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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Nationals Park
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250 M St.
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There had been hopes (and rumors) that the old Team Store space at Half and N Streets at Nats Park would become a restaurant of some sort, but the team is now marketing the spot as "Centerfield Social," where for a $100 a person with a minimum of 100 guests you can "book Nationals Park's newest pregame gathering spot right inside the gates."
Reserving the space also apparently gets you an "all-inclusive food and beverage package, including beer and wine, starting 2 hours before game time," along with "Infield Box seating close to the action."
(Though I imagine if someday some restaurant operator somewhere reallyreallyreally wanted that space....)
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More posts: Restaurants/Nightlife, Nationals Park

I'm minding my own business, walking around taking photos despite the clouds and haze to escape the torture of the Wimbledon men's final, and I turn north from Diamond Teague Park to find....
The trucks were all lined up on N Street as well, and clearly the word was out, because a woman rolled down the window on her tween-filled minivan to tell me that "TAYLOR IS HERE." I didn't see her, but I assume she arrived in better accommodations than one of these 18-wheelers.
For those not tracking this event minute-by-minute, there are two shows, on Monday and Tuesday nights (July 13 and 14). The gates open at 5 pm, and the show starts at 7 pm. Here's the Nats Park page listing all the items concert-goers should know in advance.
As for parking in the public lots near the ballpark, my assumption is that they are all operating as usual, though with some turnover issues given that it's a work day.
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More posts: Stadium Events

The neighbors are coming home after quite the road trip, and to welcome everyone back, the team has announced that the new Virginia Country Kitchen stand at Section 113 will be debuting on Tuesday.
Both the Virginia Ham and the Old Dominion Chicken biscuits were teased at the April ballpark tour (and received the JDLand Taste Bud seal of approval), and there will also be mac-and-cheese, a housemade version of Cracker Jack called "Virginia Crunch," and a "Blue Ridge Bourbon and Tea" made with Filibuster Bourbon, peach schnapps (sold!), iced tea, and mint.
Also debuting on Tuesday will be the new home for the main team store, now located inside the gates in the ground floor of the eastern parking garage and nearly double the size of the old outlet facing N Street. No announcement yet as to what will be going into the old space, though it was said back in 2014 that the plan is "to convert the old space into a restaurant that fans will be able to enjoy throughout the year."
The Yankees will be the visitors on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 19 and 20), followed by a weekend set with the Phillies, which also includes the second Pups in the Park on Saturday, May 23. There will also be tote bags for the first 25,000 fans on Tuesday, a 10th anniversary poster for the first 10,000 fans on Sunday, and a number of presentations and ceremonies honoring the military as part of this Memorial Day weekend series.
And as if that's not enough, the team and MLB are partnering with the American Academy of Dermatology on Friday, May 22 for the "Play Sun Smart" initiative that is promoting skin cancer awareness. (As a freckle-faced fair-skinned lass of Irish descent, I fully endorse this project.)
The entire lineup of activities, ceremonies, and giveaways is available here.
And, the Capitol Riverfront BID has put together this roundup of gameday restaurant specials outside the ballpark, in case you need additional sustenance before or after the game.
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More posts: Nationals Park

It's a question that's been asked since before Nationals Park even opened: when would it get the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the now-standard feather in the cap of all new ballparks?
And today brings the answer, with the official announcement by new Commissioner Rob Manfred that 2018 will indeed be the year, as has been rumored for months now
That will dovetail nicely with what I hope will be a nice slew of celebrations of the stadium's 10th birthday that year. (And, for the historically minded, this will be the first All-Star Game in DC since 1962. UPDATE: Make that since 1969. I'm an idjit with poor reading comprehension.)
As for whether by July 2018 there will be more in the block north of the ballpark than just shipping containers and holes in the ground, I can point you to my new Ballpark District 2.0 map, giving the rundown of the latest plans along Half Street and nearby. Hint: somewhere near the middle of the 2016 season will be a good point to assume that whatever projects are started will be completed by July 2018.
It's going to be a fun three years watching this new little deadline become a focus and target of so many projects and plans in the neighborhood....
And hopefully with this good news we can now dispense with "#DCisReady." Because not everything in life needs to be accompanied by a hashtag.
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More posts: Nationals Park

On Wednesday I gave you the deets on what's new inside Nats Park for the 2015 season, and on Thursday I updated the Parking Lots map. Now it's time to get you non-neighborhood types up to speed on what's changed outside the ballpark since the last time you visited.
The neighborhood is pretty darn different compared to when the Nats took up residence in 2008, and it's fair to say there is more development now underway than at anytime since 2007.
Here's a rundown.
You've got the just-opened BonChon at Half and K SE, with not only their signature Korean fried chicken but also a large bar with TVs (and eventually an outdoor patio). BonChon has special game day hours, staying open until 11 pm Sundays-Wednesdays and midnight Thursdays-Saturdays.
Kitty corner from the Half Street Metro entrance is The Big Stick, with a sausages-and-sandwiches menu and also quite the lineup of craft beers and other beverages.
There's also two new options at 3rd and Tingey Streets in the Boilermaker's Shops, starting with Willie's Brew & Que, which has all sorts of offerings of the barbeque persuasion, along with a sizeable beer menu and house cocktails.
A more fast casual option is 100 Montaditos, which serves small sandwiches on crispy buns (100 different ones to choose from, and someone has eaten them all) along with other Spanish delicacies along with draft beer and sangria.
There's also a new Subway at Half and M, plus a new Harris Teeter at 4th and M at if you feel like grabbing some groceries.
Three more restaurants are expected to open in the coming months: Scarlet Oak and its American fare, Due South and its southern fare, and the Navy Yard Oyster Co. and its, well, oysters. There will also be a long-awaited new beer garden at 8th and L, SE, with the great name "The Brig."
And of course there are all of your favorites from the past few years, from Five Guys to Bluejacket to Osteria Morini.
Here's the full restaurant map, all nice and interactive and Googily.
For people who have been tapping their toes waiting for the block north of the ballpark to finally show signs of regeneration, I've created a handy dandy Ballpark District 2.0 map to guide you through the latest plans and changes between South Capitol and 1st Street.
But if you can't bear to click through, here's a quick rundown:
In addition to the Hampton Inn that sprouted just across from Nats Parking Lot C last year and should be completed by the end of 2015, work is now underway just to its north on 1st Street on Ballpark Square (perhaps not its real name), which will have a 300ish-unit apartment building, a 170-room hotel, an office building, and 45,000 square feet of retail when construction is completed, probably in 2017.
Immediately to the north of the subway entrance, a new 195-room Homewood Suites just getting started at Half and M.
And the three lots across N Street from the stadium and its garages now have new owners, who seem motivated to get new residential projects underway in late 2015 or 2016.
(It may mean the end of the Fairgrounds after this season--or at least it'll get a lot smaller--but change marches on.)
You may feel like the entire neighborhood is a construction zone, and that isn't far off, because, in addition to the Ballpark Square apartments, there are eight other residential projects currently under construction, totaling around 2,800 new rental units.
(Note that one of these is going to change the view of the Anacostia River from the stadium's viewing platform a fair amount, so begin to prepare yourself.)
Also look for a temporary park to sprout later this year on the huge empty lot just northeast of the ballpark. And possibly a big beer garden and park immediately to the south of the stadium, if the Bardo folks' vision comes to fruition.
The JDLand Visiting Nats Park page has links to all of this, along with my Stadium Parking Lots map and more.
Whew! It would probably be easier to just read JDLand religiously in the off-season. But now, with this and my Parking Update and my Ballpark Update, my pre-Opening Day mandate has been fulfilled. Play ball!
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More posts: Nationals Park

For those who drive to Nationals Park, I've made the initial updates on my Stadium Parking Lots page for the 2015 season.
There's no getting around the fact that parking is going to be tighter this year, thanks to the following:
* Lot F at 1st and M, and the cash lot that sprouted immediately to its south last year, are both gone, thanks to the beginning of construction on Ballpark Square, the large residential/hotel/retail project.
* Season ticket holders' Lot P in the garage of 1015 Half Street has exited the inventory thanks to the fact that the building is finally starting to get tenants. (And Bonchon!)
* The cash lot at Half and M is no more, because construction has just started on a Homewood Suites hotel.
* Also gone is the cash lot at New Jersey and I, where work is now underway on a new apartment building.
(Are you sensing a pattern?)
One bright spot in the offing, though--a 220-space lot will return to the northeast corner of 1st and N on the former Spooky Building 213 site, but it still has to be built--they are hoping it'll be done later this summer.
I have confirmed that the cash lots at South Capitol and M, South Capitol and N, and the two Yards lots on N and Tingey streets will be available this year. But confirmation on some of the other cash lots--especially the ones on the west side of South Capitol--will have to wait until this weekend or Opening Day. (Any and all intel on these lots will be much appreciated!)
Also watch for lots of construction around the neighborhood, with some street parking eliminated (but you weren't using that anyway, RIGHT?). And the walk from your lot to the ballpark might require tiptoeing around some closed sidewalks, especially on the west side of 1st Street south of M.
As for getting to the stadium, note that, if you use Maine Avenue in Southwest to get to the ballpark, the construction at the Wharf may impact your route--plus it has done quite a number on the asphalt along there.
Finally, if you use South Capitol Street alongside the ballpark, keep it to 25 mph, because there are currently speed cameras set up in both directions.
Check the parking page for more information.
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park

There was a gaggle of media types at Nats Park on Wednesday to get a big tour of all of the offerings and changes that will greet fans throughout the team's "10th anniversary" 2015 season.
From lots of new food to the new Norfolk Southern club level to the new not-for-plebes Club 24 to the new grass to the soon-to-be-new team store to the new mumblemumble metal detectors, there was a lot to cover.
Which means I took a lot of photos. Virginia biscuits? Check. Korean BBQ tacos? Check. Grilled cheese sammiches? Check. Club-level choo-choos? Check. Stormtroopers? Check. (No, really.)
Here's a smattering (click to enlarge), but go look at the gallery, which also has a lot of detail about what you'll see during the 2015 season. I'll also be adding here links to the more straightfoward coverage of the day.
UPDATE: Here's the Post on the new food and the Sam Adams 10th anniversary offering. Here's MASN's coverage. And Eater's. And's.
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More posts: Nationals Park

The clear skies were just perfect this weekend, and so I ended up walking a whole lot of miles and taking a whole lot of photos on both Saturday and Sunday--including a new "official" JDLand Nats Park portrait, as you see, where I also inadvertently caught the former centerfield plaza statues in their new home.
* ALL-STAR GAME: The rumors keep flying that Nationals Park will be the site of the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, but when Tom Boswell says he is "virtually certain" he will be happy with the 2018 announcement when it is made, well, one does take notice. Official word could come on April 6, when new commissioner Rob Manfred comes to Nationals Park to throw out the Opening Day first pitch.
* NLRB MOVE DELAYED: There's been some wondering about when the National Labor Relations Board will arrive at 1015 Half Street, and WBJ has the story of the "costly planning snafu" that delayed the move by six months (it looks like late June may now be the date).
* 11TH STREET BRIDGES VERSION 1.0: DDOT's latest dive into its photo archives includes a shot of the construction of the highway version of the 11th Street Bridges, back in 1964, before there was a highway to connect them to. It also shows the original "local" bridge.
* 503 ERRORS: I know that the site is throwing "503 Service Unavailable" errors with some frequency these days. I'm begging the hosting company to get them fixed, but in the meantime, at least the errors generally never last more than a few seconds. Count to 10 and hit refresh, and your requested page should appear (though then sometimes it takes a little longer for images and formatting to return). UPDATE: And then the site took a breather for an hour early this afternoon, which seemed to finally get the attention of the hosting folks, though I think there are still all manner of configuration issues that they need to fix. Why this has to happen in March and not December, I don't know....
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More posts: 1015 Half, 11th Street Bridges, Nationals Park

* SOUTH CAPITOL SPEED CAMERAS: MPD has announced the latest batch of speed camera deployments, and it includes South Capitol Street between O Street and Potomac Avenue--alongside Nationals Park and just north of the Douglass Bridge--in both directions. "The 30 day educational phase, or 'warning period', will commence on or about March 23, 2015. During this period, violators will receive warning citations. After the 30 day warning period, MPD will begin issuing live moving citations to violators."
* NATS PARK MAGNETOMETERS: There was a media event on Monday to unveil the new magnetometers at all entrances to Nats Park. (I'll note that this sign about the procedures will probably not be met with glee.) I wasn't at the event, but I did get my own shot on Sunday of the new installations at the Center Field Gate, as you see at right. The new security screening procedures will be in place starting with the April 4 exhibition game against the Yankees. Arrive early! (WaPo)
* US-NY CIRCULATOR CHANGE: "From 3/29, catch the Union Station bus to Navy Yard only at Mass Ave and Columbus Cir 1st & 2nd St stops discontinued." (@DCCirculator; more here)
* YARDS PARK WORK: "We're almost ready for Splash Season! Please 'pardon our dust' as we prepare the water features and basin. We'll update here when finished!" (@YardsPark)
* PEEKING AT CSX: At right is a shot of the now-cleared area just south of the freeway and behind the 70 and 100 Capitol Yards apartment buildings. This work has had hearts aflutter that there could be some new development coming there, but it is actually just CSX clearing its considerable tract of land as prep work continues for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.
* PEEKING AT EVERYTHING ELSE: I'm going to have to recalibrate my normal mission to over-document projects in blog posts, given the breadth of work underway in the neighborhood. That said, I can't pass up a quick sharing of the cellphone photos I took Sunday afternoon while peeking through fences at the Homewood Suites, 82 I, Hampton Inn/Ballpark Square, and 909 Half sites. (Click all to enlarge.) It would have been even better if I had included the other holes in the ground, at 1111 New Jersey, 800 New Jersey, and Florida Rock, but I failed.

Everybody enjoying their snow day? (Except for those of you who work for places that don't close, like, say, daily newspapers.) This was a nice little snow, but I remain spoiled by the ghost of 2009-10, the winter that this snow lover will always remember. (This Nats Park shot is from Feb. 7, 2010, in between the two mammoth snowstorms. It was a pretty different neighborhood that I traisped around in getting photos....)
On to the tidbits:
* SNOW CANCELLATIONS: The BID's Mardi Gras celebration planned for today has been cancelled (except for beads still being handed out), and the Van Ness Elementary fundraiser at Nando's has been rescheduled for March 24. (But the latter gives me an excuse to mention that I have finally built a Van Ness project page!)
* SNOW CANCELLATIONS/CSX: Today was supposed to be the hearing on the Committee of 100's move for an injunction to prevent CSX from moving forward on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel until the lawsuit itself is heard, but Mother Nature has forced a postponement, to a date to be determined. But you can still read the Post's preview piece on the hearing.
* TRAPEZE SCHOOL MOVE: It had started to seem like the Trapeze School's long-planned move to the southwest corner of Spooky Park at New Jersey and Tingey wasn't necessarily a given, but HillNow reports that the school has now confirmed the move, likely to happen this fall. In the meantime, there's a zoning case to be heared in March to allow them to stay in their current spot during this year, while their new home is prepped.
* SECURITY THEATER: The photo of construction outside the Nats Park centerfield gate at right that I posted a few weeks back brought much speculation, but it's now confirmed that the work was/is to install magnetometers (WaPo).
* CHANGE AT WILLIE'S: Eater DC reports that both chef Rock Harper and his brother/general manager Ed Howard have left Willie's Brew & Que. No hints on why.
* THE GLOBAL REACH OF SNARK: Technically off-topic, but I learned last week that tossing out snarky comments on Twitter can sometimes have a reach beyond just my followers. (See paragraph #5.) Thank heavens I spelled "artisanal" correctly.
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