Thursday, June 29, 2017

Here's where you can buy fireworks in DC! Two stands in our area

The 4th of July is upon us, and that means cookouts, hot weather, and fireworks -- fireworks everywhere, not just on the Mall.

It's my opinion that a rooftop in Columbia Heights is the best place in the world to see 4th of July fireworks, because you can see the main display, displays at towns around the area, and a ton of DIY displays all around our neighborhood. Anywhere you look you'll see something going on -- it's fun, it's communal, and it's explosive.

You can buy some fireworks in DC, though not the ones that shoot in the area and explode, and I contacted DCRA to get the list of where they are -- see below.

In our area that's 3700 New Hampshire (corner of Georgia, at the Petworth Metro) and 4140 Georgia (at Upshur). Here's the full list below:

UPDATE: there are two stands not listed: 14th and Otis and Georgia and Newton.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Save $15 from Ecoverde Maids, a green, local small business

 

This is a sponsored post for our advertiser Ecoverde Maids, a great small local business that's been a longtime supporter of the site. Check them out!

This year Ecoverde Maids is turning 5 years old! Through competitive pricing, attractive service plans and friendly customer service, Ecoverde has created a strong residential client base serving Columbia Heights and Petworth. Today we'd like to introduce you to Carolina Rodriguez, the owner. Since they receive all lot of bookings from the surrounding area, they have decided to sponsor this blog. They have created a $15 off promo code that you can use by clicking on their banner on the top of the blog.

Ecoverde founder Carolina Rodriguez moved from Spain to Washington DC in 2005 to work for the Spanish government. In her free time after work she took a course from the Latino Economic Development Center on how to start a small business—more specifically, how to start a cleaning business. The training lasted for six weeks on Tuesday nights and she learned everything about starting a business, from how to do taxes, to becoming an LLC, to all the legal and administrative aspects. In 2012 she launched Ecoverde Maids in the Washington, DC Metro area and is currently working on launching another branch in Boston. 

While she is focused on running a successful business, she does find time for other activities. “Honestly, I am so passionate about so many things in life!” she said. She’s raising a two year old daughter, studying for a Masters in Secondary Education at George Washington University (she’ll graduate this summer), does morning meditation, goes to yoga class, Facetimes with family in Spain, enjoys watching movies, catches up with friends over coffee… and is running a highly successful cleaning business as well.
Carolina originally studied social work in Spain, but has come to love running her own business. “I like handling the online marketing and entrepreneurship,” she said. While Ecoverde Maids focuses on eco-friendly cleaning, the service offers both green cleaning and conventional cleaning depending on the client’s request. “Green cleaning is very important. We need to be aware of the environment and how we relate to it with the products we consume,” Carolina said. Seventh Generation products are a favorite brand that the team uses to clean without toxic chemicals.

When she first started out, Carolina was out in the field doing cleaning with her staff, but now she focuses solely on the administrative aspects and on growing the business. She felt it was important to get exposure to the actual cleaning process, in order to know exactly what her customers were experiencing. “When you’re selling a product, you need to know what you’re selling,” she said. She doesn’t miss being out in the field, though, and feels that her main focus should be on taking Ecoverde Maids to the next level. To that end, she has a staff of ten people who are helping to handle the day-to-day cleaning services.

Despite the challenges, she finds the work to be fulfilling. “I started the business four years ago and it’s been evolving. I like trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I alter my systems accordingly. The best part is to see something that I created with my own hands grow and become a success.”

One of the secrets to her success is the personal touch she has the team leave after each client’s home is cleaned. “We want the client to have a feeling of coming home to a clean and fresh house, so we leave mints on top of our company business card.” Another critical component is soliciting feedback from her customers frequently. “The same day of the cleaning our clients get an email asking them to rate the team. Their response goes to us and to the cleaning teams. This is how we do quality control and to make sure clients are happy with this team. Customer satisfaction is very important.” 

From her many years of success, she offers some words of advice for someone looking to start their own cleaning business. “You’ve got to have patience most of all. There’s a lot of work out there, many people who are busy and who need their homes cleaned. In the beginning it will be slow going but put yourself out there and advertise. An online presence is one of the most important pieces. You have to keep a good online reputation with good views and a positive image of your brand and business. That will bring long term success.” 

If you’re in the Washington DC or Boston area, you can book Ecoverde Maids for a high-quality green cleaning service today.

Cool "Resist" landscaping on Sherman Avenue house


The other day I was walking down Sherman and spotted this house, with RESIST spelled in rocks in their garden as well as a sign with a lot of progressive values. Pretty neat way to show your opinions. The house also had some pride flags and others. I like living in an area with lots of political sentiment.

Anyone else notice political houses? I'm reminded of the house on 13th that has the alien in the window with various political signs.


Monday, June 26, 2017

New coffee shop and deli coming to 3661 Georgia, old Amanuel Market


Looks like a new coffee shop and deli is coming to the area: I saw permits in the window at 3661 Georgia Avenue NW, just south of New Hampshire, the old Amanuel Market, a convenience store. The market was busted for selling synthetic drugs in 2015 and closed sometime after that. The owner also applied for a liquor license in 2011 but the ANC opposed it.

The permit says there will be food prep and coffee with 11 seats. I can't find much else more about it, interested to see if it's going to be a hip spot, a deli with coffee in those pour yourself things, or something else.

Here's the full permit text. Some places have coffee machines on the counter but they're for the staff to use, so we'll see.

USE CHANGE FROM CONVENIENCE STORE WITH ACCESSORY PREPARED FOOD SHOP TO FOOD PREPARATION AND COFFEE SHOP. BY KEEPING THE EXISTING MECHANICAL , ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING AS IS WITH THE ADDITION OF ADA COMPLIANCE HANDICAP ACCESS BATHROOM, THREE COMPARTMENT SINK , UNDER COUNTER FREEZER AND COFFEE BREWING MACHINES ON THE COUNTER. 
PREOPARED FOOD SHOP WITH 11 SEATS ON THE 1ST FLOOR, CELLAR FOR STORAGE ONLY. NO MECHANICAL WORK WILL BE ADDED ON THE ROOF.

Red Derby now offering $3 brats, half-price burgers on Mondays


Whoa, this is a super deal. Red Derby, the relaxed neighborhood spot at 14th and Quincy, has just launched a $3 brat Monday: $3 for one brat with sauerkraut or two for $5. Monday also have have price burgers.

The Derb' has pretty solid bar food, so I suspect this brat is good too.

They're at 3718 14th Street NW. Check them out if you haven't been (but remember they are cash only, there is an ATM.)

Friday, June 23, 2017

El Rinconcito II under construction again after fire in October; looks close to done


Good news for fans of El Rinconcito II at 1326 Park Road, the Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant that burned in October: I walked by the other day and there's construction going on inside, and it looked pretty close to being finished.

The spot caught fire in late October and has been closed since. If you haven't been, it's quite tasty, good and not expensive Salvadoran and Mexican food, plus they have a nice patio.

I hope they get back on their feet soon. I am missing some pupusas and tasty cheesy Mexican food (and margaritas.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Checking out new beer hall, Franklin Hall at 1346 Florida from Penn Social, Big Chief folks




More bars! Recently Franklin Hall opened at 1346 Florida Avenue NW, next to La Colombe and Pizzeria Vetri. It's from the folks behind Big Chief in Ivy City, Penn Social downtown, Lost and Found in Shaw and a few other spots. I checked it out last night. It's big.

The hall part of the name is accurate -- the spot is cavernous, kind of a modern-style warehouse or loft with high ceilings, polished concrete floors and such. It's full of picnic tables and high tables with stools, and it was pretty packed last night -- there was also a Jon Ossoff watch party, so maybe that was part of it. The crowd also seemed a bit young, but maybe that was the event as well. There are also games like card games and giant Connect Four.

Their website calls it an American beer hall and they have a fairly big draft beer list with American beers from all over the country: Oregon, California, Missouri, Michigan and around here, with both pints a liters. The pints started at $5, and the liters at $10 (which was Boh and Miller Lite.) 

They also have food at a walk-up window: lots of sausages seems to be their staple, plus loaded fries, chicken tenders, a burger or two, brussels sprouts, churros and such. I got the Natty Boh sausage, which was cooked in said beer, and it was pretty good, as were the shoestring fries it came with. Not gourmet cuisine but so far so good with bar food.

The bar is almost the length of the whole spot, so that made it easy to get a beer. The only knock on the spot is that it was really loud and echo-y -- they could use some noise absorbers or something. 

They also have pretty good happy hour deals: $2 off all drafts Monday-Friday from 4 to 7 pm, as well as $2 off rail cocktails. 

I'd be curious to see what it's like on the weekends if it was that crowded on the week day!

They're open 4pm-1am Monday-Thursday, 4pm-2am Friday, noon-2am Saturday and noon-1am Sunday.

Menus are below. Click them for a bigger version:





Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happy hour at Midlands tonight: donate clothes, get $1 off


This is neat -- as part of the youth employment event on the 21st, which I wrote about earlier, Midlands is holding a clothing drive tonight: if you donate new or gently used professional clothing, shoes and accessories, you'll get $1 off!

Pretty neat way to help out some deserving young people, while also getting a good deal.

Georgia Avenue Thrive is also looking for volunteers for the event on the 21st, just email Jennifer Kuiper, jkuipermpp(at)gmail.com.

Know young people looking for work? Youth employment fair at Midlands on Wednesday: resume and interview help, workshops, folks who are hiring


If you know any young people looking for work, here's a cool event. Georgia Avenue Thrive and the city are organizing an event for young people who are looking for work: they're calling it a Youth Employment Support & Job Readiness event and it's at the Midlands beer garden on Wednesday. There will be various representatives from various government offices, organizations that help students get jobs, and others with workshops, free professional clothing, help with resumes and more. Sounds pretty neat, pass it along to your neighbors or friends!

Here's more from Georgia Avenue Thrive:
Please share the attached flier and Facebook announcement about the Youth Employment Support & Job Readiness Event at The Midlands (3333 Georgia Ave NW) this Wednesday, June 21, 11am-3pm. Employment service providers, mini-workshops, workplace clothing give-away, one-on-one resume coaching and free hot dogs and lemonade will all be provided!

Monday, June 19, 2017

City shuts down Target food sales on Friday due to rodents

Yuh oh. The city's inspectors found some rodents at Target on Friday and shut down their food sales for part of the day. WJLA has the story, they were closed part of the day but were allowed to start selling food again that night. The Starbucks inside Target reopened Saturday.

This isn't the first time the store has been temporarily banned from selling food -- it happened in 2015 as well due to rodents and insects.

Let's hope they've figured out what the problem is and cleaned it up.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Columbia Heights Farmers Market now open Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings


This is neat -- if you're looking for more good food and other local items, the Columbia Heights Farmers Market is now open two times a week: Wednesdays 4-7pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm. Sometimes they're there a bit after 7 too.

The market is pretty awesome, there are always various produce vendors, dairy, bread, coffee, meat, drinks, sauces, premade foods and other snacks and items, all from local farmers or small businesses. It's good for picking up a quick snack or breakfast or some ingredients for future meals.

The market is located at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, the triangle between 14th, Park and Kenyon, across from the Tivoli building.

There's also the Petworth Market, also Saturdays at 9th and Upshur, and the Mt Pleasant one, Saturdays at the Mt. Pleasant Plaza (near Mt. Pleasant and Park Rd.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jenkins Capital BBQ opening soon at 14th and Monroe; check out the menu


BBQ time! A reader was at the ANC1A meeting the other day and the owner said they're opening in about a week.

Here's a bit more info from the reader:
He said that you could go to the website now, but I haven't tried it since I don't know what it is.

He said that they stole one of the best BBQ chefs from Atlanta and had some other interesting things to say about his food. There will also be a 16 seat bar with TVs, and then outside seating when that is approved.
I also can't find their website, but their Facebook page is up, complete with a logo.

I also received a preview copy of the menu from an ANC commissioner, check it out below (click it for the full version.) Looks pretty awesome, and thorough!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Columbia Heights Day is Saturday, June 17! Music, arts, food, vendors, kids' carnival, beer garden, fun for all ages; want to volunteer?


Columbia Heights Day is upon us again! This year's, the 12th annual, will be on 11th Street between Park and Irving like in previous years from 11am-6pm.

There will be local businesses, arts and crafts, fitness classes, music and a lot more, plus a kids' carnival at the Tubman school field, and a beer garden hosted by Meridian Pint.

Here's more info on what's happening and the schedule, as well as the Facebook invite from the Columbia Heights Initiative, the organizers.

They're also looking for volunteers and sponsors if you want to do a bit of help.

The best local DC street party is back and you’re invited!! Join us in celebration of diversity and community with the neighborhood’s finest food, drink, and entertainment. 

Discover artisans, entrepreneurs, and area businesses in the heart of Columbia Heights. The fun is everywhere and for everyone! We have three stages of live music, dance, and free fitness classes. Kids can play at the carnival on the Harriet Tubman field while adults make their own fun at the Meridian Pint beer garden. See you on Saturday, June 17th!

Where: 11th Street between Park Road and Irving Street.
When: Saturday, June 17th 11am-6pm
Cost: FREE (Donations welcome!)
_________________________________

Main Stage line up:
Maryjo Mattea and a Pile of Dudes- 11:00 am - 11:45 am
The Fuss - 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm
CREATE - 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm
SAHEL - 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
The JoGo Project - 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Empresarios - 5 pm - 6 pm

Community Field Stage line up:
Barro Vermelho Capoeira - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
PanLara - 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
DC Self Defense Karate Association - 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Salsa With Silvia - 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Zumba with CHampion Lifestyle Fitness - 4 pm - 5 pm
Evolution Grooves band - 5:15 pm - 6 pm
_________________________________
Get Involved!
There are lots of ways you can get involved with Columbia Heights Day. Whether you want to be a volunteer, vendor, or entertainer we want to hear from you!

Visit our Website to find out more about our day full of good vibes!
https://districtbridges.org/events/2017/test-event-1

Sponsored Artist Scholarship Application
https://goo.gl/forms/RSPcAEhMjXUuS3Ig1

Volunteers
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080f4aa5ad2da0f94-columbia

Sponsors
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLcU7A2HYB9PgrRlN_DogzhR_cY9rLxwFG9Tu-mLAzzXfQTg/viewform?c=0&w=1

Monday, June 5, 2017

Pools are open! Pools are open! Weekends only until June 18, then full schedule


It's getting hot, and just in the time, the city's outdoor pools have opened. Starting last weekend, the outdoor pools are open on the weekends, and starting June 18, they'll be open every day (except one day a week.)

In our area, there's the Banneker pool at Georgia and Euclid and the Upshur pool at Upshur and Arkansas. Both are currently open noon-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Starting June 18, they'll be open every day except one -- for Banneker, that's Thursdays, and for Upshur, that's Mondays.

Banneker (pictured above) is big and very popular -- there are sometimes lines to get in. They also added a concession stand for some cold beverages and light snacks. Upshur is smaller and has more families, but also a nice place to swim.

Here are their full hours, and here are the rest of the pools.

Banneker:
  • Lap Swim: Mon - Wed & Fri - 8 am to 10 am
  • Mon - Wed & Fri - 11 am to 8 pm
  • Sat & Sun: 12 pm to 6 pm
Closed Day:
Thursday

Upshur:
  • Tues - Fri - 11 am to 8 pm
  • Sat & Sun - 12 pm to 6 pm
Closed Day: 
Monday

Friday, June 2, 2017

Learn hand dancing every Wednesday at Georgia and Randolph: a D.C. version of swing dancing


If you've been in DC for long enough, you've probably heard of hand dancing -- it's a locally developed style of dance, similar to swing dancing (not just waving your hands around, as might be assumed from the name.)

Former Mayor Vince Gray was a big fan, and it still is popular around the area. And now you can learn! There are classes every Wednesday for beginners, starting this coming Wednesday, June 7 at 3815 Georgia Ave NW. The details are above, sounds like fun!

Here's a sample from the National Hand Dance Association:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

New favorite neighborhood resident: oldies/torch song player on Park Road

There are a few neighborhood characters in our area: the "Music Man" with the boombox on his bike, for example. But I think I found my new favorite resident: whoever plays the torch songs and oldies on Park Road between Holmead and 13th.

A few times I've walked by the evening and there's a speaker playing old standards, jazz, torch songs and the like, and it's pretty awesome to hear walking around. Once I saw local musician (and Grammy-nominee) Christylez Bacon hanging out there, so it might be his place (or his musical choice) but I'm not sure.

Anyone else hear and enjoy his music? Always like hearing music around the neighborhood.