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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.
 

A healthy lineup of events this week:
* NATS TICKETS/PROMOTIONS AT THE BALLPARK: Single game tickets for the Nats' 2015 season go on sale to the general public Thursday, Feb. 19, at 10 am. (Season ticket holders get their shot on Wednesday.) Believe it or not, this will be the Nationals' 11th season in DC (and the 8th at Nats Park), so there are a whole slew of anniversary-related promotions planned this year, including 10-Year Tuesdays, six games that will feature special guests, pregame ceremonies, and giveaways. Other offerings of note include the Great Moments in Nationals History Bobbleheads, the Jayson Werth Chia Pet, and the Anthony Rendon Garden Gnome, plus six Pups in the Park days and a Star Wars day.
* FAT TUESDAY AT CANAL PARK (SORT OF): The Capitol Riverfront BID will be celebrating Mardi Gras on Tuesday, Feb. 17, with a "Second Line" march scheduled for noon in Canal Park, featuring local band Brass Connection. There will also be king cake served in the light cube, and of course beads will be flung. (Checking to find out whether they will be marching through the snow. UPDATE: No parade, no band, no cake, but beads are still to be flung.)
* VAN NESS FUNDRAISER AT NANDO'S (MAYBE): Tuesday, Feb. 17 is also the Van Ness Elementary fundraiser at Nando's Peri-Peri. From 6 pm to 10 pm, the restaurant will donate 40 percent of its receipts from all sales made to people with the fundraiser flyer in hand. (And if you didn't RSVP, that's okay.) UPDATE: If there's a heavy coating of snow, this may get pushed to March. The call will be made on Tuesday morning. UPDATE II: It's been snowed out--the new date is March 24.
* JOB FAIR AT ARENA STAGE: Newly minted councilmembers Charles Allen and Elissa Silverman are co-sponsoring the latest edition of the DC Job Fair, at Arena Stage, on Friday, Feb. 20, from 10 am to 2 pm. Businesses that will be there looking to hire include Giant Food, Clark Construction at the Wharf, CSX, DC Water, Sears, Big Bus Tours, the Architect of the Capitol, and others. There will also be a number of organizations represented that provide support services for those looking to re-enter the job market.
* LIVE MUSIC AT BLUEJACKET: Because they aren't packing enough people in on Friday nights, the brewery at 4th and Tingey is launching a live music offering on alternate Fridays up until the start of baseball season. It starts on Feb. 20 at 10 pm with Crystal Youth. No cover charge.
* LASER CAT AT THE YARDS: If you're near 3rd and Tingey this weekend and are wondering about the lasers, music, and cries of "Pew! Pew!" emanating from the old Building 170, it's Laser Cat, being presented by the Washington Project for the Arts. The free tickets appear to be gone for the Friday/Saturday night sessions (oops), but you can still RSVP to Laser Cat Kids on Saturday, Feb. 21 from noon to 2 pm. There will be cat-ear making, balloon and glitter tattoo artists, the inevitable face painting, and of course, a huge freaking feline.
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More posts: Events, Stadium Events
 

* NAVY YARD RETURN: This week workers begin returning to Building 197, the site of the rampage on Sept. 16, 2013 when 12 colleagues were shot to death. (WaPo)
* SECURITY EXERCISES: From Feb. 2 to Feb. 13, naval bases and installations in the DC area will be conducting an annual security training and readiness exercise, dubbed SOLID CURTAIN-CITADEL SHIELD 2015. "Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access. Area residents may also see increased security activity associated with the exercise."
* BLOOD DRIVE: There is a community blood drive on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 10 am to 4 pm. The truck will be parked outside of Lot 38 Espresso at 2nd and L streets, SE, and Lot 38 is offering a free drink for each donor. Reservations encouraged but not required. Read more here about Davon and Kai, the young residents whose need for blood products inspired the event.
* NO MORE LOT P: A season ticket holder was informed by the Nationals that Lot P--the garage below 1015 Half Street--has been dropped from the lineup of parking lots available to season ticket holders. With CBS Radio and the National Labor Relations Board preparing to move into the building (and with Bonchon in preparations to open in the ground floor), it's perhaps not a surprise that there may not be quite so many spaces available in the building anymore. But at least a a surface lot should reappear at 1st and N (the old Spooky Building 213 site) in the coming months after being out-of-circulation last year.
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More posts: Navy Yard, parking, Nationals Park
 

The plans are now coming together both inside and outside the stadium for all of the hoopla to mark the return of postseason play to Nationals Park. The updates have been coming from all directions, so let's see if we can bring a little order to the red-tinged chaos.
Yards Park "Nationals Celebration"
The pre- and post-game festivities two blocks east of the ballpark have expanded somewhat since the initial announcement a few days ago. This is all free, open to both ticket holders and schlubs, and is the work of the Capitol Riverfront BID:
Friday, Oct. 3:
* Game viewing beginning at 3:07 pm EDT.
* Post-game concert on the Yards Park boardwalk by White Ford Bronco.
* CBS Radio/106.7 TheFan broadcasting from the park.
* Local craft beverages from Bluejacket available for purchase, along with tasty cuisine from local restaurants and food trucks.
* Raffle prizes
Saturday, Oct. 4:
* Pre-game concert at 3:00 pm in Yards Park by fan favorite Hand Painted Swinger.
* Family-friendly activities such as face painting.
* Broadcasting from CBS Radio personalities with Nationals-focused commentary and interviews.
* Raffle prizes.
* Bluejacket beverages and food from local restaurants and food trucks will also be available at the festivities.
* A march to the stadium led by the Ballou High School Majestic Marching Band
At 5:37 pm EDT, fans without tickets can stay in The Yards to watch the game. Attendees can bring a picnic to the park or grab take-out from surrounding eateries, but note that outside alcohol is prohibited.
Neighborhood Establishment Specials
* Fairgrounds: Party among the shipping containers at the Nats Playoff Viewing Parties, starting at 11 am on Friday and noon on Saturday. All drinks are $5 at the Bullpen Bar (starting in the 3rd inning!), and the games will be shown on the 16x16 outdoor screen with audio. Admission is free.
* TaKorean: After 2:00 pm, all beers are $4. Show a ticket on game day before or after the game and receive $3 off your meal!
* Agua 301: Patrons wearing Nationals gear get the following Nats game day drink specials 2 hours before, during the game, and 2 hours after the game: $5 margaritas, $5 sangria, & $4.50 Corona Light Draft.
* Justin's Cafe: Progressive Happy Hour on Friday with $3 drafts, $4 rail drinks, and $5 Firefly Vodka from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm; $4 drafts and $5 rail drinks from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and $5 drafts from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Fifty-cent wings on Saturday.
* Osteria Morini: Get a White Label Burger with house-made potato chips and a pint of beer for $15 at the bar and lounge tables before, during and after the games.
* Ice Cream Jubilee: Get a Deluxe Ballpark Sundae to celebrate the Washington Nationals' post-season games: three scoops of ice cream - Caramel Popcorn, Chocolate Chocolate, and Strawberries & Cream, and topped with homemade salted caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, toasted peanuts, whipped cream, and Curly W waffle cone cookies, and of course, a cherry on top.
* Harry's Reserve: New Amsterdam vodka (all flavors) 1.75 ML now $16.99; Pinnacle vodka (all flavors) 1.75 ML now $15.99; and store-wide specials on beer, wine, and spirits.
* EVO Furniture: Any customer wearing any Nationals apparel will receive a free red vase with any EVO Furniture Sofa purchase! Limited Quantities available.
* Toll Brothers: Visit Parc Riverside in your favorite Nats swag & apply between October 2, 2014 & October 12, 2014 to receive one month free rent on any apartment with a December move-in & 12-month lease.
(Don't know where these places are? Check my food map!)
At the Ballpark
* A limited number of Standing Room Only tickets will go on sale at the box office on Friday at 9:00 a.m. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and fans can purchase up to two tickets per customer. Each ticket will be $30--note that there will be no same-dame grandstand seating sales.
* All gates will open at 12:30 p.m. - expect congestion.
* Fans entering the ballpark through all gates will receive a postseason white rally towel, while supplies last.
* Half Street will include pregame entertainment by a drumline that will begin three hours before first pitch. Stilt walkers will also be present on Half Street two and a half hours prior to first pitch.
* DJ Stylus Chris will be spinning music at the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk. Music will begin once the ballpark gates are open until first pitch.
* Face-painting will be available at the Family Fun Area inside Center Field Gate. Activities will begin once the ballpark gates are open and continue an hour into the start of the game.
The pre-game ceremony includes the ceremonial first pitch by Olympic swimming gold medalist Katie Ledecky, game ball delivery by General Larry O. Spencer, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, National Anthem performed by the Quantico Marine Corps Band, lineup card delivery by Taajah McDonald, Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, and the "Play Ball!" announcement by Mayor Vince Gray.
Getting There
Sell-out crowd coming to South Capitol Street at 3 pm on a Friday? {snicker} For those not actually in the neighborhood, here's Dr. Gridlock's tips for getting to and from the ballpark. If you're brave enough to drive, here's my Parking Lot map, though I imagine the prices will probably see some inflation from the regular season amounts.
Nearby game-goers might be the most interested in the Capital Bikeshare corrals that will be set up at 1st and N for every home game--no dock blocking!
Also, not only baseball fans will benefit from the expanded Circulator hours, running until 10 pm on Friday and from 10 am to midnight on Saturday. (Winter hours for the buses started on Wednesday.)
And if, like me, you will be sitting in your office at 3 pm on Friday, feel free to take out your frustrations in the comments field below.
Did I miss anything? (I checked for announcements of promotions at Biersch and Bluejacket and saw nothing as of this point.) If so, watch for updates.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

The Nats' regular season came to a close on Sunday, and did so in stunning fashion thanks to Jordan Zimmermannnnnnnnn's no-hitter, making it especially memorable for people who were at the game. (Let's not talk about people who were at the game but who left early because the sun had come back out and there were tons of pictures needing to be taken and the starters were being pulled anyway and no-hitters never actually happen. But who on earth would ever do THAT?)
The Natitude outside the ballpark had already started ramping up over the past few weeks, as evidenced here, but no doubt there will be much more to come before Friday's opening game of the National League Division Series.
Over the weekend, the Post featured and article about how the neighborhood isn't just tied to the ballpark anymore (uh, okay....), and this morning it was announced that American University will foot the bill for "special late-night train service, as needed, following post-season games Sunday through Thursday nights that are still in play as of 10:30 p.m.,” and that "in the event of a rain delay or extra innings, provisions are in place to extend service as late as 1:20 a.m., if necessary."
There will of course be more news later in the week as Friday's game time is announced and as fans and nearby establishments gear up for the onslaught, etc. UPDATE: The Nationals have tweeted that Game 1 will be at either 12:07pm or 3:07pm on Friday, Oct. 3, depending on whether the opponent is the Pirates or the Giants. Game 2 will be at 5:37 pm.
In the meantime, I did throw together a gallery of the shots I was taking inside the ballpark as JZimm was marching toward history, knowing that these will be forever tied to my most embarrassing day as a Nats fan.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

I dropped the ball and missed by a few days marking a very important 10-year anniversary for this neighborhood: on Sept. 22, 2004, the Washington Post reported that "District officials disclosed plans yesterday to build a publicly financed stadium costing more than $400 million on the Anacostia waterfront near South Capitol Street, amid growing signs that Major League Baseball will attempt to move the Montreal Expos to Washington."
After my jaw came up off the floor, I raced down to get this batch of "before" photos of the ballpark's footprint and immediate surroundings. A lot of my all-time favorite shots are in this lineup, including the one at left, of Half and M.
While there were plenty of plans for the neighborhood already in the pipeline, the jolt that this provided changed the trajectory of the area's redevelopment from a somewhat leisurely pace to a rocket blasting off. And it certainly changed my life.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

A few tidbits to throw your way, but first let's start off with one of my favorite photos, taken eight years ago yesterday while standing at 1st and M. You can see more shots from Sept. 17, 2006 in the archive.
* UNLEASHED BY PETCO: It was rumored back in May, and there's still been no official announcement from Forest City, but a building permit issued last week seems to be the final confirmation that Unleashed by Petco is coming to the Boilermaker Shops.
* CSX: The Post reports that "It could be a few weeks before the Federal Highway Administration releases a decision on the proposed expansion of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Southeast Washington." The "Record of Decision" hasn't yet been finalized. In the meantime, the Committee of 100 has let it be known that any decision short of an indefinite delay will result in a lawsuit. (Shocker!)
* HALF STREET: WBJ talks to new Half Street poobah Jair Lynch about his group's plans for the Half Street hole, now that they've bought it from Monument Realty. "While the project is expected to remain a mix of residential, retail and hotel, Lynch said he is now considering condos in addition to apartments, tweaking unit sizes, adding green features and amenities and bringing in a 'completely different retail mix.'" (Longtime area observers note that in Monument's original plans, the two residential buildings at the south end of the block were planned to be condos and apartments. And of course it's easy to "change" the retail mix when there isn't any to begin with.) They hope to get underway by 2016, WBJ says.
* MLB LATE NIGHT WITH METRO: WTOP: "Although the Washington Nationals have clinched the NL East, the team has not reached a deal with Metro to keep trains running past midnight during home playoff games." The Metro policy is that the Nationals would have to pay at $29,500 deposit to stay open an extra hour during the week; some of you may remember that back in 2012, the Nats did not step forward to pay, so Livingsocial offered to foot the bill.
 

In case you don't have these marked on your calendar, don't forget that there are two concerts at Nats Park this weekend: Jason Aldean (and Tyler Farr and "Florida Georgia Line") on Friday night and Billy Joel (and Gavin DeGraw) on Saturday night. Both shows have 8 pm start times.
The Fairgrounds will be open on both days, even if you aren't going to the concerts and you're just desperate to drink beer and play corn hole in a public setting.
If you want free music, on Friday there's the Yards Park concert series of course, with Jah Works providing the entertainment this week.
In other events news, readers have reported recent activity around the *other* little red building in the neighborhood, the one behind USDOT on the northwest corner of 3rd and Tingey, with what appeared to be automotive representatives on hand most of Wednesday. I'm not sure what is brewing, but a building permit was issued earlier this month for "ONE DAY SPECIAL EVENT FOR BMW SHOW." Anyone have the scoop? (UPDATE: Sounds like a private event.)
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More posts: Nationals Park, Stadium Events
 

Let's sing our way into the weekend and the summer:
* KILL THE WABBIT: Don't forget that Opera in the Outfield returns tomorrow (Saturday, May 3), with a simulcast of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." The show is at 7 pm, but the gates open at 5 pm for the variety of "pre-game" activities, including a coloring station, a meet and greet with M&M's Miss Brown (!) and the living statue of Babe Ruth (!!), and more.
* HEY THERE, DELILAH: The NatsLive lineup for this summer has been announced. Mark your calendars for the Plain White T’s on June 5, Austin Mahone on July 19, and Martina McBride on August 16. The concerts are free for anyone who has a ticket to that day's game.
* TAKE ME TO THE RIVER: The Ballpark Boathouse at Diamond Teague Park opens for its second season tomorrow (Saturday, May 3). Kayaks and canoes will be available for rental, if you want to explore the shores of the neighborhood from the other side.
* BUY ME SOME PEANUTS: The Nationals really want you to come to see the team play the Dodgers next week. The Tuesday, May 6 game is "Federal Workforce Day," plus the first 25,000 fans will receive an MLB Network eco-friendly shopping bag. Then on Wednesday, May 7, it's Weather Day, at which the Fox5 weather team "will conduct an interactive presentation to educate local students on the various types of weather conditions in the region and how they affect a Nationals baseball game." It's a 1:05 game, but the weather-related festivities begin at 9:45 am. There's also discounted tickets; see the Nats Weather Day page for details.
 

* 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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

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!
 

* 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.
 

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
 

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
 

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.
 

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
 
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