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It's a fairly sizeable lineup of events on the neighborhood calendar over the next few days:
* BIKE TO WORK DAY: The forecast looks swell for DC's annual Bike to Work Day, on Friday, May 15. Canal Park is one of the pit stops, from 7 to 9 am, at which there will be refreshments and food, plus you'll have a chance to win prizes if you have registered. (Looks like the free t-shirts are all already claimed, though.) Read about commuter convoys, ride buddies and more at the official web site.
* FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERTS: The Friday night Summer Concert Series at Yards Park kicks off this week, with the R&B stylings of Jimi Smooth. The concerts begin each week at 6:30 pm, and the Grassy Knoll fills up pretty quickly, so arrive early!
* OPERA IN THE OUTFIELD: Saturday is Cinderella Day at Nats Park, thanks to the the return of the annual Opera in the Outfield simulcast. Gates open at 5 pm, with a slew of pre-performance activities and entertainment, including a Royal Parade that will allow "kids of all ages" to arrive in costume and march around the lower concourse. The actual simulcast begins at 7 pm, and it's all Rain or Shine, and all free and open to the public. Note that sitting in the outfield now requires a wristband handed out on a first-come first-serve basis. More details here.
* GLUG GLUG GLUG: This most assuredly is not free, but Canal Park on Saturday will host "ABV," an afternoon of "outdoor imbibing" of the "finest craft beverages," put together by Greg Engert and friends. It will run from 3 to 8 pm, rain or shine, and tickets are $20 at the door or in special advance packages. The full list of beer, wine, and spirits to be available is here.
* FITNESS IN THE FRONT: Technically not a weekend event, but you may need to toss in a workout session or two after a big weekend--and just your luck, the lineup of outside summer fitness classes gets underway on Monday, May 19. Brought to you by VIDA Fitness and DC BFIT and located in Yards and Canal Parks, the classes range from Yoga to Zumba to "high energy" to Boot Camps to a once-a-month family fitness session. The schedule is here, and classes are free and open to the public.
* MARGARITA WARS: In case you didn't get your fill of drinking in a neighborhood park at ABV, City Paper's third annual Margarita Wars is slated for May 21 at 6:30 pm at the Yards Park. "You be the judge as the region's top mixologists compete for your vote in a winner take all battle for 'rita supremacy." Tickets are $25 and include unlimited margarita tastings. Also included: one of those extra-special tequila-fueled hangovers. (But you'll want to recover by May 30, when the Tour de Fat extravaganza returns to Yards Park.)
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More posts: Pedestrian/Cycling Issues, Canal Park, Events, Yards Park

We're well into the holiday season, and there are some events this weekend that may be of interest, in between your hall-decking and jolly-making.
PARCEL MARKET: From Friday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Dec. 14, Canal Park will be the home of the Parcel Market, with a large tent showcasing offerings from independent vendors, a food area, live music from local artists, and an "interactive art installation." Wares for sale will range from fashion to jewelry and accessories to "home enhancements" to other gifts. Food will include offerings from Bluejacket, Ice Cream Jubilee, Dirty South Deli, Undone Chocolate, Teeny Pie, and Maketto. The market runs from 5 to 9 pm on Friday, Dec. 12, noon to 9 pm on Saturday, Dec. 13, and noon to 5 pm on Sunday, Dec. 14. See the web site for more information.
TRUCK MARKET: If you want more pop-up holiday marketing options, the Yards is having its Fashion Truck Market this weekend as well, from 11 am to 6 pm each day in front of VIDA at 4th and Tingey, SE. Trucks expected to be in attendance include Urban Pearl, Tin Lizzy, Street Boutique, Strut Truck, Charm City Mobile Boutique, The Pink Armoire, and Go Go Retread.
SANTA PHOTOS: The Waterfront Church is holding a "Pictures with Santa" event on Friday, Dec. 12, from 5 to 9 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at 140 L St., SE. Each family will receive one 5x7 photo and a digital copy by e-mail, and there will also be cookies, hot cocoa, stories with the seldom seen Mrs. Claus, and more. See the Facebook event page for more details.
CAROLING: A resident with the urge to sing has organized an evening of neighborhood caroling on Saturday, Dec. 13, beginning at 4 pm, first visiting the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia and then roaming the Capitol Quarter townhouses before ending up at the Canal Park ice rink by 6 pm. All levels of singing are welcome, Santa hats are encourged, and the lineup will include "inclusive, multicultural holiday tunes." See the Facebook page for more. Bonus points for not calling it wassailing!
SKATE AND SING: If the first batch of Saturday caroling isn't enough, you can then stay at Canal Park for their "Skate and Sing" from 6 to 7 pm.
(The photo shows a subset of my beloved set of Rudolph characters.)
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It's that time of year again--the Canal Park ice rink is set to open "softly" on Saturday, Nov. 8 (weather permitting), with the official grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 15, where there will be balloon making, a photo booth, and the now-requisite face painting.
This season's hours of operation are noon to 7pm Monday and Tuesday, noon to 9 pm Wednesday through Friday, 11 am to 10 pm Saturday, and 11 am to 7 pm Sunday.
The cost is $9 for adults, and $8 for children, seniors, and military. Skate rentals are $4.
Maybe this year I'll actually venture onto the ice. Or maybe not.
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* FILLING WATER: After the flooding a few weeks ago took out the pumps, the Yards Park folks are now reporting that the basin is starting to be re-filled. Though it's still in a testing phase, officials are optimistic that the wait is almost over and the basin and fountains should be back in operation soon.
* MANAGING WATER: The EPA has released the case study about Canal Park entitled Integrating Stormwater Management and Public Amenities through a Public-Private Partnership, saying that the park "exemplifies how a public-private partnership can be used to create a public amenity that enhances the community and provides environmental benefits."
* FRONTING WATER: I came *thisclose* to posting a link that just popped up in my RSS reader about how the developers of the Florida Rock site just said that they expect to begin construction on Phase I of RiverFront on the Anacostia in "mid-2014"--but then I thought to look at the date on the release, and it was May 7. So I guess could still technically be considered news, but we're now reaching "mid-2014" with no sign of movement....
* CROSSING WATER: A reminder that tonight at 6:30 is your chance to meet the four finalists in the Bridge Park design competition. The event is at 1801 Mississippi Ave., SE.
And in the No Water Connection At All Department:
* COMMUNITY CENTER: Tomorrow night, Wednesday, June 11, is the public meeting on the results of the Capper Community Center survey.
* VAN NESS: Greater Greater Education looks at the drive to reopen Van Ness Elementary School.
(and no, the headline isn't a typo)

* RESULTS: Last week I mentioned how concerned parents and neighbors were organizing a drive to call David Catania's office on May 1 to impress upon him the importance of opening Van Ness Elementary as scheduled in 2015. It didn't even take until the end of the day to get results, as evidenced by this quote sent to the Van Ness Parents Group from Catania's office: "[Councilmember Catania] supports the on-time opening and modernization of Van Ness. And while the Committee does not finalize and markup its budget until May 15th, it is the Councilmember’s intention to keep Van Ness’ $15 million FY15 renovation in the budget as proposed. Thank you again for your hard work and advocacy!"
* AWARDS: The US Green Building Council has officially awarded LEED Gold status to Canal Park, thanks to its sustainable development design that includes electric car charging stations, an extensive storm water collection and reuse system, as well as tree boxes and bio swales that provide filtration for street-level runoff surrounding the park.
* SPOTLIGHTS: The spring edition of the 11th Street Bridges newsletter is out, without any actual news on the project but instead spotlighting the small and local businesses that have partnered with DDOT on the project.
* TWEEPING: If you are wanting to keep up with the ever-growing lineup of nearby businesses and organizations, feel free to bookmark my Near Southeast Businesses Twitter list, as an easy way to quickly scan their latest missives in one spot.
* PROPERTY FOR SALE!: Over the years I've had a lot of people contact me desperate for leads on available property. I finally have acres of empty land to offer, but the commute might be a bit rough.
* BETA TO THE MAX: I've been down the rabbit hole over the past few days, as I have finally begun to redesign the interior pages of JDLand, which have needed a refresh since about 2006. (I already mentioned my first cut at redesigning the home page.)
It's a pretty mammoth undertaking, and will take a while to implement, but if you want to see an early prototype of what I'm going for, you can look at the Community Center page, or the Square 701 page, or the Akridge Half Street page, or my Past News page for Yards Parcel A. Note that some stuff will be broken as of now, but the pages do respond to different screen sizes, which also means that the non-blog portion of the site should become much more mobile friendly. As of now it's probably a bit screwy in older browsers, but should be okay if you're using up-to-date Chrome, Firefox, or IE. And the irony isn't lost on me that I haven't been posting much work on JDLand over the past few days because I've been working so much on JDLand.

The Capitol Riverfront BID has announced the lineup for its 2014 Outdoor Film Series, with an "It's a Whole New Ballgame" theme of sports-related movies. The movies, all free and open to the public, will once again be shown Thursday nights beginning at sundown in the northern block of Canal Park, at 2nd and I Streets, SE. Here's the batting order:
June 5, The Sandlot
June 12, Happy Gilmore
June 19, Dodgeball
June 26, Wimbledon
July 10, Balls of Fury
July 17, Space Jam
July 24, Invincible
July 31, Bend it Like Beckham
August 7, Rudy
August 14, A League of Their Own
August 21, The Blind Side
September 4, Moneyball
And Yards Park will once again have its Friday summer concert series, beginning May 9. The concerts run from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and feature a lineup of top-40, country, salsa, pop, bluegrass, and reggae.bands chosen by OnTap Magazine:
May 9, Jimi Smooth
May 16, Monster Band
May 30, Tour de Fat concert
June 6, Sam O
June 13, Texas Chainsaw Horns
June 20, Sin Miedo
June 27, DC Jazz Festival
July 11, Scott's New Band
July 18, Framewerk
July 25, Jah Works
August 1, White Ford Bronco
August 8, Back to Zero
August 15, 19th Street Band
August 22, Cazhmiere
September 5, Crowded Streets
September 12, Jeff From Accounting
For more information, visit and These will also be on the JDLand Events Calendar, once I wade through the lists.
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More posts: Canal Park, Events, The Yards, Yards Park

The DC Twitterverse lit up Friday night when the Wall Street Journal (?) reported the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Barracks Row Entertainment, the company behind the slew of neighborhood restaurants opened by Xavier Cervera, including the revamped Hawk & Dove, Lola's, Molly Malone's, Boxcar, Senart's, The Chesapeake Room, and Pacifico Cantina.
Barracks Row Entertainment is also behind the Park Tavern at Canal Park, and the will-it-ever-open Willie's Brew and 'Que at the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, and those two entities are part of the bankruptcy as well. The filing says that the company has "between $1 million and $10 million in debt."
What does it all mean? I guess we will just have to see....

The ice rink at Canal Park officially opened for its second season today at noon. According to the web site, hours will be from noon to 7 pm Mondays and Tuesdays, noon to 9 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 11 am to 10 pm on Saturdays, and 10 am to 7 pm on Sundays. Admission for adults is $8, and $7 for children, seniors, and military. Skate rental is $3. There are also season passes available.
It's also the first time that the Park Tavern will be open alongside the rink, for all your food and beverage needs, either to warm up after a skating session or to give yourself a bit of an alcoholic-tinged push to get on the ice. (Definitely the latter for me.)
If you haven't ventured there before, here are my photos from the rink's opening day and night last year.
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While I keep trying to get myself reacquainted with blogging (a process that clearly is not proceeding smoothly), I'm going to cheat and go with some Tidbits lists every so often, so that at least I can feel like I'm getting the spigot working better, even if it's still sputtering. Also, I have to get used to all these events, specials, and activities, which didn't used to be part of the Near Southeast blogging landscape.
* The BID reports in its latest newsletter that the Canal Park ice rink is scheduled to open on Monday, Dec. 16. And speaking of the park, if you haven't wandered by, you may not know that Christmas trees and wreaths are for sale there this year. See the market web site for details.
* On Saturday (Dec. 7), the 11th Street Bridge Park project is holding two "community design meetings" that will provide an update about the project and break out attendees into smaller groups to work on ideas. A nationwide design competition for the project is expected to be launched early in 2014. The bridge park itself is expected to cost $35 million, which at this point is mostly unfunded. One meeting is at 200 I Street SE from 2 pm to 6 pm (details and RSVP here) but there is also a morning meeting. (via DCist)
* ArtYards has the Chalk a Lot street art event on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 7-8) at the NGA parking lot, 1st and M SE. And see also this Going Out Guide look at the ArtYards project.
* Osteria Morini is now open for lunch, and here's the menu. Plus there's Happy Hour specials now, too, from 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday. And Post food critic Tom Sietsema took a First Bite there earlier this week.
* Bluejacket is going big with its first New Year's Eve celebration. For your $160 ticket, you'll get an open bar for all Bluejacket brews, plus a DJ and "passed bites." Then there will be a champagne toast as part of the ceremonial midnight keg drop. (No, seriously.) And Bluejacket/Arsenal is now open for lunch, too, and is serving Sunday brunch from 11 to 3, but you probably already know these things.
* VIDA Fitness, coming to the Twelve12 building at the Yards in 2014, is now offering membership pre-sales. Their site says that the Penthouse Pool Club will open on July 1, 2014 and the VIDA Fitness itself on Aug. 25, 2014.
* If you want to look a little farther into the future: WMATA has scoped out the subway alignments it would like to pursue as part of its 2040 "core configuration" plan. How would you feel about a new Blue and Yellow line under 2nd Street from Union Station, turning west with a station at New Jersey and I before heading to Virginia? (It would also run under M Street NW from Georgetown to New York Avenue.) I can't wait to set out from my retirement home with my brain-embedded camera to take photos of this project.

When last I wandered around Canal Park with my camera, it was cold. And brown. (But skateable!) With Thursday's gorgeous weather surprisingly managing to win a tough battle against my inherent laziness, I took a far warmer and greener walk, and updated my Canal Park page with some springeriffic images.
And, if you really want to see how the three blocks along 2nd Street SE between I and M have changed in the past decade, I invite you to scroll through the many before and afters in my Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive. After all, with my work at the park pretty much done, this might be the last time I have the excuse to make you look at numerous photos of school buses and overgrowth.
Speaking of the buses, I do have one "new" before-and-after I can't resist highlighting.
First, October 14, 2006:
And the same location, May 2, 2013:
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