilar, 1833 14th St. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Thaiphoon, located at 2011 S Street, NW. Thai food is always a good choice (Matty likes it) with good service. They have an extensive menu to please everyone. Their closeness to the Dupont Circle Red Line Metro station offers easy access to anyone in the city. Be advised: Thaiphoon can get crowded.

Etete at 1942 9th Street NW has become a must-go-to among people who like Ethiopian Cuisine. In an area with plenty of choices when it comes to Ethiopian food, people seem to agree that the food served here is the best around “Little Ethiopia” on 9th Street NW, although they will not say the same about service; some reviews say it is slow and that the decor is bland.

Bar Pilar located at 1833 14th Street, NW is a favorite of mine, and it has definitely become the neighborhood bar around the area. Friendly bartenders, patrons who know each other make it a great place to have some tapas or a comfort-food meal—a good stop for dinner and brunch on Sundays, too. Continue reading

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A Death at “Men’s Parties” at 14th & Corcoran NW

Third Distrcit Police confirmed a death at 1618-A 14th Street NW on Satury night or Sunday morning. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos.)

Third Distrit Police confirmed a death at 1618-A 14th Street NW on Saturday night or Sunday morning. The location is at the northwest corner of Corcoran and 14th Streets NW in Police Service Area 307. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos.)

UPDATE: As of Sunday evening, MPD had a police cruiser parked in front of 1618 14th Street NW with two officers guarding the entrances to the building. – mattyillini

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  • •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • •  •  •  •

Third District Police have confirmed that there was a death sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning at 1618-A 14th Street NW. According to Inspector Jacob Kishter of MPD 3D, “At this time the manner of death is undetermined with no immediate indicators of foul play and it is pending further investigation and ruling by the Medical Examiner.” Kishter also said that police are “working on ID and next-of-kin notification.” Kishter responded to my email request for information.

The location of the death is the upstairs unit of 1618 14th Street, at the northwest corner of 14th and Corcoran Streets NW. According to published reports (MetroWeekly) and numerous online reviews, the building houses a sex club for gay and bisexual men. The club last made news when it experienced a fire in June of 2005.

My source says online information about 1618-A indicates that the establishment operates Fridays from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., and reopens on Saturdays at 4 p.m. It will be interesting, therefore, to determine at what hour the individual was found inside the establishment.

We first heard reports of an incident of some sort this morning when we learned that the building had police tape around it. We walked by, saw the tape and and an MPD car parked in front.

Later we received a report from an eyewitness who walked by 1618 14th Street around 8:30 a.m. and again at 9:20 a.m. this morning. He reported seeing a wire-mesh stretcher and the DC Medical Examiner’s car parked in front.

I called MPD Third District around 1:15 p.m. and an officer at the station desk said that the police report should be available this evening.

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 35 Comments

UPDATE: It Was a Bank Robbery on K Street, Not a Mugging

UPDATE: This was a bank robbery, not a mugging. I based my posting on the Police Alert. Thanks to dcist and commenters for the update and correction.

Should I feel better that our muggers are getting classier?

Got this police alert today. I wasn’t going to post about it, but then I thought, “Oh, this is a bit different.” You do hear of this approach to holding up people on the street—business attire—but I don’t remember it being employed recently in DC. The mugger struck at 16th and K NW this morning at 9:16, complete with hat and briefcase:


And you have to love the irony of mugger in a suit on K Street.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | MPD, on crime, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments