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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Nationals Park
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1244 South Capitol
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Yards/Parcel O
JBG/Akridge/Half St.
Ex-Monument/Half St.
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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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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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.
WHAT'S NEW IN FOOD:
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.
BALLPARK DISTRICT 2.0:
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.)
A WHOLE LOT OF CONSTRUCTING GOING 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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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 MLB.com's.
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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.
 

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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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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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.)
Comments (7)
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: F1rst Residential/Hotel, 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
 
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