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Wednesday Tidbits: Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?
Apr 9, 2014 11:37 AM
* UNARMED: Since I watched it get built (and remember the problems it's had since the beginning), I'll pass along the story of the woes of the Curly W scoreboard clock. (WaPo)
* THIS WEEK IN CSX: In case you haven't heard, a new date has been set for the DC council's hearing on a proposed resolution to tell the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to have a hearing about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. It's now set for April 30 at 10 am (moved from March 25), and the announcement explains how you can be heard at this hearing, should you choose to be heard.
Other than that, I got nuthin. Unless you know someone who grew up in northeastern Wyoming many years ago and might be in this batch of uncaptioned photos handed down through my family. (Great-aunt Lucy was a teacher out there, so there's lots of pictures of kids in front of small rural schoolhouses.)
UPDATE: To flesh these tidbits out a bit, I'll add this just-posted WaPo piece on when the Nats should sell naming rights to the ballpark.
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More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Nationals Park

Nats Park Parking Map Updated; Perhaps Some 1st Street News
Apr 6, 2014 2:42 PM
While normal people were streaming toward the ballpark on this bright sunny spring Sunday, I was wandering the periphery, taking notes and chatting up parking lot attendants, in order to get my Nats Park Parking Lot Map scrubbed and fresh for the 2014 season. (Three games late, I know.)
The prices are what were being charged today, though for some of the lots it might be that lower prices will be charged for games with smaller crowds. So use the prices on the map as a guide, not 100 percent gospel.
Since the 2013 season pretty much went down the rabbit hole for me, I can't say for certain what's truly new and changed among the offerings, but here at least is What's New to Me:
* There is a $10 lot in the McDonald's parking lot at South Capitol and I, SE.
* The surface lots on the former Monument Realty properties at South Capitol and N and Half and M are back, charging $30.
* The little parking lot that popped up on South Capitol south of N next to the Camden apartment building was charging $30 this weekend, but it sounds like their rates will be pretty fluid depending on demand.
* We already knew that the lot at the NGA building would disappear this year (as the building itself will be), but it should return next year.
* It looks like Lot W hasn't been cut in half yet by the start of construction at the Lofts at Capitol Quarter, but be prepared for that to happen.
There's also the story of Nats Lot F at 1st and M, which a few weeks ago had disappeared from the team web site's parking inventory. But it is now back, albeit shrunken to a footprint that looks remarkably similar in size to the one that the Skanska 99 M office building will be built on as part of the sizeable Ballpark Square mixed-use development.
Small traffic cones separate this new Lot F from a now-unofficial lot immediately to the south, and a birdie told me that this is because the owner of that lot--which looks remarkably similar in size to the mid-block portion of Ballpark Square being developed by Grosvenor--is planning to start construction there Any Minute Now, so that lot is expected to be closed within the next few months.
Whether this is actually the case, and whether it means both the planned 325ish-unit apartment building and the 170ish-room hotel will both get underway, or just one or the other, I guess we'll have to see. No announcement yet as to an operator for this hotel, which is different from the Hampton Inn now under construction at the south end of the block.
The new signs for 99 M say "fall 2016," so that would track with this smaller Lot F being able to remain in inventory through the end of this season.
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More posts: ballparksquare , parking, Square 701, Nationals Park

Happy Natitude Day, 2014
Apr 4, 2014 9:40 AM
Fans are already heading to the gates, the lineup has just been announced (yay, Jordan Zimmermannnnnn!), and there's a bazillion other outlets going deep with Opening Weekend coverage, so I'll wish everyone Happy Natitude Day, and re-pass along a few links that will be easy to find and use for the rest of the season when all of the Opening Day dabblers' offerings disappear:
* The rundown/map of Food Options Outside the Ballpark
* My Parking Lot Map (though I'll need to see today's lineup of parking before it's 100% updated)
Let me know what you see throughout the day around the neighborhood--parking lot changes, the scene at the new bars and restaurants, and anything else of note.
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More posts: Nationals Park

Natitude Returns for the 2014 Season (Exhibition Version)
Mar 28, 2014 11:56 AM
Can it really be possible that the Nationals are about to start their seventh season on South Capitol Street? Yes, it's true, with Saturday's exhibition against the Tigers giving a taste before the home opener on April 4.
Here's my offerings for fans coming to the neighborhood:
* What's New To You in the neighborhood around the ballpark is my page for fans who haven't been paying attention since the end of last season. (Short version: Bluejacket. Osteria Morini. Agua 301. Four under-construction apartment buildings and one under-construction hotel. And much more!)
* Food Options Map outside the ballpark helps you find where the food is (and will be).
* My parking lot map is a bit provisional until I find out exactly which lots are open and for which prices, but it's a start. (Let me know what changes you see.)
* You may also wonder what the deal is with the big murals and holes punched in that spooky building at 1st and M....
Meanwhile, here's some Preseason Preview linkage:
* Going Out Guide has a roundup of drinking options near the ballpark from Going Out Guide, including Bluejacket's new patio bar (and grill!), new hop-filled creations at Biersch, and "Oberon Day" at Justin's.
* Yesterday was the big media tour of the stadium, so lots of coverage of all the new stuff inside the ballpark. From Byron Kerr/MASN: "Further ballpark element changes include the new Norfolk Southern Club, which replaces the Stars & Stripes Club in sections 206 through 221, the Gold Glove Club, the Silver Slugger Suite, Heineken Red Star Bar near Section 205, a clubhouse team store ladies boutique located behind Section 141 and an expanded Nationals main clubhouse team store, which will be upgraded and moved to the right field side of the Center Field Plaza." And WNEW has a few photos of the club spaces.
* There's also going to be an "interactive wall" hiding the construction on the new team store in the old Playstation space. (WP)
* More from Byron: the Nats "will feature 55 beers. Many of them are local and craft choices, including offerings from Port City, DC Brau, Mad Fox, Allagash, New Belgium and Dogfish Head." There's also a listing of all the new food offerings (including poutine!), and Mike Isabella's G sandwiches.
And sandwiched somewhere in between all of that is some baseball.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Year-Round Restaurant Coming to Nats Store Space?
Mar 24, 2014 12:39 PM
Dan Steinberg is reporting this morning that the Nats are expanding the Clubhouse Team Store, which includes moving it from its current location on the west side of the Center Field Gate to a "larger space located on the right field side of Center Field Plaza [...] on the way toward the kids playground area." An accompanying photo shows that it's the old Playstation space.
But there's also this tidbit, from an e-mail sent to Steinberg by a Nationals representative: "The team store will continue to operate in its current location until the new store is fully constructed later in the season. Once the new store opens, we plan to convert the old space into a restaurant that fans will be able to enjoy throughout the year. An official announcement on the restaurant will be made as soon as details are finalized."
Veddy interesting....
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Tuesday Tidbits: Preposition Edition
Mar 18, 2014 5:27 PM
This week's offerings are definitely quite tidbitty:
* KNOCKING DOWN: No time has been wasted in starting the demolition of the old inbound flyover from the 11th Street Bridge, as seen in the photo at right.
* FILLING UP: WBJ looks at the ever-widening selection of local beers at Nats Park.
* MOVING IN: There's been a change in the kitchen at Agua 301, with chef Will Vivas (formerly of Recess Tapas Lounge) taking over from original executive chef Antonio Burrell. A press release says that "mainstay" items will remain (like the pork belly tacos), but that "Vivas is developing new selections based on his South American background and training."
* TOPPING OUT: Nats owner Mark Lerner says he doesn't believe the roof the team proposed for the ballpark is going to happen. (WaPo)
* COMING BACK: In case you were concerned, the Bullpen bar at the Fairgrounds at Half and M is returning for another season, beginning on Opening Day (April 4). And yes, this includes Truckeroo, too.
* CROSSING OVER: Greater Greater Washington looks at the possibilities and pitfalls of the proposed 11th Street Bridge Park. The design contest for the park is scheduled to kick off on Thursday. And the project has a spiffy new web site, too.
* CHECKING OFF: Early voting for DC primary elections has begun at One Judiciary Square, with it expanding on Saturday, March 22, to 13 additional sites across the city, including nearby King Greenleaf Recreational Center. April 1 is just around the corner!

To-Do Tidbits: Elephants, Environment, Drive-In, Truckeroo, Opera
Mar 13, 2014 5:11 PM
* PACHYDERMS ON PARADE: The annual DC Elephant Walk, which gets the stars of the Ringling Bros. circus from their train to the Verizon Center, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, at 8 pm. It starts at New Jersey and Virginia avenues, so it can be seen from the overpass (and perhaps from Garfield Park?), before heading toward downtown. UPDATE: Alas, DCist says that the parade has been cancelled.
* ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM: On March 21, there is to be a forum with DC mayoral candidates focusing on sustainability and environmental issues, at the Boilermaker Shops at 300 Tingey St., SE, from 6 to 8 pm. It has been organized by the local chapter of the Sierra Club along with the Capitol Riverfront BID, the neighborhood group Near Southeast Community Partners and a coalition of multiple groups now operating under an umbrella group called United for a Healthy Anacostia River. The clock is ticking down toward DC Primary Election Day, on April 1.
And, speaking of the river, the Anacostia Riverkeeper group is having a fundraiser on April 3 from 5 to 8 pm. Bring this flyer (and your appetite) to Nando's Peri-Peri at the Boilermaker Shops to help support its efforts to clean up the Anacostia watershed. They'd like an RSVP in advance, for an accurate head count.
* AT THE DRIVE-IN: Presumably in anticipation of their not-as-yet-underway Ballpark Square office/residential/hotel/retail project, developers Grosvenor, McCaffery and Skanska are co-sponsoring with the BID a "Groundbreaking at the Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Weekend" on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. They are inviting folks to "pull into the converted drive-in movie theater at 1st and M Streets, SE to watch great films and purchase popular DC food truck cuisine." Friday's movie will be Toy Story, and Saturday's will be The Matrix. Both screenings start at 7:30 pm.
* TRUCKEROO: The monthly DC food truck festival is returning to the Fairgrounds at Half and M SE for another year, starting on April 11.
* LA LA LA LA LA: The always successful Opera in the Outfield is back for another year, this time on May 3 with a simulcast of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Gates open at 5 pm for the variety of "pre-game" activities, and the show starts at 7 pm.
And, I suppose I should mention that, nestled in between these various events, there will also be the Nationals' exhibition game against the Tigers on March 29, and the team's home opener on April 4 against the Braves. Just in case you weren't aware.
Have an event happening in the neighborhood? Let me know.

Isabella Bringing G Sandwich Shop to Nats Park
Mar 12, 2014 2:04 PM
In news that will certainly have Mr. JDLand enthralled, it was announced today that Mike Isabella of Top Chef fame will be opening a version of his G sandwich shop at Nationals Park, apparently in time for the March 29 exhibition against the Tigers. It will be located on the main concourse near the First Base Gate, behind Section 136.
It will be a much more limited menu than the main G, according to the press release, but will feature G's Chicken Parm and Italian Hero sandwiches, as well as a meatless roasted cauliflower sandwich and a kielbasa sandwich known as "The Drewno." There will also be a "Sandwich of the Homestand" rotating special.
If you want to take the food for a test drive before Opening Day, the flagship G is located at 14th and W, offering sandwiches by day and a tasting menu at night.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

Tuesday Tidbits: Seeing Red
Feb 4, 2014 12:11 PM
I sure am thrilled that Google has decided to throw big red malware warnings up--some of the time--when accessing JDLand, then telling me that it's nothing I can fix because it's a cross-site scripting error, but the other site isn't flagged for malware either. Sigh. So if you're seeing this, yay.
PAINTING THE (NATS) TOWN RED: SportsBog reports on the newly painted concourse floors at Nats Park. I am embarrassed to say that I noticed them a few weeks ago when I was there, but had been at the ballpark so rarely last year--and was so distracted when I was--that I just wasn't sure enough the red floors were new enough to mention. Oops.
TUNNELING THROUGH: Here's six pages of pushback against Kirsten Oldenburg's pushback against the pushback against CSX's plans for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.
MEET THE CANDIDATES: City Paper takes a look at Charles Allen, Darrel Thompson, and the race to replace Tommy Wells. (With bonus points for mentioning the tunnel controversy.)
THIS IS HALF STREET CALLING: Hot on the heels of the news that the National Labor Relations Board is coming to 1015 Half Street, WaPo's sources say that CBS Radio is also about to take 30,000 square feet in the building. Not officially confirmed, though.
GO AHEAD, HALF STREET: Speaking of 1015 Half, WaPo has the story of how the building's original developer Opus East ended up going bankrupt and liquidating, a fate which left the building an unfinished, oft-cited emblem of the recession during 2009 and early 2010.
CLASSIFIED INFO: I posted on Saturday morning about this (which means that basically no one saw it--the perfect soft launch!), so I'll mention a bit louder this time that JDLand now has Classified Advertisements. So if you're trying to rent a place, or fill a job, or if you have something else you're wanting to sell or buy, you can get a two-week listing for a mere $5, and know that you are microtargeting your neighbors, office workers, Nats fans, and others with an interest in this area. There's a box on the home page that points to the current offerings, so be sure to check it out in case there's some offering there just calling your name.
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More posts: 1015 Half, CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, politics, Nationals Park

To-Do Tidbits: Speed Dating, School Days, Nats Dates
Jan 30, 2014 2:53 PM
Here's what's come across the transom events-wise this week. And remember to keep an eye on my Events Calendar down the right side of the JDLand home page to be sure you're not missing anything coming up.
* VALENTINE'S LOOMING: On Saturday, Feb. 1, there's a Speed Dating at the Yards shindig being held at the Boilermaker Shops from 7 to 9 pm. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased here, though the site notes that they have more men than women women than men currently signed up, so dudes, get moving. (But points are deducted for the location being listed as "Washington Navy Yards," which is off-base in so many ways.) It's being run by Professionals in the City.
* VAN NESS ES: A reminder that the new Van Ness Parent Group is holding a community meeting on Feb. 1 to get supporters together to talk about the elementary school's scheduled reopening for the 2015-16 school year. The meeting is at 11 am at Capitol Hill Tower, 1000 New Jersey Ave SE.
* CAPPER COMMUNITY: I'll be writing more about this next week, but the DC Housing Authority is having a community meeting on Feb. 8 at 10 am at 200 I St. SE "regarding the opportunities and resources for the continued development of the neighborhood." Look for the "programming" for the long-planned community center and the possible condo building at 3rd and K to be a big part of the discussion. Tommy Wells is expected to attend.
* NATS TICKETS AND PROMOS: The team has announced that single-game tickets go on sale on Feb. 27 at 10 am. The lineup of promotional events has also been released, with the three NatsLive post-game concerts scheduled for June 5, July 19, and Aug. 16 (acts to be announced). There's also four Pups in the Park dates. (Charlie and George are once again not amused about the lack of a Felines at the Field day.)
Have an announcement? Send it here. Or you could always take out an ad to be sure your event gets noticed. I wouldn't mind.

Nats Extend Stadium Food Deal with Levy; New Offerings
Jan 28, 2014 10:48 AM
The Nationals put out the word today that they have signed a multi-year deal with Levy Restaurants, the "exclusive restaurant partner" at the ballpark since 2009. (Except for, you know, that other restaurant partner at Nats Park.)
The release mentions how the agreement demonstrates a "commitment to regional business" by expanding the farm-to-table program to bring fresh meat, poultry, and vegetables to the various food locations around the park, but I'm guessing that many fans will be more interested in the local sourcing of DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewing Company and Port City Brewing Company, which will now be offered in two additional "District Drafts" locations around the ballpark (four total).
There will also be new items on the menu this year, "including hand rolled sushi, stir-fry to order noodles, house made jumbo lump crab cakes and new vegetarian and gluten-free options."
Fans will also be looking forward to seeing if the redesign of many stands around the park that the Nationals and Levy have undertaken will in fact "get fans in and out of lines and back to the action quickly through faster purchase times and optimized event day flow." There will apparently also be "new digital menu boards" throughout the ballpark for real-time info on offerings, promotions, etc.
Of course, there are also new food offerings outside of the ballpark this year, too--for those who haven't been keeping track, here's the rundown of what's arrived since last season (and what's coming), plus the same basic info in map form.
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

To-Do Tidbits: Billy Joel at Nats Park, and More
Jan 23, 2014 10:45 AM
The neighborhood has come so far that a more specialized type of Tidbits post is now being added to the lineup, to better handle upcoming event announcements. I'm also reconstituting my Near Southeast Events Calendar, down the right margin of the JDLand home page. (And it's a Google calendar, if you want to subscribe to it.)
* NEW/OLD CONCERTS: The Nationals announced this morning that Billy Joel is playing Nats Park on July 26, his second appearance at the stadium (the first being his joint appearance with Elton John in 2009). Tickets go on sale to the public on Feb. 1 at 10 am.
This is the third stand-alone concert scheduled for the ballpark for 2014, along with the already confirmed appearance by country star Jason Aldean on a date to be announced and the big One Direction show on Aug. 11.
* NEW/OLD TUNNEL: On Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 pm, there is another neighborhood meeting with DC Delegate* Eleanor Holmes Norton about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, this time including representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the project's potential impacts. The meeting is at 200 I St. SE (the old Post Plant) - a photo ID is required to attend. More details at DCSafeRail.org.
* LOCAL ART: The social committee at Velocity has collaborated with the Capitol Hill Art League to display "Signature DC," a collection of art by local DC artists. There is a reception on Jan. 25 from 5 to 7 pm, with proceeds from the sale of the $15 tickets going toward a Community Artists Fund for the condo building to purchase local art for permanent display. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.
* CANDIDATE, MAYOR: The "All Politics is Local" series of forums with mayoral candidates kicks off with Tommy Wells at the Hill Center at 9th and Pennsylvania SE on Jan. 27 at 7 pm. The series, hosted by NBC4 reporters Tom Sherwood and Mark Seagraves, continues on Feb. 10 with Muriel Bowser and March 10 with Jack Evans.
* CANDIDATE, COUNCIL: On Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 pm, there's a meet-and-greet with Ward 6 council candidate Charles Allen in the Velocity Condo meeting room. The primary election is on April 1, which suddenly isn't really all that far away. UPDATE: Non-Velocity residents should sign up in advance here.
* NEW/OLD SCHOOL: The new Van Ness Parent Group is holding a community meeting on Feb. 1 to get supporters together to talk about the elementary school's scheduled reopening for the 2015-16 school year. The meeting is at 11 am at Capitol Hill Tower, 1000 New Jersey Ave SE.
If you've got a neighborhood event you want mentioned in a To-Do Tidbits post, you can contact me with the details and I'll try to get a capsule up. I will aim to post them each Thursday, if there's enough content.
(* Despite perpetual billing to the contrary, Ms. Norton is a delegate, not a congresswoman representative (UPDATE: see comment thread below). She doesn't have voting rights on the House floor, as she would if DC had full congressional representation. I can't believe there still isn't a catchy Schoolhouse Rock song about this.)

Public Parking Options Slimming Down a Bit in 2014
Jan 9, 2014 12:24 PM
Many of the surface parking lots around Near Southeast were carved out as temporary offerings, giving developers a chance to make some money while waiting for large-scale projects to get underway. Many of these first appeared in 2008, when Nationals Park opened, but with the recession, few projects got underway in the next few years that affected the available inventory much if at all.
However, with 2014 looking like a banner year for new development, news has begun filtering out of planned changes at existing surface lots that will constrict the number of available spaces:
* DCHA's new "Lofts at Capitol Quarter" project at 7th and L will cut the available spaces at what's known in Nats parlance as Economy Lot W nearly in half, to 186 spaces from its current 350ish.
* The lot on the old NGA site at 1st and M SE will be reconfigured when the building is demolished and a new park is built, cutting 22 spaces out.
* Just to the south, the lot on the southeast corner of 1st and N (near the little Yards pavilion) will lose 50 spaces to DC Water construction, making it a 344-space lot.
All told, that's about 236 spaces, which isn't a massive number in the grand scheme, except maybe during sellouts.
But if the big Ballpark Square project (along with the planned Hampton Inn) just north of the stadium along the west side of 1st Street between M and N is indeed going to get underway in 2014 as new fence signage is hinting, that could spell the loss of some or all of the 230ish spaces available at what's known as Nats Lot F, at least until that project is completed with what one has to assume would be some amount of public parking in its underground garages.
While three projects in the neighborhood are currently under construction, they are mainly residential developments, making it unlikely that parking for Nats games will be coming online at those sites.
There are still a few empty lots in Southeast that have not yet been made parkable. Perhaps a new temporary surface lot could appear on the old trash transfer site, once Mt. New Jersey comes down, but that would not seem likely by Opening Day. Or maybe residents or city officials or whomever will decide that the push to get fans to use transit or other options to the stadium has worked, and there's already enough surface lots east of South Capitol, thankyouverymuch.
Eventually, more developments will get built, with more public underground parking. But it is possible that Nats fans descending on the neighborhood in vehicles this spring--along with office workers who use the lots every day--may feel a bit of a pinch, unless some new inventory is going to appear.
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Report: '15 NHL Winter Classic Coming to Nats Park
Dec 30, 2013 3:51 PM
I hate writing a post that's based on "a source" telling a news outlet something, but I would be remiss if I ignored that "The 2015 Winter Classic will more than likely be staged at Nationals Park, a source told ESPN.com on Monday."
It was announced in September that the Capitals would be hosting the 2015 incarnation, but officials had been checking out RFK Stadium and FedEx Field in addition to Nats Park.
The now-annual New Year's Day outdoor NHL game has been rumored for DC for a few years, going back to a 2010 report saying that the Capitals were favorites to host the 2011 game (oops), which prompted council member Muriel Bowser to introduce the ceremonial resolution "Sense of the Council that the District of Columbia Should Host the 4th Annual NHL Winter Classic." I guess it worked! (Though let us remember that this is still not official.)
Too bad that the hotels on the boards just north of the ballpark probably can't be ready within the next 12 months....
UPDATE: And now WaPo weighs in with its own "The 2015 NHL Winter Classic will likely be held at Nationals Park in Southeast Washington, according to a person with knowledge of the situation."
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More posts: Nationals Park, Stadium Events, winterclassic

A New Roof Over the Nationals' Heads?
Nov 26, 2013 5:29 PM
I have to say this comes under the It Would Never Have Occurred to Me heading, but NBC4 reports this evening that the Nationals have approached city officials about having taxpayers foot the bill for a roof over Nationals Park, with an estimated cost of $300 million.
However, "[a] spokesperson for [Mayor] Gray would not comment on the request, but sources say the team has been told the District is reluctant to spend tax dollars on a new roof for the District-owned stadium."
How does this idea sound, readers?
UPDATE: I'll also point you to the WBJ story, with the headline "D.C. laughs at Nationals $300m stadium roof pitch": "A source in the mayor’s office said Gray 'started laughing.' A second source in the executive office said the stadium wasn't designed for roof, so it 'would be cost prohibitive and butt ugly.'" And, for some perspective, this tweet from the Post's Adam Kilgore: "Even if the Nats decide they want to spend their own money for a roof, they would need District approval. They are a tenant of the park."
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More posts: Nationals Park

Paul McCartney Coming to Nats Park, and Other Concerts
Apr 4, 2013 3:02 PM
It's not being announced officially until Friday morning (though this was a pretty big hint), but the Post is reporting that Paul McCartney will be performing at Nationals Park on July 12, as part of his "Out There" tour.
This is the latest in big-name appearances at the stadium that happen about once a year, following Springsteen, Dave Matthews, and Billy Joel/Elton John in previous years.
I assume Friday's announcement will say when tickets go on sale, but I just couldn't bear to wait that long to post. UPDATE: Tickets go on sale April 12 at 10 am, though American Express card members get their shot starting at 10 am April 9.
If you can't get enough of concerts at the ballpark, the Nationals also announced this week the lineup for their NatsLive free postgame concerts: Blues Traveler on June 8, Thompson Square on July 6, Gavin DeGraw on Aug. 31, and Montgomery Gentry on Sept. 21. The concerts are free for anyone holding a ticket to that day's game.
And, on a slightly different scale, the U.S. Marine Band is going to be free playing weekly concerts at the Yards Park, on Thursdays at 7:30 pm beginning in June and running through August. They'll be set up near the Terraced Lawn Steps, and will be playing "light classics, country music, and popular band favorites."
(Which means you can stroll from the Marine Band's appearances at the Yards Park on Thursday evening right up to Canal Park for the BID's Outdoor Summer Movie Series.)
This is also a good time to mention that I'm not really going to be keeping up with the many smaller events that now go on at the Yards Park, the Fairgrounds, and elsewhere. I'll mention big ones (I think McCartney qualifies as "big") and the series-type events, but otherwise, I'm playing my semi-retired card. If organizations are wanting to get the word out via JDLand about such events, there's always those flashy boxes at the top and sides of all of my pages....
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More posts: Events, Nationals Park, Stadium Events

Washington, Let's Play Ball! (2013 Version)
Mar 28, 2013 10:44 PM
This weekend the Nationals are coming home to start their sixth season at Nationals Park (can it all really be five years ago?). They return to the ballpark on Friday at 2:05 pm for their final exhibition game, against the Yankees, then the 2013 season starts for real on Monday at 1:05 pm against the Marlins, followed by two more games against Miami on April 3 and 4.
Residents and office workers should be prepared for very large crowds on both days, and given that both are day games, be prepared for extra-heavy traffic on the roads and in the subway.
A few links and items for those coming to the game or just those nearby:
* I'm looking for crowdsourcing assistance to make sure my map of gameday parking lots is up-to-date for the new season. Tweet #parknats (or just mention @jdland) with lot locations and prices you see during these first four games. (Especially of interest is what the former lot HH will be charging.) Prices may be higher on Opening Day than for other less-showy games, so all intel from any game day is appreciated.
* The return of baseball also means the return of expanded hours for the Union Station-Navy Yard Circulator route, which on April 1 will start running until 9 pm on weekdays and from 7 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, with additional expanded service on game days (this includes Sundays).
* The new Gordon Biersch brewery/restaurant at 100 M St. SE is in its final preparations for its Opening Day opening. They are in the midst of soft opening/test service, and there will be a "VIP" reception on Saturday night, so be prepared to see people inside but then be turned away at the door if you don't have a golden ticket. UPDATE: Biersch will be opening at 10 am on Opening Day (compared to its normal 11 am).
* When will the Park Tavern at Canal Park have its own opening day? "Soon" is what the signs on the doors say, but there's been no official word of a date yet. (The latest newsletter from the BID says "mid-April," but the Going Out Guide says April 1.)
* The Fairgrounds at Half and M is back for the 2013 season beginning Friday at 11 am.
* Inside the park, Papa John's has replaced Flippin' Pizza, and there's also now the Schawafel stand, featuring Shawarma and Falafel sandwiches.
* Weatherbug has a Nationals Park station, if you want to know what the current conditions are right smack at the ballpark. The forecast for Opening Day looks good as of now (mostly sunny and 61), but it might be a bit chilly for those other two Marlins games.
Let the Natitude begin!
PARKING UPDATE: I've heard from Monument Realty that they are still planning to operate the old Nats lots J, M, and N as cash lots this season, but they aren't open today and won't be open next week. They are shooting for the week of April 8. These are the lots at Half and M, South Capitol and M (old Domino's site) and South Capitol and N (old BP Amoco), and are marked on my map as TBD.
PARKING UPDATE 2: A reader reports that the old lot HH operated as a cash lot for Friday's exhibition game, still charging $10.
PARKING UPDATE 3: Be prepared that the prices at the three Yards lots have gone up $5 from last season, so $25 at 3rd and Tingey and $30 at 1st and N. The lot behind the wrought-iron fence at 1st and M will be $35, but it will also be open for every game this season.
And, a question I had a few weeks ago has finally been answered: the new Nats Lot P is indeed the garage under 1015 Half Street, and not a surface lot as the Nats map shows. Their map will be updated; mine is already correct.
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Baseball Not Far Off; A Visitor's Guide to the Neighborhood
Mar 21, 2013 10:38 AM
It seems like it's been forever since baseball was at Nationals Park (except for that Game 5, which feels like yesterday), and now we're in the final homestretch before the team returns to town, first for an exhibition game against the Yankees Friday, March 29, at 2 pm, followed by the season opener at 1 pm on Monday, April 1.
So, once again I highlight my Visting Nationals Park page, which I built last year to bring together links and information both about the ballpark itself and what's available and interesting outside the stadium.
For those wanting to know what's happened in the Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards (#NeCaBaRY) neighborhood since last season, my What's New and Notable list fills in the headlines, while the Google Map of Food and Drink options shows both the currently opened eateries and the ones coming soon.
There's also links to information on the Riverwalk, the Yards Park and new-to-you Canal Park, and the Navy Yard, for people looking for other ways to pass the time before and after games.
As for the ballpark itself, there's my map of official and "cash" parking lots, a "Getting There" guide, and of course all of my photos of the stadium's construction and milestones.
But, for people who can't even bear to click a link, I'll give the headlines that I know are most of interest:
* Brewery/Restaurant Gordon Biersch should open on Opening Day at 1st and M.
* The Park Tavern at 2nd and M could be opening Any Minute Now.
* Kruba Thai and Sushi at 3rd and Water in the Foundry Lofts has been open since November.
* Highly anticipated brewery Bluejacket is expected to open at 4th and Tingey in the Boilermaker Shops in late spring or early summer, as will Nando's Peri-Peri, Buzz Bakery, and (maybe) Willie's Brew and 'Que.
* Later in the summer should see the opening of the first two restaurants in the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park: Agua 301 (which has just begun its buildout), and Osteria Morini.
There's also still Justin's Cafe, Five Guys, Subway, Potbelly, Lot 38 Espresso, McDonald's, and the Fairgrounds.
And, alas, there's also still the hole in the ground at Half and N.
On the bright side, there are two new holes in the ground where work is actually underway, for new apartment buildings the Park Chelsea at New Jersey and I and Twelve12 at 4th and M, both expected to open next year.
And the Camden South Capitol apartments directly across South Capitol from the stadium are opening in just a few weeks.
In other words, believe it or not, good things are actually happening outside the ballpark. And it seems like good things should be happening inside the ballpark this year, too.
So bookmark the guide and use it whenever you come down to Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Nats Town/#NaYa/#NeCaBaRY.
Comments (35)
More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Retail, Nationals Park

Vats, Nats, Glass, Concrete, and Rebar
Mar 14, 2013 8:16 PM
I wandered around on Thursday, it was sunny, I had my camera in hand, etc., etc., yadda yadda yadda.
Some items of note (click photos to embiggen):
On your left, hard-to-get evidence of the ongoing work at Bluejacket at the Boilermaker Shops. They've covered up all the eye-level windows, but peeking through the (dirty!) glass above the large door on 4th shows the fermenters now installed on the mezzanine level.
At right, my first viewing of the renovated Team Store at Nationals Park's Center Field Gate.
Below, the Lumber Shed in the sun.
Agua 301's space is to the left, and Osteria Morini's is to the right. (On the ground floor.)
And, everyone's dream come true, a parking garage being born:
Of course, it's actually the parking garage that will be underneath the Harris Teeter in the Twelve12 apartment building at 4th and M, so it's probably allowed. If you want even more photos of rebar and concrete, my Twelve12 page has them.

First Look at Nationals Parking Lot Changes for 2013
Feb 22, 2013 4:28 PM
It must be a sign of a revved up fan base that I'm already starting to receive queries about the lineup of available parking lots around Nationals Park, with over a month to go before Opening Day.
There's still a lot in flux, but the big news is that three of the lots that have long been in the official Nats inventory are not there for 2013. But users of the lots formerly known as J, N, and M should know that I've talked with Monument Realty and have confirmed that these lots will be cash lots this season. (If you're not in the know on the lot lettering, these are the lots at South Capitol & N SE, South Capitol & M SE, and the northwest corner of Half & M SE.) Rates and details are still to come, and it's possible that season passes for the lots may be sold as well. If you're interested in keeping updated on these three lots and don't trust me to tell you the latest (boo), you can e-mail natsparking@monumentrealty.com to be added to their distribution list.
What seems to be causing some angst, though, is that the $5 economy lot under the SW Freeway at South Capitol Street, known as HH, is also apparently no longer in the official inventory. I haven't been able to track down who is running that lot to find out if it will still be available for cash parking, but will keep trying.
There appears to be one new official Nats lot this year, labeled Lot P, positioned on the team's map next to existing Lot K. If that position is correct, it would be at 1015 Half Street, which would make it garage parking, though it's not labeled as such on their map. I've written the team to confirm that 1015 Half is the actual location, but have not heard back.
I've also been in touch with folks at the Yards and they say that they are planning to offer the same parking lots as they did last season, including the "new" lot that became available at 1st and M when the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency folks decamped in 2011. Prices for those lots are still under discussion. (UPDATE, 2/25: The folks at the Yards are clarifying and now saying that their easternmost lot, on 4th south of Tingey, won't be available this year. Map is updated.)
It also looks like the Nationals raised the single-game parking prices for Lots T and U on 3rd Street by $1 for non-"prime" games, to $21 and $26, respectively. ("Prime" game cash prices at the official lots range from $15 to $45, compared to $10-$42 for nonprime.) Season ticket holder prices seemed to go up by $2 in most lots, except for Lot T ($1) and Lot W, which remains the one "economy" lot at $10.
As to whether the non-official cash lots scattered around the neighborhood that were available in 2012 will still be operating in 2013, we may just have to wait until Opening Day to see what lots are operating where, and for what prices. (For now, I've left the 2012 prices on the map.) The only non-official cash lot from 2012 that I know to be gone this year is the old Lot K at 2nd and H, which is now where the big Park Chelsea hole is being dug.
I've updated my Stadium Parking map with all the changes that I know of, and will keep updating it as more information becomes available. And any tips on the cash lots' operations as the season gets underway are always appreciated.
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