Friday, February 16, 2018

Another real estate company fake neighborhood name: this time Pleasant Plains and Howard U. are "North Shaw"

Longtime readers of this blog might know that I hate newly invented neighborhood names. 

A few years ago, real estate developers JBG tried to rename the 14th and U Street area "14th and Shaw" in all their advertisements for their buildings and in D/CITY Style, a free newspaper they put out around the area. Thankfully the name didn't catch on, but a few months later they were calling the area "North End Shaw." That also didn't catch on.

But now another bunch of developer doofuses have coined yet another name: the Bozzutto Group is saying their new building, Trellis House, is in the "heart of North Shaw," going on about all the great stuff in North Shaw. They've also mentioned about something similar on the building's Instagram page. Basically they're trying to make "fetch" happen, but for a neighborhood.

This stuff always makes me mad. People have lived in this area for more than 100 years, and all of a sudden a real estate company thinks they can come along and rename it to try to sell some corny apartments.

And the dumbest part about this is that they have a map on their site showing where their buildings are, and the dot for Trellis House is literally next to the words "Pleasant Plains." Because that's the name of the area. And presumably, that also means Howard University is in North Shaw. News to them, I'm sure.

Pleasant Plains isn't the best known neighborhood name, but it is on the Metro. And anyway, just because a neighborhood name wasn't known throughout the city it doesn't mean you should just throw it out. Here's more on the history of Pleasant Plains.

Let's not use this dumb new name.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

There's a Dan's Cafe Twitter, and it's hilarious

This is a little out of my jurisdiction, but I figure a lot of folks in our area have journeyed over to Dan's Cafe in Adams Morgan, the legendary (or infamous) dive bar.

The spot, with yellowed walls, super cheap drinks (some of which come in squirt bottles) and a unique aroma, has been entertaining drunk people, or making sober people drunk, for more than 50 years.

And recently I discovered that there's a Dan's Cafe Twitter. And while I'm pretty sure it's not an official Twitter, especially considering this is Dan's Cafe, where the newest thing in it is probably a sign for a beer that is no longer made, it's pretty great.

The Twitter account matches the bar's vibe -- grumpy and amusing with lots of squirt bottle jokes. For example, their pinned tweet:
FYI- We got a special tomorrow night. Come in and show your #TailUpGoat receipt and pay the same fuckin price as everybody else
Other recent gems include "Plenty of buildings don't have windows" and "Our TV has been on the fritz since Clinton's #SOTU in '95."

It's pretty funny stuff, check it out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Diner with huge menu, Flip It LJ Diner, open next to Pollo Sabroso on Park Road

Park Road's strip of places to eat has another addition: Flip It LJ Diner at 1432 Park Rd NW, just down from Pho 14 and El Pollo Sabroso. A reader went by the other day and got a shot of their huge menu (below.) The spot has pretty good reviews on Yelp too, 5 stars from 39 reviews.

They have seemingly everything too: lots of breakfast options, tacos, nachos and other Mexican dishes, deli sandwiches, pasta and paninis, plus Salvadoran dishes.

They open early and are open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday; on Sunday and Monday, just breakfast and lunch. They're closed Tuesday.

Anybody stop by yet?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

11th and Park dog park with a new petition to the city; "Mardi Paws" dog costume contest Feb. 27

If you like the 11th and Park dog park, there are a few updates. Folks from 11th and Bark, the nonprofit that manages the park, recently held a cleanup, and have also released a new petition asking the city to buy the property and designate it an official dog park.

If you recall, WMATA, which owns the land, recently announced they would like to sell it. They said they would prefer to sell it to the city, and city officials have said they'd like to buy it. However, that hasn't happened yet. Local dog owners are concerned the land will be sold and converted to another use.

Maggie Garrett of 11th and Bark has this to say about the petition: 
The Mayor is currently crafting her budget and should present it to the Council in March. Ward One Councilmember Brianne Nadeau already requested that Mayor Muriel Bowser include money in her budget to buy the property for the purpose of a dog park. Now, it's our turn to tell the Mayor to include money in her budget to buy the park and Councilmembers to support it.
They also have published a list of action items that you can do to help advocate for the park.

And finally, they're organizing a "Mardi Paws" event at the park on Feb. 21st from 11am-1pm, with a dog costume contest as well as prizes and giveaways. Sounds like fun. I hope there's King Cake.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rock Hard Sundays at The House strip club has come to an end

A few years ago, I wrote about a new promotion at the House, the strip club at 3530 Georgia Avenue NW. Former Councilmember Jim Graham realized there weren't many strip nights in the city that catered to gay men, so he suggested the idea to the House. They liked it, and Rock Hard Sundays was born.

For some time, the dancers wore Jim Graham's signature bowties. It was a pretty clever idea and I hear was quite popular. They also advertised on this blog for a while (image above.)

Sadly, Graham, who was an LGBT advocate, member of the WMATA Board and also ran the Whitman Walker Clinic for a long time, passed away in June 2017, but the event continued on. The House even had a message remembering Graham on their facade for a while.

However, the Blade reports that the event has come to an end as patrons reported that the event dropped in popularity after Graham's passing. Too bad, but hopefully there are other options in the city.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Package thefts in the neighborhood and what to do about them

Package thefts in our area are nothing new. However, lately I've seen a lot of videos of thefts from people's doorbell cameras on local Facebook groups, and I've also heard about a few instances of crooks jimmying open doors to buildings. It's not fun to lose something you're expecting, and it's difficult to catch the perpetrators (but video does help!)

However, there are a few solutions:

For one, try to get the packages delivered somewhere else, like your office. There are also a few places in our neighborhood that will accept packages, like the UPS Store on Monroe near 14th, FedEx Kinko's on 14th near Kenyon, and Walls of Books on Georgia Avenue, which is a UPS Access Point. You can talk to any of them to get more info on how delivery and pickup works. Amazon also has a network of Amazon Lockers for things you order from there.

For buildings, you can also buy package lockers that you install outside, basically mailboxes where the postal carrier can drop your packages that only you and other building residents have the keys They range in price, design and security level, you can find a bunch available online. Petworth News has one example.

And if you've had packages stolen from inside your building, there may be an easy fix. If your building doesn't have a deadbolt on the door, it can be pretty easy to pry it open with some simple tools. This happened at my building and at a friend's, someone made off with a bike and some packages. One way to prevent it is pretty simple, add a metal strip called a latch protector covering the gap where the lock is that makes it impossible to stick something in there and open it. They're usually pretty inexpensive and easy to install (here are some examples), and after we added ours we had no more problems with thefts from inside the building.

You can add a security camera or doorbell camera too. Ring is a popular brand and many brands will turn on at any sign of movement. They don't necessarily deter people, but you might be able to give the video to police.

And you should also alert the police -- you can even file a police report online. Even if they can't find the person who did it, they'll have a record of where and how often the thefts occur, which might suggest patterns. And that might help them bust the crooks next time. Help our your neighbors.

Or, you can do what these folks tried: putting poop in a box.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Jimmy John's on the Civic Plaza has closed

Sad news for fans of sandwiches and free smells: Jimmy John's on the Civic Plaza has closed. I always liked the spot, but it never seemed too crowded. That space, next to Fro Zen Yo, was previously Julia's Empanadas.

It seems kind of odd that two beloved chains would close in the same space: maybe the rent is too high or something. I hope something else good comes there.

And it's more bad news for 14th Street, as we also recently learned that Jenkins Capital BBQ has closed. On the other hand, it looks like Karibbean Kitchen in the old Getaway/Social space is maybe opening.

Any JJ's fans in the comments?