Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
- April 2012
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16 Blog Posts
Yards Park Friday Evening Concert Series Begins May 4
Apr 26, 2012 11:53 AM
The Yards Park
folks are announcing today
that the annual Yards Park Friday Evening Concert Series
will be back again for 2012, running for an expanded 20 weeks, from May 4 through Sept. 14.
New this year is that the lineup of musical acts is going to be selected by OnTap Magazine
, and that food will be provided by Red Apron Butchery
, Buzz Bakery
, and ChurchKey. (Buzz Bakery is one of the tenants slated to come to the Boilermaker Shops
, and of course ChurchKey
is the sibling of Boilermaker's Bluejacket
The food options are described thusly by the press release: "Red Apron, a small-batch producer of locally-made and handcrafted charcuterie from Chef Nate Anda, will serve a variety of artisan hot dogs with housemade condiments. Buzz Bakery, a bakery and coffee shop led by award-winning Pastry Chef Tiffany MacIsaac, will offer seasonal treats such as baked goods, ice cream, popsicles and fresh juices. Greg Engert, who manages the beverage programs at Birch & Barley, ChurchKey, Rustico and other area restaurants, will oversee a weekly rotating selection of hand-selected craft draft beers and wines." There will also be a rotating lineup of second food vendors each week, such as familiar food trucks Stix, BBQ Bus, Luke's Lobster, Dutch Mill Catering and Doug the Food Dude.
The music will be a "wide range" of styles, including jazz, Top 40, country, salsa, and reggae.
Wednesday Tidbits: Osteen, Groundskeeping, and More
Apr 25, 2012 10:09 AM
After the flurry of the past few months, real news is taking a bit of a breather. In the meantime, here's some reading material I've scraped up, so that it doesn't look like I've completely quit working:
* Joel Osteen Ministries' "America's Night of Hope
" is coming to Nationals Park
on Saturday--here's the Washington Post's story on Osteen and the plans for the event
. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the festivities start at 7 pm, if you're wanting to plan your evening around the crowds. If you're coming to the neighborhood for it, my Visiting Nats Park page
can help you find your way.
* Want to know how the Nats Park field is cared for, and who takes care of it? The Post profiles head groundskeeper John Turnour
and his work.
* A reader tells WashCycle
about being stopped from biking on the Navy Yard portion of the Riverwalk
. That promenade has always been signed as prohibiting bicycling, but with increased publicity for using the Riverwalk as a biking trail (including Tuesday's ribbon cutting of the new bridge across the CSX tracks
), the issue of bicycles along the Navy Yard
stretch is going to keep bubbling up, perhaps even moreso when the new 11th Street Local bridge
opens soon with its wide pedestrian/cycling paths making the connection between both sides of the river even easier.
* Speaking of that new 11th Street Local bridge
, much streetscape work has been done recently on O Street (new pavement, curbs, and brick paver crosswalks), and it looks like the concrete should be poured before too long to complete the connection from O to where the bridge begins to rise above the river. Maybe I'll actually get over there with my camera soon.
* Speaking of streetscapes, there's a new sidewalk on L Street
between 1st and New Jersey, to go with the new sidewalk on Half between I and K
* The Capitol Riverfront BID would love it if you'd fill out either their residential survey
(if you live in the neighborhood) or the employee survey
if you work here.
* Jonathan O'Connell at WaPo looks at how developer Opus East hit the skids
, right as it was trying to finish 1015 Half Street
. (Opus was also the developer behind 100 M
, but it was completed before everything truly fell apart.)
* The Mayor is having a Ward 6 Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting tonight (April 25) at 6:30 pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street.
* The next meeting of Police Service Area 106
is on Saturday, April 28, at 10 am at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE.
What else is going on?
Adding a link to Washington City Paper's profile
of "The Nautical Yards", a "site-specific dance and theater piece inspired by the Washington Navy Yard" being performed at the Yards Park
Thursday through Saturday (April 26-29) at 7 pm. Premium seating is $30
, general admission is free.
And I should probably remind that tickets for Springsteen at Nats Park on Sept. 14 go on sale Friday
(April 27) at 10 am.
Photos: Up High at Nationals Park, Looking Out
Apr 19, 2012 10:02 PM
While much of my time on Opening Day each year is spent racing around getting pictures of the festivities
, it's equally important to me as the first time after a multi-month lull that I can go to the various viewpoints on the upper deck and get updated photographs of how the ballpark's immediate surroundings have changed.
On the ballpark's western side, overlooking South Capitol Street, there's now the Camden South Capitol apartment building
rising out of the ground, more than four years after the lot was cleared in preparation for construction. While technically this new 244-unit building is outside of my boundaries, I've taken enough photos of the western side of South Capitol Street over the years to maintain a pseudo-project page
, where you can get the basics on the development and some before-and-afters but where I'm not going overboard in documenting the building's arrival. The photos above were taken from the ballpark's northwest viewing platform, and you can see the other images I've taken
from that perch since my first visit there in September 2007.
If you want some additional views to the west, I have a series of before-and-afters
from the small opening at O Street near the elevators, including these looking straight out O:
Meanwhile, on the ballpark's south side, there's two changes since last summer worth getting photos of: the completed Riverwalk
bridge between Diamond Teague Park
and the Yards Park
, and the clearing of the Florida Rock site
. And, since my 2007 "before" shots are from the time that Potomac Avenue and First Street were being reconstructed, and long before the waterfront started getting spiffed up, the transformation is pretty striking, though you can tell that I had my wide-angle lens in 2007 but had to settle for stitched-together images this time:
You can browse my many variations of these before-and-after Anacostia River views, both to the southeast
and to the southwest
. And, note at the top of these pages the links to other "on high" photographs from various rooftops around the neighborhood.
(PS: Apologies for the site's extended outage on Thursday--a botched move by my hosting company to upgrade the hardware of my shared server resulted in what to you was a nearly seven-hour outage but to me was the equivalent of a couple of ice ages.)
Stalled Search for New Marine Barracks Site Starting to Move Again; 'Federal Land Acquisition Will Be Unavoidable'
Apr 18, 2012 9:53 PM
The Marine Corps will be getting the wheels moving again in what has been a stalled quest
to build a new barracks and associated support space, putting the word out Wednesday via the project web site
and a newsletter
that it will be using the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) process "to continue the dialogue with the community of stakeholders" going forward. However, it's also now clear that "federal land acquisition will be unavoidable as a result of recent unforeseen changes in policy and a less favorable funding outlook."
In other words, the potential for a public-private development partnership as discussed
in the 2010 series of public meetings
is falling by the wayside, and the federal government will have to own the land that the new barracks is built on. (Though the Marines say they "will continue to investigate opportunities to collaborate with the District of Columbia to minimize impacts to the local tax base and pursue all viable options[.]")
During 2010, the site selection process had narrowed the slate down to
three potential locations: the site of the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters/MBW Annex
at 7th and Virginia, the former Exxon site at 11th and M on Square 976, and "Squares 929/930," the two blocks bounded by 8th, Virginia, 9th, and Potomac controlled by multiple landowners, including a joint venture
between Madison Marquette and ICP Partners. Wednesday's newsletter
, posted by the Washington Business Journal
, says that squares 929, 930, and 976 will be analyzed in the environmental impact statement, but that the Annex site is now ruled out for the required 100,000 square feet of housing, though it could be used for the needed 60,000 square feet of "support space."
However, given that there's also mention of analysis of "any additional sites that are identified within 2,000 feet of the MBW Main Post at 8th and I," one wonders if some of the sites ruled out in the original CIMP process might come back to the table, such as the old Capper Seniors site at 7th and M ("Square 882
") that the Marines coveted so much given its location just to the south of the Annex, even though the DC Housing Authority officially requested in May 2010
that the Marines stop looking at it. The Virginia Avenue Park would also fall within that 2,000-foot perimeter, but the park's devotees mobilized pretty successfully
two years ago when the Marines initially eyed their turf, as did the parents at Tyler Elementary
when its playing field was on the original site list
The Marines do say they are still committed to many aspects of the original CIMP, including working "collaboratively with the community and stakeholders" (and the city), and also to the concept of "[r]educed security standoff distances for the urban environment."
Expect a formal announcement in "late summer" of the NEPA process.
If you haven't been following along (or weren't around in 2010), this site search has all come to pass because Building 20, the fortress just north of the freeway at 8th St. SE, suffers from "serious antiterrorism/force protection and quality of life deficiencies," with reuse of the site ruled out because of the expanded "standoff distances" now required in this War on Terror era. It's those new-era requirements, though, that have many in the area concerned about what sort of negative impacts a new barracks could have on its surroundings. Feel free to browse back through my many posts on the process
for more details.
Diverse Markets Management Pulls Out of Fairgrounds
Apr 18, 2012 1:41 PM
Diverse Markets Management
, the company which was overseeing the "market" portion of the new Fairgrounds
shipping container market and events space on Half Street, alerted its vendors and other exhibitors via e-mail that "[a]fter much deliberation, DMM has concluded it must drop out of this project, effective immediately."
In the e-mail, DMM executive director Michael Berman said he was sorry that the plans didn't work out, having had "high hopes for the venue," but: "Taking a hard look at the site, I believe it cannot support retail, vending, artists or farmers as we had imagined that it might. I think the space is well designed to serve alcohol products and that the stage, sound, and food trucks compliment that use, but the vending and retail aspect does not fit in at all, without a complete redesign, which is not envisioned."
In what is probably related news, the Fairgrounds web site
now says that it will be open "daily" (i.e., operating on non-game days in addition to game days) beginning May 4. The food, drink, and entertainment portions of Fairgrounds's operations were not being handled by DMM and presumably will be continuing. I've reached out to Fairgrounds developer Bo Blair to find out whether another vendor will be brought in to try to revive the market aspect of Fairgrounds' plans, and will update with any information I get.
Describing the Fairgrounds team as "disappointed" that DMM pulled out after only five days of business, Bo Blair had this to say via e-mail:
"From the beginning of the Fairgrounds concept, we all were very aware that the retail aspect was going to be a difficult task. Unfortunately, DMM was not the right fit. We are fully committed to moving forward quickly with a host of other vendors, artists, real estate brokers, and entrepeneurs who see the incredible potential to create something unique and interesting on the site. We did not go out and spend over $350,000 and waste an incredible amount of time and effort to have the containers sit empty. We will fill them soon. The other aspects of Fairgrounds, such as the food trucks, The Bullpen, games, and live music have been very well received. We have many events planned for the summer and will be open daily starting May 4th. We look forward to new ideas and concepts to fill the container stores as soon as possible and are excited for the great season ahead."
Tuesday Tidbits: Springsteen, Other Events, and Catching Up
Apr 17, 2012 2:25 AM
I didn't really intend to go completely off-grid for a long weekend, but a road trip to and from north Florida didn't leave me much time or energy for blogging. What did I miss?
* I assume everyone's heard by now that Bruce Springsteen will be playing
at Nats Park
on Sept. 14. Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 27 at 10 am at tickets.com
. (If I'm not showing appropriate enthusiasm, I apologize, but Springsteen just hasn't ever really done it for me. I think I was permanently scarred by everyone around me going so crazy for him when I was in college, during the whole Born in the USA era. I just hid in my room and listened to R.E.M., and U2, and the Smiths, and Squeeze, and Elvis Costello, and....)
* The Nats' current homestand continues for the rest of the week, with tonight being the first $2 Ticket Tuesday
of the season. Then there's Neighborhood Night
on Thursday, April 19, followed by the season's first Pups in the Park
game at 1:05 pm Saturday, April 21, and Kids Opening Day at 1:35 pm Sunday, April 22.
* If you're not availing yourself of tonight's $2 Ticket Tuesday, perhaps you might want to check out the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce's session on real estate development in and around Capitol Hill
, which will be focusing on the areas east of South Capitol and south of East Capitol, which includes Near Southeast. Tommy Wells is scheduled to be part of the lineup. It's from 7 to 9 pm at the Meader Theater (NCC's new home) at 535 8th St., SE.
* Saturday, April 21 is Lantern Making Family Day
at the Yards Park
, as part of the lineup of events as the Cherry Blossom Festival comes to a close. There are two sessions, at 10 am and noon, followed by a parade/procession through the park.
* It's a bit outside my boundaries, but residents and others may be interested to know that the new Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Bridge
crossing the railroad tracks just north of Pennsylvania Avenue will be opening on April 24
And, some non-event tidbits:
* Square 696
, the block bounded by I, K, Half, and First owned by DRI and Jamestown and originally branded as "The Plaza on K
," is apparently being relaunched as "Congressional Square,"
though that doesn't seem to have filtered down to any web sites
just yet. It's still an 825,000-square-foot office and retail project.
* On Opening Day, I noticed a lot of cars parked in the fenced-off lot on the southeast corner of 1st and M SE
that belongs to the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building. I asked Forest City about it, and they said that they will offer parking in that lot for certain games where big crowds are expected, but aren't planning to make it available for daily use.
* In the 700 block of Virginia Avenue, the Miles Glass building and the auto repair shop next door are no more, but at least they are now permanently enshrined as entries #168 and #169 in the Demolished Buildings Gallery
. A parking lot is expected to be built for temporary use, while the National Community Church works on its plans for a larger events space on the site.
Photos from Opening Day 2012
Apr 12, 2012 4:30 PM
It was a little more difficult than it looked like it would be (and had a bit of a crazy finish), but the Nats got a win for their sold-out 2012 Home Opener, winning 3-2 in the 10th thanks to a wild pitch.
It's not hard in this world of social media to find photos from Opening Day, but that doesn't mean I can pass up the opportunity to post my own, for those of you who weren't there (or even if you were).
I have two galleries for you browse through: my shots from around the stadium
(both looking inside and looking out), along with images from the opening ceremonies
. (I leave the photos of the game itself to others.) And now I think I shall take a bit of a breather!
Nats 2012 Home Opener Upon Us: Some Helpful Links
Apr 11, 2012 4:06 PM
I know, it seems like the returning Nats were just welcomed home last week
, but that was for an exhibition! The 2012 regular season is now underway, and the first-place (really!) Nationals will play their first home game Thursday at 1:05 pm against the Cincinnati Reds, with the gates opening at 10:30 am to help handle the expected sellout crowd. And the game isn't a one-off: the team will play at home every day through Sunday, April 22, with series against the Astros and the Marlins following the four games against the Reds.
JDLand's new Visiting Nats Park page
has a whole lot of links about the stadium
and the neighborhood, but here are the main ones in bullet-point form, in case you can't bear to click through:
* Getting There:
Figure out where to park
(and learn why "I'll just find a space on the street" probably isn't going to work
). Or take Metro
. Or the Circulator
. Or a water taxi
. Or a bike
. (Dr. Gridlock has his annual "how to get to the ballpark
" column as well.) My Live Transit Info page
might also be worth bookmarking, to see when the next bus or train is coming, or if there's a Bikeshare bike close by to snag. (And, if you're a resident, remember that you may have to use the Navy Yard station's New Jersey Avenue entrance if you're coming home as the game is ending.)
* What's New in the Hood
: See what's changed around the neighborhood
and what's now on the boards since last season. Stuff is happening.
* Wander Around a Bit
: Talk a walk on the Anacostia Riverwalk
, now with a handy bridge not far from the 1st Base Gate that takes you directly to the Yards Park
and the Navy Yard
. And, while you're wandering--or even when you're in your seat--check out my mobile web app
that uses your phone's GPS to show you what your location looked like not too many years ago.
* Food and Drink Outside the Ballpark
: See the area's food options
, current and future (including a new Potbelly Sandwich Works at 3rd and Tingey). And learn about why there's all those shipping containers on Half Street
where the Bullpen(s) used to be, and what the Fairgrounds' plans are for Opening Day
* Food and Drink Inside the Ballpark
: Figure out which new dishes
you're going to try. There's also an "Eat for the Cycle
" promotion at Shake Shack/Box Frites/Blue Smoke/El Verano Taqueria
, if the StrasBurger isn't enough for you. And here's the team web site's list of concessions
, if you want to plan your attack in advance.
There will be pre-game ceremonies paying tribute to the US military, including a flyover by the 113th Wing fighter jets
. There's also an Opening Day Curly W Cap for the first 20,000 fans to enter the ballpark, and there will be additional festivities on N Street.
Fairgrounds Opening Day Details, and Interior Photos
Apr 11, 2012 12:43 PM
This morning I got a quick tour of the inside of the new Fairgrounds space
just north of Nationals Park
this morning, where the work is buzzing along to get the area ready for Thursday's Nats home opener at 1:05 pm. I talked with Bo Blair of Georgetown Events, and these are the tidbits he passed along:
* The Fairgrounds
will open by 11:30 am, with about two-thirds of the footprint being used.
* There will be 10 to 12 food trucks on site.
* Three bands will play throughout the day.
* Ten or so vendors will be set up within the containers on the north end of the block.
Blair expects to keep the larger area of the site open through Sunday (since there are games each day), at which point probably only the main area on the north end of the block (the old Das Bullpen) will be open daily until crowds pick up as the weather (and the team?) improves.
If you haven't been following along, check out my post about the new venture
from when it first came to light back in February. The north end is expected to be open daily through the end of the baseball season, while the larger area will open up for bigger events (such as Truckeroo
, and the DC Challenge
on April 28).
In the meantime, check out the photos
, while keeping in mind that it's still kind of messy, and the overcast skies weren't exactly conducive to images that "pop."
Updated Photos from the Usual Spots (Holiday Edition)
Apr 8, 2012 6:35 PM
Because of a need to burn off some calories before digging into my "Reeseter's Bunny" (milk chocolate-coated peanut butter bunny, which the label says is four servings [ha!] at 180 calories per), I did my usual wanderings this morning to grab updated photos around, Capper
, 200 I
, Canal Park
, and the Boilermaker Shops
. Alas, I did not hide any Easter eggs in any of these shots, nor did I find any.
The framing and Tyvek-ing is underway on 3rd Street south of L, in the shadow of the 300 M Street office building, as Capitol Quarter
continues its march toward completion. I also took a lot of photos of other CQ Phase II blocks, so spend some time in the Capitol Quarter Phase 2 Expanded Photo Archive
(and scroll down a bit) to hop through the many (many!) before-and-afters.
Then there's the Boilermaker Shops
at the Yards
, where some work was being done even on Easter Sunday. The walling off the interior space for the different tenants has begun, with the studs visible--and some drywall has even gone in on the mezzanine level, as seen at right, in a view from 4th Street, through what will be the Bluejacket space.
The work is on-going at Canal Park
, but continues to not be terribly exciting from a photographic standpoint, unless you're wowed by images of new curbs. But the Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive
can take you for a walk around the park's perimeter to see the current views, if you don't see it every day. (I also like my barbed wire shot [above right], the result of desperation after being without photos from the east side of 2nd and L for a very long time now. But, no, I didn't jump the fence.)
I also enjoyed being watched very closely by a USDOT security guard with a clipboard as I took photos of the park's progress from the south side of M Street. "What are you taking photos of?" she finally asked, trying to sound stern. "Stuff," I replied, as I smiled and kept walking.
There's also updated shots from 225 Virginia/200 I
(seen at right), with the landscaping now starting to go in.
If you want to see today's entire batch (213 of 'em), here they are
, remembering to click the fun little
icon if you want to see the entire range of photos for a certain location. If you want even more new-ish pictures, here's photos I took around 1st and Half Streets on Tuesday
, to get the Fairgrounds
exterior into the official archive
Now I need to go find that peanut butter bunny. I think I earned it.
Navy Yard Riverwalk Opening for Unlimited Public Access April 12
Apr 5, 2012 5:22 PM
From a press release just sent to me:
"Beginning on Apr. 12, 2012 gates at the east and west end of the waterfront promenade (Riverwalk
) at the Washington Navy Yard
(WNY), will open for unlimited public access.
"The gates at both ends of the WNY Riverwalk will remain open for public access from dusk to dawn and will be open as a thoroughfare to facilitate access to the WNY and neighboring areas after sunset. There will be no loitering allowed between the hours of sunset and sunrise and the Riverwalk may close, without notice, to support WNY operations. [...]
"The Display Ship Barry, located along the WNY Riverwalk, will be open to the public with access directly from the Riverwalk during normal operating hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday."
The release also quotes Naval Support Activity Washington commanding officer Cmdr. David Varner as saying that this is "supporting the community's desire to have a walkable riverfront."
The Navy Yard's portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
runs from just next to the 11th Street Bridges
down to the Yards Park
(Note that April 12 is also the day of the Nats' home opener.)
Thursday Tidbits: Roundup of Pre-Opening Day Roundups
Apr 5, 2012 11:18 AM
Before everyone disappears down the Nats Opening Day/Masters/Caps rabbit holes (myself included!), here's some links to items that might be of interest.
First, a few new entries in the What's New Around the Ballpark?
* On Tap Magazine surveys the neighborhood with "The Hidden Gem That is the Capitol Riverfront
." (Another jewelry metaphor to go with the Post's "Diamond in the Rough
" piece from Sunday.)
* WJLA wandered around
looking at the ballpark environs.
* The Post's Going Out Gurus blog
checked out the Fairgrounds
' sneak peek on Tuesday. (Though what's the deal with the photos that look like they were taken through a veil? Will this Instagram obsession never ebb?)
* WTOP runs down the options
for arriving at the ballpark by water taxi. (American River Taxi, by the way, says that they are almost sold out
for the April 12 home opener.)
Some other items:
* Two reports
from MLB.com on the Wounded Warrior Amputee charity softball classic, played Tuesday after the Nats-Red Sox exhibition. The Warriors pounded their celebrity challengers 17-4.
* "DC Modern Luxury" magazine's Men's issue picks the Foundry Lofts
as one of the city's "Best Bachelor Buildings." Go here
, then click on the Best Bachelor Buildings subhed to get to page 62, then look at the bottom of the page. (As an aside, the write-up sounds even better if you imagine it being spoken by Stefon
* Or, if you like your tidbits a bit less glossy, Multihousing News has "Foundry Lofts Blazes Trail on DC Riverfront
gets a big write-up and cover photo in Beer Advocate magazine
, though we don't get to read it online. You'll just have to make do with the Sept. 2011 batch of photos from inside the Boilermaker Shops
the brewery has put up on their Facebook page
* Nineteen "experts" have picked the Nationals to make the playoffs
this year. No pressure!
Who Lived On Your Block--Or In Your House--in 1940?
Apr 4, 2012 9:02 PM
You may or may not be aware that this week the National Archives posted online the 3.8 million pages that made up the 1940 census
. They aren't yet searchable by name, but they are browsable by "enumeration district." This means that if you don't mind waiting for huge images to load, you can in essence wander from street to street and find out all manner of information
about the people who lived there 72 years ago.
Since I've had a little bit of experience with census digging (I did a lot of my family's geneaology back in the early 2000s, before I began some other project that soon sucked up all my free time), I took a few minutes and found the links to the five enumeration districts that cover Near Southeast, along with the map that shows their locations
So, if you live in Capitol Quarter, ED 204
covers you (from 2nd to 5th and Virginia to M). ED 203
goes east from 5th to 11th, while ED 205
includes all the blocks between 2nd and South Capitol north of M, for you Velocity/Onyx/CHT/Capitol Yards folks. ED 206
goes from M to the Waterfront and over to what's now the WASA site, while ED 207
covers the Navy Yard, which at that time ran from New Jersey Avenue to 11th. (It's actually funny how those boundaries from 72 years ago do a pretty good job of reflecting how the neighborhood's various sub-areas are still seen today.)
This was more than 10 years before the Cappers were built, but the neighborhood wasn't exactly a rich enclave. Plus, not many houses that were standing in 1940 remain in existence today, so only a few people will get the fun of seeing who actually lived in their house back then. But I thought one or two people might enjoy wandering through the many pages to get a feel for the people who lived in Near Southeast as World War II was looming. (You'll probably want to use the Questions Asked page
to guide you across the columns. Note that the street name is written vertically in the first column, with the house number next. And the pages don't always perfectly follow the grid, so you may need to page through much of the ED to find the spot you're looking for. Plus, the image display is really cruddy right now, so using the option to download an entire ED and then browsing with the image viewer on your own computer might be preferable.)
Please post in the comments anything interesting you find--you'll make an old lady historian very happy.
(And I guess I might have to dig up the same information for earlier censuses. Not tonight.)
Fairgrounds Soft Opening Today, with Food Trucks
Apr 3, 2012 9:52 AM
The shipping container market known as Fairgrounds
is having its soft opening today in concert with the 3:05 pm Nats-Red Sox exhibition game
, with food trucks available for not only for Nats fans but for residents and office workers, from 11 am to 8 pm at Half and M streets, SE. Red Hook Lobster Pound, DC Empanadas, Curbside Cupcakes, Tasty Kabob, and Big Cheese will all be on site.
The "official" opening is planned for April 12
, the day of the Nats home opener. I'm guessing that's when the market will actually open.
I visited the site about an hour ago, and they were still working hard, and the food trucks weren't on site yet. It looks like they'll open up the interior up at the Das Bullpen end of the street, but as I predicted, this is really just a chance to sell some food and drinks
. The market portion of the project isn't anywhere in evidence yet.
They're Ba-aack: Nats Exhibition, Then Wounded Warrior Softball
Apr 2, 2012 4:13 PM
The fifth year of baseball at Nats Park
gets underway Tuesday (April 3), with an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox
at 3:05 pm, followed immediately by the 2nd Annual Wounded Warrior Amputee Celebrity Softball Classic
Tickets for the Nats game also are good for the softball game, and a portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased here
will go to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team
. Celebrity participants include
Mayor Gray, Jack Evans, Mike Isabella, Bryan Voltaggio, David Gregory, Darrell Green, Johnny Holliday, Luke Russert, and all other manner of local TV and radio personalitiies.
(Plus, the first 20,000 fans get a 2012 Schedule Magnet!)
If you're coming to the ballpark area for the first time since last season (or longer), be sure to check out my Visiting Nats Park page
for information not only on getting to the ballpark
, but on the various changes taking place nearby
, as well as guides to some places that you need to check out, like the Yards Park
and the Anacostia Riverwalk
(easily accessible right across from the 1st Base Gate). The weather looks like it's going to be lovely
If you're a resident, watch for some crowds and additional traffic, and of course beware of roving bands of marauders with Massachusetts accents.
The Nats' 2012 season officially begins on Thursday in Chicago versus the Cubs--they'll arrive back in Washington for their home opener on April 12, against the Cincinnati Reds. (If you're wanting to know when the team will be at the ballpark throughout the next six months, see my Events Calendar
, where only the home games are entered.)
'Diamond in the Rough': WaPo Looks at Neighborhood's Progress
Apr 1, 2012 10:27 AM
[I'm just back from a week in Florida (hence the spring training pics
), and today I'm celebrating the ultimate April Fool's joke (getting married in Vegas 12 years ago today!), so I'm going to ease back into the blogging thing.]
The Washington Post has a big A1 piece today
by Marc Fisher looking at the area around Nationals Park
, as well as the performance of the team and ballpark from an economic standpoint, in the four years since the ballpark opened.
For people who follow the neighborhood closely (i.e., JDLand readers), there's probably no new nuggets of information, but it's good as a "reset" piece if perhaps you haven't followed every twist and turn since the Nationals first came to DC in 2004.
There's also some additional detail and points of view from across the South Capitol DMZ, which of course I don't generally write about here. [Though, ugh, "Capitol Street"?]
Nats blogger William Yurasko does a good job breaking out the article's bullet points
, if you want the Cliffs Notes version of the piece (since I'm not providing one!). But this part of the article
probably stood out the most to me:
"The worries that [council member Jim] Graham, former mayor Adrian Fenty and other opponents shared about the ballpark becoming a financial dead weight seem to have been for naught.
"In the past three years, the ballpark fee, a tax levied on the city's 1,800 largest businesses, has brought in $85 million, double what the city had projected. Sales taxes at the stadium have lagged behind estimates because of lower attendance, but the city's overall take has been so strong that millions in excess collections have been used to balance the D.C. budget. The gusher of tax dollars will allow the District to pay off the 30-year stadium bonds as much as 12 years early, which will let the city scrap the business tax sooner than planned[.]"
If you want to know more about what's changed just within the past few months around the stadium, my new Visiting Nats Park page
has a "What's New" rundown
, along with much more information and photos
from the stadium's construction and big events. Or you can click on the map at above right on the home page (or visit my full project map
) to dig in more deeply to what's happened not only since the ballpark opened but going back to 2003.
[Full disclosure: while I worked on the big map graphic
that accompanies the article, I had zero to do with the article itself--though I think my web site helped out!]