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out and about 08 10 21 26 28

Hit the City • Joylyn Hopkins Calendar • Kathleen Donner 2010 Holiday Gift Guide • Scott Frazini Insatiable • Celeste McCall Jazz Avenues • Steve Monroe

your neighborhood


30 32 34 36 38 39 41 42

The Nose • Anonymous Down on the Farm at Walker Jones Elementary • Joe Carmack The Numbers: Tax-Incredible! • Aleksandra Gajdeczka and Ed Lazere Shaw Streets • Ralph Brabham Things to be Thankful for in Shaw • Alexander M. Padro Moving Forward in Shaw • Alexander M. Padro Bloomingdale Bytes • Amanda Abrams Logan Circles • Mark F. Johnson

kids and family 44


Kids and Family Notebook • Kathleen Donner

at home 48 50 51

Home/Style: Logan Circle House Tour • Mark F. Johnson Waste Not, Want Not • Frank Asher Changing Hands • Don Denton



COVER: The Downtown DC Holiday Market. Photo by Michael Berman â—† 5


Capital Community News, Inc. 224 7th Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20003 202.543.8300 • EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Melissa Ashabranner

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by Joy Hopkins

Studio Theatre Finds Its Mojo The Studio Theatre closes 2010 with Mojo by Jez Butterworth, directed by Christopher Gallu. Set in the London underground of the late 1950s, a music club on the rise is turned upside-down by the sudden murder of its owner and kidnapping of its headliner as the seeming start of a hostile takeover by a local gangster. Fearing further violence, the second-in-command locks the club down with the remaining staff inside, including the now-deceased owner’s unstable son, who begins to unravel. As this darker than

dark comedy unfolds, the staff goes stir crazy, tempers flare, and the tension increases. It goes on to depict the ensuing power struggle, climaxing with a shocking reveal. Mojo premiered at the historic Royal Court Theatre in London in 1995, winning the Laurence Oliver Award for Best Comedy the next year. Playwright Jez Butterworth, born 1969 in London, was heavily influenced by his fellow British playwright Harold Pinter. Critics have noted that Mojo incorporates Pinter’s “verbal menace,” and the single setting of the club echoes the claustrophobic environments of much of Pinter’s work. Butterworth adapted

and directed the 1997 film version of Mojo which featured Pinter as the brutal gang boss. The play is also credited as the inspiration for the 1998 Guy Ritchie film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Director Christopher Gallu’s work has been seen many times on Studio Theatre’s stages since 2002. Gallu is a frequent player in the DC theater scene as an actor, director, and adapter/playwright. He has two Helen Hayes nominations to his credit. Mojo runs December 1 through 26 on Studio Theatre’s second stage, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $30. The Studio Theatre 1501 14th Street NW Washington, DC 202-332-3300

Visual Conflict on Display

Mojo at Studio Theatre 8 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Local visual artist Julie Wolfe presents an exhibit at Hemphill Fine Arts which includes paintings with surprising combinations of mixed media, as well as additional works on paper and prints. Wolfe’s work emphasizes juxtapositions, often focusing on contrasting opposites such as life and death, good and evil, tranquility and violence, or decay and regeneration. Her pieces feature such imagery as a bouquet of blooming fruits and wildlife surrounding an ornate knife plunging through a human heart in her painting “Subversion.” The intent is to depict the interconnectedness and unavoidable coexistence of life and death. The artist is particularly subtle in combining these ideas, seducing the viewer with pleasant imagery which nearly conceals its surprisingly sinister elements.

“Subversion” by Julie Wolfe

Hemphill opened in 1993 and features contemporary art by emerging to mid-career and more established artists. The gallery also mounts exhibitions of historically significant artwork and socially relevant subjects. The schedule is designed to showcase important talent while providing artwork appealing to a broad range of interests. Julie Wolfe received her BFA in Painting and Art History from The University of Texas, Austin. Now a DC resident, she has already exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Textile Museum. Wolfe’s first exhibit at Hemphill is open now through December 23, Tuesday through Saturday, from10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment. Hemphill Fine Arts 1515 14th Street NW Washington, DC 202-234-5601

9:30 Club Digs its Roots The Legendary Roots Crew plays back-to-back shows at the 9:30 Club between Christmas and New Year’s. To the unfamiliar, the Roots Crew may be best known as the house band on Late Night with

Tell Them, “Shaw Main Streets Sent Me!”

Jimmy Fallon since its debut in March 2009. However, the Roots have been making their mark on the hip hop scene with an eclectic, jazz-inspired, instrumental-heavy sound for more than a decade. Though they have undergone a few line-up changes, their characteristic sound and critical acclaim have remained strong. The Roots are also well known for their anti-violence messages, including a public service announcement for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Their music has been featured in several films including Superbad, Hancock, and Collateral, as well as television shows Entourage and Yo Gabba Gabba. They are also known for their frequent collaborations with other artists, primarily in the hip hop and R&B genres; for the past six years, they have hosted a highly anticipated jam session the night before the Grammy Awards. The Roots Crew has earned six Grammy nominations with one win since their formation in 1987 in Philadelphia. Their most recent CD, Wake Up!, is a collaboration with John Legend. Their discography includes

twelve studio albums and one live album (not counting their prominence on Jay-Z Unplugged), but the Roots are best known and praised for their live shows. Though their Late Night gig keeps them busy, they do still find time to perform live. Their set with John Legend was universally recognized as a highlight of the recent Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. The Legendary Roots Crew takes the stage at the 9:30 Club on December 27 and 28. Doors open at 7 p.m.; tickets are $45. 9:30 Club 815 V Street NW Washington, DC 202-265-0930 Tickets: 877-435-9849 Joy Hopkins has been a DC resident for nearly 13 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Industry from James Madison University and a Master’s degree in Arts Management from American University. She works in the nonprofit sector, and her interests include reading, wine, music, crochet, and food. ◆

The Legendary Roots Crew ◆ 9

★ ★ ★



National Hanukkah Menorah. The menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah, Dec 1-9. The Ellipse (south of the White House, NW end, near Constitution Ave.). 202-332-5600. nationalmenorah. org

A Girl’s Guide to Washington Politics at Woolly. Dec. 8– Jan. 9, Wednesday, Dec. 8 will be a Pay-What-You-Can performance. Tickets start at $30. 641 D St. NW.202-393-3939. Photo: Michael Brosilow.

“Season’s Greenings” at the US Botanic Garden. Open daily through Jan 2, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. The US Botanic Garden invites you to remember that the best things in life are free--the fragrance of a freshly cut fir tree, the magic of holiday lights and sumptuous decorations, and the delight of a child discovering the make-believe world of model trains. There is live holiday music and extended hours (until 8:00 PM) Tuesdays and Thursdays in December. Free. 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-2258333. DC’s Holiday Markets. Open Dec. 3-23, noon-8:00 PM, the Downtown Holiday Market is bigger and better than ever, with more than 150 local artisans and exhibitors with a focus on environmen-

tal sustainability. Shoppers and revelers alike will enjoy an exciting mix of live entertainment, ranging from jazz and blues to klezmer and a cappella. Located across from the Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. Capitol Riverfront Holiday Market at Federal Gateway is open Dec. 14-17, 11:00 AM-7:00 PM, Saturday, Dec. 18, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. Nine local artisans will sell handcrafted jewelry, pottery, watercolors and photography. There will be live entertainment daily, noon–1:30 PM. Eastern Market Holiday Market is open daily (including Mondays) from Nov. 26-Dec. 23, Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM; Saturdays, 7:00 AM-6:00 PM; Sundays, 7:00 AM-5:00 PM. Find trees, wreaths, sways, holly, mistletoe, gifts, crafts, flowers and food. “The Best Gift of All” Air Force Band Holiday Concert. Friday, Dec. 3, 10:30 AM (for kids); Saturday, Dec. 4, 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM; Sunday, Dec. 5, 3:00 PM. Their mix of traditional and new holiday favorites delight audiences young and old alike. Free but tickets required. There will be a stand-by line. DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. usafband.

ZooLights. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Dec. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12; Dec. 17 through Jan. 2 (Every night except Dec. 24, 25, and 31); 6:00-8:30 PM Don’t miss your chance to meander through the Zoo when it is covered with thousands of sparkling lights, attend special keeper talks, and enjoy live entertainment. $8. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Logan Circle Holiday House Tour. Sunday, Dec 5, 1:00-5:00 PM (ticket pick-up at 12:30 PM at the Studio Theatre) Wassail reception, at Studio 3:00 PM-5:30 PM. $20. Photo: Mathew Malone 10 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Christmas in Washington: Two Centuries of Yuletide Traditions. Saturday, Dec. 4, 4:00-8:00 PM. Anderson House, Dumbarton House and Tudor Place. Stroll through three festively decorated museums and learn about historical Christmas traditions at this open house, featuring period decorations, live music, children’s crafts, and refreshments. To visit one site only, $10 per adult and $5 per child; To visit two or more sites, $15 per adult and $10 per child. Reservations required. Capitol Hill Chorale “Awake the Harp!” Concert. Saturday, Dec. 4, 7:00 PM and Sunday, Dec. 5, 4:00 PM. A concert to warm a dark winter night. $20-$25. Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212

East Capitol St. NE. capitolhillchorale. org

A JEWMONGOUS Chanukah Party. Saturday, Dec. 4, 9:00 PM. Enjoy a laughout-loud, Chanukah-themed comedy concert followed by a late-night party. Sean Altman’s JEWMONGOUS is an unkosher blend of song, humor, pop culture, and all things Jewish. Altman will be joined by special guest comedy songstress Cynthia Kaplan. $20. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 202408-3100. Hill Havurah Havdalah Service, Menorah Lighting and Latkes Party. Saturday, Dec 4, 5:30 PM. Bring your own menorah, if you wish. All are welcome. Christ Our Shepherd Church, 801 North Carolina Ave. SE. MidCity Business Association Holiday Party & Silent Auction. Monday Dec. 6, 6:00-9:00 pm. Join MidCity shop owners, restaurateurs and friends for a special holiday celebration with wonderful food, an open bar and a silent auction. $20 suggested donation. 1602 U St. NW. Lighting of Capitol Christmas Tree. On Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 5:00 PM, our Capitol Christmas Tree on the west lawn will be lit in a short ceremony and you’re invited to watch. The tree comes to us from Ridger-Teton National Forest in the State of Wyoming. It was cut down in early November and has traveled from Wyoming as a sort-of celebrity stopping at cities and small towns for pictures. For the first time in the nation’s history, “the people’s tree” comes from the “cowboy state.” This lighting ceremony is an easy alternative to the crowded and ticketed White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony that takes place two day later. Dress warmly and wear boots. Annual Friends Christmas Envelope Stuffing. Tuesday, Dec. 7, 6:00 PM. Come out for the “Friends of the Cathedral Christmas Stuffing” at St. Matthews Cathedral. Email at or call 202-587-5143. 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW. 202-3473215. Old Time Christmas Dioramas at Coldwell Banker. Miss the magic of Woodies or Macy’s display windows? The old time

Christmas dioramas will be on display in the windows of Coldwell Banker Capitol Hill located at 605 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. through December. Delight to little elves cavorting with Santa. Trains and ski lights. Lighted trees. Bring the kids! Sponsored by Phyllis Jane Young. Daughters of the American Revolution Christmas Open House. Dec. 8, 5:30-8:00 PM. Live holiday music, tour 31 period rooms, cider, hot chocolate, cookies and Santa. Child-friendly. DAR Memorial Continental Hall, 17th and D sts. NW. 202-572-0563. District of Columbia Senior Citizens Holiday Celebration. Wednesday, Dec. 8, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. There will be door prizes, health screenings and immunizations, lunch, and hand dancing. Tickets required. Obtain tickets by calling 202-724-5626. DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. SE. White House Christmas Tree. Dec. 10 through New Years Day. The tree is lit on Dec. 9 at a 5:00 PM ceremony. If you don’t have a ticket, you can’t get in. There is no stand-by line. The tree is lit from dusk to 11:00 PM. Musical groups perform nightly, weekdays, 6:00-8:30 PM; weekends, 4:00-8:30 PM. The Ellipse (south of the White House). 202208-1631. Folger Consort celebrates A Renaissance Christmas. Dec. 10, 8:00 PM; Dec. 11, 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Dec. 12, 2:00 Pm and 5:00 PM. For its annual holiday concert, early music ensemble Folger Consort performs A Renaissance Christmas featuring acclaimed British vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars. Vividly conveying the joy and the spirit of the season, the program features five concerts of sacred and secular music by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Henry Purcell, and others. $30-$50. Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall. 202-5447077. US Army Band “A Holiday Festival.” Friday, Dec. 10, 8:00 PM; Saturday, Dec. 11, 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday, Dec. 12, 3:00 PM. The U.S. Army Band is teaming up with the US Army Chorus, the US Army Chorale and a special guest performer for its annual “A Holiday Festival.” Free tickets required but there ◆ 11

Public Programs at the Anacostia Community Museum Dec. 4 Fused Stained Glass-Style Wall Hanging, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Use prewashed and ironed cotton fabric and fusible webbing to create a small stained glass-style wall hanging that symbolizes a holiday or Kwanzaa. Fee: $15.00. Reservations needed. Dec. 11 Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket (film 27 min.), 10:30 a.m. Mt. Pleasant, SC, residents relate the skill, artistry, and tradition of the coiled sea-grass basket in this film about America’s oldest African-inspired art. The film is associated with Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art, an exhibition by the Museum for African Art in New York. Dec. 12 The Drum Folk, 2 p.m. Following a discussion on growing up Gullah, performance artist David Pleasant presents a musical and audience participation program–with tambourines, frame drums, bells, assorted shakers, body percussion, stamping stick, voice, and harmonica–that recalls the rich sounds and rhythms of the African-inspired traditions that are at the heart of the Gullah/Geechee experience. Dec. 18 About the Gullah Cuisine, 11 a.m. Charlotte Jenkins, chef and owner of Gullah Cuisine in Mount Pleasant, SC, offers history and insights into the Gullah culture as she discusses cooking and food practices included in her book, Gullah Cuisine. A book signing follows. Dec. 19 The Rhythms and Movements of Capoeira, 2 p.m. Roda Movements, a Washington area dance studio, presents the history and influences of Capoeira, an African-based art form that combines martial arts, dance and music and that gave rise to break dancing. Audience participation and demonstrations complete the program. Dec. 21 The Talking Drum, 10:30 a.m. Joseph Ngwa, ancestral master drummer from Cameroon, Africa, demonstrates how the talking drum (timdene or dundun) transmits messages and meaning through various sounds.. KWANZAA SERIES: Dec. 28 The Family Kwanzaa Adventure, 10:30 a.m. Saleem and Ivy Hylton of Youth and Families in Crisis offer participating families an authentic holiday celebration through interactive drumming, singing, dancing, and skits, designed to explore the principles of Kwanzaa.The program closes with the “Circle of Hope and Healing,” an original Kwanzaa group activity designed to restore and renew the hopes and dreams of families for the New Year. Dec. 29 Zawadis for Kwanzaa, 10:30 a.m. Following a discussion about Kwanzaa, join artist Camilla Younger and create zawadis (gifts) that include jewelry, a woven mat (Mkeka), and greeting cards. Dec. 30 Kwanzaa: Nia (Purpose), 10:30 a.m. Melvin Deal and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers conduct a Kwanzaa hands-on workshop that includes instrument making, drumming, and dancing plus a performance in celebration of the fifth Kwanzaa principle, Nia (Purpose). Jan. 5 We Shall Overcome: The Song That Moved a Nation (Video 58 min.), 10:30 a.m. We Shall Overcome traces the origins of the civil rights movement through a single song, performed by the SNCC Freedom Singers; Peter, Paul, and Mary; and Joan Baez. Andrew Young, Julian Bond, and other veterans of the 1960s reminisce about the meaning of the song.. Jan. 8 The Music of West Africa, 2 p.m. Brother Ah and the Sound Awareness Ensemble lead a workshop that provides a compelling introduction to the rhythms of traditional Africa. The audience can participate in the drum circle.. REMINDER: All events are free, open to the public and require reservations which may be made at 202.633.4844 unless otherwise indicated. 1901 Fort Pl. SE, Open 10am-5pm daily except Dec. 25. 202.633.4820 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

12 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Shaw Main Streets Annual Holiday Party Tuesday, December 7, 2010, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Cre8 Space Studio Gallery, 1314 9th Street, NW (Metro: Mount Vernon Square/7th St--Convention Center on the Green and Yellow lines). Shaw Main Streets annual holiday party is a festive affair, complete with bountiful food and drink from Shaw restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and liquor stores. Free of charge to all attendees, and with no reservations required. Business owners, developers, neighborhood residents, and visitors from around the city all converge for the evening. For more information, call 202-265-SHAW or email

will be a stand-by line. DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. 703-696-3399. Holiday Caroling at the National Gallery of Art. Saturdays and Sundays. December 11, 12, 18 and 19, 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM. Caroling in the seasonally decorated West Building Rotunda has become a favorite family activity of the holiday season. Guest choirs lead afternoon sing-along caroling all four days. West Building Rotunda, National Gallery of Art, Sxith and Constitution Ave. NW. Festival of Lessons and Carols at St. Matthews Sunday, Dec. 12, 7:30 PM. The Schola Cantorum and Festival Singers followed by Christmas Caroling followed by Christmas sweets, eggnog and wassail. 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW. 202-347-3215. Russian Winter Festival at Hillwood. Sunday, Dec. 12, 1:00-5:00 PM. Celebrate the holidays in Old Russian style! Meet Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden and create a kokoshnik (lady’s headdress) or gentleman’s hat just like they wear! Enjoy dancing, storytelling, and lively entertainment. $10. Hillwood Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. 202-686-8500. Christmas Pet Photo with Santa--Fashion for Paws Event. Sunday, Dec.12, 2:00-4:00

PM. Hotel Monaco, 700 F St. NW. support. Audubon Christmas Bird Count. From Dec. 14-Jan. 5 tens of thousands of volunteers take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season. Find out how to participate birds at Men in Tights: A Pink Nutcracker, Friday, Dec. 17, 8:00 PM; Saturday, Dec. 18, 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Sunday, Dec. 19, 3:00 PM. Their holiday fantasia arrives complete with the Sugar Plum Fairy, lots of vodka and, of course, sexy men in tights. GMCW revives its popular take-off on Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker Suite, set to a wonderland of choral singing. Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. “Season of Magic” Navy Band Holiday Concert. Saturday, Dec. 18, 7:30 PM. Sunday, Dec. 19, 3:00 PM. Hear their mix of traditional and new holiday favorites delight audiences young and old alike. Free tickets required but there will be a stand-by line. DAR Constitu-

tion Hall, 1776 D St. NW. 202-4332525.

annual event. Free. Kennedy Center. 202-416-8340.

Carols by Candlelight at National Cathedral. Saturday, Dec. 18, 6:00 PM; Sunday, Dec. 19, 4:00 PM. (Choral prelude starts about 20 minutes before the service.) Bible readings are interspersed with Christmas music, candle-lighting, and prayers in this holy service inviting the peace of the season. Washington National Cathedral (intersection of Wisconsin and Massachusetts aves. NW). 202537-6200.

Christmas at “The Church of the Presidents.” Dec. 24, 5:00 PM, Children’s Pageant; 7:30 PM, Service with orchestral music; 11:00 PM, “Midnight” Mass. Christmas Day, 11:00 AM. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 16th and H sts. NW (on Lafayette Square). 202-347-8766.

Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place. Saturday, Dec 18, 8:00 PM; Sunday, Dec 19, 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. In this special holiday showcase, Coyaba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater and special guests celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. $22. 202-269-1600. Eucharist Music (Lessons and Carols) at St.John’s. Dec. 19, 11:00 AM In the context of the Sunday liturgy at St. John’s, the St. John’s Choir, a professional ensemble, is joined by a professional orchestra to present musical settings for the Mass. Presentation of these works, as they were originally designed to be done (that is, in the context of liturgy), is intended to enhance and heighten the experience of worship, as well as to attract lovers of classical music. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 16th and H sts. NW (on Lafayette Square). 202-347-8766. Christmas Music at Epiphany. Tuesday, Dec. 21, 12:10-1:00 PM. This is a special Christmas choral concert presented at the same time as the regular “Music at Epiphany” Tuesday concerts. Freewill offering. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. 202-347-2635. Kennedy Center Messiah SingAlong. Thursday, Dec 23, 8:00 PM. Join the Kennedy Center House Orchestra, a 200 voice choir, a professional soloist and fellow audience members in a glorious “sing-along” of Handel’s beloved masterpiece. This is Washington’s most popular free holiday event. One ticket per person available two hours before performance (6:00 pm) in front of Concert Hall. Christmas at St. Matthews the Apostle Cathedral. Dec. 24, 4:00 PM, Christmas Prelude and 4:30 PM, Vigil Mass of Christmas; 6:30 PM, Spanish Mass; 9:15 PM, Musical Prelude; 10:00 PM, Solemn Mass of Christmas. Dec. 25, Masses at 8:30AM, 10:00AM and 11:30AM. 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW. 202-347-3215. All Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam. Saturday, Dec. 25, 6:00 PM. December 25 always brings this popular

Seven Nights of Light at the Franciscan Monastery. The luminaries (seven-day candles) will be lighted in the churchyard on Christmas Eve and continue glowing for seven days and nights until New Year’s Eve. Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy St. NE. 202-526-6800. Celebration of Christmas at the National Shrine. Dec. 24, Children’s Mass with Gospel Pageant, 5:00 PM; Musical Meditations on the Nativity, 10:00 PM; Solemn Vigil Mass, 10:30 PM. Dec. 25, Masses, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM; Solemn Mass, noon; Spanish Mass, 2:30 PM. 400 Michigan Ave. NE. 202-5268300. Christmas at Washington National Cathedral. Dec. 24, Lessons and Carols, 6:00 PM, Midnight Eucharist, 10:00 PM. (Both services require free tickets but there will be a stand-by line that usually gets in.). Dec. 25, Festive Eucharist (televised), 9:00 AM; Festive Eucharist, noon; Christmas vespers (Evensong). 4:00 PM; Christmas organ concert, 5:00 PM. Intersection of Wisconsin and Massachusetts aves. NW. 202-537-6200. The Family Kwanzaa Adventure at Anacostia Community Museum. Tuesday, Dec. 28, 10:30 AM. Experience an authentic Kwanzaa celebration through interactive drumming, singing, dancing, and skits, designed to explore the principles of Kwanzaa. On Wednesday, Dec. 29, 10:30 AM, come for Zawadis for Kwanzaa. Following a discussion about Kwanzaa, join artist Camilla Younger and create zawadis (gifts) that include jewelry, a woven mat (Mkeka), and greeting cards. On Thursday, Dec. 30, 10:30 AM come for Kwanzaa: Nia (Purpose). Melvin Deal and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers will conduct a Kwanzaa hands-on workshop that includes the making of tambor instruments, drumming, and dancing. The workshop features a special performance in celebration of the fifth Kwanzaa principle, Nia (Purpose). This is a special treat for seniors and families. All these events are free. 1901 Fort Place SE. 202633-4820. Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms in Maryland, Virginia and

West Virginia. Also find sleigh rides, hayrides and other winter fun. Please call the farm for directions.

AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD Gospel Comedy Showcase. Dec. 4, 7:00 PM. Hosted by Stellar award winner Tracey Morgan. Featuring Chinnita “Chocolate” Morris, Grandma G and Mike Washington. $40. 1215 U St. NW. 202-328-6000. Ben’s Chili Bowl Visitors Center. The center was created through a partnership between Cultural Tourism DC and Ben’s Chili Bowl. Located on the second floor above Ben’s Next Door, the center features historical timelines of both U Street and Washington D.C., has brochures of many points of interests in and around Ben’s and has a cool photo exhibit. 202-667-0909. 1213 U St. NW.


Historical Preservation with Modern Convenience FAST SERVICE / FAST INSTALLATION

Anderson House Concert. Dec. 4, 1:30 PM. Antonio Giuliani, tenor, performs sacred and romantic songs by Schubert, Bellini, Liszt and others. Free, no tickets required. 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-7852040. Jeff Tweedy Rock Pop Concert. Dec. 7, 8:00 PM. $40. 1215 U St. NW. 202-328-6000. Yoga Classes. Every Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Free. NW1 Neighborhood Library, 155 L St. NW. 202-939-5946. Rainbow Response Monthly Meeting. Second Wednesday, 7:00 PM. Rainbow Response is a grassroots coalition that brings together organizations and leaders from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities, along with traditional domestic violence service providers and government agencies. They collaborate to increase the awareness about Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) amid the relationships of LGBTQ individuals, educating within the LGBTQ communities and beyond. DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 5 Thomas Circle, NW. 202-299-1181 x105. BeBe & CeCe Winans Concert. Dec. 9, 7:30 PM. Grammy Award winning artists BeBe & CeCe Winans will perform hits from their collective songbooks, spanning over 20-years of contemporary gospel and inspirational messaging. The first concert in the “Live at The Lincoln Series”, the brother-sister duo kick-off the holiday season at the “Jewel on U”,

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202-333-1310 Licensed, Bonded & Insured All Credit Cards Accepted ◆ 13

with their signature hits Lost Without You, Cherish and songs from their #1 CD “Still”. Native Washingtonian Tanya Dallas-Lewis will open.$49.50-$64.50. 1215 U St. NW. 202-328-6000. Magical, Mystical, Musical Machine: Noon Pipe Organ Recital Series. Fridays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 12:15-1:00 PM. ...pipe-organ-only focus, a burst of renewed energy, and a fun and interactive approach which will open your eyes to the amazing world of the pipe organ. Free. National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle. 202-232-0323. Washington Improv Theater’s Harold Night at Almaz Upstairs. Every Tuesday, 10:00 PM (doors open at 9:30 PM). Multiple improv groups will perform two sets of comedic longform improvisation in the structure of Harold, a form created in the 1960’s and developed for the last fifty years. Almost all shows are followed by improv jams, where you can get up onstage and try your hand at improv. Almaz Ethiopian Restaurant, 1212 U St. NW. $5, free for WIT students. Kung Fu and Tai Chi at the Historical Society of Washington, DC. Every Saturday (rain or shine). Kung Fu, noon; Tai Chi, 1:00 PM. Suitable for all ages. Kung Fu is a broad term that is used to describe all martial arts of Chinese origin. The ancient art of Tai Chi is a style of Kung Fu that emphasizes internal energy. Free. No RSVP required. Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K St. NW (Mount Vernon Square). 202-383-1850.

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Free Gift With Ad 14 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

$6 Sundays at National Museum of Crime & Punishment. Through Dec. 19, all local residents with proper ID will receive $6 admission to the museum anytime on Sundays. The museum is at 575 Seventh St. NW between E and F sts. in downtown DC at the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro (Arena exit) and online at 202393-1099. MidCity Mixer. First Monday of every month, 6:00-8:00 PM. Cafe Saint Ex, Gate 54 (basement), 1847 14th St. NW. 202-265-7839. Phillips after 5. First Thursday of every month, 5:00-8:30 PM. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. Gallery talks. Live jazz. Museum shop. Food. Socializing in the Galleries. Cash Bar. Admission is the price of the current exhibition. 202-387-2151. First Wednesday Jazz @ The Historical Society. First Wednesday of every month, 6:00-9:00 PM. The Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K St. NW. Described as a “motivational mixer” featuring jazz, R&B and neo soul. $10 cover. Food and spirits are extra. 202-383-1850.

Music at Epiphany. Tuesdays, 12:101:00 PM Church of the Epiphany. The music is generally classical in this church known for its great acoustics. On the third Tuesday of each month, the music performed is from another culture or style--you may hear a steel drum band or a sitar. Free. A free-will donation ($5 suggested) will be taken to help support the artists. 1317 G St. NW. 202-347-2635. Steinway Series of classical music concerts at American Art Museum. Second Sunday of every month, 3:00 PM The Steinway Series is a classical music concert that features the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s refurbished Steinway Concert Grand piano. Free. McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level American Art Museum (between Seventh and Nineth and and F and G sts. NW.) 202633-1000. “Take Five” (free jazz at the American Art Museum). Third Thursday of each month. 5:00-7:00 PM. Smithsonian American Art Museum, (Great Hall on the 3rd floor), Eighth and F sts. NW. 202-633-1000. Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market. Sundays year round (rain or shine), 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times of London named the market one of the top farmers’ markets in the country. During the peak season, there are more than 30 farmers offering fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit pies, breads, fresh pasta, cut flowers, potted plants, soaps and herbal products. 20th St. and Mass. Ave. NW, 1500 block of 20th St. NW (between Mass. Ave. and Q St. in the adjacent parking lot of PNC Bank). 202-362-8889. Georgetown Flea Market. Sundays year around (except in the case of very inclement weather), 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM. The crowd is as diverse as the items for sale! Antiques, collectibles, art, furniture, rugs, pottery, china, jewelry, silver, stained glass, books and photographs are an example of the available items. 1819 35th St. NW. 202-775-3532. or Donation Community Yoga Class. Every Tuesday, 7:45-9:00 PM. Shakti Mind Body Studio. Uncover freedom and openness in your yoga practice by playfully experimenting in dynamic, vigorous, and energizing vinyasa yoga class. This yoga experience class allows you to transcend the unattainable, and open your heart to uninhabited exploration. It’s a challenge, but you will love it (arm balances and inversions will be taught during the practice). The instructor may incorporate chanting, yoga philosophy, and specific pranayama (breathwork). refreshments. Make a donation.1302 Ninth St. NW. 202-783-6463. www. Gentle Morning and Evening Yoga ◆ 15

French Street Tree Lighting. Washington’s longest-running community holiday tree lighting event, now in its 18th year (only the national tree lighting on the Ellipse has been going on longer), will take place on French Street, NW, between 9th and 10th Streets, in Central Shaw on Saturday, December 4, 2010, at 5:00 PM (Rain date: 12/5/10, 5:00 PM). Mayors and Councilmembers have attended in the past, and a free pot luck dinner is presented by the sponsor, the French Street Neighbors Association. For more information, call Bernard Demczuk at 202-251-1975.

at Smith Farm Center. Mondays, 10:1511:30 AM, and Wednesdays, 5:30-6:45 PM. Designed for people living with illness and caregivers. $10/session; $25/month. 1632 U St. NW. 202-483-8600. Sunday Road Ride. Every Sunday, meet at 8:30 AM, depart by 8:45 AM. The Bike Rack. A 40-mile, moderately paced ride that emphasizes group riding techniques, newcomers to the group riding are welcome as riders regroup throughout, so that nobody is left behind. Helmets mandatory. Free. 1412 Q St. NW. 202-387-BIKE. www. Saturday Road Ride. Every Saturday, meet at 10 AM, depart by 10:15 AM. The Bike Rack. The Saturday ride is more of an introductory ride and caters to road riders who are new to the sport, hybrid riders intimidated by the faster pace of the Sunday ride, and anyone who just wants a shorter (approx. 20 to 30 miles) and slower (12 to 14 mph) pace. Helmets mandatory. Free. 1412 Q St. NW. 202-387-BIKE.

CIVIC LIFE All-Ways Mount Pleasant. First Saturday of every month, noon-2:00 PM. LaCasa. AllWays is a citizen’s association primarily for the tenants of the larger apartment buildings of Mount Pleasant. 3166 Mt. Pleasant St. NW.

life of our communities. Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association Meeting. Third Tuesday of every month. 7:30-9:30 PM. Yale Steam Laundry, 437 New York Ave. NW. U Street Neighborhood Association Meeting. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7:00-8:30 PM. Source (second floor classroom), 1835 14th St. NW PSA 101/Downtown Neighborhood Association Meeting. Second Tuesday of every month. 6:30-8:00 PM. Calvary Baptist Church, 755 Eighth St. NW (entrance on Eighth St. between G and H). www.dcdna. org Public Safety 305 Monthly Meeting. First Tuesday of every month. 7:00-8:15 PM. DC Housing Finance Agency, 815 Florida Ave. NW. Monthly meeting with MPD, Howard U. Police, residents, community groups and others. PSA 308 Meeting. Second Thursday of every month. 6:30-8:00 PM. Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 Seventh St. NW. Lieutenant Jeffery Carroll, MPD Third District, 1620 V St. NW. Cell 202-437-8198. jefferyw.carroll@ PSA 501 Monthly Meeting. Third Wednesday of every month. 7:00-8:30 PM. Harry Thomas Recreation Center, 1743 Lincoln Rd. NE

Convention Center Community Association. Last Tuesday of every month. 7:008:30 PM. Kennedy Rec Center, 1401 Seventh St. NW. www.ccca-online.

ANC 1A Meeting. Second Wednesday of every month. 7:00 PM. Harriet Tubman Elementary School, 3101 13th St. NW. 202588-7278.

Eckington Civic Association. First Monday of every month. 7:00-8:30 PM. Harry Thomas Recreation Center, 1743 Lincoln Rd. NE.

ANC 1B Meeting. First Thursday of every month. 7:00 PM. Reeves Center, 2000 14th St. NW (second floor). 202-870-4202.

Edgewood Civic Association Meeting. Last Monday of every month. 7:00-9:00 PM. Edgewood senior building, 635 Edgewood St. NE, nineth floor7-9pm. They encourage all Eckington and Edgewood residents to come out and take part in the lively civic

ANC 1B11 Meeting. Second Monday of every month, 7:00 PM. LeDroit Senior Building (basement community room), 2125 Fourth St. NW. 202-481-3462.

16 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

ANC 1C Meeting. Third Tuesday of every

month. Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Health, 2355 Ontario Rd. NW. 202332-2630. ANC 1D Meeting. Third Tuesday of every month. 7:00 PM. 3166 Mount Pleasant St. NW. 202- 462-8692. ANC 2C Meeting. First Wednesday of every month. 6:30-8:30 PM. Watha T. Daniel Library, 1630 Seventh St. NW (new location). 202-682-1633. ANC 6C Planning, Zoning and the Environment Committee Meeting. First Wednesday of every month, 7:00-8:00 PM. NPR Headquarters, 635 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Contact Planning, Zoning and the Environment Committee Chair Rob Amos at ANC6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee Meeting. First Tuesday of every month. 7:00-8:30 PM. To verify the meeting location, contact Committee Chair Anne Phelps at anne.phelps@ or 202-607-7826.

OUT OF TOWN Christmas at Mt. Vernon and Mt. Vernon by Candlelight. Daily through Jan. 6, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM. Candlelight tours, Nov. 26, 27 and 28; Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12 18 and 19, 5:00-8:00 PM. Mount Vernon is especially wonderful during the holidays. Candlelight tour includes singing around a campfire, costumed characters, hot cider and cookies. Candlelight tours are $20 ($14 for children 11 and younger). General admission to Mount Vernon is $15 ($7 for children 6-11). Mount Vernon, VA. 703-780-2000. Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Saturday, Dec. 4. Festivities begin at 4:00 PM. Free. Alexandria’s harbor lights up when more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. Alexandria’s Historic Waterfront at the foot of Cameron St., Alexandria, VA. 703-8385005. Antietam Memorial Illumination (23,000 Candles). Saturday, Dec. 4 (heavy winds or rain date, Dec. 11). Driving tour begins at 6:00 PM on Route 34 east of Sharpsburg. Volunteers place over 23,000 candles on the battlefield; each representing a casualty from the bloodiest single-day-battle in American History. 5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, MD. 301-432-5124. nps. gov/anti Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and Concert. Saturday, Dec. 4, Parade, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM; Massed band concert, 1:00-1:30 PM. Over 100 Scottish Clans, pipe and drum bands, Scottish dancers, re-enactment groups, Scottie dog groups, dignitaries and, of course, Santa Claus will march through the streets of Old Town. Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-Along. Expect traffic jams but it’s magical at Wolf Trap when the “The President’s Own” United

States Marine Band performs seasonal favorites. Following the concert, the band will accompany local school, church and community choirs in a performance of traditional holiday carols. The evening will conclude at dusk when audience members are invited to light candles and illuminate the Filene Center. Free admission. Free parking. Sunday, December 5, 4:00-5:30 PM. Christmas in the Field at Heritage Park in Windsor. Dec, 11 and 12, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Civil War re-enactment, living history programs, scenarios with troops in camp, battles each day, 19th-century vendors. $5. 757-357-0115. Alexandria Black History Museum Kwanzaa Celebration. Saturday, Dec. 11, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM. Free. Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA. 703-838-4356. Winter’s Eve at Glen Echo. Saturday, Dec. 11, 6:00-9:00 PM. Enjoy performances, holiday crafts for kids, a hot chocolate bar and popcorn! Browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Show in the Popcorn Gallery. Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Glen Echo, MD. 301- 634- 2222. Festival of Lights at Mormon Temple. Dec 3 through Jan. 1, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM (most festive after dark). Live musical performances nightly 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Washington DC Temple Visitors’ Center, 9900 Stoneybrook Dr., Kensington, MD. 301-587-0144. The Garden of Lights (Winter Garden Walk) at Brookside Gardens. Nov. 26Jan. 9. Open daily except Dec. 24 and 25, January 3, 4, 5 and 6; 5:30-9:00 PM on weekdays; 5:30-10:00 PM, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 940,000 twinkling colorful lights shaped in imaginative displays throughout the gardens. $15 per car on weekdays, $20 on weekends. Brookside Gardens, Wheaton Regional Park, 1800 Glenallan Ave.,Wheaton, MD. Water-Skiing Santa at National Harbor. Friday, Dec. 24 (rain, shine, sleet or snow), 1:00 PM. Water-skiing Santa will glid through the National Harbor Marina across the Potomac River, making a special visit with guests and visitors before his big night. National Harbor, Prince George’s County, MD. ◆

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COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS Our mission is to help homeless, at-risk individuals and families return to self-sufficiency and independent living, through a range of residential and social services.

In 2009 the Coalition served

• 550 individuals and families daily. • 344 individuals and families were placed into permanent housing • 194 adults were placed in jobs • 41 families with children were prevented from becoming homeless

Rebuilding lives and strengthening communities Please support us by donating through the 1234 Massachusetts Ave., NW Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) # 83436 Suite C-1015, Washington, DC 20005 or United Way #8194 Main Office: (202) 347-8870 / Fax: (202) 347-7279 Open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm

For more details on our program and services, please visit our website at 18 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

They helped you, now it’s YOUR TURN to help them!

CFC LISTINGS Access Housing, Inc. CFC #22663 Access Housing, Inc. (DC) operates the Southeast Veterans Service Center and Chesapeake Veterans House in Southeast DC. This is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing support services and housing to formerly homeless veterans. Both male and female veterans reside at the facilities. Veterans from all branches and wars have been served by the SEVSC; which celebrated its 10 year anniversary last November. 820840 Chesapeake Street, SE, DC 20032, 202561-8387,

Capital Area Food Bank

Walk for a Homeless Veteran at the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon Saturday, November 20th, 2010 To Register to walk visit: Register Under Access Housing, Inc(DC) Code DC002 For more information on how you can assist please call

202-561-VETS (8387)

CFC #30794, United Way #8052 For 30 years, CAFB has been the D.C. metro area’s hub for food sourcing, distribution and nutrition education - serving over 478,000 people struggling with hunger. Through direct service and a network of 700 nonprofit partners, the CAFB distributed 27 million pounds of food last year, including 10.8 million pounds of fresh produce. For more on hunger, visit our website at 645 Taylor Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017, 202-526-5344,


9533 22663

Get Involved!

Casey Trees CFC # 24598 Casey Trees is committed to restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy of the Nation’s Capital. Since 2001, we have planted over 8,000 trees across the District, educated thousands about the importance of trees and worked with elected officials and developers to protect and add trees. 3030 12th Street NE, DC 20017; 202.833.4010;;

Central Union Mission CFC # 85786 Since 1884, Central Union Mission has continuously operated an emergency shelter for homeless men. The Mission also operates an 18-month rehabilitation program, a free meals program, a clothing and furniture distribution center, and a 220-acre retreat center with a camp for underprivileged children and recreation facilities for the community.

Coalition for the Homeless CFC #83436, United Way #8194 The Coalition for the Homeless was established in 1979. Our mission is to help transition homeless and at risk individuals and families in the Washington area to selfsufficiency through housing programs and supportive services. The Coalition fulfills its mission by operating 13 housing and shelter facilities. 1234 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Suite C-1015, Washington, DC 20005, 202-347-7279,

For Love of Children CFC #72093, United Way #8260 For Love of Children (FLOC) provides educational services beyond the classroom to help students succeed from first grade through college and career. We bring together students, volunteers, families, and community partners in proven programs that teach, empower, and transform. 1763 Columbia Rd, NW, DC 20009, 202-462-8686, www.flocdc. org ◆ 19


Shopping In Our Neighborhood by Scott Fazzini


he holiday season kindles feelings of generosity and appreciation in most people. It’s a time reserved for remembering not just your friends and family, but those people who contribute to your life throughout the year--your hair stylist, the dog walker, your favorite barista, etc. And what better way to spread the love than shopping at your favorite local stores. That way you’re not only investing money in your neighborhood, but you’re also socializing with neighbors, meeting new people, and cementing relationships with other members of your community. There are so many exciting, chic boutiques in MidCity for you to explore. I scoured just a few, and found a terrific array of gift ideas in all price ranges.

The Downtown DC Holiday Market. Photo by Michael Berman

Pulp It’s extremely difficult to chose just one gift from this shop, so I left with three. One of which, a journal from Ex Libris ($15.95), is constructed from discarded library books --some of the original work disbursed throughout the fresh white pages!

1803 14th Street NW • 202.462.7857

Wagtime The staff at Wagtime doesn’t just provide excellent service and jazzy costumes for your pups, but swell accessories for you, too! The Pet Flys pet carrier ($115.00) will turn heads as you carry your loved one around the streets of the city.

1232 9th Street NW • 202.789.0870

Rue14 If we’re lucky enough to experience another Snowmageddon this year, let’s hope to see the ladies bundled up in this chic little number from Eryn Brinie ($245). Filled with down, this jacket is not just aesthetically pleasing, but utilitarian, too!

803A 14th Street NW • 202.462.6200

Habitat It seems a trend lately in jewelry design that bigger is indeed better. For those fashionable females who agree, this sterling ring with Mexican topaz ($160) from the Cocktail Collection will surely please.

1512 U Street NW • 202.518.7222

22 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

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Toucan Boutique Tim Conlon, self proclaimed “graffiti traditionalist” and DC native, has teamed up with venerable messenger bag company Bailey Works to create limited edition bags ($175 for small, $300 for large) from his work once featured at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. These numbered pieces would be well received not just by couriers, but by anyone who likes to make a statement.

1911 9th Street NW • 202.517.1850

Junction Junction’s designer jewelry collection includes a highly collectable Pauline Rader “Lion Door Knocker” pendant ($295) as well as a plethora of stylish costume jewelry for both men and women. Really who doesn’t like to receive jewelry?

1510 U Street NW • 202.483.0261

Lettie Gooch The effortlessly stylish gals at Lettie Gooch feature an exclusive collection from Manu Jewelry. Rings ($188-$295) are crafted from highly figured agate and beautiful stones mined in Brazil.

1517 U Street NW • 202.332.4242

Hunted House A much less obvious gift for the holidays is art. Original finger paintings by epileptic patients from 1949 ($125 each) would make a terrific gift for anyone on your list, or for me.

1830 14th Street NW • 202.549.7493

24 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Redeem The holiday season means that cold weather, and possibly a few blizzards, are fast approaching. Why not provide friends and family with lovely fringed scarves ($58) by De Nada?

1734 14th Street NW • 202.332.7447

Ben’s Chili Bowl This holiday season send the gift of one of the District’s most beloved gastronomical institutions. “Ship Me Some Ben’s!” is offered so that you can share Ben’s with loved ones around the country.

1213 U Street NW • 202.667.0909

Big Bad Woof A great gift for man’s best friend, Tee-Bone’s ($14.99 small, $16.99 medium, $18.99 large) are made in the US of cleaned marrow bones and reclaimed tshirts. Your pup gives you love all year, give him a Tee-Bone in return.

117 Carroll Street NW • 202.291.2404

Artfully Chocolate Kingsbury Confections (ACKC) Pondering the annual question of what to get the person who has everything? Might I suggest a custom basket (starting at $50) brimming with tasty chocolates from ACKC.

11529 14th Street NW • 202.387.2626 ◆ 25

out and about



+ Dining









By Celeste McCall; photos by Powers and Crewe Photography


n a rainy Wednesday, we finally got around to visiting Bistro La Bonne, the Gallic charmer at 1340 U St. NW. Peter was en route to an afternoon meeting at the Reeves Center, and I decided to tag along for a good lunch. The interior is warm and inviting, with exposed brick walls plastered with French posters. Happy hour offerings are scrawled on the chalk board over the bar: Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., customers get mussels, pommes frites and beer for just $15. Or quaff $5 wine and $4 drafts. We were seated toward the back–far away from the draft. I sipped a glass of Cote du Rhone ($7.95) while Peter settled for ice tea, since he

Dining Room at Againn

had that meeting afterwards. After we dove into the crusty, slightly toasted bread slathered with warm butter, we tucked into a plate of piping

Shepherds Pie at Againn 26 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

hot escargot, a half dozen of the plump snails dinners marking the 2010 hunting season. On swimming in garlicky parsley butter with a hint the third Wednesday of the month (next one is of Pernod. Delicious. I also chose quiche (fruits December 15), guests will feast on various wild de mer–instead of the traditional Lorraine). The game dishes, paired with fine wines and premipresentation was unusual. Nestled next to the um liquors. Time: 7 p.m. The December menu is a “tasting of game quiche, laden with salmon and shrimp, was a half dozen roasted mussels, plus a endive chicory birds:” Amuse bouche; herbed pheasant broth salad, marred by two dreadful cherry tomatoes– splashed with olive oil; warm salad of cured welcome to hothouse winter veggies. Leave them wood pigeon, frisee, walnuts, pears, maple-bacon vinaigrette; house made game bird sausage with off, please. Peter’s crab bisque was flavorful and chock creamed grits and mustard greens; pan fried parfull of crab, but the soup needed a pinch of salt tridge breast with shaved Brussels sprouts; sticky and pepper to pull the flavors together. Chef toffee pudding with “stout” ice cream and warm Daniel La Bonne also creates old fashioned toffee sauce. Dinner is $100 per person (excluding tax and French fare like onion soup, several renditions of mussels, homemade country pate, tip), and seating is limited to the first 30 guests. boeuf Bourguignon, coq au vin. Al- For reservations and other information call 202though service for our lunch was a 639-9830 or visit Owned and operated by the Bethesda-based bit haphazard, we enjoyed our experience overall, and plan to return Whisk Group LLC, AGAINN is situated at 1099 New York Ave. NW. The restaurant is open soon for dinner. Our luncheon tab came to about for lunch, dinner and “pub grub every day but $40, including tax and tip. Bistro La Bonne is located at 1340 U St. NW. Lunch is served Tuesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner goes Monday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight, with late night fare Thursday through Sunday from midnight to closing. Saturday and Sunday brunch is of- Beetroot Salad at Againn fered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 202- Sunday. By the way, AGAINN, pronounced “aguinn,” means “at us,” or “with us,” in Gaelic. 758-3413. To reach AGAINN, the best bet is to take Metro to Metro Center (Red/Blue/Orange lines, 11th British Game Plan Executive Chef Wesley Morton street exit). Valet parking is available. of AGAINN, in the thriving Mount Vernon Square neighborhood, has introduced another British tradition to Washington: a series of game

Bloody Amazing And just across the street from AGAINN is Brasserie Beck, 1101 K St. NW, one of Belgian-

Tell Them, “Shaw Main Streets Sent Me!”

Executive Chef Wes Morton at Againn

born Robert Wiedmaier’s culinary enterprises. (His flagship restaurant is Marcel’s, located near Washington Circle/West End). At a recent brunch at Brasserie Beck, we were able to sit outside, even though it was almost Thanksgiving. Had the weather been less pleasant, we could have enjoyed the restaurant’s nifty, European-style train station ambience with its busy open display kitchen. Highlights of our meal were the pommes frites and incredible bloody marys ($14 each), concocted with bacon-infused vodka. The bacon imparted a wonderful, smoky flavor to the drink, while a crisp bacon garnish (along with a celery stick) provided pre-prandial nibbling. Accompanying my two-fisted Colorado lamb and chevre sandwich was the stack of crunchy, parsley-flecked fries. They were positively addictive, and I had to beg our server to take them away. However, Brasserie Beck is best known for mussels and beer, and the menu lists 140 different bottles and 11 draft brews. So it came as no surprise when Wiedmaier’s beer director and general manager, Thor Cheston, was recently inducted into the Knighthood of the Brewers’’ Mash Staff in Brussels. This honor, complete with “a really cool big medal” is bestowed on only a few international experts each year. Brasserie Beck is open daily; call 202-408-1777 or www.beckdc. com. ◆

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er r-

out and about

+ Music

Jazz Avenues

December highlights:

by Steve Monroe

Good Will Toward Jazz This is the month when many of us focus on peace on earth and good will toward men. So it’s very appropriate that we spend a little time celebrating the good will toward jazz shown for many years now by the folks at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 4th and I Streets Southwest. Of all the venues featuring jazz in the city, it’s a good bet that the place where you’ll consistently find a capacity crowd is at the church on Friday nights for its weekly jazz night. Late last month the large crowd was there on a Friday for the Earl Wilson All-Star Band, featuring the inimitable Larry Willis on piano and Craig Alston on tenor saxophone, with the feisty and fun-loving Wilson on guitar and vocals. “We average about 250 people every Friday,” said church pastor Brian Hamilton that night, “and the musicians like to come here because they like the big crowds.” The church’s holiday fare this month features Christmas Eve Jazz with pianist Vince Evans and a New Year’s Eve Jam with Dick Smith & Friends. Hamilton, originally from New England, said he got into jazz partly because “when I was nine, an uncle gave me a Nina Simone album … and then I really got into jazz when I became an adult.” Hamilton says after he came to this area as a pastor he decided to start the church’s jazz nights 28 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Pianist Larry Willis plays a New Year’s Eve date at Twins Jazz Dec. 31.

because “we see it as a way to bring people together. Jazz is such a powerful art form; it embodies the struggle of people, who have fought for their rights over the years. In this neighborhood, we’re very concerned about trying to help a community that is still

trying to revitalize itself and find itself after so many years of urban renewal projects.” A big part of the Friday night jazz series, co-sponsored by the Southwest Renaissance Development Corp., is the hot food available for purchase. “The church has made a tremendous investment in this, but everybody appreciates what happens here; it’s been all good,” said Hamilton, who admitted the $5 cover charge that has been the standard since the series started in 1999, and helps greatly in paying the musicians, is “about to change.” He also said the church is “in the process of finding some more funding” for the jazz program. Meanwhile, Alston and Willis and friends were wowing the crowd that night with a rendition of Wayne Sorter’s “Footprints,” Alston searing through the melody on tenor sax and

Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, Dec. 6, Blues Alley … A Jazz Piano Christmas, Dec. 11, Kennedy Center … Gil Scott Heron, Dec. 16-19, Blues Alley … Sharón Clark Quartet, Dec. 17, Mandarin Oriental Hotel … Eric Byrd & Brother Ray Band, Dec. 17, Westminster Church … Nasar Abadey, Dec. 17-18, Twins Jazz … Tim Warfield, Dec. 17-18, Bohemian Caverns … Christmas with the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Dec. 20, Bohemian Caverns … Chuck & Robert Redd, “A Redd Christmas.” Dec. 22, Blues Alley … Larry Willis, Dec. 31, Twins Jazz … Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Dec. 31, Kennedy Center … Monty Alexander, Dec. 26-31, Blues Alley …

December birthdays: Wynton Kelly, 2; Jim Hall 4; Dave Brubeck, Frankie Dunlop 5; Jimmy Smith 8; Donald Byrd 9; RayNance 10; McCoy Tyner 11; Tony Williams 12; Clark Terry, Cecil Payne 14; Sy Oliver 17; Fletcher Henderson 18; Chet Baker 23; Baby Dodds 24; Cab Calloway, Don Pullen 25; Earl Hines 28. Recently released their new recording “Diamond in the Rough.”

Willis showing off some classical touches on piano, as the crowd cheered and applauded.

Finally, Nasar’s “Diamond” Good things come to those who wait and jazz fans thirsting for that follow-up recording to Nasar Abadey’s noteworthy “Mirage” 10 years ago, have it now in “Diamond in the Rough” on the DPC Music label, just in time for holiday gift giving. Willard Jenkins’ opening liner notes for the CD by Abadey and his Supernova band give us a little preview: “For Diamond Nasar Abadey has assembled an agenda of six originals and one standard. “Diamond in the Rough” is a lovely opener blessed with a rich harmonic pallet. The tone poem-like “Sacred Space” reflects Abadey’s spiritual side. “Eternal Surrender” takes flight during a brotherly tenor/alto exchange between Thomas and Ford. Throughout the disc the saxophonists achieve admirable simpatico, not always an easy task for two saxes sharing a frontline sans brass…..” On “Diamond ...” Supernova features Abadey on percussion, Joe Ford, alto sax, Gary Thomas, tenor sax, James King, bass, Allyn Johnson, piano, Thad Wilson, trumpet, Jamal Brown, flute, and Rashida Jolley, harp. This month Abadey plays a twins date with his trio, including Johnson and King, Dec. 17-18 – and it’s a good bet he’ll have some “Diamonds …” on hand for you to purchase, though they are to also be available through cdbaby. com. ◆ ◆ 29

the nose

by Anonymous


ecreted away, high above the city in the mountains of Hillcrest lies the lair of the newly minted mayor, Vince “Undertaker’ Gray. Behind a black, wrought-iron fence, the scene is quiet, blinds closed, lights dimmed. It is well past midnight. The Undertaker sits at his kitchen table. Budget reports litter the room; massive stacks of documents teeter precariously, threatening to bury the lonely occupant. In the pages of the morning’s Examiner, the budget gap, according to prognostications of Natwar “I Missed a Zero” Gandhi, has topped $187 million. Yet a red magic marker rests nearby, neglected. The Undertaker buries his head in his hands. In deep despair, he fails to notice the sound of four padded feet on the tiled floor. Suddenly he is startled by the feeling of soft fur against his ankles. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering,” a gravelly, feminine voice purrs up from the floor. Samurai The Cat, the Undertaker’s true political mentor, jumps effortlessly into his lap and proceeds to lick her elegant tabby-colored paws. Samurai’s deep, emerald eyes contemplate the sea of papers threatening to submerge them both. “Named must your fear be before banish it you can,” the cat states. 30 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

“What should I do, Samurai? What should I cut first?” “Ready are you to cut the budget? What know you of ready? For eight hundred (cat) years have I trained politicians. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A politician must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the White Sox. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Softball. Heh. Hand dancing. Heh. A politician craves not these things. You are feckless.” “Help you I can, yes.” Samurai pauses to scratch her ear with a back leg while staring dubiously at her protégé. “What about delaying the street car program?” the Undertaker queries. “Unleash you will Tommy “The Bicyclist” Wells and his hoards of slavering New Urbanists. On blogs and listservs will they rend and slay you. Under the bus, go you will.” “Limit welfare to five years?” “Marion “I Forgot My Checkbook” Barry and Yvette “Ms. Congeniality” Alexander, duck you could behind. David “The Bean Counter” Catania and Jack “Scrooge” Evans applaud they will.” “Bulldoze the dog parks?” “Good idea it is not. Show up and pee on our fence outraged canines would. Terrible smell it will be.” “Sell the Fentymobile?”

“Finally, one good idea have you! Up the steep hill to our lair, it goes not.” “Samurai, the budget gap is simply too wide. Closing it would take an Act of Congress. It is an impwossible task.” Samurai fixes her student with a basilisk-like stare. “Cut or cut not...there is no ‘try.’” ◆ â—† 31

your neighborhood Down on the Farm at Walker Jones Elementary Students are Becoming Experts at Inner-City Agriculture Article and Photos by Joe Carmack


t’s hard to believe that you can farm in a city like Washington DC and produce enough food to feed a surrounding community. Even harder to believe is that the kids in our community have been instrumental in making it happen. We can first thank Michelle Obama for her courageous decision to make edible gardening a premier platform issue. It’s brilliant. Gardening is for everybody, and that means city dwellers and suburbanites, too. The message is wholesome and works on so many levels: saving mon-

ey, eating nutritiously, growing locally. Equally important, especially for kids, is knowing where their food comes from and gaining a sense of self-sufficiency. In DC, urban agriculture is definitely on the rise. One farm, in particular is literally pushing boundaries by reclaiming vacant land. The Farm at Walker Jones Elementary, located just a few blocks from the Capitol at 100 L Street NW, is an inner city, pre-k through eighth grade school with a beautiful public library, and—today--a three-quarter acre farm attached. The children

Students of the 1:15 class of Walker Jones Elementrary with John Cochran (orange pullover), a local chef who volunteers at the Farm. 32 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

have turned this land from a once-vacant lot into a lush crop of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Their garden is divided into four very familiar looking farm-like rectangular plots. Each plot has clean straight rows filled with bright, leafy seasonal vegetables. Their fall harvest includes a lot of hearty collard greens, carrots, turnips, squash, Swiss chard, and perennial herbs. Other components to the farm include a pizza garden, a composting bin, and a mini-orchard filled with young fig and fruit trees surrounding the garden.

LEFT: Walker Jones Elementary’s huge collard green field. RIGHT: Compost area of the farm.

Once you’re on the farm, it’s easy to forget you’re in a city. You feel far removed from traffic, noise, and the daily commotion of a city. A historic church in the background evokes a provincial likeness to a silo you’d see in the country-side. The neighborhood kids that are helping out in the garden seem no different than kids you’d encounter in any American small town. The farm has become an outdoor classroom and part of the school curriculum. All students get to participate in cultivating the land. According to the school’s community outreach liaison Frances Evangelista “the farm provides unlimited opportunities for students to strengthen and extend academic skills from all areas of existing curricula.” A prime example is photosynthesis in science class, where the children experience a tactile, real interpretation of the subject in the garden. The list goes on, from insects to geometry, to growing sunflowers, painting them, and then relating them to the brilliant renditions of Van Gogh. One more important lesson the children are learning is to share and help others. This year they donated over a thousand pounds of collard greens and fifty pounds of beets to

the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) and to a neighboring assisted living facility. According to their blog, DCCK made out the donation receipt to superhero farmers, a receipt the children have proudly framed. The other thousand pounds were given to the children to take home to their families. But the Farm at Walker Jones Elementary has pushed boundaries in more ways than one. Volunteers come from all over, bringing their talents, labor and resources. Amongst all the volunteers, the outstanding volunteer award must go to John Cochran, a local DC chef. John is devoted to the farm, working tirelessly every day. When asked why he does it, his reply is, “so inner city kids can learn about good food and nutrition.” There are few people who give so much. John is a true hero to the children. From the farm to the kitchen, John uses fresh ingredients to cook for special school events like parent-teacher night and to teach the children about good healthy cooking and eating. The children get zucchini muffins, a recipe from John’s wife, Sidra, which is posted on the farm’s blog John makes beet ketchup, too. And herbs from the

garden flavor great chicken recipes. There’s a secret circulating that an outdoor pizza oven and hens are the next arrival. Surrounding businesses also contribute many resources, such as coffee grinds, used to revitalize the farm’s soil. The school is paving the way for other schools and inner city collective gardens to follow suit. Teachers and students have put together The Farm at Walker Jones Garden Manual. The handbook provides a ”brief overview of the garden but also a brief introduction to some major components of farming practices.” A best practices version is soon to follow and here’s where school curricula will be incorporated with inner city school farming. Both John and Frances visit other schools to talk about their experience with the idea that the schools will one day start farms of their own. Urban farming is a trend that could help solve some of the more urgent environmental issues we’re struggling with today. With enough of us involved, it’s possible. More green space, more plants, more growing, would certainly help manage climate change and lower the urban heat island effect in a city. And shockingly, it’s estimated that

food travels about two thousand miles to reach your grocer. This is a major source of carbon emissions. Growing locally combats that, too. Certainly Walker Jones School is part of the solution. It’s exciting to think about what these kids will achieve. If you would like to be involved, volunteer at The Farm at Walker Jones Elementary on weekends between 9 and 1 and ask for John or donate an in-kind contribution directly on the farm’s blog. Joe Carmack is owner of Garden District and a landscape designer/ consultant, graduate of the George Washington University, Landscape Design Studies Program. He’s a lifelong gardener dedicated to bringing great plants and resources to the urban-landscape and to making DC a more green and inviting city. You can reach him at 202-797-9005 or send email to ◆ ◆ 33

your neighborhood

+ The Numbers


Tax-Incredible! District Has Lowest Taxes In The Region, Middle Class Pays The Most, And Other Surprising But True Dc Tax Facts By Aleksandra Gajdeczka and Ed Lazere


nless you’ve been living under a rock, you have heard about the District’s revenue crisis. The city is short at least $175 million for the current fiscal year, and the projected budget shortfall for the next ranges from $400 million to $600 million. An endless number of questions could be asked about this fiscal pickle, the most fundamental: being: What do we do about it? Some folks believe that the only way out is to cut DC’s budget, using phrases like “tightening our belt” or “across the board cuts.” Those terms mask the fact that budget cuts mean scaling back services that matter to us all. With a cuts-only approach, how can we keep school reform moving forward? Maintain DC’s terrific new stock of libraries and rec centers? Meet the needs of residents

hurt by the downturn? As Mayorelect Gray prominently stated at a community town hall, recent budget cuts are “not only down to the bone, but we’re into the bone marrow.” Others have suggested that they wouldn’t mind seeing their taxes raised so that city improvements, programs, and services can continue. At nearly all of Gray’s neighborhood town hall meetings, residents stood up to tell Mr. Gray that they would prefer to pay more in taxes than to see grave budget cuts. But to really form an opinion about whether and how to include new revenues in the budget equation, it’s important to understand how DC’s tax system has changed in recent years, who is paying how much, and how the taxes owed by DC residents compare with our neighbors.

Taking a closer look at DC’s tax system reveals that rates have fallen for two of the three main tax sources, and that taxes for DC residents compare favorably with the suburbs. Meanwhile, DC’s tax system now falls most heavily on middle-income families. Together, these suggest that it’s reasonable to consider some tax increases, especially if that is needed to preserve investments that are important to DC’s future.

Fill in the Blank: Economy Up, Taxes Down. Economy Down, Taxes ____. It’s not uncommon to cut taxes when times are good and the economy is booming, and to raise taxes when things turn south. During the economic boom of the 2000s, DC’s tax collections streamed in like a

mighty river, giving the District’s leaders flexibility to make sizable tax cuts. DC’s income tax rates were lowered notably in the last decade. The top tax rate fell from 9.5 percent to 8.5 percent, and rates for other brackets fell, too. A new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was adopted in 2000, providing targeted tax reductions to low-income working families. The reductions totaled more than $140 million. By 2008, income tax collections relative to total income in the city had fallen to the lowest level in 20 years. Property taxes have been cut as well. Since 2000, DC has boosted the homestead deduction from $30,000 to $67,500, set a 10 percent cap on annual increases in taxable assessments, and chopped the property tax rate from $0.96 per $100 in assessed value to $0.85. Despite big jumps in home values, many homeowners actually saw their property tax bills drop in the mid-2000s. Businesses also got a break in their property taxes.

Middle-Income Families Pay the Most. Would you design a tax system where moderate-income residents pay a much larger share of their income in taxes than higher-income residents? Of course not. Yet in DC, that is exactly what we have. The main reason for this is the city’s reliance on sales and excise taxes. The impact of these taxes is greatest on 34 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

lower-income residents because they need to spend all they take in, while higher income residents do not. DC’s lowest-income DC residents pay 6.2 percent of income in taxes–the lowest of all income groups–thanks to DC’s large Earned Income Tax Credit. But beyond that group, DC tax system has an upsidedown quality, with taxes as a share of income getting lower as income grows larger. DC families with incomes between $20,000 and $60,000 spend about 10 percent of their income in local property, income, and sales taxes. On the other hand, DC residents making $1,500,000 or more–the top one percent of earners–pay just 8 percent of income in taxes. Recent tax increases have exacerbated this pattern. Increases in the general sales tax, the cigarette tax, and the gas tax–and the decision to apply the sales tax to soda — affected low- and moderate-income residents more than high-income residents. In other words, the tax system has become less fair.

The Measuring Stick: How Do We Compare, and How Much Does It Matter? Once upon a time, back in the 90s, taxes owed by DC residents were similar to or higher than taxes owed by residents of surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia. But these days are long gone. For most income groups, DC taxes are now lower than or the same as taxes on residents of adjacent jurisdictions. For low-income earners taxes owed are roughly equal across jurisdictions for households without kids. A single person earning $15,000, for example, would pay about the same in DC as in the suburbs. The story changes for low-income families with children who qualify for large local Earned Income Tax Credits in Maryland and DC, but not in Virginia. A family with two children earning $25,000 qualifies for a refund of $400 in DC, but $1,800 in Montgomery County and $1,000 in Prince George’s County. A Virginia family at this income would owe $200. Maryland’s larger refund is due to a stronger EITC program, which exists at both at the state and the county level in Montgomery County.

At the middle-income level, however, DC taxes are substantially lower than those of surrounding neighbors. A married couple with two kids earning $100,000 would pay $5,200 in combined property and income taxes in DC, compared to $7,500 in Montgomery, Fairfax, and Arlington counties, and $10,000 in Prince George’s. At the $200,000 income level, the story is similar. DC’s income taxes are about the same as in Maryland and higher than in Virginia, but DC’s property taxes are the lowest in the region, and DC doesn’t have a car tax like Virginia counties. While it’s good to know how our taxes compare regionally, that doesn’t mean that it’s important to aim to be the low-tax leader. Residents in Montgomery and Fairfax Counties agree to pay higher taxes because they want the services that come with that. Nationally, the states that have the smallest tax systems tend to invest the least in education — not a smart strategy for global competitiveness.

What To Do? Why Tax Increases Should Be Part of the Debate. This review shows that the District used its growth and prosperity of the past decade to reduce taxes for virtually every household and business. The city also used that growth and prosperity to invest in schools, health care, transportation, and public safety, among others. We are now at the point–three years into a recession– where the tax rates we have in place are no longer enough to support the investments we’ve made. Because tax rates have fallen and DC’s taxes are in line with suburban taxes, a budget-balancing plan that includes both cuts in spending and revenue increases is perfectly reasonable. Given that DC taxes fall most heavily on moderate-income families, raising taxes that affect higher-income households – such as new income tax rates for DC’s top earners – is a good first place to look.

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Gajdeczka and Lazere are staff of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (www.dcfpi. org), which conducts research on tax and budget issues that affect low- and moderate-income DC residents. ◆ ◆ 35

your neighborhood

Shaw Streets by Ralph Brabham

A Renaissance at 9th and Q Just a few years ago, the views at the intersection of 9th and Q Streets, NW were pretty bleak. At the intersection’s southeast corner sat a fenced off empty lot – the cordoned-off results of a construction mistake that caused the collapse of an adjacent building. On another corner, a shuttered pizza takeout sat empty, decaying and covered with graffiti. The small triangle park northwest of the intersection, named the Carter G. Woodson Memorial Park since 2001, was barren and ill kept. And a collection of buildings on the northeast of the intersection sat vacant and boarded, once adorned with murals that served as a community landmark and a commentary on the area’s sad state of affairs (one of them read “Bienvenue a Shaw, Slum Historique”). A new era for this crossroad is within sight. In 2009, a brand new, four unit, Christian Zapatka-designed, brick condominium building condominium delivered on the southeast corner. The beautiful structure is fully occupied and offers a stately and modern presence. Having been for sale for years, the old pizza place recently changed hands. Its new owner is transforming it into a single-family residence and wasted no time in securing permits and starting work on the renovation. The District Department of Transportation and Department of Parks and Recreation have executed all necessary agreements to upgrade the park. The park will receive new landscaping and a Raymond Kaskeysculpted statue of Dr. Woodson. Finally, on November 16, the sale settled for the properties at the prominent northeast corner of the intersection. The preliminary plan for 36 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

the properties’ renovation includes mostly residential with some ground floor retail.

Unique Sandwich Shop Coming to Naylor Court A unique sandwich shop called SUNdeVICH will soon bring life and deliciousness to Naylor Court in the carriage house of 1314 9th Street. SUNdeVICH is the brainchild of Ali Bagheri and Daniel O’Brien, who also founded the popular Seasonal Pantry (an online market featuring ever-changing prepared items, fresh and dried pasta, and produce from local farmers). Bagheri and O’Brian are Shaw residents. According to their website, they “have a good understanding of its needs. They’re enthusiastic to bring their passion of food and craftsmanship to their neighbors.” SUNdeVICH aims to provide a wide range of bold flavors by using fresh and local ingredients. The 20 sandwiches on the menu are all named for major cities around the world, from Buenos Aires and Havana to Athens and Moscow, not to mention Hanoi and Cairo. The ingredients in each sandwich reflect the cultures and traditions of the cities for which they’re named (like chorizo and chimichurri for Madrid.) Customers will be able to eat at SUNdeVICH multiple times a week and have a completely different dining experience each time. SUNdeVICH will occupy what was once home to a dog grooming facility. The remake, designed by DBD Studio LLC, will be dramatic. The space will feature an open kitchen and about 24 interior seats.

Work recently began on 1544 9th Street, NW. Photo: Ralph Brabham

The future site of SUNdeVICH in Naylor Court. Photo: Ralph Brabham

Shaw is Artsy After months of community input gathering and through the tireless work of project leaders Andrea Doughty, Mary Brown, and their lead branding consultant, Carol Felix, a city-financed arts branding campaign will soon launch in the U Street, Logan Circle and Shaw neighborhoods. Some question the geographic scope of the arts district and suggest that including Shaw waters down its potential impact for the Fourteenth and U Street Corridors. But Shaw has plenty

Tell Them, “Shaw Main Streets Sent Me!”

Jeff Harrison has reemerged at District Liquors. Photo: Alexander M. Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets

of arts to boast about, and its inclusion in the district’s designation enhances the district’s brand. Shaw’s main streets boast numerous galleries, including Civilian Arts Project (1019 7th St., NW ), Cre8 Space Studio (1314 9th St., NW ), Long View Gallery (1234 9th St., NW ), Maruka Gallery and Boutique (1300 9th St., NW ), Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., NW ) and the new Zeki Gallery and Studio (1306 9th St. NW ), formerly Ninth Street Gallery. Shaw’s legendary and more recent venues, such as the soon-to-be-reborn Howard Theatre, the 9:30 Club, the Warehouse Theater, DC9, and Town Dance Boutique have 0brought cultural significance to the city. And the public art throughout the neighborhood – such as the extensive collection seen in and around the convention center, the Craig Kraft light sculpture at the new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, the playful sculpture hanging from the ceiling of the Kennedy Recreation Center vestibule, and the numerous murals – has beautified the streetscape while exposing citizens to art on a daily basis. As Drew Porterfield, director of Long View Gallery, notes “whether the campaign will translate into additional foot traffic is yet to be seen. But I think it’s great to cel-

ebrate Shaw’s identity as an area where the arts thrive, and it makes sense to me that we are part of the arts district’s scope.”

Familiar Face Reemerges at District Liquors Jeff Harrison was a long time fixture at Modern Liquors at Ninth and M Streets, NW. He is credited with making that store a destination in the neighborhood and with generating a loyal following for it. Harrison left in June 2010 due to a change in ownership. Harrison re-emerged in November at District Liquors (1211 11th Street, NW ), where he is again working his magic to reinvent the libation purveyor. He is the on-site consultant for wine and craft beer and is the community outreach guru for the store. The first phase of the remake is complete. The store now features a boutique wine and craft beer section in what was once a storage room in the building’s rear. Future phases, such as new interior lighting and a façade makeover, are on the horizon. Weekly wine tastings commence this month and will be held every Wednesday night from 6 to 8 p.m. ◆ ◆ 37

your neighborhood

Things to be Thankful for in Shaw story and photos by Alexander M. Padro


reat Thanksgiving traditions in Shaw continued this year, with distribution of 250 turkey baskets and meals served to residents of apartment buildings in the area. Partnering with Bread for the City, and using funding from Metropolitan Development, Shaw Main Streets delivered turkeys and fixings to 250 residents of apartment buildings in central Shaw, including Foster House, Lincoln Westmoreland I, Asbury Dwellings, Second Northwest Co-Op, and Gibson Plaza. The Kennedy Recreation Center distributed 50 of the baskets to families whose children are regulars at the center. Douglas Development provided a truck and crew to pick up and deliver the birds and produce, and also contributed funds for sweet potato pies and gift cards that were also distributed to apartment dwellers. At Asbury Dwellings, for the 14th year, 70-year-old resident Judith Dennis cooked and served a pre-Thanksgiving Day luncheon for 45 of her neighbors in the building’s community room. Past meals were served in Dennis’ apartment,


7 38 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

but this year, the demand from the seniors was too large. Letha M. Blount, founder and director of the American Classic pageant and a former tenant association president at Foster House, cooked up a storm for the 11th year, serving over 125 people on Thanksgiving Day. “It’s an honor to do this every year,” Blount, age 80, said. “Everyone is so friendly, there’s so much love in the room. It makes me feel good, and makes me keep coming back every year,” she added. Volunteers like Shaw Main Streets’ board member Barry Lumsden, KBK Enterprises executive Lori Wynne, and neighborhood resident Talibah Morgan spent five hours serving, to make sure everyone that wanted a plate got one. There was even a grandmother and granddaughter team on the serving line, Caroline Perry and Keisha Lewis. The Foster House event was supported by KBK Enterprises, which manages the building, Safeway, New Bethel Baptist Church, River Valley Spring Water, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, and the Shaw Green Team. ◆


1. Assembly line precision greeted 125 diners at Foster House.


2. Asbury Dwellings ladies pose after Thanksgiving luncheon. 3. Lori Wynne from KBK Enterprises greeted everyone at Foster House with a smile and a plate. 4. ANC Commissioner Chapple helps deliver turkeys to Second Northwest Coop.


5. Douglas Development employees deliver turkeys and fixings to Judith Dennis at Asbury Dwellings. 6. Letha Blount cooked for days so that over 125 Shaw residents could enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. 7. Lincoln Westmoreland I Tenants Association President Theodosia Robinson thanked Douglas Development employees for their help.


All Photos: Courtesy Shaw Main Streets


Moving Forward in Shaw: A Year in Review by Alexander M. Padro


TOP: On the Road to Mandalay: Turning earth at 1501 9th Street, NW. Photo by Andrew Lightman. ABOVE: A mayor, mayor-elect, councilmembers galore, Bill Marriott and more breaking ground for the Mariott Marquis Hotel. Photo by Alexander M. Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets. ABOVE RIGHT: So many shovels: CityMarket at O groundbreaking. Photo by Pleasant P. Mann, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets.

ack in 2008, it looked like all the major projects proposed in central Shaw were preparing to get underway. Then came the world financial crisis, and the wheels of progress came to an immediate screeching halt. It’s taken two years, but the wheels started turning again for most of the big developments in 2010. Groundbreakings were busting out all over, with Councilmembers and mayoral and council chair candidates everywhere, beginning with the June 14th event that launched 1501 9th Street, NW, the future home of a DC location for Silver Spring’s Mandalay Café. The project, with SBA financing in place, has been held up by DCRA permitting delays, but is moving forward. Next came the Sept 1 CityMarket at O groundbreaking, with more elected and appointed officials, local and federal, than you could count, in a tent that seated 300 at 7th and P Streets, NW. Work on the historic market building will begin as soon as permits are obtained, with the demolition of the Giant Food store coming in early summer 2011. The next day, the Howard Theatre renovation broke ground with a music filled celebration that closed the 600 block of T Street, NW. Work inside the theater began the following week. And on November 10, the long awaited Marriott Marquis Convention Center Hotel finally broke ground, after what some speakers called a 19-year wait. While it will be 18 months before steel rises from the 100 foot hole that will be dug at the Ninth Street and Massachusetts Avenue, NW site, at least the permits were in place and the hole began to be dug days after the ceremony. And work quietly began on Progression Place, the mixed use development at 7th and S Streets, NW, formerly known as Broadcast Center One, in November. So the dirt will be flying all over Shaw in 2011, after the first shovels-full went airborne in 2010. ◆ ◆ 39

your neighborhood

14th and U by Catherine Finn

At the forefront of fashion Walking along the 1500 block of U Street, you are bombarded by fashionable boutiques. The boutiques aren’t straightforward in their fashion either: there are quirky, creative, vintage, and vintage-inspired stores selling clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories. One might think that with so many stores on one block, there might be fierce competition. However, the opposite is true: business owners are very supportive of their block-mates, helping each other in whatever way possible. There is even an unwritten rule among the block that one store won’t carry the same brand as another. “When we were working to open our store, the amount of support from other business owners on

40 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

the block was overwhelming. Jackie, the owner of Nana’s, even helped us draft charts for our business plans,” said Kristen Swenson, co-owner of Ginger Root, 1530 U Street. Ginger Root opened this September. The boutique sells vintage accessories, but the real draw is Swenson and co-owner Erin Derge’s eco-friendly fashion line, ReVamp. The pair take unwanted vintage garments and re-imagine them into something contemporary, yet the piece retains a touch of vintage. The store also offers tailoring and sewing classes. “We hope that fashion on U Street will inspire people to dress with more individuality. More color. People should be inspired to express their personality through their clothing, to be unique and stand out. Going to work at an office doesn’t mean wearing a uniform of dark,

uninspired clothes,” Derge said. “And we hope people will start to find vintage clothing more accessible. Vintage doesn’t have to be a costume; it can be office-appropriate,” Swenson added. And Ginger Root is holding classes to help people reinvent old clothes. On Dec. 6, Ginger Root will hold a sewing class to show participants how to an old sweater into a winter hat. Repurposing a torn or shrunken sweater into another fashionable item is at the heart of their philosophy. Additionally, the store will encourage people to donate sweaters to be made into two hats, one for the area’s underprivileged and one for sale. The hat for sale in the store will fund the sister hat’s donation to charity. The second annual Tweed Ride, on the second weekend of November, showcased a lot of what Derge and Swenson call for in DC fashion. A group of hundreds of Washingtonians got together in their vintage finest, and rode their bikes through the city. The event, which draws DC’s most fashion forward, has been a huge success. Many riders wore Ginger Root’s lady ties – vintage men’s ties refashioned into an ascot-like cravat tie that women to wear instead of a necklace. Newcomer to the block, Dr. K’s Vintage, opened at 1534 U Street, formerly boutique Pink November. Open since October, Dr. K’s Vintage cultivates an Americanatype feel. Of specific interest to the owner, Dr. K himself, is vintage Levi’s, which if you’re lucky, you can find in the store from as long ago as the 1930s. “We feel like DC’s creative community is small, but growing. However, because the community

is small, it’s rather easy to enter into if you have good ideas. And with the recession, so many people are pursuing their dream, as they have little to lose. Because of this, DC’s creative scene is such an exciting place to be in – you have the opportunity to be the innovators,” Derge said. A lot of that innovation is happening right on the 1500 block of U Street.

Nana’s Moving to Mount Pleasant Long a fixture on U Street’s fashion block, Nana’s, 1528 U Street, will be moving to Mount Pleasant after the holiday rush. Owner Jackie Flanagan will leave her eight-year home on U Street for a larger space. Her new location at 3068 Mount Pleasant Street boasts 1,000 square feet. Flanagan plans to use her larger space to offer more than just clothing, possibly furniture and an expanded selection of bags, jewelry, and shoes. Flanagan will also use the new store’s larger space to host various art and fashion events. The loss of Nana’s is certainly a blow to the block and currently, there is no word of what will open in the vacated space. However, no one would be surprised if a similarly-minded store opened in Nana’s place. And with Nana’s move to Mount Pleasant, the particular U Street view of fashion will expand to another part of the city. Catherine Finn writes the neighborhood blog, U Street Girl. The blog covers happenings in the U Street corridor, whether they be cultural, artistic, epicurean, social, or lifestyle-related. You can read her blog at http://ustreetgirl. ◆

Bloomingdale Bytes by Amanda Abrams

Finally, A New Restaurant It’s the kind of restaurant I wish DC had more of--clean and comfortable, with the main focus on the food, which is invariably tasty, authentic, and cheap. I’m talking about Zee’s, the new Trinidadian restaurant on Florida Avenue that opened less than a month ago. It’s The Ali-Aziz family in Zee’s Restaurant; Zelina is at the far left. Photo: Amanda Abrams right across from the LeDroit Park gate but, with its modest winstarved for restaurants within walk- all manage to get along well—and dows, is easy to miss. Inside, though, ing distance—was very supportive. each has contributed something to the walls are painted a cozy coral, So far, the menu’s fairly limited, the country’s cuisine. the owners are friendly, and the food though the family plans to expand in is good. time. If you’re vegetarian, which my It’s a family business. Nerr- dining companion and I are, you’ve Be Alert! Crime on issa Ali-Aziz greets diners up front, got two options: curried aloo (potato) the Upswing Bloomingdale has long seemed while her brother, Sean, takes care of with vegetables, or vegetables with all things operational. But the driv- curried aloo. Both are good, though, to some residents and visitors like ing force behind the place is their and come with dhalpuri roti, a staple a quiet, cozy neighborhood where mother, Zelina, aka Zee, a small of Trinidadian cuisine. It’s bread, but nothing bad happens—where you woman with a warm manner. the dough has been folded a few can accidentally leave your keys in You might not see much of times to make it flaky, and includes a your door overnight and not be the her—she’s often back in the kitch- little filling. And everything is fresh, worse for it. But the neighborhood has seen a en—but the restaurant was her idea. made new each day. real up tick in crime over the past six “I’ve wanted to do this since I came Once they get their liquor license weeks. There’s been a rash of breakhere thirty years ago,” she said. (they’ve applied), Zee and company Sean, whose right arm bears a are planning on offering Trinidadian- ins and muggings: among other incibig tattoo of the word “Trini” (in style cocktails, as well as local beers dents, a couple of men were mugged case anyone doubts his origin), gave and wines. Meanwhile, you can drink while walking alone at night, and an more details. “I saw this place, and sorrel, a sour beverage made from hi- older couple getting out of their car had a vision. We had a family din- biscus leaves, or champagne soda, a late one evening were beaten and robbed of their belongings. ner, and I told my mom about it,” he sweet soft drink. MPD’s Fifth District Comsaid. “As soon as she walked in, she The family is planning on adding mander Greene couldn’t pin the was like, ‘This is it.’” decorations to the walls and the bar The family knew nothing of representing Trinidad, but for now, increase on any one cause. “I wish I the neighborhood, which straddles patrons will have to ask the owners could give you a reason why,” he said. Ledroit Park and Shaw, but was about their native country. I did, and But he added that while burglaries willing to take a gamble. The re- learned that Trinidadians come from are generally committed by older sponse—that of a neighborhood a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but men, the culprits in this case seem to

be much younger. “In certain areas, there’s a pattern where younger offenders are starting to participate in burglaries. We don’t know why.” To address the issue, MPD has added additional officers to Bloomingdale’s streets and is employing a more tactical approach to catch burglars. It seems to be paying off. “The Fifth District has made several burglary arrests in the last 60 days and we’re hoping to see some impact, because we know it’s a very small percentage of people committing these crimes,” he said. For his part, John Salatti, the ANC representative for Bloomingdale’s northern half, chalks up the increase in crime to the approaching holidays. “I’ve seen it before—an increase between Halloween and New Years,” he said. “After that, a lot of it just falls away.” In general, though, crime is down relative to last year; in fact, it’s been on a strong decline for the past five years. But to stay safe, Commander Greene recommends that citizens stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Residents can also join ◆ 41

your neighborhood one of the public safety walks organized by Salatti and his fellow ANC reps, or volunteer to become a neighborhood watch block captain. And be careful when you’re out and about—especially if you use an iphone. They seem to be particularly coveted by criminals.

The End of A Season Alas, it’s that time again—the end of the Bloomingdale Farmers Market season. On Sunday, Nov. 21, roughly 700 folks came out to buy honeycrisp apples, Keswick quark, romanesco broccoli, and free range eggs on one of the market’s biggest days ever. “It was very exciting—I’m still bouncing off the walls from it,” said Robin Shuster, the market’s founder and director, a few hours after all the vendors had packed up their stands and said goodbye for the winter. This was the market’s fourth year. In the beginning, Shuster wasn’t so sure it would be successful. “It’s not a natural place for it; usually you want to have foot traffic. So I was hoping the community would support it,” she explained. But things have worked out well. “It’s a community market—everything we wanted for it,” she said, adding that this is the first year the market has just about everything shoppers might want, from fruits and vegetables to bread, cheese, and meats. I asked her if she thought the market might eventually stay open throughout the winter. Probably not, she said. “The problem with a winter market is that you only get 10 to 20 percent of the people that you do in September,” she said. In a place like Dupont, that might still mean a lot of shoppers. But at a small community market, it’s just too few people to make it worthwhile for the farmers, who might be driving two hours to get to Bloomingdale. The market will reopen in mid-May. Amanda Abrams is an Adams Morganbased writer and dancer who has recently developed an interest in soil science. ◆ 42 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Logan Circles by Mark F. Johnson

Bring on the Holly Days It’s Christmas time and U/14 is all into the red and green! The stores, restaurants and boutiques along U and 14th Streets as well as neighboring streets are getting into the holiday spirit with discounts, specials and other holiday events, like an appearance from Santa Claus himself. For the first time, the Mid City Business Association is inaugurating a winter version of Dog Days, a multi-venue sale event held in August, wrapping it up in a bow, and calling it Holly Days. The two-day event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, December 11th and 12th, and will feature “friends and family” discounts for gifts and services. The Mid City Business Association held a contest among its members to come up with a name for the event and Holly Days got the most nods.

TheChristmas Tree Wars Oh Christmas tree Oh Christmas Tree, from which of three vendors should I purchase thee??!! Mid City residents who like the smell of a freshly cut

Christmas tree in their home have a choice this season among at least three local vendors. Garden District, who’s owner, Joe Carmack complained last year that he was being undersold by Whole Foods, got his trees out even before Thanksgiving this year. Of course Whole Foods will not be outdone as their stock is plenty plentiful. A few blocks over on 9th Street, Old City Green is offering their selection as well. There is usually a Christmas tree vendor over on 17th Street at the intersection of R. Any Logan Circle, Shaw or Dupont Circle home wishing for a tree this year has no further to go than a few blocks away. Of course there are those who’d rather go to the near-end suburbs to find a big tree for less than it might cost in the city. But where’s the fun in having to tie it to the roof of a car while worrying about it tumbling off all the way back when you can carry it a few blocks to your home?

TOP: Christmas trees wait to be picked at Garden District at 14th and S. LEFT: Whole Foods may still have the neighborhood’s largest selection of holiday trees. RIGHT: On the eastern front, Old City Green trees Want to go home for the holidays.

How The S Street Grinch Stole Christmas A home break-in is never something to feel good about. But somehow it seems that one occurring near the holidays is especially egregious. The home, on S Street between 14th and 15th, was broken into during the wee hours of the morning while the occupants were asleep. The thieves came through the front apparently and never woke up those inside. Seems they knew where to look for the goods too. Several thousand dollars were reported to have been stolen from a hiding place along with some other prized pieces of jewelry. Fortunately no one was hurt but the pattern of the crime seems a little bit suspicious. Apparently the house was not too ransacked and the thieves must not have taken too long to find the loot. A similar robbery was attempted on T Street as well, according to the neighborhood grapevine. But, neighbors, hearing noise in the house when they knew the owners were away, got their digi cams out and took photos of those leaving the house in the middle of the night, I hear. Not sure how good their flash component is but if those photos actually came out well I would expect a lot of letters going off to Santa requesting one of those cameras at the last minute. Let me take this time to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. We will meet back here in January to swap naughty New Year’s Eve stories. ◆

Our Neighbors are Our Business. Shop Locally this Holiday Season. ◆ 43

kids and family

+ Notebook

NOTE BOOK by Kathleen Donner

Children’s Chorus of Washington Presents “Holidays Through the Years” Children’s Chorus of Washington will mark its 15th season with two joyous holiday concerts to be performed on Saturday, Dec. 18, and Sunday, Dec. 19, 4:00 p.m. at National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle. Joined by the renowned Washington Symphonic Brass, “Holidays through the Years” will feature beloved favorites such as It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, a carol sing-along, and the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 202-237-1005 or online at $25 for adults and $10 for kids.

Story Time at NW Neighborhood Library Enjoy story time every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. and pajama story time (pajamas optional) every Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. 155 L St. NW. 202-939-5946.

44 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” Family Day On Dec. 11, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Newseum is hosting a “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” Family Day complete with crafts, madrigal singers, games, a reading of the Sun’s famous editorial by a local celebrity and a visit from Santa bearing gifts for kids. Any youth visitor who brings a toy to Family Day will get in for free. They hope to collect 250-500 toys. 888-639-7386.

Operation Christmas Miracle, Toy Drive Drop off your gift-wrapped toy donation at Garden District, 1740 14th St. NW through Dec. 3 for kids affiliated with the Central Union Mission in our community. For more information, go to

Christmas Pageant at the Washington National Cathedral Saturday, Dec. 18 is a joyous day for children to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. Bring your children, grandchildren, and other special

Norman Rockwell, Christmas: Santa with Elves, 1922, oil on canvas. Collection of George Lucas

Saturday Evening Post’s Christmas Stories at the American Art Museum On Saturday, Dec. 18, 2:00 p.m. hear Christmas stories in the McEnvoy Auditorium (lower level). Rockwell’s images graced the cover of many Saturday Evening Post holiday issues and illustrated stories for the holiday season. Come and celebrate “the most wonderful time of year” with dramatic readings from a selection of holiday favorites, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicolas, and Francis P. Church’s Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. Free. 202-633-1000.

youngsters to participate in the pageant. They welcome children dressed as shepherds, angels, or animals. On the day of the event, please be in the nave by 1:30 p.m. for a brief rehearsal before the pageant which will begin at 2:00 p.m. and last approximately one hour. 202-537-6200.

Mail Letters to Santa at Macy’s There is a mailbox at every Macy’s to collect letters to Santa. Bring your stamped letter, addressed to Santa at the North Pole, to any Macy’s and drop it in the special mailbox. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation up to $1,000.000.

Accepting applications for grades PS-6 Download your application at

With a French and Spanish immersion program and a dual focus on academic excellence and community service, Stokes School prepares culturally diverse elementary school students to be leaders, scholars, and responsible citizens who are committed to social justice.

2011 Open Houses: January 27 & February 24 9:30 - 11:00 am. RSVP to Ms. Cortes @ 202.265.7237 The Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School 3700 Oakview Terrace, NE | Washington, DC 20017 | 202.265.7237 â—† 45

The Academy of Construction and Design

An American Girl Tea: Samantha and the Gilded Age

The Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo Senior High School is a specialized career and technical education program operated by the nonprofit DC Students Construction Trades Foundation in partnership with District of Columbia Public Schools. Academy students complete academic requirements for high school graduation while earning industry credentials and technical certifications. District high school students in grades 10 through 12 may apply for admission to the Academy of Construction and Design, which enrolls more than 100 students each year. The Academy of Construction and Design encourages District students to stay in school and graduate with skills they can use in work, college and future careers. With a 90% high school graduation rate among seniors enrolled in its academic support and technical programming, the Academy is putting District students on the path to employment, higher education and careers in architecture, construction, facilities management and electrical design. 202-340-5657.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, 10:30 a.m., learn what it was like to grow up during the Gilded Age at this family tea, where children design their own ornaments to take home. Dolls are welcome! $5 per person. Reservations required. Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-7852040 x428.

Youth Hockey Classes at Fort Dupont Ice Arena The Kids on Ice Hockey Club program is designed to take skaters, ages 5-18, from beginning hockey skills through league levels. Although this is an instructional hockey class, students are provided opportunities to participate in special events. Players are required to have basic skating skills before entering the class--forward and backward skating, stopping, ability to fall and get back up quickly. Saturdays, Dec. 4 and 11; Jan. 8 through Mar. 12; 8:00 a.m.-9:20 a.m. $35 annual fee. 202-584-5007.

Girls on the Run-DC Invites DC Community to 5K Run/Walk On Sunday, Dec. 12, 2:00 p.m., at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Girls on The Run of Washington, DC (GOTR-DC) welcomes the DC community to its fun-filled, family-friendly event. Everyone is invited - friends, families, neighbors -- boys, too! The run/walk is not a race, and will not provide official race times. Instead, a clock will provide finishers with estimated times. The 550 girls who make up 50 teams from across all 8 wards in D.C. will assemble at 1:00 p.m. for pre-race “get-psyched” activities, including a “crazy hair” station, face painting, poster making and more. Fee to run, $25. 202-258-7876.

46 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

Free Saturday Morning Children’s Performance at the National Theatre On Dec. 11, 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., “Christmas Dreams from The Nutcracker.” Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Sweets are in the air as the Virginia Ballet Company and School present selections from their magical, glittering Nutcracker. Familiar music, lively dances, lovely costumes and charming characters from Tchaikovsky’s classic confection bring us elegant and amusing holiday cheer. Performances are free and in the Helen Hayes Gallery at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave.NW. Shows are best appreciated by children four and older. Tickets are Required and are distributed without charge one half-hour prior to performance, on a first-come first-served basis. One ticket only to each person standing in line. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. 202783-3372.

PACE High School Accepting Applications Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering (PACE) High School at 704 26th St. NE is a city-wide application high school and is currently accepting applications for the 2011-2012 school year. The deadline for receipt of admissions applications is March 18, 2011. Applications and brochures can be obtained from the school Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. The school is accepting applications for the next school year’s rising 9th graders and a small number of seats will be offered to rising 10th graders. For more information on the school or the process, contact Principal Michael A. Johnson at 202-729-4360.

New Children’s Book Celebrates Traditional African Storytelling Recently published “African Moonlight Stories” by Ayodapo Ayansiji Oyelana and Akinyemi Muyiwa Dahunsi offers a collection of anecdotes intended to invoke the African tradition of story-

telling on moonlit nights. According to Oyelana and Dahunsi, storytelling is one of the intrinsic components of many African cultures. The pair contends that folktales have been shared for countless generations not only for fun and amusement, but also to educate and impart values and morals.

NGA Kid’s Movie “Bagpuss: The Most Magical, Saggy, Old Cloth Cat” On Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m. and Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m. meet Bagpuss, a sleepy and much loved pink-andwhite striped cat, whose many friends sing songs and share tales with him between naps. Bagpuss is of the most popular children’s television programs ever broadcast in the United Kingdom, though only 13 episodes were produced. Using stop-frame puppet animation, these short tales of discovery, friendship, and learning gently introduce the very young to concepts of cooperation, communication, trust, and the importance of imaginative play. Three episodes from the series will be featured. Approximately 50 minutes. National Gallery of Art, East Building Concourse Auditorium. For ages 4 and up.

The Family Kwanzaa Adventure at Anacostia Community Museum This is a great day for families to celebrate Kwanzaa by encouraging connections and building understanding and mutual respect. Join in this observance with Saleem and Ivy Hylton of Youth and Families in Crisis, who have been hosting Kwanzaa celebrations for 18 years. Experience an authentic Kwanzaa celebration through interactive drumming, singing, dancing, and skits, designed to explore the principles of Kwanzaa. The program closes with the “Circle of Hope and Healing,” an original Kwanzaa group activity designed to restore and renew the hopes and dreams of families for the New Year. Tuesday, Dec. 28, 10:30 a.m. On Wednesday, Dec. 29, 10:30 a.m., come for Zawadis for Kwanzaa. Following a discussion about Kwanzaa, join artist Camilla Younger and create zawadis (gifts) that include jewelry, a woven mat (Mkeka), and greeting cards. On Thursday, Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m. come for Kwanzaa: Nia (Purpose). Melvin Deal and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers will conduct a Kwanzaa hands-on workshop that includes the making of tambor instruments, drumming, and dancing. The workshop features a special performance in celebration of the fifth Kwanzaa principle, Nia (Purpose). This is a special treat for seniors and families. All these events are free. 1901 Fort Place SE. 202-633-4820. ◆

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WEDJ PCS CFC # 76494 United Way # 9485 Friend WEDJ PCS on Facebook and Follow WEDJ PCS on Twitter! ◆ 47

at home

+ Home / Style

Logan Circle Lights up for the Holiday House Tour by Mark F. Johnson


early everyone leaves the lights on when Santa Claus comes to town! This was certainly true to varying degrees on this year’s annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour. The 32nd annual tour celebrates the 12 ways of Christmas in Logan Circle, in that it features 12 extraordinary neighborhood homes and condos with a mix of traditional and contemporary style and décor. I got to pre-tour some of the homes on this year’s list as their

Bohemian Townhouse on 12th Street includes Christmas cactus among eclectic touches 48 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

visited had added to its Bohemian design style pieces of African art bought in Tanzania and other African countries, mixed in with vintage pieces of furniture such as an old large industrial Coca Cola ice chest the owners bought in Texas and now use as a bar. A particular pair of chairs, nicely distressed, caught my eye. They were bought in a Chelsea flea market. There wasn’t much to say “Christmas” at this house, but the décor in itself was fairly festive. The owners even manage to work two rainbow flags into their décor. The view is far and wide from Church Street loft

owners were preparing for the tour. All 12 doors open to the public on Sunday, Dec. 5th from 1 pm to 5pm. Some are dressed for the holidays and those that aren’t will most likely be filled with the holiday spirit in other ways, according to tour cochair Dara Duguay. There will be choral groups at some homes, and musical groups at others. In addition, a local florist has agreed to donate an arrangement to each home on the tour. Decorated or not, what awaits anyone who takes the tour is some of the most spectacularly styled homes and condos in town. As Logan Circle has changed, so has the composition of the tour. It has gone from mostly older Victorian single family homes to a large number of new constructions—usually condos or combination commercial/residential spaces. One such fairly new construction is the Metropole at 15th and P. This year, a sleek condo recently featured on the cover of Home and Design welcomes visitors to the Modernist building. The apartment was renovated to showcase the owners’ contemporary art collection that includes a custommade Graham Caldwell handblown glass sculpture. A unique property is a bed and breakfast called the DC Guest-

house. Located on 10th Street and originally built in 1870, it is believed to have been the location of the first licensed African American funeral home in Washington. The carriage house off of the kitchen includes the site of the original tin clad embalming room. The guestrooms themselves are decorated with 1401 Church Street NW vintage furniture, much of which was purchased at local shops along 14th Street, and original work by Erté, a Russian-born painter who helped define the Art Deco movement. Also on the tour is a spectacular 1879 Victorian home with an extensive collection of 17th and 18th century art acquired by the owners during numerous trips overseas. The house has a 2,000-bottle wine cellar, nine fireplaces and a lovely marble-tiled porch overlooking a brick courtyard. Washington is home to many professionals who travel worldwide as part of their work. One home I

Several homes on the tour will stop visitors in their tracks. One in particular has a spectacular unobstructed western and northern view from an incredibly large rooftop deck. Also, on the main level, the large-scale pieces of art deserve attention as well. The owners, who own the DC2NY commuter bus company, combined two one-bedroom units in the then brand new 1401 Church Street condo when they moved in five years ago. The result is a quite large and “clean” loft unit with what would have been two rooftop decks joined to-

Interior of 1502 Vermont Avenue, NW

gether. Holiday decorations were limited to two menorahs, one with blue and white candles. According to tour officials repeat properties are held off for several years before being invited to reappear on the tour. This means that each year there is a mix of new and returning properties for visitors to see. The houses and condos sought by the committee that puts the tour together are “the extraordinary ones that are above the norm,” Duguay told me. Houses that appear on the tour are often those that

1543 9th Street NW

Interior of 1300 13th Street NW

committee members have recommended for the holiday house tour, and sometimes owners who have taken the tour ask that their residences be considered for the following year. The committee has also recently begun to solicit homes that want to be considered. One property new to the tour is Grace United Church of Christ on 15th St. near P. The church was erected in 1902 and was the church home of former president Theodore Roosevelt. It isn’t a large church and the congregation is quite small, numbering about 20-25 says a church official. But the church was certainly in the Christmas spirit with modest and oldfashioned decorations including a Christmas tree, garland stretched across the dark wood trim of the balcony, a few wreaths and a crèche that dates back several generations. In addition, the church organist will play Christmas songs and hymns while tour visitors make their way through the sanctuary and adjoining Sunday school hall. Grace Church is the only public building on the tour. While new to the Logan Circle holiday house tour, the church has been on the Dupont Circle tour in the past. It seems fitting to have a church on a holiday tour at this time of year. At this time of year, we expect to see beautiful things. Perhaps partnering with local designers to help home owners in coming up with a holiday decorating plan for future tours might be a Christmas bonus for home owner and visitors alike. Imagine the increased enthusiasm for the tour that this could engender. A nice wrapping with glittery paper and Christmas bows is more icing on the cake. Though the holiday decorations were of-

ten light for my taste I look at it this way; It is the home itself that everyone comes out to see. Wrapped or unwrapped, they are what make the Logan Circle Holiday House Tour a pretty big part of Washington’s Christmas season.

1829 12th Street NW

The 32nd Annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, from 1 to 5 p.m. A Wassail reception will be hosted at Studio Theatre, 14th and P Streets, NW. Proceeds from the tour help fund the Logan Circle Community Association’s ongoing mission to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses in Logan Circle and all of Washington, DC. To purchase tickets go to http://logancircle. org/house-tour. All tickets purchased online will be held at “Will Call” at the Studio Theatre for pickup beginning at noon on the day of the event. Advance tickets are also available at the following locations: Azi’s Café, 1336 9th Street, NW; Barrel House Liquor, 1341 14th Street, NW; Logan Hardware, 1416 P Street, NW; Gallery plan b, 1530 14th Street, NW; Urban Essentials, 1330 U Street, NW; and 5th Street Ace Hardware, 1055 5th Street, NW. ◆ ◆ 49

at home

+ Gardens

Grumpy Gardener or Green Fairy Waste Not, Want Not by Frank Ashaer


t all comes down to this: Sometimes this gardener is a big ol’ grouch! If you don’t mind, I need to vent. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how a person just pulled out his evergreens and threw them away. (Oh no, he didn’t! Oh yes, he did! They were healthy, too.) Our culture is such “a throw away” culture. If we don’t want it, or don’t need it, we throw it away. Have you been to the garbage dump lately? What a sight! They need a professional organizer. Sorry, I digress. If you loathe the plants in your garden, offer them to someone with a green thumb, or offer them to the curb. Perhaps a plant lover will walk by and give your unwanted plants a new home. You might be able to swap your unwanted plants at Someone might have the shrub you have been dying to get. Even if your plants are stone cold dead, give them back to the soil. Find a neighbor with a compost bin or stop by OLD CITY green and use ours. We have three compost piles and one compost bin in working order. Neighbors bring in kitchen waste and yard trimmings all year round. Big Bear Café (near 1st and R streets NW ) leaves out bags of used coffee grinds. We have 50 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010

put the grinds into our compost bins. You can even add your used coffee grinds to your soil. Grinds are high in acid. Azaleas, camellias and hollies love it. Chatman’s D’Vine Bakery and Cafe (on 9th across the street from OCg ( brings over sweet potato peelings. Dare I boast, OCg may have the sweetest compost in Shaw? Well, except for maybe a certain garden on Marion Street in the Shaw neighborhood run by City Blossoms ( Seaton Green near Shiloh Baptist Church has a compost bin. So does that lovely garden in the alleys of Bloomingdale. Time for garden exploring, I’d say. Nothing needs to go to waste. Many gardeners know the value of good compost. It is better than commercially-made fertilizer with all of its chemicals and special formulas. Compost is best! Worms love it. The plants love it. The birds and the bees love it. Mother earth herself needs it. Soil is our external metabolism. While I am at it, can we really talk? Who was the person who decided to dye mulch? The red and black stuff. Yuck! Who wants dye in their water table? What plant would ap-

preciate that? You can get the rich, dark look from Leaf Gro, a bagged organic compost that most garden stores carry. (Yes, OCg carries it.) Or use compost that you have made at home. Compost is the healthy way to waste.

Speaking Of Waste! Another pet peeve is how the big landscaping companies plant fall mums, only to tear them out once they have bloomed. (Those companies better not be throwing them away.) Mums are perennials and are beautiful when they come back on their own. One can always tell when a mum has been in the garden all year and is coming into bloom versus a mum just planted for immediate pop. Grocery stores and bigger chain “garden centers” throw away mums, hydrangeas and other perennials by the dumpster full. Because of a few brown leaves, or bloomed out flowers or weak stems these plants are tossed. What a shame! All these perennials need is some TLC. As a gardener, I see a lot of waste. Waste can be traded. I know it sounds weird, but it is possible to get to the point where our infrastructure is set up to take waste from our urban city and find ways to use it for fuel and compost.

Compost makes for the healthiest plants. Photo: Frank Asher

Imagine how lush our city and your neighborhood could be with a little co-creating with Mother Nature.

Compost Is The Healthy Way To Waste One of the folks who picks up her fresh

fruit and vegetables at OCg through our Community Supported Agriculture Program shared her experience living in Berkeley, CA. She said that next to her garbage dumpster was a compost dumpster too. All of her neighbors shared it and once a week it was picked up and taken away for reuse. Perhaps our new Mayor or a council member could help us start our very own compost facility in the District. It could happen here. OCg has composted since the beginning. We have composted our left over Christmas trees for the last two years. We ask customers to bring their trees back. This year Ross Elementary will be composting their trees also, to scent the tree boxes in their Dupont Circle neighborhood. For a small fee OCg will pick up your tree and mulch it for our compost. Our yard smells fabulous in January and February. People walk by just to get the scent. Speaking of trees, we have been selling our Christmas trees, wreaths and garland since Black Friday. If you choose to buy from us, let us know if you want to compost. Here’s to spreading good cheer and a lot of glorious dirt!! Frank Asher, Master Gardener is the owner of Fairies’ Crossing: A Gardening/Landscaping Company. He is founder of OLD CITY green, the nursery on 9th and N Streets NW. ◆ ◆ 51

at home

+ Changing Hands Changing hands is a list of most residential sales in the District of Columbia from the previous month. A feature of every issue, this list, based on the MRIS, is provided courtesy of Don Denton, manager of the Coldwell Banker office on Capitol Hill. The list includes address, sales price and number of bedrooms.





16TH STREET HEIGHTS $440,000 $275,500

4 3




$239,999 $229,900

3 3



$350,000 $350,000 $309,000 $220,000 $210,000

4 6 3 3 3

$479,000 $442,500 $430,000 $399,000 $380,000 $310,000 $296,000 $245,000 $160,000 $132,000 $75,000

4 4 3 3 3 3 2 5 3 2 1

$945,000 $620,000 $600,000 $595,000 $547,500 $512,000 $495,000 $491,100 $474,000 $445,000 $413,000 $360,000 $355,500 $348,000 $261,478 $210,000

6 3 4 3 4 3 5 4 3 4 5 3 3 3 3 3

$525,000 $483,500 $420,000 $346,000 $343,250 $280,500

4 3 6 3 3 5

$6,375,000 $3,475,000

6 5





$3,000,000 $960,000

6 4

$450,000 $360,000

4 4

$1,650,000 $1,099,000

7 5

$425,000 $310,000

4 3

$859,000 $835,000 $755,000 $669,500

5 5 4 3

$1,255,000 $745,000 $691,000 $552,000 $489,000 $480,000 $465,000 $460,000 $460,000 $440,000 $435,000 $409,900 $390,000 $368,000 $360,000 $352,500 $350,000 $299,900 $278,000 $278,000 $270,800 $218,000 $210,500 $204,000 $200,000 $190,000 $160,000 $560,000 $549,000 $507,000 $440,000 $375,000 $370,000

6 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 2 2 4 5 2 4 3 0 4 3 3 2 8 2 3 0 4 2 2 2 3 0

$570,000 $470,000 $405,000 $390,000 $360,000 $360,000 $358,000 $350,000 $335,000

4 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 4




52 ◆ Midcity DC | December 2010




OLD CITY 220 7TH ST NE 400 9TH ST NE 1238 D ST SE 1385 F ST NE 653 ORLEANS PL NE 1661 C ST NE 1410 D ST NE 609 ORLEANS PL NE 1519 A ST NE 1014 3RD ST SE 1723 INDEPENDENCE AVE SE 725 L ST NE 716 3RD ST NE 1817-1819 BENNING RD NE 1732 MASSACHUSETTS AVE SE 1134 C ST NE 1717 BAY ST SE 1203 6TH ST NE 129-131 15TH ST NE 1122 6TH ST NE 1200 6TH ST NE 1504 GALES ST NE 2002 E ST NE 312 18TH PL NE 1524 CONSTITUTION AVE NE 1802 H PL NE 805 7TH ST NE 2031 11TH ST NW 2248 12TH PL NW 2255 12TH PL NW 1630 4TH ST NW 1715 11TH ST NW 922 FRENCH ST NW



$315,000 $299,985 $251,000 $225,000 $200,100 $195,000 $190,000

4 3 3 3 3 3 3

$312,000 $244,639 $173,500 $162,900

3 3 3 3

$699,900 $344,000

4 3

$375,000 $279,900 $140,000

3 4 3


SHAW 1812 5TH ST NW 413 Q ST NW





$426,000 $368,000 $337,000 $289,000

3 4 3 3







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MIDCITY DC Magazine 1210  

News on the Upper Northwest quadrant of Washington, DC. Also featuring our annual Gift Guide for residents and visitors of the city.

MIDCITY DC Magazine 1210  

News on the Upper Northwest quadrant of Washington, DC. Also featuring our annual Gift Guide for residents and visitors of the city.