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After years of lobbying to get Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, followed by years of promotion and preparation, the festivities are finally about to arrive.
And, to boot, there's Saturday's debut of Audi Field (outside of the JDLand coverage zone). This means that residents in both Near Southeast and Southwest are going to have tens of thousands of newcomers traipsing around to the various events.
In other words, even if you have no interest in baseball, or soccer, or futbol, if you live in these areas, you are going to feel some impacts.
The DC government has launched the spiffy sportscapital.dc.gov web site with scads of information on all of the events, and included among the pages is this equally spiffy Community Information flyer, with the schedule of events starting tomorrow, July 12, through the big shindig on Tuesday, July 17. The flyer also has information on road closures, bus stop impacts, taxi/rideshare pickup zones, and more.
As for official MLB-related activities within the JDLand coverage zone:
* The free "PLAY BALL Park" launches at Spooky Park (Yards Parcel A) at 1st and M Streets SE on Friday, July 13, running every day from mid-morning through late evening (times vary) until Tuesday, July 17. To quote MLB, "PLAY BALL Park is a 56,000 square feet interactive area that MLB and its programming partners will provide fun, engaging, and educational activities for youth baseball and softball players and their families - all in the backdrop of the Midsummer Classic."
* On Saturday, July 14, bright and early at 8 am, the Color Run MLB All-Star 5K will start off by Nats Park and then run the Riverwalk circuit through the Yards Park, alongside THE Navy Yard, across the 11th Street local bridge, down into Anacostia Park, over to Poplar Point, and then back across the Douglass Bridge, finishing at 1st and M SE. Entries are still being accepted.
* Nats Park itself finally gets into the action on "All-Star Sunday," July 15, with the All-Star Futures Game and the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. Gates open at the ballpark at 2 pm.
* Monday, July 16 brings not only the Home Run Derby at 8 pm, but the All-Star Workout Day. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, it's on ESPN at 8 pm. Or you can stand on N Street and see if a ball comes your way.
* Tuesday, July 17 is the day of all days, starting with the "All-Star Red Carpet Show" at the ballpark, and then the game itself at 7:30 pm.
But these aren't the only events. Here's some non-MLB-sanctioned events:
* Thursday's Summer Outdoor Movie is "A League of Their Own," at 9 pm at the Yards Park.
* Friday has two concerts, both starting at 7 pm: White Ford Bronco at the Bullpen at and the 19th Street Band at the Yards Park.
* The Yards is hosting the All-Star Summer Riverfest on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm. Sayeth the web site: "The Yards Park will be transformed into a sandlot with games, activities, and entertainment."
* The inaugural DC United game at Audi Field is Saturday at 8 pm.
* Sunday brings another outdoor movie, this time "The Sandlot," at the Yards Park at 9 pm.
* And, throughout the entire time, there will be a dozen "larger-than-life baseball inflatables" installed at both Yards Park and Canal Park.
I will defer listing all of the food and drink specials, other than to mention that Mission and Walters Bar will both be operating on N Street. I would imagine most every restaurant and bar will be doing something special. And will be packed.
If you want to know about events at the Wharf, or the Fan Fest at the Convention Center, or other details outside the coverage zone, here's the Post's big roundup.
I am sure I will be tidbitting and retweeting throughout the next few days to try to keep up with items that are of particular interest to nearby residents, but will not be flooding the zone with full coverage. I'm guessing it won't be hard to find the latest!
Comments (55)
More posts: allstargame, Nationals Park, Stadium Events
 

Going to be a pretty Nats Park-centric bunch of posts in the next few days thanks to All-Star Fever, so I thought I'd start off with a bit of a look back, while looking out.
This weekend I brought the JDLand camera to a ballgame for the first time in a while, and spent much of the time wandering from vantage point to vantage point to take pictures. It's really hard for me to believe that it's been nearly 11 years since I first was shepherded up to the upper concourse and out onto various viewing platforms, with someone holding the back of my jacket while I shot because the railings weren't in place yet.
The obvious skyline view, of the buildings now going up along Half Street and N Street, is the subject of much discussion these days (Lookit tthe cranes! Why did they allow them to block the dome? What about the parking garages?), but I also have great fondness for the viewing platform on the southeast side. So here's a quick sampling (click to enlarge):
If you want to see many more photos from these vantage points, dig deep down into the site for my Overhead Photos gallery, and choose either Ballpark, Southeast Viewing Platform, or Northwest Viewing Platform.
Comments (3)
More posts: Development News, photos, Nationals Park
 

Hard to believe that the 11th year of Nationals Park is getting officially underway on Thursday, when the Nats face the Mets at 1:05 pm in their home opener. And, 11 years later, it's a bit more of a task to pull together what will be happening outside the ballpark than when it was surrounded by a sea of empty lots. And yet I rise to the challenge once again.
First, if you haven't seen it, you may want to read my What's New Outside Nationals Park rundown, to get the latest on what's changed since last season, and what all those buildings under construction are going to be. (Hint: if you haven't visited the ballpark since last fall, the walk down Half Street is a-gonna feel a leeeeeettle different for you.)
And there's my Food Options map if you just want a quick guide to what's available by the ballpark, because, believe it or not, there's now more than 45 places within a few blocks of the ballpark for you to get food and/or drink. Again, that's a long way from April, 2008.
But here's some other items of note from outside the ballpark for Thursday, while I point you to this rundown of what will be happening inside the park when the gates open at 11 am. (And be prepared for the F/18 Super Hornet flyover right before the game starts, which always seems to catch everyone by surprise when the neighborhood starts to rumble.)

HOW TO GET THERE:
If you haven't yet figured out how you are getting to the game, the official Nats transportation page will be helpful, as well as this press release from the District Department of Transportation about planning your trip to the ballpark, with detailsabout DC Circulator, Capital Bikeshare, Metrorail/Metrobus, and street closures and parking.
DDOT also mentions that for-hire vehicles (taxis, Uber/Lyft, etc) are now prevented from picking up and dropping off passengers on South Capitol Street between the freeway and the Douglass Bridge, and M Street between 5th St. SE and Delaware Ave., SW.
Here is my Stadium Parking Lots map, provisionally updated for 2018, with the caveat that it really can't be fully updated until the season gets underway.
And of course you can just walk there, too.

NEW FOOD AND BEVERAGE AS OF THIS WEEK:
* Declaration, on 1st Street SE south of M, will be opening for the first time on Thursday, and will be giving away a free meatball slider with the purchase of a Samuel Adams beer, plus chances to win gift certificates, Nats gear and tickets, and a package for two lucky winners, who will receive a free pizza every time they dine in during a home game. After this grand opening, there will also be daily happy hours from 3-7pm at the bar (on days when the Nats are not at home). Happy hour includes $8 cocktails, $6 beers, and bar bites ranging from $5-$8.
* Aslin Beer Garden begins its run on the northwest corner of 1st and N SE at 11 am. It will be serving 16 oz cans priced from $8 to $11, and the lineup is expected to be Anthemic (pilsner), Power Move (IPA), Sorbet (fruited sour ipa), Awkwardly Sweet (fruited sour ipa), and Double Orange Starfish (double IPA).
* All-Purpose Pizzeria's location on the Anacostia Riverfront at 79 Potomac Avenue (on the waterfront across from the 1st Base Gate, near the Salt Line) officially opened on Tuesday, and is opening at 11 am Thursday for the Nats opener.

MORE GAMEDAY SPECIALS OUTSIDE THE BALLPARK: (to be updated as more are announced)
* The Bullpen will open its gates at 10 am, and will have pregame entertainment from Sean Gaiser and a postgame performance from the DCeivers. All drinks are $5 during "happy hour," from the 3rd through the 7th innings.
* Taylor Gourmet will have an all-day burger special: buy a burger get a free fountain drink and bag of chips.
* Rasa Indian Grill: The first 100 fans with Nationals Swag will receive a free #GONATS branded coconut with the purchase of a bowl.
* Roti will be offering $3 flat breads and $2 beers, one per customer, all day.
* Bluejacket will open at 9 a.m., debuting a new pilsner called Love Cats, a classic, hop-forward brew perfect for baseball season, and an outdoor grilling menu featuring sticky ribs, wings, sausage, pulled pork, burgers and more.
* Due South Dockside will be open, where Mix 107.3’s Ashley Nickel will be broadcasting live from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Ice Cream Jubilee will add a free mini scoop of their Nats Red Velvet flavor onto any ice cream purchase to guests that show their Opening Day ticket.
* Nando’s will have an all-day happy hour.
* Osteria Morini's waterfront satellite food and drink stand, Morini Piccolo, will serving ciabatta sandwiches, salads, charcuterie, beer and wine, and Italian desserts such as ice cream sandwiches and tiramisu.
* Takorean will offer $3 craft beers all day.
* Scarlet Oak will open at 10 am for brunch.
* Steadfast Supply will offer 10% off all products and extend hours to 8 p.m.
* Trapeze School New York - Washington DC will offer 20% off of a student’s first class. To use, contact the office and provide code “Opening Day 20”.
* VIDA Fitness will host an outdoor boot camp class at with trainer Matt Coleman leading the group, which will meet at the Department of Transportation at 6:30 a.m.
* Willow will give out a free pair of baseball earrings with a $20 purchase.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

Today was the annual preseason media tour at Nationals Park, and while I did attend, I think it has been better covered elsewhere, so I am just going to stick to my wheelhouse and let folks know what they will see *outside* the ballpark when they venture to Half Street for the first time in 2018, whether it's for tomorrow's signs-point-to-frigid exhibition game at 4:05 pm against the Twins, or for the official home opener on April 5 against the Mets.
I've put together my annual What's New page with an overview of the latest on construction, development, and food offerings, but of course I must give an overview of the overview:
I think it's safe to say that even the less observant fans will notice that Half Street is now undergoing the change that has been expected for a decade, since the ballpark opened officially on March 30, 2008. Two residential projects that will eventually offer a combined 850-plus units and more than 120,000 square feet of retail are now sprouting vertically, with West Half edging out 1250 Half for the lead at this time.
But these are just two of the seventeen projects currently underway or about to be, which you can see on the map at the top right of each page, or on the full JDLand development map. Once again, driving/walking/biking/scootering in the neighborhood requires vigilance to one's surroundings with all of the activity. If you like to see photos of skeletons or holes in the ground, just start clicking on that map to get your fill.
As for new food options since the end of last season, we'll start with a headline that came down the pike today, which is that All-Purpose has announced it will open on April 3 in the ground floor of Dock 79, just across Potomac Avenue from the ballpark. (Here's Eater's preview of the place.) There's also rumors afoot that two more pizza places--Declaration on 1st south of M and Oath Pizza at 110 M--are targeting April 5 for their own Opening Days. And summer is expected to bring another pizza offering, as Wiseguy Pizza arrives at Canal Park with not only pies but also gelato.
There will also be a milestone of sorts later this season if/when the 10,000-square-foot Mexican restaurant Mission Dos becomes the first outlet to open on N Street, in the ground floor of the new 1221 Van apartment building that opened to residents earlier this year directly across from the ballpark (well, directly across from one of the garages, but you get the idea).
As for eateries that have opened since the end of last season, you can now add Chipotle, Roti, Rasa Indian Grill, Cava, and Chloe to your options if you're looking to get food and/or drink before and/or after a game.
Plus there's also the added riverfront options of District Winery, Due South Dockside, and Morini Piccolo if their mid/late-season arrivals last year didn't make it onto your radar.
See the JDLand food map for the full lineup of current and anticipated outlets east of South Capitol. It's come a long way from 2008.
There's also some other items to be anticipating, such as the start of construction on the new Douglass Bridge and other improvements to South Capitol Street on both sides of the river. There's also the no-really-it's-coming-we-just-don't-know-when opening of Whole Foods at New Jersey and H, which should be by the end of the year, but {insert shrug emoji}. Plus there's the impending arrival of Audi Field up Potomac Avenue, but it's in Southwest and so is outside of my purview (though I couldn't resist sneeking a peek today).
And I imagine I'll being doing something like this again in July, when the masses really descend on Natstown.
Play Ball!
UPDATE: I should have mentioned that I have made a very preliminary update to my Stadium Parking Map, but it's hard to really know the state of affairs until the season starts.There is one big change that is definite--the large surface lot at Half and I is no more, since construction is supposed to start Any Minute Now on a block-wide project there. There is underground parking across the street at One Hill South, though. But it's likely that parking is going to be a little tighter this year.
UPDATES II AND III: It's been announced today that the Aslin Beer Company will be creating a pop-up beer garden in the empty lot between the wings of the Hampton Inn at 1st and N, immediately north of the ballpark. It will first be for home games only, then may expand in May to other days as well. Also, it's being reported that Declaration has a sign in its window announcing that it will open on April 5.
Comments (25)
More posts: allpurpose, Development News, Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park
 

It looks as if Insignia on M has a tenant for the retail space at New Jersey and L, in the same block as the Metro station entrance. There's a placard now posted that Navy Yard Wine Merchant* has applied for a Class B liquor license, which allows the sale of beer and wine--and has also included a request for a tasting permit. ANC 6D's ABC Committee will be taking this up later this month, and the full ANC could be expected to vote on whether it will support the application at its February meeting.
In other tidbits I've been meaning to pass along:
* ZAC BROWN: Normally Nats Park hosts a big concert during the All-Star break, but the stadium will be otherwise occupied during that stretch, and so this summer's big show, the Zac Brown Band, will be on July 27. Tickets are on sale now. UPDATE: And I've been reminded in the comments that this is actually the second of the big summer shows, with the Eagles and James Taylor playing the night before.
* CHLOE: The Post's Tom Sietsema liked what he saw at Chloe, calling himself "bewitched" with the debut menu, and that "right out of the gate, Chloe feels like a keeper."
* TUNNEL: The next "Coffee with Chuck" status meeting on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel is on Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 8 to 9 am at the CSX office at 861 New Jersey Ave., SE. There is lots of work in the 300 block of Virginia Avenue these days to turn it back into an actual street, with the beginnings of curbs and sidewalks and preparations for drains and streetlights, as well as working toward returning the entrance to the Capitol Quarter driveway to its original path from Virginia.
* PSA 106: This month's PSA-106 meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 7 pm at the Capper Community Center at 5th and K, SE. MPD holds these meetings to discuss residents' concerns and questions about public safety issues.
I took a bunch of pictures this weekend, but will write about that when I recover.
* I assume this is the actual name, but cannot say with 100 percent certainty.
 

* I STREET REDESIGN: ANC Commissioner Meredith Fascett reports that DDOT is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, on proposed plans to redesign I Street SE to make it work better for pedestrians, bicyclists, and even vehicles. It's at 6:30 pm in the lobby at 70 I Street (70 Capitol Yards). Meredith wrote back in August about the early discussions for safer bike lanes, crosswalks, parking adjustments, and more.
* BIXBY RIBBON-CUTTING: Apparently there will be a ribbon cutting at the 195-unit mixed-income Bixby at 7th and L on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
* NATS PARK BILLBOARDS: On Dec. 6 the DC Council gave first approval to the proposed large display boards at the ballpark, though the Hill Rag reports that the count has dropped to five boards from 10, lowers the allowed brightness, and prohibits them from facing toward South Capitol Street, the Anacostia River, M Street, and 1st Street between M and N.
* ONYX SALE, AGAIN: A reader reports that the tell-tale binder appeared in the lobby of the Onyx apartment building recently, indicating that AvalonBay has contracted to purchase the 260-unit building for $95.5 million. (The binder contains the offer required by DC law for the tenants to instead buy the building themselves, if they have $95 million in coins under their sofa cushions.) The building last sold in 2013 for a smidge over $82 million.
* SWEET BABY JAMES: It's been announced that James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt will be playing Nats Park on July 14, 2017. Tickets are on sale now.
* TUNNEL DOINGS: Most folks are probably aware that 3rd Street is now closed at Virginia Avenue for the next several weeks. If you are wanting more info on the current status of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, the last "Coffee with Chuck" of 2016 is Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 am at the construction office at 861 New Jersey Ave. SE. Hard to believe that most of the structural work on the new companion tunnel is finishing up, with work moving to "track level"--preparing the railroad bed, installing cross ties, etc. (Good timing to be in the enclosed spot during the winter.) But of course this is not the end of the project, as work will then shift to the reconstruction of the existing 100-year-old tunnel.
 

* HOMICIDE: The neighborhood's first second* non-ghaslty-workplace-mass-shooting homicide since March 25, 2004 happened on Sunday, when neighborhood resident Anthony Young was shot to death in the 600 block of L Street, SE; a woman with him was wounded. Police charged Babajide Pittman, 31, with second-degree murder while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon, and said that the the shooting was a dispute between two people who knew each other. ANC 6D Commissioner Meredith Fascett wrote about Young, saying that he was "working to mentor neighborhood kids and had planned to volunteer at the Community Center." (WaPo) UPDATE (VERSION 2): *Originally this update was to say that there were in fact two homicides in the neighborhood in 2016, but after seeing the second one listed as being in the 1000 block of 8th St., SE, I misremembered it as the shooting that happened in the barber shop there. After being corrected in the comments, I went looking, and found this murder from May, but it is described as having happened north of the freeway at the time, but is now in the MPD crime stats as being south of the freeway.
* HOMICIDES 1987-2004: If you haven't come across the overview I wrote in 2010 of the 64 deaths in Near Southeast during the worst of the city's violence epidemic, it might be worth a read. The map and rundown is here.
* MORE CRIME: The actual map part of my big crime database has probably been busted for months, but no one's mentioned it so no one must ever look there. But it's fixed now.
* OOPS: A car flipped in the 300 block of K Street on Tuesday night, and one passenger required extrication from DC Fire/EMS. On-the-spot photography by a JDLand reader here.
* MORE ON BILLBOARDS: The Post writes about the Nats Park digital billboards controversy.
* ACROSS THE WAY: A report on the Zoning Commission's look at the new DC United Stadium. (WaPo)
(If you follow me on Twitter and feel like these tidbits all seem familiar, you are correct! If you don't follow me on Twitter, or don't ever scroll through the Twitter box on the right side of the JDLand home page, you are missing out on what is still a pretty active news feed. It's a way for me to keep the info flowing when I don't have time to post. So, keep an eye on it...)
Comments (28)
More posts: crime, Nationals Park, Traffic Issues
 

I'm going to try to get back into the tidbit biz to make up for my generally decreased output (except for the past few days!). We'll see how it goes, and it also means I have some catching up to do, so apologies if some of these are old news to you.
*I WORK, YOU WORK, WEWORK: Co-working provider WeWork has signed a 69,000-sf lease at 80 M St. SE. (Bisnow)
* NATS PARK DIGITAL SIGNS: This has been brewing for a number of weeks, and has been discussed in the comments threads, but some may still be unaware of the plans by the Nationals to install 10 large digital billboards on the ballpark's exterior. The Hill Rag wrote about it in detail in October, and last week ANC 6D's Andy Litsky offered this blistering testimony in opposition to the DC Council's Subcommittee on Urban Affairs. UPDATE: Oops, I guess the initial subcommittee vote was last week, a 4-1 approval. Washington City Paper has more on the controversy.
* COMMUNITY CENTER BACKSTORY: Capitol Hill Corner writes of how the new Capper Community Center had and then lost plans for an operator for the new building, and what it means for the center at this point.
* ANACOSTIA RIVER TRAIL EXTENSION: Back at the end of October, the stretch of the Anacostia River Trail from Benning Road to the DC/Maryland line officially opened, providing not only another five miles of trail offerings within DC but creating an all new gateway to the large Anacostia Tributary Trail System. (WashCycle)
* WSJ ON THE HOOD: If you have a Wall Street Journal subscription, here's their recent piece on the explosive growth of the neighborhood.
* CHANGING HANDS: I totally meant to mention back in July that the Empire Cab building at 37 L St. SE was sold for $6.7 million, according to WBJ (scroll down). This building, as I wrote a number of years ago, was the site in 1977 of a terrible fire where nine people died. In other changing-hands-news, a little birdie tells me that the land held by Akridge along 1st St. SE between K and L that was put on the market earlier this year is now under contract to a residential developer. I imagine we'll find out more when the sale closes in coming weeks.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
 

The Nats continue their even-year streak of making it to the playoffs, and will be facing the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park for the first two games of the series. Game 1 is Friday, Oct. 7 at 5:38 pm, and Game 2 is Saturday, Oct. 8 at 4:08 pm. (If necessary, Game 5 will be on Thursday, Oct. 13. But let's not think about that right now.)
GETTING THERE: If you are needing the latest news about getting to and from the ballpark for Friday and Saturday's games. Dr. Gridlock has put together this rundown. (You'd like to believe that those start times will prevent a Metro-closing-time-apocalypse, but some of us do remember the 2018-inning 2014 playoff game...)
WHERE TO EAT: My food map will help you if you haven't wandered around lately.
These are the special events I've heard about so far, but keep checking back, as I will update here when more information comes along:
YARDS PARK PEP RALLY: The Capitol Riverfront BID is hosting a free Playoffs Pep Rally at the Yards Park on Friday, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm, with live music from the Lloyd Dobler Effect, as well as games and activities. Food and beverages will be for sale from Bluejacket, Agua 301, Ice Cream Jubilee, and others.
FAIRGROUNDS DOINGS: The Bullpen will be fully operational on Friday and Saturday. Gates open at 1 pm on Friday and noon on Saturday, and admission is free. There will be live music before and after games, and if you don't have a ticket to get into the ballpark, the Bullpen will be airing the home games with sound on a 9'-12' LED screen. And a happy hour during innings 3 through 7 will offer all drinks for $5.
DUE SOUTH OFFERINGS: There will be a special "curated playoff menu" inside the restaurant at 301 Water St. SE, opening at 11 am every day, while the "outdoor bar and grill" will have draft beer and grab-and-go eats, starting three hours before first patch. And the Nats games will be shown on all TVs, with sound.
ALL THINGS GO FALL CLASSIC: Because the area right near the ballpark won't be hopping enough on Saturday, note that there will also be the All Things Go Fall Classic music festival underway at Spooky Park, aka the huge open space south of M and between 1st and New Jersey. It runs from 11:30 am to about 10:30 pm, and it ain't free. (I'll save my rant for the dubbing of the Spooky Park site as "Yards Park" for another day.)
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

Tom Boswell, sports columnist for the Washington Post, took a walk around the 'Hood back before Opening Day. So?
"I came back stunned. Washington has won. And it has won big."
His column for Thursday's print edition is a love letter to what the area around Nats Park has become in the eight-plus years since the ballpark opened.
"Economically, aesthetically and in quality of city life, the transformation of Southeast, which moved at a crawl during the Great Recession and often slipped from the public consciousness, has fulfilled and in some ways surpassed expectations. In fact, I'm probably a couple of years late to the party.
"But unless you live within walking or bicycling distance of Nationals Park, even if you go to Nationals games, there's an excellent chance that, like me, most of the success story is still a mystery to you."
I could keep quoting, but just give it a read, and tell me what you think.
And thanks for the shout-out, Tom! (Plus, everyone please know that "ridiculous" quote was said with love, of course.)
(If you're visiting JDLand as a result of reading Tom's column, and are somewhat bewildered at what you are seeing, might I suggest wandering through my favorite before-and-after shots, or my "sliders" comparing old and new images, or my map of what's happened and what's to come in this neck of the woods. Or find out what the deal is with this site, anyway.)
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More posts: Nationals Park
 
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