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Search term: (events) : 182 matching blog entries

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tidbits
Dec 12, 2016 9:52 AM
* I STREET REDESIGN: ANC Commissioner Meredith Fascett reports that DDOT is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, on proposed plans to redesign I Street SE to make it work better for pedestrians, bicyclists, and even vehicles. It's at 6:30 pm in the lobby at 70 I Street (70 Capitol Yards). Meredith wrote back in August about the early discussions for safer bike lanes, crosswalks, parking adjustments, and more.
* BIXBY RIBBON-CUTTING: Apparently there will be a ribbon cutting at the 195-unit mixed-income Bixby at 7th and L on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
* NATS PARK BILLBOARDS: On Dec. 6 the DC Council gave first approval to the proposed large display boards at the ballpark, though the Hill Rag reports that the count has dropped to five boards from 10, lowers the allowed brightness, and prohibits them from facing toward South Capitol Street, the Anacostia River, M Street, and 1st Street between M and N.
* ONYX SALE, AGAIN: A reader reports that the tell-tale binder appeared in the lobby of the Onyx apartment building recently, indicating that AvalonBay has contracted to purchase the 260-unit building for $95.5 million. (The binder contains the offer required by DC law for the tenants to instead buy the building themselves, if they have $95 million in coins under their sofa cushions.) The building last sold in 2013 for a smidge over $82 million.
* SWEET BABY JAMES: It's been announced that James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt will be playing Nats Park on July 14, 2017. Tickets are on sale now.
* TUNNEL DOINGS: Most folks are probably aware that 3rd Street is now closed at Virginia Avenue for the next several weeks. If you are wanting more info on the current status of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, the last "Coffee with Chuck" of 2016 is Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 am at the construction office at 861 New Jersey Ave. SE. Hard to believe that most of the structural work on the new companion tunnel is finishing up, with work moving to "track level"--preparing the railroad bed, installing cross ties, etc. (Good timing to be in the enclosed spot during the winter.) But of course this is not the end of the project, as work will then shift to the reconstruction of the existing 100-year-old tunnel.

Yards Marina Grand Opening on Sunday, June 26
Jun 21, 2016 8:38 AM
The spiffy new Yards Marina, now ready for business, is having its grand opening celebration from 2 to 5 pm this Sunday, June 26.
There will be a slew of activities, including tours of the new space, short boat trips on the Anacostia, live music, games (yes, including corn hole), face painting, circus performers, children's crafts, "Mermaid Story Time," and much more. It is free and open to the public.
The marina has 50 boat slips, a water taxi dock (though no announcement yet as to any new services), and a paddler dock for kayaks and smaller personal boats. Half of the slips are for "long-term, seasonal use" while the others are for stays of 10 days or less. If you want more information on slips (including free "parking" for the grand opening), contact Living Classrooms at 202-488-0627.
Comments (13)
More posts: Events, marina, The Yards, Yards Park

Free Friday Night Fishing Returns to Teague Park
Jun 16, 2016 9:05 PM
Want to try your hand at some catch-and-release fishing? Anacostia Riverkeeper is hosting Friday Night Fishing on the Anacostia, starting June 17 and running through August 26, at the Diamond Teague Park dock, at the foot of 1st Street SE at Potomac Avenue.
It's open to the general public of all ages, with gear and bait provided, along with instruction should you need a little help.
Comments (4)
More posts: Events, Teague Park

Tuesday Tidbits: Orange You Glad There's Tidbits
May 10, 2016 2:43 PM
Photo: What may be my best "Slider" so far, looking north along 1st Street from the Douglass Bridge, from 2006 to 2016. Go slide it yourself to see.
* ORANGE: I mentioned this in the comments late last week, but now time to post officially that the BID has reported that Orangetheory Fitness has been signed as the first retail tenant at the ORE 82 apartment building at New Jersey and I, which is expected to open late this year or early next year.
* CROSSING: Via Commissioner Fascett, ANC 6D is sending a letter to DDOT requesting a review of the pedestrian-crossing-light timing at 4th and M SE, aka the Teeter Intersection. "Twenty-seven seconds is not enough time for pedestrians, including seniors and residents in wheelchairs, to cross a six lane road while dodging two lanes of east-bound turning cars."
* SPRINGSTEEN: Bruuuuuce is back at Nats Park on Sept. 1. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, May 13, at 10 am.
* ALLEN: If you are wanting some face time with Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen, he is having his Community Office Hours on Friday, May 13, at the Starbucks in the Waterfront Safeway at 4th and M, SW, from 8 to 9:30 am.
* SPOOKY: This has been in my hopper for too many months to ponder, but a reader passed along this link about the end of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building/Building 213 at 1st and M SE that included a few photos from inside (as I sob thinking about how I never got my own).
* FITNESS: The BID has announced the schedule of outdoor fitness classes this summer at parks Yards and Canal.
* LEO: Across the way by a few feet, but folks might be interested in the reopening of Leo's Wings N Pizza at 7 N St., SW. "In addition to pizza, wings, pasta, salads, subs, and breakfast items, Korean food will be added to the menu." (SWTLQTC)

Friday Night Concert Series Gets Modelo and Corona, Loses BYOB
May 9, 2016 10:01 AM
Last week the Capitol Riverfront BID announced the lineup of its 6th annual Friday Night Concert Series at the Yards Park, starting on May 20 and running through September 2.
In addition to passing along the news that this year the concerts will be located on the "great lawn" on the west side of the park rather than the past location along the boardwalk (which might be tied to the expected construction later this year of the new District Winery building), there was this tidbit:
"This year, Modelo and Corona will be the exclusive beer and wine vendor, featuring beverages for every taste. A variety of food vendors will be onsite in The Yards tailgate area, or attendees can pack a picnic from the 32+ neighboring restaurants. In order to maintain the beauty of Yards Park, reduce its environmental footprint, and provide a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy, no outside alcoholic beverages may be brought into the premises, and security officers reserve the right to inspect all items brought into Yards Park, including coolers."
As one might imagine, this isn't going over well with some longtime attendees, and there's already a Change.org petition with more than 1,100 signatures asking the BID to reverse the decision, with a lot of very pointed comments from signees about the choice of a non-local sponsor, the impact on the family-friendly atmosphere of the events, and more.
UPDATE: Here is a letter from the BID in response to the displeasure about this move. As one observer posited in this comment thread, the crowd size was indeed one of the concerns, with attendance now "routinely" topping 3,000 attendees, causing problems with the park's insurance and cleanup, as well as raising concerns about safety. As for not going with a local beverage offering for the concert sponsorship this year, the BID says that Bluejacket declined an opportunity similar to their role as a 2014 concert sponsor--and that the sponsorships "directly support ongoing maintenance, repairs, or programming in the park."
Comments (15)
More posts: Events, Yards Park

Upcoming Events: Saying Goodbye to the Barry, Saturday at 7:15 am
May 4, 2016 11:11 PM
This weekend has one major event to remind folks of, and that's Saturday's expected departure of the Display Ship Barry, already being partially dismantled in preparation for its final trip down the Anacostia River.
UPDATE: The departure time is now set for 7:15 am. If weather intervenes, they will reportedly try again on Sunday. (I'll update this post if newer information comes along.)
Bring your white handkerchiefs to wave as she passes!
Other items on the near-term agenda:
* GRAND SLAM FOR SAFETY: On Thursday, May 5 (today for most of you reading this), from noon to 1:30 pm at the Fairgrounds, it's expected that more than 800 construction workers from the various projects currently being built here in {insert neighborhood name here} will attend the "Grand Slam for Safety" as part of the construction world's Safety Week for 2016. After starting off with a "round of stretching exercises" used at the start of the workday to help avoid injuries, there will be speakers, safety fall restraint and rescue demonstrations, and awards. The event is sponsored by Skanska and a slew of names familiar to anyone who looks at the signage at neighborhood construction sites.
* WHITE FORD BRONCO: The Miller Lite Summer Concert Series, formerly at Nats Park, shifts one block north to the Fairgrounds this year, and launches on Friday, May 6, with "DC's favorite '90s cover band," White Ford Bronco. Cover charge is $10, doors open at 5 pm.
* CHIHUAHUAHUAHUAS: Across the way, the 5th Annual Running of the Chichuahuas, rained out last weekend, is now scheduled for Saturday, May 7, from 1 to 4 pm, at 600 Water St., SW.
* DERBY DAY: Also on May 7, from 3 to 7 pm, is the previously mentioned Due South Derby Day, for all your julep and southern cookin' needs.
* VINOFEST: Or, if you juleps aren't your speed, there's Vinofest DC on May 7 from 3 to 10 pm, in the parking lots at 1st and N SE. Tickets start at $55.
* ANC 6D: If you have enough juleps or vino on Saturday, you may decide to go to Monday's ANC 6D monthly business meeting, at 7 pm at 1100 4th St., SW (2nd floor).
* JOY EVANS PARK MEETING: Also previously mentioned is the May 10 public meeting on plans for the Joy Evans Park, at 6:30 pm at Van Ness Elementary.
And, the Nats arrive home on Monday, May 9 for three against the Tigers and then three against the Marlins.
What else is happening?
Comments (17)
More posts: barry, Events, Navy Yard

This Weekend's Events: Ducks and Bluegrass
Apr 29, 2016 10:24 AM
As longtime JDLand visitors know, I have a tortured relationship with keeping my tens of readers apprised of neighborhood events that aren't boring public meetings. I'm just not an events sort of person in real life--I don't go to hardly any of these things, and I don't actively seek out pre-programmed Things To Do. These realities don't do much to give me the energy to write posts about these happenings.
So, with the spring/summer events season getting into full swing, I'm just going to declare my failings right here at the outset, admit that my events posts are going to be awful, and invite my dedicated commenters to fill in the gaps in the comment threads.
* DC DUCK RACE: On Saturday, April 30, from 10 am to 4:30 pm, DC's inaugural Duck Race will be unleashed on the Yards Park. Put on by the DC Rotary Club, it involves rubber ducks sponsored by the community racing along a "contained course" in the Anacostia River. There are prizes for the winners, and the funds raised go to the Rotary Club and local projects in the DC area. There will also be music, food, activities, and more.
* KINGMAN BLUEGRASS: This is technically outside the JDLand boundaries, but since it's just up the river it's worth mentioning that the 2016 Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival is also scheduled for Saturday, April 30, with music from noon until dark on six stages and then one after-dark set by the Woodshedders. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the gate. More about it here.
I think that's it for this weekend (and, given the weather forecast, that might be A Good Thing.) Anything else going on nearby?
Comments (6)
More posts: Events

Zimmerman Field Ribbon Cutting at Randall Rec Center on April 9
Apr 5, 2016 11:15 AM
This is a smidgen outside of the JDLand boundaries (and I hope this post doesn't incur a border dispute with SWill), but I figured readers might be interested in knowing about the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 9, for the new Ryan Zimmerman Field at the Randall Recreation Center, just across South Capitol Street at South Capitol and I Streets, SW. (It's the field you see when you take the South Capitol Street exit from the freeway.)
As you can see on the invitation graphic, Mr. Z himself is expected to be there, along with Dusty Baker, Mayor Bowser, and Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen, among others.
"Fun and games" start at 8:30 am, with the ribbon cutting and first pitch at 10 am, and then the inaugural baseball game at 10:30 am. (Leaving plenty of time for Zimm and Dusty to get to the ballpark for the 4:05 pm game against the Marlins.)
Comments (5)
More posts: Events, Nationals Park

Charles Allen Ward 6 Happy Hour on March 21 at Biersch
Mar 18, 2016 10:12 AM
Ward 6 council member Charles Allen is having a Ward 6 Happy Hour on Monday, March 21, from 6 to 8 pm right in the heart of Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/#NeCaBaRY, at Gordon Biersch at 1st and M Streets, SE.
"Meet up with friends and neighbors for conversation and a beer. Let Councilmember Allen know what's on your mind." And, who knows, maybe beer is on your mind, in more ways than one.
You can RSVP here.
Comments (2)
More posts: Events, politics

Lineup Announced for Summer Outdoor Movie Series
Mar 14, 2016 8:44 AM
The official lineup for this summer's Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park has been released, and I see that my subliminal attempt to sway the voting had an 80 percent success rate.
The series is once again being held in the northern block of Canal Park at 2nd and I Streets SE, and will run on Thursdays from June 2 to August 18, with movies beginning at sundown.
The lineup:
June 2: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
June 9: Inside Out
June 16: Ocean's 11
June 23: Hitch
June 30: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
July 7: Mean Girls
July 14: Jurassic World
July 21: Minions
July 28: Creed
Aug. 4: Pitch Perfect 2
Aug. 11: The Martian
Aug. 18: Skyfall
Comments (4)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Events

It's Spring, and the Events Calendar is Starting to Bloom
Mar 9, 2016 1:41 PM
The calendar may say March, but the current temperature and the activity in my inbox tell me that spring is springing into action. Here's the first wave of events to pass along:
* JDLAND HAPPY HOUR: Don't forget! It's tomorrow (Thursday, March 10), at 5:30 pm at Scarlet Oak, at New Jersey and K Streets, SE. And given the weather forecast, perhaps we'll be al fresco.
* ROCK AND ROLL MARATHON: This Saturday, March 12, is the annual Rock n Roll marathon, which brings with it not only thousands of runners but numerous road closures. #NeCaBaRY gets off pretty easily (compared to areas north of the freeway and in Southwest), with just southbound South Capitol Street closed from E Street across the Douglass Bridge. See the site for details.
* COFFEE WITH CHUCK: Well, it isn't exactly a spring-has-sprung event, but still worth including on a calendar roundup that the next monthly meeting for residents interested in the latest Virginia Avenue Tunnel doings is on March 16, at 8 am at the CSX office at 861 New Jersey Ave. SE (RSVP here).
* PSA 106: The monthly meeting on issues of public safety is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, at 7 pm at 200 I St. SE.
* ST. PAT'S CONCERT AT THE FAIRGROUNDS: Another year of events at the Fairgrounds just north of Nats Park kicks off on Thursday, March 17, with a free St. Patrick's Day concert featuring The Pietasters and opening act Warden.
* CHERRY BLOSSOM BEER AND WINE FESTIVAL: Speaking of drinking (what, like St. Patrick's Day isn't a drinking holiday?), the Cherry Blossom Beer and Wine Festival and its 100+ beverage options comes to the parking lots at 1st and N Street on March 26th from 1 to 4 pm. Tickets can be had for $35 until noon tomorrow (March 10), and $45 after that.
And then, before you know it, it'll be April, and the red-uniformed neighbors will return home from their time in Florida, first on Saturday, April 2 at 12:05 pm for an exhibition vs. the Minnesota Twins*, then for the home opener on April 7 at 4:05 pm vs. the Marlins. Then there's the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 9, and a few days later Truckeroo will begin its 2016 season at the Fairgrounds on April 15. And then both the DC Beer Festival and the Sakura Matsuri festival on April 16. And much more, I'm sure.
*There's also supposedly a game vs. the Twins on April 1 at 6:05 pm just for season ticket holders, but you can't pull that April Fool's stuff on me, Nationals!
Comments (4)
More posts: Events

JDLand Happy Hour Meetup on Thursday, March 10
Mar 7, 2016 6:33 AM
This was buried in a tidbits thread a week ago, but it's time for a more full-throated invitation to all:
Want to meet some of your fellow neighbors/office workers/generally interested citizens from in and around Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards (#NeCaBaRY)?
Then come hang out at Scarlet Oak this Thursday, March 10, starting at 5:30 pm--and give me the chance to meet you, as well.
Even if you don't ever comment on blog posts, even if you're thinking you won't know anyone, at least stop by and say hello, and join in what I'm sure will be a rollicking conversation about the Nats, the new I Street, and whether any of us could ever possibly live long enough to ever see the Southeast/Southwest Freeway demolished. If that doesn't entice you to swing by, I don't know what could.
I'll also have some coveted JDLand t-shirts available for purchase, for $12.
A peachy time will be had by all!
Comments (7)
More posts: Events, JDLand stuff

Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival Coming to New Jersey and M
Mar 3, 2016 9:50 AM
The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, one of the largest of the annual events associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, will be relocating to New Jersey and M Streets SE this year, thanks to a squeeze on Pennsylvania Avenue resulting from the impending opening of the Trump International Hotel.
The festival, which attracted more than 40,000 people last year, will be held Saturday, April 16--and with the festival listing its entrances as being at New Jersey and N, First and N, and First and M, it appears to be on the footprint of the Yards, at the former Spooky Building 213 and (eventual Spooky Park) site. (If so, there's a lot of dirt to be covered over in the next five weeks!)
The festival bills itself as the "largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the United States," and the "grand finale of the National Cherry Blossom Festival." Alas, the official festival web site has not yet posted a 2016 program guide, or festival map, but tickets are on sale for $8 in advance--they'll be $10, cash only, at the gates. There are some details available on the food/beverage and "Bring Japan Home" offerings.
It doesn't sound like this is a permanent move, with WBJ quoting the president of the Japan-America Society as saying that “We’re already thinking ahead to 2017 to see where we might need to go."
The Cherry Blossom Parade is from 10 am to noon along Constitution Avenue, with Sakura Matsuri running from 10:30 am to 6 pm, so judicious non-attendees will definitely want to avoid the Green Line that day.
Comments (6)
More posts: Events, sakura

Choose Your Favorites for the 2016 Outdoor Movie Series
Feb 26, 2016 10:27 AM
While Mother Nature is sending February out like a lion (instead of waiting until March comes in, as custom would dictate), you can dream of warmer days by telling the Capitol Riverfront BID which movies you'd like to see during the 2016 Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park.
You get to choose up to five movies from the list, and the image at right in absolutely no way would be trying to tell you which movies to pick.
The series will run this year from June 2nd through August 18.
Comments (0)
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Events

Light Yards: Light-Themed Art Installation Through March 6
Feb 21, 2016 4:12 PM
I escaped town for this past week, so apologies on being late on this, but if you've wandered by the Yards Park this weekend and saw either a bunch of scaffolding or a big show, it's Light Yards, which through March 6 will be "melding light, sculpture, and music to create wonder!"
The large "Point Cloud" and its sibling "Cube" seen in the image provided by the organizers were designed by New York-based light artist and architect John Ensor Parker, and will be joined starting on Feb. 27 by "giant luminescent rabbits," with a special family-friendly event from 3 to 6 pm that Saturday, "to delight in the sight of the enormous glowing bunnies, while enjoying children’s activities, including a giant Lite-Brite."
Also on Feb. 27, from 6 to 10 pm, there will be another light show set to music, performed by electric violinist DC Manifesto.
It's free and open to the public.
Comments (3)
More posts: Events, The Yards, Yards Park

A Blizzard of Friday Tidbits: Il Parco Signage and More
Jan 22, 2016 9:31 AM
I am briefly emerging from the JDLand Weather Monitoring Bunker to pass along these items--feel free to talk all things snow (or anything else) in the comments. (The photo is from Feb. 2010, between the two big snow storms, just one of many I took that day. And no, I'm not going to call it #snowmageddon.)
* IL PARCO: A reader reports this morning that a sign is being hoisted on the Park Tavern building at Canal Park for "Il Parco," with a pizza slice-type icon. I haven't heard anything about how close it is to opening, but the sign should be a good, um, sign. (I expect to have a photo as soon as the official JDLand stringer gets moving.)
UPDATE: And now the stringer has come through!
* WEEKEND HOURS: According to Twitter, Scarlet Oak will be open all weekend, while TaKorean will be open today (Friday) from 11 to 2 and then closed Saturday. Osteria Morini is closing tonight at 8 pm, then will be closed Saturday but is expecting to reopen on Sunday. The Big Stick is closing its kitchen at 5 pm tonight until Monday, but expects the bar to operate on normal hours. Justin's will be offering an "extremely limited menu" from tonight at 5 pm through Sunday. Ice Cream Jubilee is closed today and Saturday but expects to be open on Sunday. I will update if other restaurants announce hours.
UPDATES: Bluejacket is "currently open with a limited menu". Due South is open all weekend (see down in the comments for the list of their Snow Daze Drink Specials). Aura Spa is closed for the weekend.
ANOTHER: Nando's is closing all its DC locations at 8 pm tonight, reopening Sunday at noon.
MORE: Everyone will be crushed to hear that the Virginia Avenue Tunnel demolition will be on hold until Monday morning at 5:30 am. Weekend work will be limited to snow removal and "maintenance of traffic controls."
AND: Agua 301 is open tonight, with happy hour drink specials from 3:30 to close. Hugh & Crye is closed until Monday morning.
* BRIDGE PARK DEEP DIVE: WaPo's Jonathan O'Connell takes a long look at the 11th Street Bridge Park and what it might mean for neighborhoods east of the river should it ever be built.
* BILLY JOEL: The Piano Man is going to be "the first artist ever to play Nationals Park three times," with this week's news of a show scheduled for Saturday, July 30.
* RESIDENT SNOW INFO: ANC commissioner Meredith Fascett has this lineup of tidbits about city storm preparations and items residents need to know. And snow.dc.gov is another good resource.
SATURDAY UPDATE: Keep an eye on my Twitter account for retweets of openings and closings. So far, Bluejacket and TaKorean have said they are closed today, while Willie's and Due South are open. I'll keep updating when I can tear my eyes away from my window.
SUNDAY UPDATE:
Bluejacket is open at 1:30, and Morini is open at 2 pm, both with limited menus.
Agua 301 is opening at 3pm.
Due South and Scarlet Oak are open.
Justin's and the Big Stick are open for libations, but the kitchens are closed.
Ice Yards has been moved to Jan. 30.
TaKorean and Ice Cream Jubilee are closed.
The Canal Park Ice Rink is closed, too.

Worried About Crime? Next PSA 106 Meeting is Jan. 6
Jan 5, 2016 7:41 AM
Many residents may not be aware that within the city's seven main police districts are smaller domains known as Police Service Areas, and that PSA 106, part of MPD's 1st District, covers all of Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard along with some areas north of the freeway.
The PSA has had monthly public meetings for many years now on Saturday mornings, but it has been decided that attendance by not only residents but representatives of other agencies would be better if the meetings were held on weeknights. A make-up meeting for December is being held on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 7 pm at the Capper Seniors Building at 900 5th St., SE, then the meetings are expected to be on the 3rd Wednesday evening of each month going forward.
You can go to the meetings with concerns, or with questions about particular incidents, or ideas, or anything else having to do with crime and "order maintenance."
Also, if you haven't joined the MPD-1D mailing list, that's another location to keep up with crime reports or ask questions of 1D's commander Jeff Brown.
Comments (0)
More posts: crime, Events

Parcel Market Dec. 5 and 6; Help Decorate the Community Tree
Dec 3, 2015 10:08 AM
This weekend Canal Park will be hosting the second annual Parcel Market, from 12 to 6 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with its "interactive art installations, a cozy food pavilion warmed by fire pits, live & local music performances, and a chic festival tent showcasing a thoughtfully curated list of local designers, artists, chefs, and food artisans." *
Plus, the neighborhood is getting a Christmas tree for the first time, in the park's southern block between L and M, and the Capitol Riverfront BID is inviting all residents to help decorate the tree on Saturday morning, from 9 to 11 am. Bring an ornament for the tree and canned food to donate to the Capital Area Food Bank, and get a taste of coffee or hot chocolate from Philz, the new coffee shop that will be coming to Tingey Street in a few months.
The tree will then be illuminated at 6 pm on Saturday, Dec. 5, with Dupont Brass providing the seasonally appropriate music.
The market will feature all manner of items, including clothes, jewelry, accessories, pet toys and apparel, artwork, printmaking, and "home enhancements." Food will also be available for Dirty South Deli, Ben's Chili Bowl, Bluejacket Brewery, Ice Cream Jubilee, Agua 301, District Doughnut, and more.
If you want your visit to be a bit more hands-on, there will be workshops to make greeting cards, wreaths, and more. And of course the ice rink will be open.
(*Sorry to just quote a big chunk of text--today's my last day in the old building at the Post and I arrive with the first wave in the new building on Friday, so life continues to be just a wee bit hectic.)
Comments (6)
More posts: Canal Park, Events

Events: ANC, CSX Open House, Culinary Crawl, and Maybe Skating?
Nov 6, 2015 12:14 PM
A busy week ahead:
* SIDE YARDS: A reminder that the sideshow event comes back to the Yards Park on Saturday, Nov. 7.
* ANC 6D: The monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting is on Monday, Nov. 9, and this month the party ventures thisaway across South Capitol Street to the meeting room at 200 I St., SE. Agenda items include a slew of items from Near Southeast, including construction updates for 909 Half and 82 I/801 New Jersey, pedestrian issues on I Street, the Virginia Ave. streetscape restoration plan, a DC Housing Authority presentation, and more. The meeting starts early, with presentations at 6:30 pm before the meeting "officially" gets underway at 7 pm.
* CSX OPEN HOUSE: The quarterly open house for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project is on Thursday, Nov. 12, from 5 to 7 pm at the Courtyard Marriott hotel at 140 L St., SE. There will be no formal presentations, but there will be representatives from the project team to answer questions and provide updates. (If you can't make this, the next Coffee with Chuck is on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 8 am at the same location.)
* CULINARY CRAWL: The Barracks Row Main Street folks have organized a three-day Culinary Crawl Nov. 14-16, with cooking classes at various restaurants not only on 8th Street but also near Eastern Market and down south of the freeway in this neck of the woods, with Ice Cream Jubilee, Bluejacket, and Agua 301 all participation. Here's the schedule, where you can also sign up/buy tickets.
* ICE RINK: There were originally plans for a soft opening this weekend followed by a grand opening on Nov. 14, but the weather has played a bit of havoc with that schedule. I've just heard that the grand opening will now be on Saturday, Nov. 21, but on the 14th they are hosting a Cinderella-themed event from 11 am to 1 pm--dress as your favorite princess or prince for a chance to win tickets to the National Theater's production of Cinderella.

Tuesday Tidbits: Side Yards, BID Survey, Hampton Inn, Va. Ave. Park
Nov 2, 2015 11:33 PM
A Look Back, eight years ago today: The southwest corner of 1st and M Streets, SE, with Normandie Liquors long closed and in its final few months.
* SIDE YARDS: Back for a second year is "Side Yards," an "evening of quirky amusement and wonder" showcasing top sideshow performers at the Yards Park on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 6 to 10 pm. Contortionists, magicians, juggling, escape artists and snake handling will all be showcased (sounds like a typical day in Congress!). There will also be burlesque acts, live music, and a beer garden. Tickets are free, but available in advance.
* DC BEER FESTIVAL: Also on Saturday, Nov. 7 is the DC Beer Festival at Nats Park. Admission is $40 and includes unlimited tastings (wheeeee!).
* PERCEPTION SURVEY: It's time for the Capitol Riverfront BID's annual Perception Survey, so take a few moments to tell them your feelings about the neighborhood, whether you are a resident, office worker, or visitor.
* OKAY, HOW ABOUT DECEMBER: Back in September I posted about reservations being accepted for the new Hampton Inn at 1st and N starting November 19. It's now December 9.
* THE NEW VIRGINIA AVE. PARK: ANC 6B commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg looks at the ideas that came out of last month's public meeting to come up with a post-tunnel-construction design for Virginia Avenue Park.
* THE OLD VIRGINIA AVE. (NOT) PARK: And speaking of Virginia Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, SE, this week's Lost Capitol Hill series on The Hill is Home looks at the owner of a lumber yard in that spot during the mid-1800s.
* INSTAGRAM: I'll just mention again that JDLand is now on Instagram, if that's your social media landscape of choice.
* MOBILE: I've been tweaking the mobile version of the JDLand home page to add some of the items that have only been on the desktop page--a random Look Back photo, the Highlighted Projects development map, and even the Latest Tweets box. Visit on your phone to see what I mean.

This Week's Events: ANC, CSX, Dems, and Invasive Plant Removal
Oct 18, 2015 10:18 PM
(Today's not-in-any-way-connected-to-the-content-of-the-post photo: Looking south down 4th Street at M Street, Oct 20, 2003.)
A few items on the calendar this week, in addition to the previously mentioned Halloween festivities on Oct. 24-25:
* ANC 6D: The monthly meeting of ANC 6D is Monday, Oct. 19, at 7 pm at 1100 4th St., SW.
* COFFEE WITH CHUCK: The next installment of CSX's update sessions on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project is on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 8 am to 9 am at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 140 L St. SE. RSVP here.
* WARD 6 DEMOCRATS KICK-OFF: Ward 6 council member Charles Allen and the Ward 6 Democrats are hosting a reception at Agua 301 on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 5:30 to 8 pm to meet District Democratic Party representatives and officials. RSVP required for attendance.
* INVASIVE PLANT REMOVAL: In the mood to rip some plants out of the ground? Join the Earth Conservation Corps on Saturday Oct. 24 from 10 am to noon at the pump house at Diamond Teague Park (1520 1st St. SE) to clear unwelcome interloping plants from the wetlands along the Anacostia. Wear old, comfortable work clothes, and "be prepared to get dirty." RSVP to mhobson@ecc1.org. (I'd link to a web page with additional details, but alas, I can't find one.)
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Events: Getting the Jump on Halloween Edition
Oct 14, 2015 10:30 AM
Credit for the season-appropriate image goes to the unknown resident at Onyx along L Street, who graciously put out mums and Halloween decorations in a location where the JDLand camera could see them. If you're a reader, thanks!
It's beginning to feel a lot like autumn, and so it's a good time to look at the lineup of the neighborhood's Halloween-themed events, which are conveniently scheduled the weekend before Halloween, since the big day itself is on a Saturday this year.
* PUMPKINS IN THE PARK: On Oct. 24 from 11 am to 1 pm, the free Pumpkins in the Park event returns to Canal Park for its second year, with pumpkin painting, face painting, a moonbounce, and music from Rainbow Rock.
* WHARF PUMPKIN PALOOZA: If you feel like stretching your legs a bit, you can wander over to the Gangplank Marina Park at 6th & Water Streets SW for Pumpkin Palooza, on Oct. 24 from noon to 4 pm. "Create your own 'pumpkin' at the Wharf's waterfront art studio while listening to the Wil Gravatt Band." Plus, Grillmaster Bufus will be manning the King Ribs shack.
* BARKTOBERFEST: Halloween goes to the dogs with the Washington Animal Rescue League's Barktoberfest, on Oct. 24 from 1 to 5 pm at the corner of 1st and N Streets, SE. There's dogs, there's dog costumes, there's bocce, there's shopping, there's food trucks, there's beer. Tickets start at $10 for non-drinking guests, then go up to $35 in advance ($40 at the door) for general admission, or the $50 VIP unlimited-tastings ticket.
* GREAT PUMPKIN PARTY: The Waterfront Church is hosting a free Great Pumpkin Party on Sunday, Oct. 25 from 4 to 6 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at 140 L St. SE (2nd floor). Candy, face painting, cookie decorating, "jumpers" (?), games, and more.
Also, if you're already looking past fall and toward winter, the word is out that the Canal Park Ice Rink will have its grand opening for the season on Saturday, Nov. 14. And, on Dec. 5 and 6, the holiday-themed Parcel Market will return to Canal Park.
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Tidbits: Tunnel Latest, VegFest (Maybe), MOPS, Ice Cream
Sep 30, 2015 11:22 AM
Without much big news these days (and now without anything big and exciting of a sporting nature happening in the neighborhood in October), it's time to go to the Tidbits hopper.
(Plus a reminder, as always, that the Twitter box on the JDLand home page is a good place to check and scroll through for up-to-the-minute tidbits.)
* SEPT. TUNNEL UPDATE: The slides from this morning's CSX "Coffee with Chuck" event have been posted, with photos showing the work being done along each block of the project (taken in locations that nosey neighborhood blogger cameras generally can't get to).
Slide 13 indicates the closure of the 300 block of Virginia Avenue is expected the week of Oct. 12, and that excavation for the tunnel in the 400 block should be getting underway right about now. Slides also show the temporary driveways and sidewalks in the 300 block of Virginia and at the Capper Seniors building east of 5th.
* DC VEGFEST: Saturday Oct. 3 is the scheduled DC VegFest from 11 am to 6 pm in the parking lots at the intersection of 1st and N SE (which, let's be honest, is a stretch to call a "Yards Park" location). There will be more than 130 vendors, cooking demos, free samples, a beer garden, a canine "barking lot" and activities for kids. It's a rain-or-shine event, but with the dicey forecast this weekend, a note on the web site does say that "severe weather conditions may result in a cancellation."
* MOPS GROUP: The Waterfront Church is organizing a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group for the neighborhood, with monthly meetings beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 7:30 to 9 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at 140 L St. SE. The group's mission is to "connect moms all over the world to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood." Register here, noting that there is a $50 annual fee (or $25 if you don't require childcare at the meetings).
* ICE CREAM, FALL EDITION: In my quest to alert readers to important neighborhood news, I will pass along that Ice Cream Jubilee has announced its fall flavors: salty apple cinnamon, maple rye pecan, pumpkin honeycomb, and kiwi lemongrass. Also, eight-inch ice cream cakes are now available for custom orders, for $65.

Saturday Events: Parktoberfest, Pups, Barracks Row Fall Festival
Sep 25, 2015 8:13 AM
I know you are tapping your toes so you can go to all the transportation meetings next week, but in the interim:
* PARKTOBERFEST: The first hint of fall is in the air, so it's a great time to head to the Yards Park to drink beer and watch Dachshunds race. It's free to attend, and open to all (though unlike real Oktoberfests, you have to be 21 to buy and consume alcohol). If you think you have the fastest Dachshund in the land, sign up for the 4th annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Race The party runs from 1 pm to 5 pm.
* PUPS IN THE PARK: Perhaps some of those fast canines will race right over to Nats Park for the final Pups in the Park of the 2015 season. Game starts at 4:05 pm, and tickets for humans are $26 and $10 for pups (proceeds benefiting the Washington Humane Society) -- but there's no pricetag on crying in your beer as the season ends.
* BARRACKS ROW FALL FESTIVAL: Out of the jurisdiction slightly, but still worth noting that the 15th annual 8th Street party is on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, with a slew of scheduled happenings (music, dance, illusions, and "donkey processions to center stage") in addition to the usual lineup of tents with offerings. And the Belga/Matchbox beer garden is returning again.
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Navy Yard Neighborhood Assn. Picnic, Now on Saturday Sept. 19
Sep 17, 2015 11:01 AM
NEW DATE: The picnic is now on Saturday, Sept. 19, with a rain date of Sept. 20 (though the forecast looks fine and dandy for the 19th).
With a theme of "Neighbors No Longer Strangers," the Navy Yard Neighborhood Association is having a combination community picnic and fundraising flea market from noon to 5 pm at the Joy Evans Park, 555 L St., SE, just behind Van Ness Elementary.
Co-sponsored with the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Village Timebanks and Capitol Quarter Community Associations I and II, paper plates, utensils, beverages and much of the food will be provided, and while grilling won't be allowed (or dogs), attendees are welcome to bring along "food offerings" to share.
Flea market donations such as books, toys, games, and small appliances in good condition (but no clothes) will be accepted.
See the NYNA's Facebook page for more details about the picnic and the group.
(The first bad weather in weeks has prompted the organizers to postpone the picnic from its original Sept. 12 date.)
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Capital Bikeshare Birthday Party at Yards Park on Sept. 19
Sep 16, 2015 9:57 AM
Capital Bikeshare is celebrating its 5th birthday with a free screening of the classic bicycling movie Breaking Away at the Yards Park on Saturday, Sept. 19, beginning at 7 pm.
There will be a whole lot of swag for CaBi members, with your key fob getting you $1 off a regular cone at Ice Cream Jubilee, $1 off pints of Forbidden Planet at Bluejacket, 10% off all food orders, and 20% off drink orders at the bar at Osteria Morini, 10% off all food orders and Happy Hour pricing on drinks at Agua 301, and giveaways of Capital Bikeshare blankets and tote bags to early arriving members. (Founding members get special reserved VIP seating with their black fobs--like mine, still going!)
As for Breaking Away, it warms my heart to see this choice, because it is one of my all-time favorite movies, and is highly recommended to anyone who's never seen it. (The word "REFUND?!" is legendary in my family thanks to Paul Dooley.)
UPDATE: And I should have looked around a bit more before posting this, because it's a movie weekend at Yards Park, with Guardians of the Galaxy at 7 pm on Friday night (Sept. 18) and Romeo + Juliet on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 7 pm.
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The Swift Invasion Has Begun.
Jul 12, 2015 12:03 PM
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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June's Events, Happenings, Gatherings, Activities, Occasions, Shindigs....
Jun 4, 2015 9:08 PM
Here's a first look at some of the major non-Nats happenings scheduled for the next few weeks. (I originally felt bad for missing the first few days of the month, but the rain ended up absolving me.)
FRIDAY, JUNE 5:
Friday Night Concert Series - Scott's New Band, Yards Park, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Free.
SATURDAY, JUNE 6:
Total 200 Bike Ride, Beginning/Ending at Canal Park. Register here, if you dare.
MONDAY, JUNE 8:
ANC 6D Monthly Meeting, 1100th 4th St., SW, 7 pm.
THURSDAY, JUNE 11:
54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, Nats Park, 7:05 pm. Tickets $10.
Thursday Night Outdoor Movies, "Selma," Canal Park, Sundown. Free.
FRIDAY, JUNE 12:
Truckeroo Food Truck Festival, Half Street Fairgrounds, 11 am - 11 pm. Free.
Friday Night Concert Series - DC Jazz Fest, Yards Park, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Free.
SATURDAY, JUNE 13
DC Jazz Fest at the Yards, 2 - 10 pm. Tickets $56.50.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17
CSX/Virginia Avenue Tunnel "Coffee with Chuck" Monthly Meeting, Courtyard by Marriott, 7:30 - 9 am. Free.
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
Thursday Night Outdoor Movies, "The Princess Bride," Canal Park, Sundown. Free.
FRIDAY, JUNE 19
Friday Night Fishing - catch and release fishing at Diamond Teague Park, 5 - 8 pm. Free.
Friday Night Concert Series - Texas Chainsaw Horns, Yards Park, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Free.
SUNDAY, JUNE 21
Oneness Yoga Festival, Yards Park, 11 am - 7 pm. Tickets $30, kids free.
THURSDAY, JUNE 25
Paddle Nights on the Anacostia, Ballpark Boathouse at Diamond Teague Park, 5 pm - 7:30 pm. Free, but registration required.
Thursday Night Outdoor Movies, "Rush Hour," Canal Park, Sundown. Free.
FRIDAY, JUNE 26
Friday Night Fishing - catch and release fishing at Diamond Teague Park, 5 - 8 pm. Free.
Friday Night Concert Series - Jah Works, Yards Park, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Free.
SUNDAY, JUNE 28
Waterfront Church Sunday Summer Funday, Courtyard by Marriott, 4 pm - 6 pm. Free.
There's also the lineup of Fitness in the Front offerings early in the morning or in the evening most days of the week, for those of you who partake in the mysterious activity known as "exercise."
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Upcoming Biking, Music, Opera, Fitness, and Imbibing Activities
May 14, 2015 10:12 AM
It's a fairly sizeable lineup of events on the neighborhood calendar over the next few days:
* BIKE TO WORK DAY: The forecast looks swell for DC's annual Bike to Work Day, on Friday, May 15. Canal Park is one of the pit stops, from 7 to 9 am, at which there will be refreshments and food, plus you'll have a chance to win prizes if you have registered. (Looks like the free t-shirts are all already claimed, though.) Read about commuter convoys, ride buddies and more at the official web site.
* FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERTS: The Friday night Summer Concert Series at Yards Park kicks off this week, with the R&B stylings of Jimi Smooth. The concerts begin each week at 6:30 pm, and the Grassy Knoll fills up pretty quickly, so arrive early!
* OPERA IN THE OUTFIELD: Saturday is Cinderella Day at Nats Park, thanks to the the return of the annual Opera in the Outfield simulcast. Gates open at 5 pm, with a slew of pre-performance activities and entertainment, including a Royal Parade that will allow "kids of all ages" to arrive in costume and march around the lower concourse. The actual simulcast begins at 7 pm, and it's all Rain or Shine, and all free and open to the public. Note that sitting in the outfield now requires a wristband handed out on a first-come first-serve basis. More details here.
* GLUG GLUG GLUG: This most assuredly is not free, but Canal Park on Saturday will host "ABV," an afternoon of "outdoor imbibing" of the "finest craft beverages," put together by Greg Engert and friends. It will run from 3 to 8 pm, rain or shine, and tickets are $20 at the door or in special advance packages. The full list of beer, wine, and spirits to be available is here.
* FITNESS IN THE FRONT: Technically not a weekend event, but you may need to toss in a workout session or two after a big weekend--and just your luck, the lineup of outside summer fitness classes gets underway on Monday, May 19. Brought to you by VIDA Fitness and DC BFIT and located in Yards and Canal Parks, the classes range from Yoga to Zumba to "high energy" to Boot Camps to a once-a-month family fitness session. The schedule is here, and classes are free and open to the public.
* MARGARITA WARS: In case you didn't get your fill of drinking in a neighborhood park at ABV, City Paper's third annual Margarita Wars is slated for May 21 at 6:30 pm at the Yards Park. "You be the judge as the region's top mixologists compete for your vote in a winner take all battle for 'rita supremacy." Tickets are $25 and include unlimited margarita tastings. Also included: one of those extra-special tequila-fueled hangovers. (But you'll want to recover by May 30, when the Tour de Fat extravaganza returns to Yards Park.)

Events Tidbits: Nerf Battle, Lanterns, River Cleanup, Bard in the Yards
Mar 30, 2015 10:00 PM
A few items to put on your radar, as the calendar turns to April and organizational thoughts turn to event programming:
April 1: The Waterfront Church is holding an Ultimate Nerf Battle for students in grades 5-12, from 6 to 8 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott (2nd floor) at 140 L St., SE. Admission is free.
April 4: As part of the mega Cherry Blossom Festival, there will once again be Lantern Making at Canal Park, with sessions at 10 am and noon. There will be a "variety of Japanese cultural activities," as well as a moon bounce (for the KIDS, not you!). It's co-hosted by Capitol Riverfront BID and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
(Also on April 4 is the Nats-Yankees exhibition game, but we'll discuss that later, along with Opening Day on April 6.)
April 11: There will be an Anacostia River cleanup event, from 9 am to noon, at Anacostia Park, put on by Anacostia Riverkeeper, Near Southeast Community Partners, the National Park Service, and others.
April 24: Another year of the Truckeroo food truck festival kicks off at the Fairgrounds, from 11 am to 11 pm.
April 24-26: Did you know that, had he lived, William Shakespeare would have been celebrating his 451st birthday this year? It's true! And so the Folger Theater and the BID are marking the occasion with Bard in the Yards, three nights of outdoor films at the Yards Park. The 1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing will kick things off on Friday, April 24, followed by the DiCaprio/Danes version of Romeo + Juliet on Saturday, April 25, and wrapping up on Sunday, April 26 with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in The Taming of the Shrew. All showings are free, and will begin at sundown, somewhere between 7:30 and 8 pm each night. Actors from the upcoming Folger production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead will introduce the flicks. Conversing in iambic pentameter will be optional.
Remember to keep an eye on the JDLand calendar (scroll down the home page) to be reminded of what's on the neighborhood agenda.
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2015 Capitol Riverfront Thursday Movie, Friday Concert Lineups
Mar 26, 2015 8:36 AM
* MOVIES: You voted a few weeks back, and now the lineup has been announced for this year's Capitol Riverfront's Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park:
June 4: Back to the Future
June 11: Selma
June 18: The Princess Bride
June 25: Rush Hour
July 2: Independence Day
July 9: Bring It On
July 16: LEGO Movie
July 23: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
July 30: Big Hero 6
August 6: Pitch Perfect
August 13: The Goonies
August 20: Guardians of the Galaxy
August 27: To Kill A Mockingbird
September 3: The Sound of Music
The official start time each week is "sundown," but the BID invites you to come around 7 pm with picnic in hand. All movies are free and open to the public.
* MUSIC: The Friday Night Concert Series at the Yards Park is coming back for its fifth (!) year, starting at 6:30 pm each week. The schedule of musical acts:
May 15: Jimi Smooth
May 22: Still Surfin'
May 29: Sponsored by Tour de Fat: Lineup TBA
June 5: Scott's New Band
June 12: DC JazzFest at The Yards: Soul Rebels & Sharón Clark
June 19: Texas Chainsaw Horns
June 26: Jah Works
July 3: Almost Journey
July 10: Hand Painted Swinger
July 17: Wesley Spangler
July 24: Justin Trawick
July 31: White Ford Bronco
August 7: Morrison Brothers
August 14: Jeff From Accounting
August 21: Lloyd Dobler Effect
August 28: Special Guest TBA in August!
September 4: Crowded Streets
September 11: Sara Gray
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Van Ness Elementary Fundraiser at Nando's on March 24
Mar 23, 2015 8:57 AM
Originally scheduled in February but delayed thanks to snow, the fundraiser at Nando's Peri-Peri for Van Ness Elementary in advance of the school's reopening this fall is now happening on Tuesday, March 24.
Bring the flyer to Nando's between 5 pm and 10 pm, order food, and Nando's will donate 40% of fundraiser sales to help raise money for the school. (Don't fret either the Feb. 17 date on it or about the RSVP stuff.)
This is the third in the series of fundraisers for nearby schools put on by the Near Southeast Community Partners group and Nando's, and there's a mini-competition going on to see which school raises the most money. So, if you're in the mood for chicken and mushed minty peas on Tuesday, print out the flyer and head to Tingey Street....
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Tuesday Tidbits: What's in a Name, Anyway?
Mar 3, 2015 9:15 AM
Catching up a bit:
* CHEF SCOUTING: Master chef Peter Chang and his partners are "looking in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood for a 6,000-square-foot space that could, when finished, serve as Chang's fine-dining flagship." He is about to open restaurants in Rockville and Arlington, alongside his existing Richmond and Charlottesville offerings that all showcase his "genuine, flame-throwing Sichuan cooking" considered to be some of the best Chinese food in the country. However, given that the word "peripatetic" is often used to describe him, we'll see what happens. (WaPo)
* FESTIVAL FESTIVALING: The National Cherry Blossom Festival will close this year with a new event, the Anacostia River Festival, on April 12 from noon to 4 pm at Anacostia Park. A joint effort by the 11th Street Bridge Project and the National Park Service, it is expected to feature boating, fishing workshops, tours of historic Anacostia, and "other unique programs to engage families with the environment."
* POOL CLUBBING: VIDA's Penthouse Pool Club opens on May 1. Assuming it has stopped snowing by then.
* AHEM: I've referenced this in a few unofficial places, but might as well just give it the full-on treatment. Recently Mr. JDLand was struck by a creative bolt of lightning (or perhaps was just tired of listening to me rant and rave), and presented me with the design at left. With tongue most firmly in cheek, I admit it cracks me up. If you would like to be among those making such a bold statement, the shirts are $12, available in S-M-L-XL. An in-person hand-off can probably even be arranged if you live within the general JDLand listening area. Shoot me a message if you are interested.

Vote for the 2015 Capitol Riverfront Summer Outdoor Movie Lineup
Mar 2, 2015 10:56 AM
As you watch the ice melt off the trees and drip onto the snow, take a moment or two to vote on the movies you want to see in the lineup for this summer's Capitol Riverfront 2015 Outdoor Summer Movie Series, which will show movies weekly in the northernmost block of Canal Park on weather-appropriate summer evenings between June 5 and Aug. 27,.
There's no theme this year other than "People's Choice," and the candidates are a mix of pretty recent offerings (The LEGO Movie, Hunger Games - Mockingjay, The Fault in Our Stars, and Big Hero 6, to name a few) and classics (Back to the Future, The Princess Bride, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and To Kill a Mockingbird).
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This Week's Calendar: Nats Tickets, Jobs, Van Ness, Mardi Gras (and More)
Feb 16, 2015 10:57 AM
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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Aura Spa and Bang Salon Opening Celebration on Jan. 21
Jan 20, 2015 1:07 PM
If you haven't yet ventured into the non-workout portions of the VIDA Fitness complex at Twelve12 at the Yards (or even if you have!), both Aura Spa and Bang Salon are hosting a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, January 21 from 6 to 8 pm.
Champagne, wine and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Aura Spa will be offering complimentary lip or brow waxing (quantities limited) along with special pricing on massages and facials ($99 for 60 minute treatments). At Bang Salon, stylists will provide personal hair consultations, and guests will receive courtesy gift bags in addition to "fun swag" that will be raffled off.
They're asking that guests RSVP their attendance to ksimmons@vidafitness.com. The entrance to both spots is through the VIDA doors on Tingey Street east of 4th.

Ice Yards, A Party with a 'Ski Chalet Vibe', on Jan. 17
Jan 13, 2015 11:26 AM
Cold enough for ya?
Looking to do something to pass the time while it's cold?
Want to be even colder?
Want to have fun while being cold?
Want to do stuff to warm up while being cold?
If you're 21 or older and answered "Why, yes!" to any of the above questions, head down to the Yards Park on Saturday, Jan. 17 for Ice Yards, billed as the "ice version" of the big Splash Yards party last summer.
With a "ski chalet vibe," the shindig will run from 2 to 6 pm and is slated to have ice bars, a "frosty beer garden," a DJ, live music, a "ski lounge," fire pits, hot tubs, "Absolut Snow Cones" (SOLD!), and interactive winter-themed video games.
The forecast for Saturday currently calls for a bit of a warm-up, to around 45 degrees, but if that temperature was cold enough to hold the NHL Winter Classic, I'm sure it'll be fine for a party.
It's free, but give them an RSVP at EventBrite or on Facebook if you think you're going (1,800 of your closest friends have already clicked "Yes").
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NHL Winter Classic Events and Info; Noon Yards Eve, Too
Dec 30, 2014 3:01 PM
It's almost that time, with the NHL Winter Classic's puck drop now less than 48 hours away, at 1 pm on Thursday, Jan. 1 at Nationals Park. (Check out the webcam to watch as preparations inside the stadium are rushed to completion.)
While tickets aren't easy to come by without a sizeable wad of cash, there will be events around the neighborhood where the both lucky ticket holders and unlucky ticket unholders can congregate before, during, and after the game.
* OFFICIAL FAN FESTIVAL: As mentioned previously, the official SPECTATOR PLAZA PRESENTED BY GEICO will be set up at the Fairgrounds at Half and M streets, SE, from 9 am until 1 pm, with all manner of attractions, prizes, food, music, and purchasing opportunities.
* ROCK THE RIVERFRONT: Starting at 10 am and running until 7 pm, Canal Park will celebrate the Winter Classic with its own free "Rock the Riverfront" festival, with CBS radio station 106.7 The Fan broadcasting live from the roof of the Park Tavern before and after the game. There will be live music, beer from DC Brau, food, ice skating (natch), former Caps players (including Dave Christian), and more. And the game will be broadcast on multiple TV screens.
* OTHER VENUES: Willie's will open at 8:30 am, the Big Stick at 9 am, Bluejacket at 10 am, Justin's Cafe at 11, and Biersch at 1 pm (because of a private event earlier in the day)--the Post's Going Out Guide has more on what these places will be offering. And of course my Food Options map gives you the complete lineup of eateries and drinkeries in the area.
* CAPS MASS: St, Vincent de Paul church at South Capitol and M SE is providing a special Winter Classic Caps Mass at 11:30 am.
* BIKESHARE: (ADDED) There's going to be a corral from 11:30 am until 30 minutes after the game at the dock at 1st and N SE.
And now, the buzz-kill items:
* ROAD CLOSURES: MPD has announced road closures from 8:30 am until approximately 6:30 pm, including Potomac Avenue south of the ballpark, 1st Street south of M, N Street from South Capitol to Tingey, and Half, Van, and Cushing (?) between M and N.
* PARKING: Even though it will be New Year's Day, don't be thinking you can park free and clear on the streets in the neighborhood: DPW has announced that residential parking restrictions will be enforced. My map of close-by parking lots should be relatively accurate in terms of locations, though probably not prices. UPDATE: However, apparently meters will not be enforced.
Finally, if you are desperate for not-necessarily-hockey-related outdoor festivities but can't wait until Thursday:
* NOON YARDS EVE: On Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 10 am to 1 pm there's the free Noon Yards Eve. Billed as "a fun daytime New Year's Eve celebration for the family and children," it will feature a big countdown and balloon drop at noon, along with lots of activities for the kids and a "trackless train ride" through Yards Park.
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This Weekend's Holiday Happenings: Shopping, Santa, Singing
Dec 11, 2014 9:42 AM
We're well into the holiday season, and there are some events this weekend that may be of interest, in between your hall-decking and jolly-making.
PARCEL MARKET: From Friday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Dec. 14, Canal Park will be the home of the Parcel Market, with a large tent showcasing offerings from independent vendors, a food area, live music from local artists, and an "interactive art installation." Wares for sale will range from fashion to jewelry and accessories to "home enhancements" to other gifts. Food will include offerings from Bluejacket, Ice Cream Jubilee, Dirty South Deli, Undone Chocolate, Teeny Pie, and Maketto. The market runs from 5 to 9 pm on Friday, Dec. 12, noon to 9 pm on Saturday, Dec. 13, and noon to 5 pm on Sunday, Dec. 14. See the web site for more information.
TRUCK MARKET: If you want more pop-up holiday marketing options, the Yards is having its Fashion Truck Market this weekend as well, from 11 am to 6 pm each day in front of VIDA at 4th and Tingey, SE. Trucks expected to be in attendance include Urban Pearl, Tin Lizzy, Street Boutique, Strut Truck, Charm City Mobile Boutique, The Pink Armoire, and Go Go Retread.
SANTA PHOTOS: The Waterfront Church is holding a "Pictures with Santa" event on Friday, Dec. 12, from 5 to 9 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at 140 L St., SE. Each family will receive one 5x7 photo and a digital copy by e-mail, and there will also be cookies, hot cocoa, stories with the seldom seen Mrs. Claus, and more. See the Facebook event page for more details.
CAROLING: A resident with the urge to sing has organized an evening of neighborhood caroling on Saturday, Dec. 13, beginning at 4 pm, first visiting the Capper Seniors building at 5th and Virginia and then roaming the Capitol Quarter townhouses before ending up at the Canal Park ice rink by 6 pm. All levels of singing are welcome, Santa hats are encourged, and the lineup will include "inclusive, multicultural holiday tunes." See the Facebook page for more. Bonus points for not calling it wassailing!
SKATE AND SING: If the first batch of Saturday caroling isn't enough, you can then stay at Canal Park for their "Skate and Sing" from 6 to 7 pm.
(The photo shows a subset of my beloved set of Rudolph characters.)
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'Celebrate' the Day of the Dead at GraveYards Nov. 1
Oct 30, 2014 10:48 AM
If your Friday Halloween partying* wears you out, you can fit right in on Saturday night, Nov. 1, at "GraveYards," wherein The Yards will be "transformed into a stylishly spooky playground celebrating Day of the Dead."
It starts at 6 pm, and promises a "mystical environment for guests," with street performers, fortune tellers, a mariachi band, a beer garden, and a "celebrity graveyard," allowing attendees to "pay their respects to the likes of Elvis."
Admission is free, and it runs until 10 pm.
And it took me every ounce of strength to not write this as Stefon: "Near Southeast's hottest ghoul-based event is GraveYards...."
* Note that "Truckerboo" is at the Fairgrounds on Friday from 11 am to 11 pm, billed as "the largest Halloween party in DC."
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Halloween Events in the Neighborhood this Weekend
Oct 22, 2014 12:11 PM
(Had to use a suitably frightening shot of our dear departed cat Gordie to get into the spirit of the season.)
While the demolition of Building 213 has decreased the neighborhood's Spooky Quotient considerably, there's still some Halloween-related activities if you're looking for more than just trick-or-treating.
* (ADDED) Canal Park is having a free Pumpkins in the Park shindig on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 11 am to 1 pm on the north block at 2nd and I. "The fun includes small pumpkins and decorating tools, face painting, and a performance by Mr. Skip at 12:00pm! "
* Alas, the Haunted Ship Barry at the Navy Yard is dark for a second year in a row, but on Saturday the Navy museum is holding a Haunted Gallery. Little kids are invited from 4 pm to 7 pm, and teens and grownups from 7:30 to 10 pm. See the flyer for more information, and be sure to give them a call to be filled in on the security requirements for getting to the museum.
* There's a Halloween Party on Sunday, Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L, being put on by the Waterfront Church, which a few months ago began offering services there on Sundays at 10 am. The party is free and will have games, pumpkin painting, candy, and more. The Facebook event page has more info, and you can RSVP there so they don't run out of goodies.
If you want to venture a little farther afield, here's TheHillisHome's guide to Halloween events.
Anything else? Post in the comments--and if I get more announcements, I'll update this.
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Yards Park to Host 'Nationals Celebration' for Games 1 and 2
Sep 30, 2014 4:26 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing plans to host a "Washington Nationals Celebration" in Yards Park for the Nats' first two playoff games, on Friday Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 4. These events will feature "favorite local bands, broadcasting from CBS Radio, and family-friendly activities to celebrate the Washington Nationals' home stand during the first round of the National League Division Series postseason playoffs."
On Friday, the festivities will be held post-game, where a not-yet-named local band will play on the boardwalk while food trucks and the nearby restaurants will offer eats for your picnicking pleasure. (The start time for Friday's game will not be known until after Wednesday's NL Wild Card game, but it is expected to be either 12:07 pm or 3:07 pm.)
On Saturday, the Natitude will start in Yards Park at 3 pm, "with a pre-game concert by fan favorite Hand Painted Swinger, family-friendly activities such as face painting, and broadcasting from CBS Radio personalities with Nationals-focused commentary and interviews." (And don't forget to walk the Riverwalk to the 1st Base Gate!)
All this is free and open to the public.
UPDATE: Since this just arrived in my inbox, I'll add that the Fairgrounds is offering "viewing parties" for all home playoff games on their 16x16 oudoor big screen, with full audio.
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Bang Salon Oct. 5 'Cut-a-Thon' to Benefit Ovarian Cancer Education
Sep 25, 2014 9:12 AM
While Bang Salon in the VIDA Fitness spread at the Yards is still a few days away from its slated opening date of Sept. 30 (fingers crossed), the operators already have in the works a "Cut-a-Thon" on Sunday, Oct. 5, from 9 am to 9 pm in support of ovarian cancer education and awareness.
For 12 hours, 100 percent of the proceeds from every haircut will be donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. If going to a salon is stressful, the complimentary champagne and small appetizers may serve to soothe you.
More than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, but because of the disease's somewhat vague symptoms and a lack of reliable detection tests, most cases do not get diagnosed until the cancer has reached later stages--approximately 15,000 women die annually from the disease.
So if you're getting a little shaggy, see if you can hang on for an extra week or so and contribute to the cause. It's easier than pouring an ice bucket over your head.
(Note that this is only for getting your hairs cut [as Mom used to say], not coloring or other chemical services.)
UPDATE: Following up on reader JES's question in the comments, Bang is taking taking walk-ins for this event on Oct. 5 but appointments are suggested--appointments can be made online at bangsalon.com or (202) 628-3222.
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More posts: bangsalon, Events, vida, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards

Commemorating the First Anniversary of the Navy Yard Shootings
Sep 10, 2014 2:19 PM
It seems hard to believe that Tuesday, Sept. 16 will be the one-year anniversary of the terrible shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left 12 people dead.
The Navy will be holding its official remembrance ceremony within the walls of the WNY at 8 a.m., lead by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, will read the names of the victims, and a bell will toll for each of them.
Later that same day, there will be a community remembrance of the event, starting at 6 pm at Canal Park. Mayor Vince Gray, Councilmember Tommy Wells, Vice Adm. Hibarides, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and other officials will be in attendance, as will the US Navy Ceremonial Guard. The memorial is described as including "prayers, readings, meditation, and music to honor the Navy Yard victims, survivors and heroic civilian and military first responders who acted to save lives."
This public ceremony is being organized by the Near Southeast Community Partners group, to honor not only the importance of the Washington Navy Yard to the neighborhood's past and future but also the many residents of Near Southeast who are connected to the military.
The remembrance at Canal Park is free and open to the public.
UPDATE: There is another remembrance scheduled on the 16th: the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic church at South Capitol and M will be holding a memorial mass at 12:10 pm for those killed in the shooting.
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History Events This Week: Pride II Docking, Shiner Diary Lecture
Aug 19, 2014 3:49 PM
History is in the air this week!
* SHIP DOCKING: The Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer that bills itself "America's Star-Spangled Ambassador," will be docking at the Navy Yard from Wednesday, Aug. 20 through Monday, Aug. 25. Free public tours will be available from 1 pm to 4 pm each day.
In conjunction with the Pride's arrival, the U.S. Navy Museum is holding several events on Sunday, Aug. 24, including riverwalk cannon salutes at 1:15 and 3:15 pm. There will also programs in and around the Museum that day, including performances by the Chanteymen and more. (I'd link to a web page with details on the museum's offerings on Sunday, but can't find one anywhere.) Going to the Navy Museum requires entry at the O Street Gate on 11th Street, SE.
(And, on a side note, because I know people will ask, the Douglass Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic from 2 am to 5 am late tonight/tomorrow morning to "allow water traffic to pass." Not a stretch to guess that these are related items.)
* SHINER LECTURE: Did you know that a slave named Michael Shiner, born in 1813, kept a diary of life in and around the Washington Navy Yard, where he started working as a child? It apparently recorded all manner of day-to-day observations of both citywide events and neighborhood details, and on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 10 am, there will be a lecture about the diary and its significance, given by Leslie Anderson. It's at 200 I Street, SE, so be sure to bring a government-issued ID to get in the building. The lecture is being presented by the Near Southeast Community Partners.
(A walking tour about the Navy Yard neighborhood of 1814 is happening at 11:30 am on Saturday, but it's all booked. Oops.)
UPDATE: One more bit of more recent history I can pass along. Not too different from my early shots, except to see that the site of the self-storage building wasn't quite so monolithic. And more gas stations, naturally.
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More posts: Events, Navy Yard, Rearview Mirror

Reminder: Invasion of the Music Fans This Weekend
Jul 24, 2014 10:34 AM
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.)

Neighborhood History Event Exploring Capper's Past on July 5
Jul 3, 2014 6:25 PM
The nascent Navy Yard Neighborhood Association has put together a "Neighborhood History" event scheduled for this Saturday, July 5, from 1 to 5 pm at 200 I Street, SE.
It will kick off with a showing of the 2007 documentary Chocolate City, which tells the stories of families displaced when the plans went forward a decade ago to replace the old Capper/Carrollsburg housing project with the mixed-income Capitol Quarter townhouse development.
Afterward, there will be oral histories from some of the neighborhood's former and returning residents, along with some panel discussions.
There will also be activities for the kids and refreshments.
No RSVP necessary, but there's a Facebook event page for more information and to indicate if you're going, should you choose.
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Thursday Tidbits: Plain White Concrete Sandlot
Jun 5, 2014 12:23 AM
As you can see, If you rent one of the Twelve12 units on the north end of the building, you'll have a great view of the construction at the Lofts at Capitol Quarter.
Now to the tidbits:
* The latest on the Xavier Cervera mess. (WSJ)
* Apparently there is a void that can only be filled by a PROFESSIONAL. (City Paper)
* The 11th Street Bridges project receives an Award of Excellence in Concrete from the National Capital Chapter of the American Concrete Institute. No, really. (Hill Rag)
* The Courtyard touts its makeover. (Press release via Yahoo)
* How does DDOT see the city's multimodal future evolving? Check out the MoveDC draft transportation plan.
And, on the agenda:
* On Thursday, the Nats play the Phillies at 4 pm, which clears the evening for the first NatsLive concert of the season, with the Plain White T's. The show is free for anyone with a ticket to the game, though there's no truth to the rumor that they will just play "Hey There, Delilah" 17 times in a row.
* Then at sundown the Capitol Riverfront Summer Outdoor Movie Series kicks off at the northern end of Canal Park with the Sandlot.
* On Friday, Sam O brings reggae to the Yards Friday Night Concert Series, starting at 6:30 pm.
* If you can think this far ahead, it's been announced that Snallygaster is returning to the Yards, on September 13. "An epic day of inimitable imbibery and monstrous merriment featuring over 200 craft drafts."

Tuesday Tidbits: Cruising, Looking, Fattening, Crowding
May 27, 2014 3:47 PM
Long weekends mess with the mind.
* CRUISING BY THE HOOD: The Near Southeast Community Partners group, in concert with the 11th Street Bridge Park Project, Living Classrooms, and Anacostia Riverkeeper, are having a "Community Vision Cruise" along the Anacostia River on June 16 from 6 to 8 pm. Cruisers will ride the river on a 1928 boat and learn about the bridge park and programs to clean up the river, with food provided by Agua 301 and Ice Cream Jubilee. Tickets are $60 (and can bepurchased online), but note that space is limited.
* LOOKING AT THE HOOD: Urban Turf surveys the current state of the neighborhood, after the "rain delay" of the 2008-2012 time frame: "Now, Capitol Riverfront is seeing long-planned projects come to fruition, parks, restaurants and retailers are drawing visitors from across the city, and the streets no longer resemble a ghost town."
* FATTENING UP THE HOOD: The Tour de Fat is this Saturday at Yards Park, so get your bike and your liver tuned up.
* CROWDING IN THE HOOD: DDOT recently released the M Street Southeast/Southwest Special Events Study final report, which looks at the traffic impact along M Street of a number of potential entertainment venues, including of course Nats Park but also the potential new soccer stadium at Buzzard Point, all the attractions to come at the Wharf, and the movie theater eventually coming to the DC Water site. (The entire report is an 81 MB PDF, so get a cup of coffee.)

To-Do Tidbits: La La La La La Edition
May 2, 2014 12:29 PM
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.

Friday Tidbits: More, More, More (and Less) Edition
Apr 25, 2014 2:00 PM
* LESS NGA: While demolition of Spooky Building 213 at 1st and M has technically been underway for a few weeks, the showy portion got started this week. But my camera hasn't gotten down there yet--look for photos this weekend, if you don't already have a front-row seat for the festivities.
* MORE CBS RADIO: WBJ provides more information on CBS Radio's move to 1015 Half Street, which was officially announced on site by the mayor and other poobahs on Monday. A CBS Radio exec is quoted as saying that the street-level studio and performance area "will allow an unfettered look into how we operate and provide fans of our stations with the chance to meet some of the top names in the music business and our own beloved personalities.” Another quote says that CBS Radio "wanted a ‘Today Show’ type street-level studio and the only place they could get that was in the city.” Construction on the space is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
* MORE XAVIER: Not exactly sure why the Wall Street Journal is so all-over the Barracks Row Entertainment bankruptcy, but here they are again with more details: "Lawyers for eight restaurants including Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Molly Malone’s and Boxcar Tavern [and Park Tavern and Willie's] said in new court papers that Xavier Cervera, who became a consultant for the restaurants in August after selling the restaurants in late 2012, intentionally hindered their performance," so that the new owners would struggle to make payments and then Xavier and his partners could retake the properties. There's a battle over a scooter, too.
* MORE RIVERWALK: DDOT announced this week that work is about to begin on the four-mile-long stretch of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail from Benning Road through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to the DC/Maryland line.
* MORE FAT: Mark your calendars, the Tour de Fat returns to Yards Park on May 31. (Yes, the link includes the beer list.)
* LESS INCENTIVE: In the latest step to make all my work completely unnecessary, you can now go back in time on Google Street View. (But it's only to 2007, so at least my 2003-2007 photos aren't totally useless.)

Lineups Announced for Summer Film, Concert Series
Apr 24, 2014 8:52 AM
The Capitol Riverfront BID has announced the lineup for its 2014 Outdoor Film Series, with an "It's a Whole New Ballgame" theme of sports-related movies. The movies, all free and open to the public, will once again be shown Thursday nights beginning at sundown in the northern block of Canal Park, at 2nd and I Streets, SE. Here's the batting order:
June 5, The Sandlot
June 12, Happy Gilmore
June 19, Dodgeball
June 26, Wimbledon
July 10, Balls of Fury
July 17, Space Jam
July 24, Invincible
July 31, Bend it Like Beckham
August 7, Rudy
August 14, A League of Their Own
August 21, The Blind Side
September 4, Moneyball
And Yards Park will once again have its Friday summer concert series, beginning May 9. The concerts run from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and feature a lineup of top-40, country, salsa, pop, bluegrass, and reggae.bands chosen by OnTap Magazine:
May 9, Jimi Smooth
May 16, Monster Band
May 30, Tour de Fat concert
June 6, Sam O
June 13, Texas Chainsaw Horns
June 20, Sin Miedo
June 27, DC Jazz Festival
July 11, Scott's New Band
July 18, Framewerk
July 25, Jah Works
August 1, White Ford Bronco
August 8, Back to Zero
August 15, 19th Street Band
August 22, Cazhmiere
September 5, Crowded Streets
September 12, Jeff From Accounting
For more information, visit capitolriverfront.org and yardspark.org. These will also be on the JDLand Events Calendar, once I wade through the lists.
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DCSEU Power Lunch on Friday: Drink Ticket Giveaway
Apr 22, 2014 8:40 AM
DCSEU Power LunchI mentioned this a few weeks ago, but now that it's coming up I'll remind readers that this Friday, April 25, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility and multiple organizations are hosting a "Power Lunch," from 11 am to 3 pm at the Fairgrounds at Half and M.
Amidst the food trucks, prizes, and music, attendees will learn of the many efforts across a wide spectrum of city agencies and businesses to make DC the "most sustainable, livable city in the country."
The first 500 attendees will receive free LED and CFL light bulbs (OBAMA!), and the lineup of raffle prizes offered by co-sponsors of the event is getting pretty impressive, including a six-month VIDA/Penthouse Pool membership, an Aura Spa package, two dozen cupcakes from Buzz Bakery, a Bluejacket $50 gift card, Nats tickets, and much more.
And, because DCSEU is located right here in the neighborhood, they have free drink tickets that they are giving away to the first three JDLand readers who respond. So drop me a line, and I'll pass your info along. (You'll need to pick up the tickets at 80 M St., SE.)
There's also a Facebook page if you wish to share the word.
UPDATE: Drink tickets gone.
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To-Do Tidbits: To Friday and Beyond!
Mar 20, 2014 10:47 AM
Reminders for this week:
* 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. Former mayor Anthony Williams will be on hand, and the organizers says that the candidates who will appear include Carlos Allen, Jack Evans, Mayor Gray, Vincent Orange, and Tommy Wells.
* 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.
For future reference:
* SUSTAINABLE ME: On April 25, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, along with the BID, WMATA, DDOT, Capital Bikeshare, Zipcar, and others, are hosting a "Power Lunch" at the Fairgrounds at Half and M, from 11 am to 3 pm. There will be food trucks, prizes, cold drinks, music, and opportunities to get educated on how city agencies, organizations, and business and working to "make this the most sustainable, living city in the country." (And DCSEU's offices are at 80 M Street, so they're neighbors!) There's a Facebook event page with more information.
* ISLAND MUSIC: The 4th annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, from 1 to 8 pm. The festival, is scheduled to include performances by local bluegrass bands, plus food trucks, Sierra Nevada beer, kayaks, a climbing wall, and bike giveaways from BicycleSPACE, along with tours of the island, local music busking stages, and a children’s area with crafts and games. And wouldn't the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail be a nice way to get there, especially now that the areas that have been affected by DC Water's work have reopened? Tickets are on sale now, and benefit Living Classrooms of the National Capital Area.
Got an event in the neighborhood? Let me know. And don't forget to check the Near Southeast Events Calendar to keep track of the lineup of goings-on.
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To-Do Tidbits: Elephants, Environment, Drive-In, Truckeroo, Opera
Mar 13, 2014 5:11 PM
* PACHYDERMS ON PARADE: The annual DC Elephant Walk, which gets the stars of the Ringling Bros. circus from their train to the Verizon Center, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, at 8 pm. It starts at New Jersey and Virginia avenues, so it can be seen from the overpass (and perhaps from Garfield Park?), before heading toward downtown. UPDATE: Alas, DCist says that the parade has been cancelled.
* ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM: On March 21, there is to be a forum with DC mayoral candidates focusing on sustainability and environmental issues, at the Boilermaker Shops at 300 Tingey St., SE, from 6 to 8 pm. It has been organized by the local chapter of the Sierra Club along with the Capitol Riverfront BID, the neighborhood group Near Southeast Community Partners and a coalition of multiple groups now operating under an umbrella group called United for a Healthy Anacostia River. The clock is ticking down toward DC Primary Election Day, on April 1.
And, speaking of the river, the Anacostia Riverkeeper group is having a fundraiser on April 3 from 5 to 8 pm. Bring this flyer (and your appetite) to Nando's Peri-Peri at the Boilermaker Shops to help support its efforts to clean up the Anacostia watershed. They'd like an RSVP in advance, for an accurate head count.
* AT THE DRIVE-IN: Presumably in anticipation of their not-as-yet-underway Ballpark Square office/residential/hotel/retail project, developers Grosvenor, McCaffery and Skanska are co-sponsoring with the BID a "Groundbreaking at the Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Weekend" on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. They are inviting folks to "pull into the converted drive-in movie theater at 1st and M Streets, SE to watch great films and purchase popular DC food truck cuisine." Friday's movie will be Toy Story, and Saturday's will be The Matrix. Both screenings start at 7:30 pm.
* TRUCKEROO: The monthly DC food truck festival is returning to the Fairgrounds at Half and M SE for another year, starting on April 11.
* LA LA LA LA LA: The always successful Opera in the Outfield is back for another year, this time on May 3 with a simulcast of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Gates open at 5 pm for the variety of "pre-game" activities, and the show starts at 7 pm.
And, I suppose I should mention that, nestled in between these various events, there will also be the Nationals' exhibition game against the Tigers on March 29, and the team's home opener on April 4 against the Braves. Just in case you weren't aware.
Have an event happening in the neighborhood? Let me know.

Groundbreaking on March 5 for Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Feb 26, 2014 6:45 PM
It's getting hard to keep track of all of the projects in the ground around the neighborhood, and now another one is about to be added to the list: the 195-unit mixed-income apartment building christened the Lofts at Capitol Quarter is having a ceremonial groundbreaking on March 5 at 10 am, with the mayor, Tommy Wells, and other luminaries expected to be in attendance.
This project, on the south side of L Street SE between 5th and 7th, is on the site of the old Capper Seniors building, and will displace the northern half of Nats Economy Lot W. It faces the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters building that opened at 7th and L in 2004.
Of course, since this is a ceremonial event, we'll have to see when actual moving of dirt--other than by shovel-wielding VIPs--begins. But financing is in place, permits are approved, and the DC Housing Authority appears raring to go to get this project underway.
When completed, the building will be run by Forest City's residential management arm, and will have a fitness room, roof decks, interior courtyards, and meeting space. It's expected to take about 20 months to complete once construction begins.
This is the third apartment building to rise up as part of the Hope VI redevelopment of the Capper/Carrollsburg housing project, and the first to be mixed income, with at least 38 affordable units to be included.
The "Capitol Quarter" moniker comes from the rows of new townhouses built a few blocks away as part of the Capper redevelopment. In the original plans for Capper's re-do, this site (known as Square 882) was going to be townhouses as well, but was switched to an apartment building in 2009. The south half of the block, facing M Street and the Navy Yard, may someday be the 600 M Street office development, but that does not appear to be happening anytime soon.

To-Do Tidbits: Politically Motivated
Feb 20, 2014 11:57 AM
As one can tell from my anemic output of late, there's not a lot going on during the waning days of February, unless you are all about local politics:
* MAYOR'S RACE: On Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 am, a debate between mayoral candidates covering issues of interest to Southwest and Near Southeast is being held at Arena Stage's Kogod Theater. The Southwester notes that the Kogod only has about 200 seats, so arrive early if you want to get in.
* WARD 6 RACE: Charles Allen and Darrel Thompson, the two candidates in the Democratic primary for Tommy Wells's council seat, will be traipsing across Ward 6 for a series of forums. The first is tonight from 7 to 9 pm at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 4th and Independence, SE. Then there will be a set of three forums organized by the Hill Rag, starting on Friday, Feb. 28 from 7 to 9 pm at the Hill Center at 9th and Pennsylvania, SE. Then they'll head to Southwest on Tuesday, March 4 from 7 to 9 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, before wrapping it up at the Shaw Library on Tuesday, March 11 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Each event will include moderated questions from the audience.
If you're looking for information on the platforms of the Ward 6 candidates, Greater Greater Washington has looked at their stands on housing, transportation, and education. And the Hill is Home has published candidate profiles for both Allen and Thompson.
DC's primary election day is April 1.
Have an announcement for a future event? Send it here.
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More posts: Events, politics

To-Do Tidbits: Capper, Schools, 6D, Aldean, Jazz
Feb 6, 2014 10:14 AM
* CAPPER DISCUSSION: I have a dream of writing a deeper post about this tomorrow, but just in case, I'll mention again that 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.
* SCHOOL BOUNDARIES: Three Ward 6 community meetings have been scheduled on the hot topic of DCPS's review of public school boundaries and feeder patterns. Topics open for discussion, in addition to the aforementioned boundaries and feeder patterns, include experiences with the current assignment policies (including lotteries) and bridging the assignment and choice policies across DCPS and charter schools. The meetings all start at 6:30 pm and are scheduled at: Eliot-Hine (Feb. 13), Stuart-Hobson (Feb. 18), and Jefferson (Feb. 20).
* ANC 6D: The commission's monthly meeting is on Feb. 10 at 7 pm at 1100 4th St. SW. The agenda includes some curb cut requests, and updates on the Wharf, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and an upcoming mayoral forum at Arena Stage.
* ALDEAN: The Nationals finally announced a date for the Jason Aldean concert at the ballpark this summer: July 25, the day before Billy Joel's show. Tickets for the Aldean gig go on sale tomorrow, Feb. 7.
* ALL THAT JAZZ: This is a ways off, but it's been announced that a three-day Jazz at the Riverfront music festival will be held at the Yards Park from June 27-29, as part of the DC Jazz Festival. More about it all from City Paper.
Have an announcement for a future event? Send it here.

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More posts: Capper, Community Center, Events

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

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

ArtYards DC Wrapping Up With 'Illuminated Ops'
Dec 12, 2013 8:55 AM
ArtYardsDC, the project that has been breathing a bit of life into the spooky old National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building at 1st and M SE for the past few weeks, is coming to a close this weekend.
For the finale they are presenting "Illuminated Ops," which will project three specially commissioned video art pieces more than five stories tall and twice as wide onto the NGA building's façade at New Jersey and N/Tingey. There will also be custom audio tracks, and the Wonka Factory-like NGA gate at New Jersey and Tingey will be open so that viewers can get up close to the building should they wish.
The display begins at 6 pm for the next three nights, starting tonight (Thursday, Dec. 12). The images seen here are stills provided by Forest City Washington showing what the video projections should look like.
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More posts: Events, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards

Tidbits: Ice Rink Opening Soon, and Other Goings-On
Dec 5, 2013 8:29 PM
While I keep trying to get myself reacquainted with blogging (a process that clearly is not proceeding smoothly), I'm going to cheat and go with some Tidbits lists every so often, so that at least I can feel like I'm getting the spigot working better, even if it's still sputtering. Also, I have to get used to all these events, specials, and activities, which didn't used to be part of the Near Southeast blogging landscape.
* The BID reports in its latest newsletter that the Canal Park ice rink is scheduled to open on Monday, Dec. 16. And speaking of the park, if you haven't wandered by, you may not know that Christmas trees and wreaths are for sale there this year. See the market web site for details.
* On Saturday (Dec. 7), the 11th Street Bridge Park project is holding two "community design meetings" that will provide an update about the project and break out attendees into smaller groups to work on ideas. A nationwide design competition for the project is expected to be launched early in 2014. The bridge park itself is expected to cost $35 million, which at this point is mostly unfunded. One meeting is at 200 I Street SE from 2 pm to 6 pm (details and RSVP here) but there is also a morning meeting. (via DCist)
* ArtYards has the Chalk a Lot street art event on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 7-8) at the NGA parking lot, 1st and M SE. And see also this Going Out Guide look at the ArtYards project.
* Osteria Morini is now open for lunch, and here's the menu. Plus there's Happy Hour specials now, too, from 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday. And Post food critic Tom Sietsema took a First Bite there earlier this week.
* Bluejacket is going big with its first New Year's Eve celebration. For your $160 ticket, you'll get an open bar for all Bluejacket brews, plus a DJ and "passed bites." Then there will be a champagne toast as part of the ceremonial midnight keg drop. (No, seriously.) And Bluejacket/Arsenal is now open for lunch, too, and is serving Sunday brunch from 11 to 3, but you probably already know these things.
* VIDA Fitness, coming to the Twelve12 building at the Yards in 2014, is now offering membership pre-sales. Their site says that the Penthouse Pool Club will open on July 1, 2014 and the VIDA Fitness itself on Aug. 25, 2014.
* If you want to look a little farther into the future: WMATA has scoped out the subway alignments it would like to pursue as part of its 2040 "core configuration" plan. How would you feel about a new Blue and Yellow line under 2nd Street from Union Station, turning west with a station at New Jersey and I before heading to Virginia? (It would also run under M Street NW from Georgetown to New York Avenue.) I can't wait to set out from my retirement home with my brain-embedded camera to take photos of this project.

ArtYards Giving the NGA Building a Makeover
Nov 20, 2013 3:35 PM
Covering cultural events is not quite my forte (plus I've got some other stuff going on this week), but since people might wonder why the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building at 1st and M SE is suddenly awash in color, I'll pass along that it is an "Art Takeover" known as ArtYardsDC, running through Dec. 14.
Quoting from the official site (because I really *am* lazy), I can tell you that this project will bring "seven internationally renowned artists to turn the building and its surroundings into a massive, evolving canvas."
It officially started this morning, as many of you might have seen, when 111 gallons of paint were poured down the M Street facade, as you can see in this photo taken from Gordon Biersch and all manner of shots in the Yards Twitter feed and via the #artyardsdc hashtag.
As part of all of this, there is scheduled a two-night "Silent Disco at the Yards," this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 22 and 23) at 9 pm on the mezzanine level of the Boilermaker Shops. Everyone gets a set of wireless headphones and can choose their music from the three DJs working simultaneously. (You crazy kids and your crazy technology!) There is a $10 cover, which will be donated to BUILD Metro DC. It's a 21-and-over shindig, and there are cash bars.
There will be other numerous events as well, so keep checking the official web site for details.
And maybe I'll actually get down there and get some pictures.
This is all in advance of the NGA building being demolished sometime in early 2014. Which is the event I'm really waiting for!
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More posts: Events, The Yards, Parcel A/Yards

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

Summer Outdoor Movie Series Announced: Clash of the Comics
Feb 15, 2013 3:12 PM
It might be a little hard to think of sitting in Canal Park watching movies on a warm summer night when folks are still skating on the park's rink, but the Capitol Riverfront BID has now released the list of 10 movies that will be shown at the park in this year's Summer Outdoor Movie Series, on Thursdays beginning May 30th.
This year they are going with a comic book theme, so get your inner geek fired up for these offerings:
May 30th - Captain America
June 6th - Green Lantern
June 13th - Iron Man
June 20th - Batman and Robin
June 27th - The Hulk
July 4th - No Movie (Holiday)
July 11th - Batman Begins
July 18th - Thor
July 25th - The Dark Knight
Aug 1st - The Avengers
Aug 8th - The Dark Knight Rises
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Canal Park, Events

Another 'Finally': Canal Park's Opening Day (and Night)
Nov 17, 2012 9:59 AM
I've been to a fair number of ribbon cuttings over the past decade, and I have to say that Friday's opening of Canal Park seemed to be infused with a level of excitement and joy that I don't think I've seen at any of the others.
While getting Nationals Park open in 2008 was a triumph of speed and scale, the 13-year journey of the three-block park at the heart of Near Southeast required so many hands and so much patience and resulted in a space with which the stakeholders are clearly thrilled that it shouldn't really be a surprise that on a gorgeously crisp late fall day so many attendees were walking around with what Tommy Wells described as "a huge smile on their face."
The speakers standing at a podium in the center block's small pavilion ran through the list of names and agencies that brought the park to fruition, starting with developer William C. Smith, whose CEO Chris Smith started the long drive to build the park, creating the Canal Park Development Association back in 2000. Then there was money from the federal government and the DC government, additional dollars and much support from the DC Housing Authority, work by OLIN landscape architects and STUDIOS architecture to design the park with innovative sustainable development and storm water management components (and a skating rink!). Props were given for the hiring of Housing Authority residents for 15 of the park's 25 part-time jobs.The Capitol Riverfront BID and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities also took bows for their parts in the park's creation (and future).
After the speeches, the festivities moved to the skating rink, where the ribbon was cut and Mayor Gray drove the Zamboni, and then the public laced up its skates and got out on the ice. And they kept skating, well into the night. (And I have no doubt there will be big crowds at the rink and park today as well.) For all the happiness seen in the park's founders about getting it finally opened, I saw equal measures of surprise and cheer that so many residents and neighborhood office workers had come to the opening, had stayed through the long speechifying, and now were skating and strolling.
I've joked that I sure have been saying the word "finally" a lot lately--the trash transfer station is finally demolished, Kruba Thai is finally open, Gordon Biersch finally admitted they're coming to 100 M, Vida Fitness is finally announced, Capitol Quarter is finally finished.... But it's the "finally" of Canal Park opening that hit me more than I expected, perhaps similarly to all those happy stakeholders.
I took a lot of photos of fenced-off schoolbuses in the early years, posted a lot of renderings (some for the park's first design that never materialized), and bugged a lot of people to find out the latest. It was, after all, one of the few projects that was already in planning when I started tracking Near Southeast in early 2003, along with the Capper redevelopment and Capitol Hill Tower.
And now the park is open (with the Park Tavern restaurant to follow "within a few weeks"), and everybody can enjoy it. Finally!
Hope you'll check out my photo galleries of the park, yesterday's ceremonies, and the park's opening night, along with my expanded gallery of before-and-afters from around the park (with some that I still need to fill in, oops). And you can also see coverage from the Post, NBC4, and WJLA. And the lineup of today's events and other details on the park's official web site. And tell us what you think of the park.
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More posts: Canal Park, Events, photos

Canal Park Grand Opening Set for November 16
Oct 25, 2012 5:58 PM
A flyer just sent out by the Capitol Riverfront BID is announcing that Canal Park will have a two-day Grand Opening, on Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17, kicking off with a ribbon cutting with the mayor and other dignitaries at 11 am on the 16th.
The park's much anticipated ice rink will be the center of attention for the rest of the festivities, and it will be open from noon to 9 pm on Friday and 10 am to 10 pm on Saturday--admission is $8 for adults and $7 for kids/seniors/military, with skate rentals costing $3. There will also be "ice performances" at the top of each hour from noon to 4 pm, and coaches available to help new skaters.
Saturday will also have live music in the park from 10 am to 3 pm, various art-y options, and a "Get Active" program from Results Gym with boot camp, a kids obstacle course, and a Zumba class.
Considering that it was nine years ago this month that I first wrote about the plans to remove the school buses from the park's three-block site along 2nd Street between I and M, SE, I'd say this opening indeed qualifies as a milestone in the neighborhood. See my Canal Park project page for photos of what the footprint has gone through over the years.
(The BID also says that the management of Kruba Thai and Sushi says that their restaurant in the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts at the Yards is opening on Monday, Nov. 12. Will that come true as well? We shall see!)
UPDATE: I should add there's no word in this whether the Park Tavern restaurant will open on this same weekend--my guess is that the pressure is pretty strong to have it open in some format, but there's no announcement.
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Opera in the Outfield Returns Sept. 29 to Nats Park
Aug 24, 2012 9:39 AM
For the fifth year in a row, the Washington Opera is hosting its Opera in the Outfield simulcast at Nationals Park, offering up Mozart's Don Giovanni on Sept. 29 at 7 pm. Gates open at 5 pm, and since this year's event is sponsored by M&Ms, there's a chance to meet the Chief Chocolate Officer of M&Ms, Miss Brown, in addition to the de rigeur showing of Bugs Bunny's What's Opera, Doc? and other pre-game activities.
It's free and open to the public without advance tickets, though if you register, you'll have a chance to win a Night at the Kennedy Center package. There's also a pre-show party in the Stars & Stripes club, brought to you by MyTix and Brightest Young Things. More information on all activities and logistics here.
Mozart will of course be the second ancient mastermind of lengthy musical events to have his music blasted from the Nats Park sound system in September, following on the heels of Bruce Springsteen's concert on Sept. 14.
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More posts: Stadium Events

Thursday Tidbits: Makeovers, Candidates, and a Busy Weekend
Jul 19, 2012 11:48 AM
* Canal Park's new web site launched today, and it indicates that they're still aiming for a November opening for the park, the ice rink, and the restaurant.
* The I Street McDonalds is going to be getting a makeover, judging by a recently approved building permit.
* Current 6D07 commissioner David Garber has picked up petitions to run for reelection. So far he and Ed Kaminski are the only potential candidates for the two single member districts that cover Near Southeast.
And, in this weekend's events:
* Tonight's Front Flick at Tingey Plaza is The DaVinci Code.
* The Nats are about to start their 12:35 pm Matinee as I type this on Thursday, then they'll play host to the Braves Friday-Sunday. This time around there's a Saturday 1:05/7:05 doubleheader, which includes the second NatsLive concert, with the Wallflowers. (Tickets for each game sold separately, and you need a ticket to the 7:05 pm game in order to see the Wallflowers.) It's a pretty big-time series against Atlanta, so expect big crowds.
* The Fairgrounds has its South on South Capitol Southern Rock festival on Friday and the Capitol GrooveFest on Saturday
* The Yards Park has Jah Works playing reggae for its Friday Evening Concert, then the Taste of Belgium beer/food/music event on Saturday.

Thursday Tidbits: Low Weight But High Volume Edition
Jul 12, 2012 2:01 AM
It's summer, and I'm trying to be on a Word Diet, so lots of links, but short and sweet:
* This week's Front Flick, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, tonight at Tingey Plaza.
* Another installment of Truckeroo on Friday.
* One potential candidate for Near Southeast's two ANC single member districts has already picked up nominating petitions: Ed Kaminski, who lives in 6D02.
* Washington Examiner is hot on the Hood. Times two. Shorter version: more people coming (like Nats fans). More stuff coming. But you knew this already.
* Miniature golfing in Canal Park, in a manner of speaking.
* Reunion of Arthur Capper residents last week at Garfield Park.
* There's now lane restrictions on M Street SE between 7th and 11th for the next, oh, 27 months or so, thanks to the DC Water Clean Rivers Project. (This is also why Water Street east of 12th Street is closed.) The work along M got off to a bit of a rough start last month when contractors took over the pocket park at 8th and Potomac without using a particularly light touch.
* Nats Park in the mix for the 2015 MLB All-Star game, but lots of other cities want it, too.
* Across the way: new DC United investors "should boost quest for stadium" at Buzzard Point.
* At least SOME major media organizations know how to credit scoops. {Said while glaring at WashBizJ, though not PhilBizJ}
* Folks at 909 New Jersey, and also 1980s DC nightclubbers, might like this WaPo photo. Especially when compared to this. (The railroad tracks are probably not missed.)

Yankees Coming to Visit, Tour de Fat, and Other Weekend Events
Jun 14, 2012 12:58 AM
It's going to be a crowded weekend in the neighborhood. Here's the events lineup:
* Damn Yankees vs. Nats: This three-day series would be drawing big crowds even if both teams weren't on hot streaks, but now it's a marquee matchup of the first-place teams in the two best divisions in baseball, both on six-game winning streaks. The Nationals are already encouraging fans to allow plenty of extra time to get to their seats, and Near Southeast residents should be prepared for a tidal wave of ballpark-goers. Friday's game starts at 7:05 pm, Saturday's at 1:05 pm, and Sunday's at 1:35 pm.
If you're venturing to the stadium for the first time this season, my Visiting Nats Park page has links for you, like all the parking lots, transit options, food choices, and more.
* Zimmerman's Night at the Park: After their undefeated road trip to Boston and Toronto, the Nats get a day off from baseball tonight, but they'll still be heading to the stadium for Ryan Zimmerman's third annual "Night at the Park" to benefit his ZIMs Foundation, dedicated to the treatment and cure of Multiple Sclerosis. The band Guster will be performing, plus there will be silent and live auctions and most likely the chance to meet a player or two. (I wonder if Gio has gotten a date yet?)
* Tour de Fat: The Yards Park is the launching point on Saturday morning for the Tour de Fat bike event. I think the best way to describe this is to let New Belgium Beer do it: "[I]t is a thrilling rite of passage that includes an unparalleled costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eccentric entertainment, local food, unusual bike contests and much more." Registration for the free event begins at 9 am, with the parade going off at 10, then multiple other events (like the "Slow Ride") through 3 pm. Wonder what the pinstripe-bedecked visitors heading to the ballpark from Nats Lot W will think of the {other} costumed hordes riding by?
* Movies and Music: And of course there's the BID's weekly events, with "National Treasure" being tonight's Front Flicks Outdoor Movies offering, and the band Shag offering British Rock and covers at Friday's Evening Concert at Yards Park.
(Plus, don't forget that Sunday is Father's Day!)
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More posts: Events, Nationals Park, Stadium Events

Thursday Tidbits: Keeping 'Em Short Edition
May 31, 2012 1:48 PM
Not quite up for anything other than short takes today:
* Nationals: The Nats arrive home tomorrow to a series with the Braves. On Friday, there will be an attempt to set the world record for the largest all-trombone ensemble (no, really). Saturday brings Pups in the Park #2 along with the first NatsLive post-game concert, featuring Dierks Bentley. More info on the weekend's promotions and specials here.
* Thursday Movie, Friday Concert: Tonight's Outdoor Flick is Sahara, and the Friday Evening Concert at the Yards Park is Carribean Night with Sam'O and JFC.
* Yard Sale: Some Capitol Quarter neighbors are having a community yard sale on Saturday, June 2, on I Street between 4th and 5th, from 8 am to noon.
* Family Day: Another Family Day at the Fairgrounds on Sunday, June 3, from 11 am to 4 pm.
* Wednesday Music: I never received any official announcements on this, but apparently the Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Series started at the Fairgrounds on May 23, each week from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm through Sept. 5.
* Who Was This "Tingey"?: Find out Wednesday June 6 in a lecture at the National Archives.
* Walking Good, Biking Bad: The Navy Yard reminds people that biking is prohibited on the Navy Yard portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk. And the Tales from the Sharrows blog rebuts.
* "Our Parking": Curbside advocacy in action on K Street.
* Armed Robbery Attempt: From MPD: On Saturday, May 26, at approximately 4:10 am, "while in the 300 Block of K Street, SE, a complainant was approached by a suspect. The suspect brandished a handgun and demanded the complainant’s property. No property was obtained. The suspect is described as a black male, 20-25 years of age, wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans. The suspect was last seen on fleeing on 3rd Place SE." If you have information, call 202-727-9099, or you can text 50411.

This Week: Virginia Ave. Tunnel, M St. Meetings, First Front Flick
May 20, 2012 11:30 AM
To allow you to properly plan your calendar for the week, I'm posting this nice and early:
* Virginia Avenue Tunnel: Monday night is another public meeting on the planned Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction, at which it's expected that DDOT, FHWA, and CSX will be presenting the concepts that have been chosen from the original batch to study in detail as part of the project's EIS. The meeting is at Nationals Park at 6 pm.
And, speaking of the tunnel, the noise and vibration field studies required as part of the EIS will be happening this week. (But no fair stomping on the ground and gunning your car's engines for hours at a time.)
* M Street SE/SW Transportation Study: The meeting to update the public on the progress of the M Street SE/SW Transportation Study is on Thursday, May 24, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 I St. SW. The study area covers the stretch of M from 12th Street, SE to 14th Street, SW, along with the adjacent areas from the Southeast/Southwest Freeway south to the Anacostia River/Washington Channel. DDOT is looking at "how to integrate transit, bicycling and walking with motor vehicle traffic," while also trying to figure out how to balance residents' preferences for how M Street should be configured versus how visitors, workers, and commuters expect it to flow. The first meeting was in January, and the final report is expected in the fall.
* Front Flicks: If you are looking for something slightly more entertaining than either of the week's meetings, don't forget that the Capitol Riverfront BID's free Front Flicks Summer Outdoor Movie Series begins this week on Thursday, with "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" leading off the lineup of treasure hunt-themed offerings. Movies start either at 8:45 pm/sundown at Tingey Plaza, just behind USDOT at New Jersey and Tingey.
Alas, I won't be at any of these events, because first thing Tuesday I'm headed to the disabled list, to get some health issues dealt with that have been dragging me down for awhile now. There will be a few weeks of recovery time, so I ask all parties to please refrain from making any news before, say, mid-June, or at least make it something simple and/or something that won't require my attendance. (DDOT is already On Notice if they do indeed partially open the 11th Street Local bridge when I can't document it.)
I imagine I'll reappear on Twitter fairly quickly, since I know better than to think I can stay off the Internet while I'm doing little but laying around. But most likely the bulk of my narcotics-tinged/boredom-induced missives will be via my non-official @jacdupree account, if you want the entertainment.
In the meantime, feel free to use this post's comments to discuss this week's meetings and as a general open thread, but I will be watching and popping in, so don't you kids think you can throw a wild party while Mom's not looking! And hopefully I'll be back to photo taking and other obsessive-compulsive pursuits before too long.

Upcoming Events: South on South Capitol, Science, Ballpark, More
May 16, 2012 8:49 PM
A few new events and happenings to mention, along with some reminders:
* South on South Capitol: The Fairgrounds folks are launching a "South on South Capitol" southern rock concert series, featuring local and regional country and southern rock bands, along with mechanical bull rides (!), food trucks, and the Bullpen bar. The first one is scheduled for May 25, then June 22, July 27, and Aug. 24. (They're all Fridays.) Admission is free.
And, speaking of Fairgrounds, there's a corrected list of dates for their Sunday Family Days, which are just once a month (next one on June 3).
* Science + You: If you've wandered by the southeast corner of the Foundry Lofts building just north of the Yards Park, you may have already seen the Science + You exhibit. It's geared toward kids ages 3-8, giving them the hands-on chance to "become scientists for a day." It's being managed by Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, and was developed by Kohl Children's Museum in Chicago in cooperation with scientists from Abbott. The web site has lots of photos of the various interactive stations within the exhibit. It runs until Aug. 5, and is open from 12:30-4 pm Tuesday-Friday and 10 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.
* Ladies Night: The Nats' first Ladies Night of the 2012 season is Thursday (May 17), and they're going with a "Pretty in Pink" theme along with a Majestic women's apparel fashion show, drink specials, games, prizes, music, and whatnot. VIP tickets are $40 and include access to the party tent at 1st and Potomac from 5 to 7 pm along with special group seating. If you can't make the tent happy hour, you can buy a $25 ticket and enjoy the Scoreboard Pavilion festivities. (The tickets include a $10 concession credit.)
* Bike to Work: Friday, May 18 is Bike to Work Day, and the Yards Park is one of the pit stops, from 7 to 9 am. Alas, the free t-shirts for the first 11,000 registrants have already been snapped up, but you probably already own a t-shirt or two anyway.
* Battle of the Beltways: Be forewarned that the right-near-first-place (!) Orioles are coming to Nats Park for a Friday-Sunday interleague series, and so all three games will probably bring a lot of fans and traffic.
* Third Eye Blind: I mentioned last week about the Wallflowers being lined up for the 2nd of the NatsLive free post-game concerts, and soon after the word went out that Third Eye Blind would be playing the third concert, on Aug. 18 after the Nats play the New York Mets. Dierks Bentley kicks off the series on June 2, and tickets for all three games are on sale. (The concerts are free for game-ticket holders.)
And of course Friday also brings the Yards Park Friday Concert Series, with Justin Trawick performing this week. And, as a heads up, next Thursday (May 24), the Front Flicks Outdoor Movie Series gets underway, with Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Weekend Events: Truckeroo, Concert, Street Arts, Family Day
May 10, 2012 12:20 PM
Not much going on, so let's do a pre-weekend roundup, one day early to give you plenty of time to plan your schedule:
* Friday brings the first Truckeroo food truck festival of 2012, from 11 am to 11 pm at the Fairgrounds at Half and M SE. Its Facebook page today listed the truck lineup as including BBQ Bus, Big Cheese, Cajunators, Cap Mac, Chef Driven, Curbside Cupcakes, DC Empanadas, DC Slides, Doug the Food Dude, Hot People, Hula Girl, Tapas, Pleasant Pops, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Sinplicity, Sweetz Cheesecake, and Takorean.
* If you want to walk off some calories, you can also head to the Yards Park for the Friday Evening Concert, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. US Navy Band The Cruisers will be the music act this week, and food will be by Red Apron Butchery, Buzz Bakery, and Luke's Lobster, with beverages by ChurchKey.
* Saturday brings the finale of the Kennedy Center's Street Arts Across America festival with Street Arts in the Park, a day-long event at the Yards Park, from noon to 6 pm. The full lineup of music and events is available on the official web site.
* On Sunday, the Fairgrounds will be celebrating Mother's Day with its first Family Day, from 11 am to 4 pm, with "carnival games and prizes, inflatable and mechanical rides, children's entertainers and live musicians," plus food trucks.
Admission for all of these events is free. And the forecast looks pretty sweet.
And then the neighbors who live in that big building on South Capitol Street will be returning to town on Monday, for a series against the Padres that includes a 1:05 pm game on Tuesday (which is also Weather Day!), and then a weekend series against the Orioles, which should make for big crowds.

The Wallflowers Playing NatsLive Post-Game Concert July 21
May 8, 2012 12:34 PM
The Nats have created "NatsLive" this year, a series of three post-game concerts that are free to any ticketholders to that day's game. The June 2 concert with Dierks Bentley had already been announced, but today the news is bopping around Twitter that The Wallflowers will be playing the second concert, on July 21st. (Both games are versus the Atlanta Braves.) No act yet announced for the third date, Aug. 18 against the Mets. Game tickets for all three dates are already on sale.
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Weekend of Natitude, OurPark, Metropocalypse, Etc.
May 4, 2012 9:28 AM
It's official! The city has declared May 4-6 to be Natitude Weekend, and the Nats have even festooned the Center Field Gate with a new Natitude Park sign. All of this to work at Taking Back the Park from the hordes of Phillies fans that will, despite best efforts, be once again descending on the neighborhood. (Though perhaps they should remember the spankings their team got the last time the teams played, during the final few games of the 2011 season.)
So, residents should be aware that there will be a whole lot more people in the area than for any game since the home opener. The schedule:
* Tonight (Friday, May 4), 7:05 pm.
* Saturday, 1:05 pm.
* Sunday, 8:05 pm. (A rare Sunday night game time, since ESPN has chosen the game for Sunday Night Baseball.)
And, as if getting to and from the neighborhood won't be congested enough, Metro has decided to go forward with a weekend of heavy track work, despite pleas from riders groups concerned about not only the Nats/Phillies game but also the Caps/Flyers game at the Verizon Center at 12:30 pm Saturday. For the Green Line, Greenbelt, College Park, Prince George’s Plaza and West Hyattsville stations will be closed, and buses will replace trains between Greenbelt and Fort Totten, but there's work on all the other lines as well.
And, even though the game isn't until Sunday night, there are also two midday events in the neighborhood that day that might be drawing people: the LivingSocial Dodgeball Tournament at the Yards Park and the Kennedy Center's "Lunchtime Invasion" street arts event at the Fairgrounds from 11:30 to 1:30.
Plus, tonight is the first of the Yards Park Friday Night Summer Concert Series, starting at 6:30 pm.
If you're coming to the neighborhood for the first time, my Visiting Nats Park page will help you with information on parking, transportation, food options, and things to do outside the park.
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Fairgrounds Announces Truckeroo Dates, Sunday Family Days
May 3, 2012 10:22 AM
As the Fairgrounds prepares to begin its daily hours on May 4, the outdoor event space just north of Nationals Park at Half and M is also starting to promote some of its non-gameday offerings:
* The Truckeroo food truck festival will be back for another year, on five Fridays this summer: May 11, June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, and Sept. 28, running from 11 am to 11 pm each time.
* There will also be a new "Family Day" event, with a promo flyer describing it as having "carnival games and prizes, inflatable and mechanical rides, children's entertainers and live musicians," plus food trucks. Admission will be free, and scheduled dates so far are May 13, May 27, June 3, June 10, and June 24, from 11 am to 4 pm.
All have been added to my Events Calendar, for future reference.
(Perhaps this is also good timing to finally link to this Housing Complex post from last week showing what the site could look like if it ends up with advertising on the sides of the shipping containers, which WCP says Fairgrounds was soliciting.)

Yards Park Friday Evening Concert Series Begins May 4
Apr 26, 2012 11:53 AM
The Yards Park folks are announcing today that the annual Yards Park Friday Evening Concert Series will be back again for 2012, running for an expanded 20 weeks, from May 4 through Sept. 14.
New this year is that the lineup of musical acts is going to be selected by OnTap Magazine, and that food will be provided by Red Apron Butchery, Buzz Bakery, and ChurchKey. (Buzz Bakery is one of the tenants slated to come to the Boilermaker Shops, and of course ChurchKey is the sibling of Boilermaker's Bluejacket brewery.)
The food options are described thusly by the press release: "Red Apron, a small-batch producer of locally-made and handcrafted charcuterie from Chef Nate Anda, will serve a variety of artisan hot dogs with housemade condiments. Buzz Bakery, a bakery and coffee shop led by award-winning Pastry Chef Tiffany MacIsaac, will offer seasonal treats such as baked goods, ice cream, popsicles and fresh juices. Greg Engert, who manages the beverage programs at Birch & Barley, ChurchKey, Rustico and other area restaurants, will oversee a weekly rotating selection of hand-selected craft draft beers and wines." There will also be a rotating lineup of second food vendors each week, such as familiar food trucks Stix, BBQ Bus, Luke's Lobster, Dutch Mill Catering and Doug the Food Dude.
The music will be a "wide range" of styles, including jazz, Top 40, country, salsa, and reggae.
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Wednesday Tidbits: Osteen, Groundskeeping, and More
Apr 25, 2012 10:09 AM
After the flurry of the past few months, real news is taking a bit of a breather. In the meantime, here's some reading material I've scraped up, so that it doesn't look like I've completely quit working:
* Joel Osteen Ministries' "America's Night of Hope" is coming to Nationals Park on Saturday--here's the Washington Post's story on Osteen and the plans for the event. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the festivities start at 7 pm, if you're wanting to plan your evening around the crowds. If you're coming to the neighborhood for it, my Visiting Nats Park page can help you find your way.
* Want to know how the Nats Park field is cared for, and who takes care of it? The Post profiles head groundskeeper John Turnour and his work.
* A reader tells WashCycle about being stopped from biking on the Navy Yard portion of the Riverwalk. That promenade has always been signed as prohibiting bicycling, but with increased publicity for using the Riverwalk as a biking trail (including Tuesday's ribbon cutting of the new bridge across the CSX tracks), the issue of bicycles along the Navy Yard/Yards Park/Teague stretch is going to keep bubbling up, perhaps even moreso when the new 11th Street Local bridge opens soon with its wide pedestrian/cycling paths making the connection between both sides of the river even easier.
* Speaking of that new 11th Street Local bridge, much streetscape work has been done recently on O Street (new pavement, curbs, and brick paver crosswalks), and it looks like the concrete should be poured before too long to complete the connection from O to where the bridge begins to rise above the river. Maybe I'll actually get over there with my camera soon.
* Speaking of streetscapes, there's a new sidewalk on L Street between 1st and New Jersey, to go with the new sidewalk on Half between I and K.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID would love it if you'd fill out either their residential survey (if you live in the neighborhood) or the employee survey if you work here.
* Jonathan O'Connell at WaPo looks at how developer Opus East hit the skids, right as it was trying to finish 1015 Half Street. (Opus was also the developer behind 100 M, but it was completed before everything truly fell apart.)
* The Mayor is having a Ward 6 Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting tonight (April 25) at 6:30 pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street.
* The next meeting of Police Service Area 106 is on Saturday, April 28, at 10 am at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St., SE.
What else is going on?
UPDATE: Adding a link to Washington City Paper's profile of "The Nautical Yards", a "site-specific dance and theater piece inspired by the Washington Navy Yard" being performed at the Yards Park Thursday through Saturday (April 26-29) at 7 pm. Premium seating is $30, general admission is free.
And I should probably remind that tickets for Springsteen at Nats Park on Sept. 14 go on sale Friday (April 27) at 10 am.

Tuesday Tidbits: Springsteen, Other Events, and Catching Up
Apr 17, 2012 2:25 AM
I didn't really intend to go completely off-grid for a long weekend, but a road trip to and from north Florida didn't leave me much time or energy for blogging. What did I miss?
* I assume everyone's heard by now that Bruce Springsteen will be playing at Nats Park on Sept. 14. Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 27 at 10 am at tickets.com. (If I'm not showing appropriate enthusiasm, I apologize, but Springsteen just hasn't ever really done it for me. I think I was permanently scarred by everyone around me going so crazy for him when I was in college, during the whole Born in the USA era. I just hid in my room and listened to R.E.M., and U2, and the Smiths, and Squeeze, and Elvis Costello, and....)
* The Nats' current homestand continues for the rest of the week, with tonight being the first $2 Ticket Tuesday of the season. Then there's Neighborhood Night on Thursday, April 19, followed by the season's first Pups in the Park game at 1:05 pm Saturday, April 21, and Kids Opening Day at 1:35 pm Sunday, April 22.
* If you're not availing yourself of tonight's $2 Ticket Tuesday, perhaps you might want to check out the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce's session on real estate development in and around Capitol Hill, which will be focusing on the areas east of South Capitol and south of East Capitol, which includes Near Southeast. Tommy Wells is scheduled to be part of the lineup. It's from 7 to 9 pm at the Meader Theater (NCC's new home) at 535 8th St., SE.
* Saturday, April 21 is Lantern Making Family Day at the Yards Park, as part of the lineup of events as the Cherry Blossom Festival comes to a close. There are two sessions, at 10 am and noon, followed by a parade/procession through the park.
* It's a bit outside my boundaries, but residents and others may be interested to know that the new Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Bridge crossing the railroad tracks just north of Pennsylvania Avenue will be opening on April 24.
And, some non-event tidbits:
* Square 696, the block bounded by I, K, Half, and First owned by DRI and Jamestown and originally branded as "The Plaza on K," is apparently being relaunched as "Congressional Square," though that doesn't seem to have filtered down to any web sites just yet. It's still an 825,000-square-foot office and retail project.
* On Opening Day, I noticed a lot of cars parked in the fenced-off lot on the southeast corner of 1st and M SE that belongs to the former National Geospatial Intelligence Agency building. I asked Forest City about it, and they said that they will offer parking in that lot for certain games where big crowds are expected, but aren't planning to make it available for daily use.
* In the 700 block of Virginia Avenue, the Miles Glass building and the auto repair shop next door are no more, but at least they are now permanently enshrined as entries #168 and #169 in the Demolished Buildings Gallery. A parking lot is expected to be built for temporary use, while the National Community Church works on its plans for a larger events space on the site.

Monday Tidbits: Justin's Block Party and Farther-Off Events
Mar 26, 2012 10:05 AM
I'm going to be a bit scarce this week, so here's few events-related tidbits to keep the home page from having the equivalent of electronic tumbleweeds blowing across it:
* Don't forget that the public meeting about the possible recreational re-use of the old outbound 11th Street Bridge span is on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 pm.
* Justin's Cafe has now posted the information on its April 14 block party, both on Facebook and its new JustinsCafeEvents.com web site. It will run from 11 am to 9 pm, offering a line-up of local craft brews (including "beer trucks" from Port City Brewery and DC Brau), and 106.7 The Fan FM will be broadcasting from there. "All ages welcomed, 21 and over to drink." Money is also being raised for free youth baseball and softball programs through the DC Grays and S.M.A.R.T. Camps and Clinics. (The Nats play the Reds at 4:05 pm that day.)
* On April 1 (well, April 2, technically), the Union Station-Navy Yard Circulator bus starts its summer hours, running from 6 am to 9 pm weekdays and 7 am to 9 pm Saturdays, with extended service on Nationals game days.
* The Southwester reports that there's a Neighborhood Night at Nationals Park on Thursday, April 19. "The team will honor the vibrant spirit of the neighborhood by featuring local residents in various pregame activities, including throwing out the first pitch, delivering the lineup card and greeting the players as they take their positions on the field." Near Southeast and Southwest residents can also get discounted tickets to games throughout the season, but I'll make you follow the link to find out about that!
* The Earth Conservations Corps will be leading volunteers in a cleanup of the wetlands at Diamond Teague Park on April 21, from 9 am to noon, as part of the Anacostia Watershed Society's Earth Day events. (They do want volunteers to register/RSVP in order to participate.)
* A bit farther down the pike, the Kennedy Center is presenting "Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America," a week-long festival showcasing all manner of free performances and events from May 6-12. One of the May 6 kick-off events will be from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Nationals Park and the Fairgrounds (old Bullpen) on Half Street, and the closing event on May 12 from noon to 6 pm will be at the Yards Park.

Tidbits: Miles Glass Raze Permits, Navy Yard-Ballpark, More
Mar 19, 2012 11:57 AM
Couldn't leave all these morsels until the normal Tuesday Tidbits slot:
* More Demolitions Coming: Raze permits have now been approved for the Miles Glass building at 8th and Virginia and its next-door neighbor, the closed auto repair shop at 7th and K. National Community Church, which owns the lots and others on the same block, said back in January that a temporary parking lot and "community green space" will be coming to the site while the church continues to work on its final plans for the site, which in the past have been described as being a combination of coffee house, performance space, and church offices.
* Yup, Navy Yard-Ballpark. The new Metro subway map is out, and confirms that Navy Yard-Ballpark is official.
* Bike to Work: May 18 is DC's Bike to Work Day. One of the pit stops is the Yards Park, from 7 to 9 am, and you get a t-shirt if you register and then stop at your designated pit stop.
* Bridge Recreation: If the notion of the "11th Street Recreation Bridge" captured your fancy, you can see some additional stories on the idea by Lydia DePillis, BeyondDC, and WJLA. DePillis notes that the city isn't intending on paying for this entire thing itself, and a decision needs to be made by May whether or not the new 11th Street Local bridge will have the bulb-out viewpoints built (they'd be unnecessary if the current downstream bridge was being kept). WJLA, on the other hand, mentions that "some" are concerned it "could become a hotbed for crime"--which led to a fun Twitter back-and-forth that devolved into using the new bridge for a Jason Bourne/James Bond-type chase sequence.
* Mobile 'Hood: The Capitol Riverfront BID has launched a mobile version of its web site, which uses your phone's GPS to give you information on food, developments, and events near your location.
And, of course, if you want to know what your current location looked like before all the changes started happening, you can go to my mobile site (m.jdland.com) or jdland.com/here on your phone and you'll get my oldest photos looking in each direction from the corner nearest to where you're standing. (Read more about how that works.)
* Fairgrounds: DCMud looks at the plans for the Half Street Fairgrounds (which I broke the news of back in February), with a few neat new renderings. And then the piece drops a mention at the very end that "DCRE Real Estate" is handling the retail leasing for the project--that's DCMud's company, and the writer of the blog post is also the agent handling the leasing. (Just in case you like to be aware of those sorts of things when getting your news.) In the meantime, a few shipping containers were spotted on the site last week.
* Across the Way: A 5,000-seat concert hall is being designed for the Southwest Waterfront. (If you haven't been keeping up with the plans for The Wharf, SWill can help.) And the de-skinning of the old EPA buildings, visible from parts of Near Southeast, is part of their rehabilitation into the Sky House apartments.

Harry's Reserve First Anniversary Events This Weekend
Mar 8, 2012 1:09 PM
Harry's Reserve, the "fine wine and spirits" store at the corner of New Jersey and I SE, is celebrating its first anniversary (how the time does fly!), and are getting out the word about some events over the next three days to mark the occasion.
Tonight and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday), they are having wine tastings from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Then, on Saturday (March 10), they are throwing a barbeque out front from 1 pm to 5 pm, and tastings until 7. They are also raffling off more than 15 bottles of the good stuff.
Details on all the offerings will hopefully be up on their Facebook page--I'd reel off the entire list of wines and spirits they are making available during these tastings and for the raffle, but then we'd just have a conflagration in the comments about how the Ruca Malen Malbec is soooooooooo much better than the De Martino Legado Syrah, and how the Three Saints Pinot Noir was so much better until the hipsters discovered it, and then I'd have to start suspending people, and there'd be rioting.
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Tidbits: K Street Closure; Potbelly Opening Date; Brewers Ball; More
Feb 29, 2012 11:14 AM
* The portion of K Street SE within the Canal Park footprint will be closed through March 31 after workers found "major unmapped utilities" that have caused delays to the construction. Park head Chris Vanarsdale says that in order to meet spring planting requirements, it was necessary to close K now. (A little bit of hassle in exchange for purty plants this year, otherwise the planting would have had to wait until next year.) This means that to cross Canal Park drivers and pedestrians need to either use I Street or M Street.
* A sign posted at Foundry Lofts for its residents says that they expect the Potbelly to open the week of March 13. And here's the Store Locator page, still marked as "Coming Soon." (Here's what it looked like inside on Sunday morning.)
* If you can't wait until the Nationals finish Spring Training to drink beer at the stadium, there's the 2012 Brewer's Ball on March 13 at Nats Park, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Guests can sample "a variety of handcrafted microbrews from more than a dozen of the region's best microbreweries and brewpubs, while also enjoying the cuisine of several popular restaurants." Individual tickets are $115, and deadline to purchase is tomorrow, March 1.

Front Flicks Outdoor Summer Movie Lineup Announced
Feb 16, 2012 10:19 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID has announced the lineup for its 2012 outdoor Front Flicks summer movie series, which will run on Thursday nights for 10 weeks this summer at Tingey Plaza behind USDOT at New Jersey Avenue and Tingey Streets. It's a "treasure hunting" theme this year:
May 24: Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
May 31: Sahara
June 7: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
June 14: National Treasure
June 21: The Goonies
June 28: Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 5: City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold
July 12: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
July 19: The Da Vinci Code
July 26: Muppet Treasure Island
They haven't posted their flashy flyer yet, and the e-mail says "stay tuned for more announcements on Pinkberry at the movies and Pacers Adventure Races before Thursday movies!"
(UPDATED 2/23 with some switches in the schedule.)
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Late Tuesday Tidbits: Tweets Possibly Lost in the Deluge
Feb 14, 2012 9:02 PM
It's starting to feel a lot like 2007 around these parts, with all the big news flying. (In fact, today's posts brought JDLand its highest traffic since all the ballpark opening falderal in early April 2008.) But I wouldn't want people to miss a couple little items tweeted over the past few days:
* New Dry Cleaners - Buried in the press release on Osteria Morini is the news that a dry cleaners is now the first non-food retailer signed as a tenant at the Boilermaker Shops. According to Forest City, Wells Cleaners will be taking 800 square feet of space.
* A Theater? Or Even A Theatre? - The Examiner reports that indy-friendly Landmark Theatres is wanting to open a second location in the District to go along with its E Street Cinema. While the article emphasizes that city officials are very much hoping that Landmark will consider an East of the River location, the director of the city's Office of Motion Picture and TV Development says that Landmark "is also looking at the Yards neighborhood[.]" Whether this truly means in the Yards itself or somewhere in the general Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards area, this news is certainly the sort of tidbit that gets residents veeeery excited. (Full disclosure: I see a lot of movies at E Street.)
* Concerts and Pups: The Nats released their 2012 promotional schedule, which includes three post-game concerts, fireworks after the July 3 game, and four Pups in the Park dates. My cat is currently contacting attorneys. Also, single-game tickets go on sale March 8 at 10 am.

Tidbits: Disaster!, Tunnel Comment Period Extended, WP on Yards
Dec 12, 2011 1:31 PM
Tidbitiest of tidbits:
* Don't panic on Wednesday (Dec. 14) if you see what appears to be all heck breaking loose at Nationals Park--the DC Fire Department and the US Marine Corps' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force will be holding a "large-scale disaster preparedness exercise . . . simulating the joint response to a major terrorist attack." Alas, though, it won't be zombies, but rather a chemical attack. It will run from 10 am to about 2 pm. (Not open to the public.)
* DDOT and CSX have extended the comment period for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel concept offerings by 30 days, to January 30, 2012.
* Jonathan O'Connell of the Post wrote a summary of the goings-on at the Yards, none of which will be news to JDLand readers, but which might still be of interest. (The "office building with retail space" mentioned at the end is apparently the Lumber Shed, which probably would be better described as a retail building with some office space, especially since the office tenant will be Forest City themselves.)

Artomatic Looking for 2012 Space, Eyeing 1015 Half, 101 M SE
Nov 27, 2011 5:00 PM
Jonathan O'Connell has a piece in Monday's WaPo Capital Business about Artomatic's search for a 2012 home, and how the organization wants to replicate the success of the 2009 version at the then-vacant 55 M St., SE: "This year's search is down to about four buildings, two near Nationals Park: 1015 Half St. SE, an empty 414,000-square-foot building being purchased by Prudential Real Estate Investors; and the former offices of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, at 101 M St. SE. Artomatic also is considering the People's Building in Northeast, and another location in Crystal City."
1015 Half Street (left), on the site of the old Nation nightclub, is currently home to more than 400,000 square feet of Class A office space emptiness right now. The NGA recently departed 1st and M (right), and while I would love for Artomatic to come to this spot merely for the chance to finally get inside the formerly armed encampment before its inevitable demolition as The Yards moves forward, I wonder how excited the organizers would be to have a building with almost no windows, except on the top floor. (I know that 55 M's large windows and great views of Nationals Park, Near Southeast, Southwest, and north to the Capitol were a big hit with 2009 Artomatic attendees.)
It was in December 2008 that word first began to trickle out on the 2009 Artomatic location, so perhaps the decision one way or the other won't be too long in coming.

Yards/Teague Connector Bridge Rainy Opening Day Photos
Nov 22, 2011 3:02 PM
The weather was atrocious, and things got started late (as they so often do when overscheduled politicians are involved), but officials from the city, Forest City Washington, DC Water, and elsewhere gathered at the Yards Park today to officially dedicate the 627-foot-long bridge connecting the Yards with Diamond Teague Park, which is just across Potomac Avenue from Nationals Park's grand staircase.
I wasn't able to hang around for the actual cutting of the ribbon (check the Yards' Twitter feed for a slew of photos of the festivities), but I did take a gallery of photos from my first time walking on the bridge, showing the view of the Anacostia riverfront in all of its gray, overcast, rain-spattered splendor. Needless to say, I'll be returning once the sun is out for a replacement set.
This bridge is part of the planned Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, which continues to open segment by (not necessarily contiguous) segment.
(One side note: Demolition appears to be underway on the concrete tower at Florida Rock, so the new bridge won't seem to be leading directly to that scenic structure for too much longer.)

New Yards Park/Teague Park Bridge Dedication Scheduled for Nov. 22
Nov 7, 2011 3:27 PM
The word is going out that the official dedication of the new pedestrian bridge connecting the Yards Park and Diamond Teague Park will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 1:30 pm. The mayor is expected to be there, along with George Hawkins of DC Water (since the bridge runs right past the main pumping station) and I'm sure a slew of other dignitaries.
This is the bridge that will allow for an easier and more enjoyable stroll between the Yards Park and Nationals Park, depositing stadium-goers right across the street from the Grand Staircase/1st Base Gate at 1st Street and Potomac Avenue. And it will also allow water taxi customers disembarking at Teague Piers to get to the Yards Park without having to hike up to Tingey Street and then over a few blocks. (Eventually the Yards Park will have its own marina and water taxi piers, but not for another few years.)
It is part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and eventually will also connect to a larger public plaza adjacent to Teague Park, as part of the easternmost development of the FloridaRock/RiverFront project.
Hope they have good weather for the ribbon cutting!
(This is probably also a good time to make quick mention of AtlanticCities' recent naming of the Yards Park as one of America's Best New Parks.)

American Heart Association Heart Walk at Nationals Park Saturday
Nov 4, 2011 10:44 AM
If you see scads of people walking around the neighborhood tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 5), it's the American Heart Association Heart Walk. It starts at Nationals Park, goes around the concourse, exits out to Potomac Avenue, goes up First to Tingey, then over to the Yards Park (and on the boardwalk), then up to M Street, back down Half, and over to South Capitol before heading back into the ballpark for the finish line. (Here's the map.) The event starts at 8:30 am, but it doesn't leave the ballpark until 10 am.
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Osteen's American's Night of Hope at Nationals Park in April
Oct 24, 2011 1:31 PM
The Nationals have just announced that tickets are on sale for "America's Night of Hope," the large stadium event held by the Joel Osteen Ministries. It will be on April 28, 2012 at Nationals Park, with tickets priced at $15. In its three previous years, the national version of this event was held at Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, and most recently at US Cellular Field (home of the Chicago White Sox) in August.
(There are smaller "Night of Hope" events held across the country as well, but apparently this is the big national version.)
This is all a little bit out of my realms of expertise, so as more information becomes available, I'll pass it along. But here's how Osteen's web site describes it:
"On April 28, 2012, people from across America will gather at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, in Washington D.C. to pray for this great nation. Come and experience this unprecedented America's Night of Hope with special guests, great music and hosts, Joel and Victoria Osteen. It will be a night you don't want to miss.
"Joel will be sharing a powerful message of HOPE that will inspire you to become all that God wants you to be. Make plans now to attend this exciting event and discover God's best for your life!"
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Gordon Biersch to 100 M? and BID Surveys/Planting Day
Oct 20, 2011 8:19 PM
My post on Wednesday about the rumors of a not-quite-yet-signed tenant for the ground-floor restaurant space at 100 M Street SE shook loose quite a few mouths, and it is unanimous amongst those gabbers that the newcomer in negotiations is Gordon Biersch, the brewery/restaurant that already has a location at 9th and F Streets NW, not too far from the Verizon Center. With 100 M being within sight of Nationals Park, it would seem a plausible destination, assuming the final papers get signed (which does not appear to be imminent). It'll be interesting to see their timeline, especially vis-a-vis the baseball season (getting it done by Opening Day, 5 1/2 months from now, would seem to be a bit optimistic, I think?).
On a 100 percent unrelated note (I really do hate teeny tiny posts, so felt the need to combine these), the Capitol Riverfront BID's latest newsletter is out, and they're asking for respondents for their annual "online perception surveys" for both the BID itself and for the Yards Park.
But don't you dare click on either of those survey links if you haven't yet filled out my readership survey--my feelings will be terribly hurt! (Argh! I'm snakebitten with the dang survey. This link was a bad one until about 9 am on Friday. Sorry! Please try again!)
The BID also is co-hosting a Community Planting Day on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 am to noon, along with the US Green Building Council National Capital Region. They're going to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs throughout the neighborhood.
The rest of the newsletter is here.

Ghost Ship Barry Back for Halloween on Oct. 28
Oct 20, 2011 10:38 AM
The folks at the Washington Navy Yard are going into spooky mode again this year, offering the "Ghost Ship Barry" on October 28. Ages 12 and under are invited from 5 to 7 pm, with a slightly scarier version open to ages 13 and up from 8 to 10 pm. While RSVPs are not required, they are now instituting a timed ticket entry system, so all parties must check in at the US Navy Museum, where there will be additional children's activities. They're also discouraging costumes. Read the details.
Maybe DDOT can cover a Circulator bus in spiders and webbing to allow easy shuttling along M Street between the Ghost Ship and Truckerboo, being held at the same time.
Are there any other ghostly festivities on tap in the neighborhood? I imagine Capitol Quarter will have a record number of trick-or-treaters this year....
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Tidbits: Truckerboo, Teague/Yards Bridge, Espresso Bar, Red Sox
Oct 17, 2011 6:06 PM
I'm back from a week by the beach in Central Florida--yes, of course we went to Disney, and the Kennedy Space Center, along with logging more than 100 miles of biking along A1A. Here are some small items while I regain my blogging legs:
* The October instance of the Truckeroo food truck festival, appropriately dubbed "Truckerboo," is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, from 11 am to midnight at Half and M Streets, SE. In addition to the usual lineup of trucks and the drinks flowing at the Das Bullpen bar, there will be "truck trick-or-treating" for kids from 3 to 5 pm, along with costume contests (kids, individuals, and groups). They're requesting a "one buckaroo" donation this time around, with all proceeds benefitting the King Greenleaf Recreation Center in Southwest. More info here.
* The bridge between Diamond Teague Park and the Yards Park is close to finished, as you can see in this not-totally-fabulous cellphone pic. When it opens, visitors will be able to walk along the west bank of the Anacostia from 1st Street SE (at Nationals Park) all the way to 11th Street SE (as long as the Navy Yard's stretch of boardwalk is open).
* Awnings for Lot 38 Espresso have now gone up at the old Little Red Building site across from Canal Park (reader photo here), along with a "Coming Soon" sign. The owner, Yung Park, told me this afternoon that he's shooting for a Dec. 1 opening date.
* The Nationals have announced that they will be playing a home exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. The team's regular season gets underway on April 5 at Wrigley Field, with the home opener scheduled for April 12, against the Cincinnati Reds. No game times have been announced yet.

Out-of-Boundary Events this Weekend: SW ArtsFest, Barracks Row Fall Festival
Sep 22, 2011 9:07 AM
If you're looking for things to do this weekend beyond the final Nats home games of the season and Blocktoberfest, you've got choices just across the freeway and just across South Capitol Street:
* The inaugural SW ArtsFest runs Friday through Sunday, featuring the (e)merge art fair at the Capitol Skyline Hotel and a series of other artsy events around the neighborhood. See their Facebook page for all the details. (The Post has some info on (e)merge as well.)
* The Barracks Row Fall Festival is on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, transforming 8th Street SE between E and I into "a midway full of music, food, and favorite local traditions."
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This Week's Events Lineup: Bikeshare Bash, Opera, Nats Finale
Sep 20, 2011 5:20 PM
On the calendar for the rest of the week:
* Thursday, Sept. 22 brings both the Capital Bikeshare 1st Birthday Bash at the Yards Park and this year's Opera in the Outfield at Nats Park. Bikeshare's bash runs from 6 to 9 pm; Opera starts at 7:30 pm.
* The Nats play their final home games of the 2011 season against the Braves this weekend, and the team is promoting it as a FAN-tastic FAN-ale. There will be fireworks after Friday night's game (and perhaps during the game, since Strasburg is scheduled to be on the mound). Saturday and Sunday, both afternoon games, have limited $2 tickets available along with food and drink specials and giveaways. Details here.
* And on Saturday the 24th the Yards Park is hosting Blocktoberfest, with multiple stages, more than 10 acts, food, and of course beer. There were complaints from residents about noise levels during a 10-hour event at the park on Sunday the 18th; one reply from the BID to a resident in the aftermath says that they "have learned a valuable lesson about events in the Park and the noise level," and that they are evaluating the types of events that are appropriate rental use for the park.
What will I be doing for the next few days? Praying that my beloved Google Nexus One phone comes back to life after an overnight seltzer soaking (thanks, cat). It's in a Ziploc bag full of rice drying out as we speak....

Bikeshare Birthday Party, Blocktoberfest, and Other Tidbits
Sep 5, 2011 11:33 PM
First, some events coming to the neighborhood later this month (if anyone can think past the return of Stephen Strasburg, weather permitting, ahem):
* Capital Bikeshare is celebrating its first birthday at the Yards Park on Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 pm, with live music, food, games, giveaways, and moonbounces. Note that this is the same evening as Opera in the Outfield a few blocks away, so you can double your pleasure and double your fun.
* Two days later, on Sept. 24, the park will host Blocktoberfest, "DC's Largest Oktoberfest Music Festival." I believe there is beer involved. See the web site for info on tickets, etc.
* In a more professional vein (i.e., probably no live music or moonbounces), the 2nd Annual Anacostia River Business Summit and Expo is being held at 100 M St. SE on Sept. 20 from 8 am to 12:30 pm. Former mayor Anthony Williams is scheduled to be one of the speakers, and there will be three separate panel discussions. There will also be boat tours given afterwards, though space is limited.
* And I mentioned it in my last tidbits post, but why not pass along again that the next Truckeroo is scheduled for Sept. 30.
Other pieces of this-and-that:
* The city's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development named the Yards Park the "One City Location of the Month for August," calling it "one of the city's most beloved, yet fairly untapped, attractions." The agency is doing this to promote "cinematically compelling locations that are available to film and television producers."
* Should have mentioned this sooner, but the Foundry Lofts folks ran a "Twitter Tour" of the building on Aug. 25, then posted some additional shots of the interior and the views.
* The Washington Business Journal reported last week (subscribers only) that Kaplan has abandoned its search for space to open a law school in the DC area. Late last year it had been reported that they had been looking for up to 130,000 square feet of space in Near Southeast. [Full but probably unnecessary disclosure: in my real life I work for the Washington Post newspaper, which is under the same Washington Post Co. umbrella as Kaplan.]
* The Sunday Post Magazine's cover story focuses on the McDonald's at 2 I St. SE, its staff, and its manager, Raul Reyes, who in 2009 won a Ray Kroc Award as one of the top 1 percent of managers from the 14,000 McDonald's nationwide.

Tuesday Tidbits: Ballpark Labor Day Weekend Doings and More
Aug 30, 2011 1:05 PM
A whole lot of little stuff:
* The Nationals have a lot of events on tap at the ballpark for "Grand Slam Labor Day Weekend":
There are still $5 tickets available for Friday night's game against the Mets, and there will be post-game fireworks as well. (I very strongly suggest heading over to the Yards Park and getting a spot right on the water for optimum viewing; I watched the last post-game fireworks there a few weeks back, and you are pretty much directly beneath the rockets' red glare.)
Saturday night's game will be preceded by "Team On-Field Photo Day," where for the first time fans will be able to go down to the warning track to take photos before the game. After the game, there will be a free concert by the band Lifehouse (but you have to have a game ticket in order to go to the concert.)
Sunday's 1:35 pm game is $1 Kids Day, plus the seventh annual "Kids Run the Show Day." And, following the game, there will be a softball game between the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and a group of DC-area celebrities. If you purchase tickets to this game through nationals.com/woundedwarriorsoftball, each $20 ticket purchased will result in a $5 donation to the softball team.
Finally, for Labor Day Monday's 1:05 pm game against the Dodgers, there is another $5 ticket special.
You can read more about all these goings-on (and the other offers for these games) in this press release.
UPDATE: And it seems to be all but official that Strasmas returns to the neighborhood next week, with Stephen Strasburg expected to pitch against the Dodgers on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
* In non-baseball stadium doings, Opera in the Outfield will be back again, on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 pm with a free simulcast of the Washington National Opera's performance of Tosca (and What's Opera, Doc?, which really should be the headlining feature). You can bring food and a blanket to sit on, but no alcoholic beverages can be brought in, and bags can't be any larger than 16" x 16" x 8".
* In other concert news, the BID has extended the Friday summer concert series at the Yards Park through Sept. 9. The concerts are from 6 to 8 pm, and food trucks and other offerings will be on hand.
* Speaking of food trucks, Truckeroo 4 is scheduled for Sept. 30.
* The Capitol Hill Day School's move to its temporary home at 5th and K SE is in full swing, and the school is doing a great job of blogging it (along with the renovations on their Dent School digs).
* A raze permit application has been filed for 1008 3rd St. SE, a few doors south of Cornercopia. This rowhouse had a partial roof collapse along with cracks in the walls during the Feb. 6 2010 blizzard.
* Seems like the neighborhood fared just fine through Hurricane Irene, except for the flood of DC residents on Friday wanting sandbags from the DPW operations at New Jersey and K, SE. (The city ended up moving the sandbag operations to RFK on Saturday.) This should be the last time this happens, since DPW is expected to be moving out of the old trash transfer station this fall (perhaps even by mid-October).

Summer Doldrums Tidbits on All Sorts of Subjects
Jul 14, 2011 2:13 PM
All sorts of little items that you mostly already know about if you follow JDLand on Twitter or Facebook. But I'll start with some new items at the top:
* Still no word from Akridge about when they may get underway with their 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project on Half Street just north of Nationals Park (where the Bullpen and its beergarden sibling Das currently reside), but I will note that in May they filed for building permits for two nine-story and one eleven-story building on the site, matching their announced plans. The permits haven't been approved yet, and once they are they are good for one year, but can then be renewed.
* William C. Smith told me a few weeks ago that they expect to be doing some infrastructure work on their Square 737 site this fall (sewer, water, etc) before starting on their 430-unit apartment building there next spring, and I hear that the bidding process for that site work is now underway. (This also means to not get *too* excited when you see dirt getting moved there late this year.) And, speaking of 880 New Jersey, ANC 6D voted 7-0 on Monday night to support WC Smith's request for a circular driveway, a new curb cut on 2nd Street to access underground parking, and the general public space plan.
* Tonight (Thursday) is the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park, Republicans vs. Democrats. The $10 tickets might be worth it just to see if there are any bench-clearing brawls.
* Friday (July 15) is the second Truckeroo food truck festival, along Half Street by the Bullpens. It runs from 11 am to 11 pm.
* The speculation is underway about the venues for upcoming baseball All-Star Games, with the previous conventional wisdom about Nationals Park being in line for perhaps the 2015 event taking some hits, with the lack of development progress around the ballpark being cited as a prime reason.
* If you're all fired up to game out the new ANC/SMD districts, here's all the data you might want, from the Office of Planning. And remember that the ANC 6D redistricting "listening" session with the Ward 6 task force is on July 28 at 6:30 pm. There wasn't really much news out of the initial public meeting on Monday night, other than that while the 2,000-plus-or-minus-100 population levels per single member district aren't a legal requirement, there's still clearly a desire to have SMDs be as similar in size as possible. And, also, that an SMD can't be looked at in terms of how its size has changed (or will change) since the census data as of April 1, 2010 was recorded.
* I'm going to go ahead and post this now, but check back later today (or look for a Twitter heads up) for more Market Deli demolition photos, which I will wander down to get at some point.
UPDATE: A moment of silence, please, as the Market Deli has now been added to the Demolished Buildings Gallery, as building number 161 and 162 that have been torn down since I started photographing the neighborhood. And the three garages on the north end of the block are in their final hours, with demolition underway on the southernmost one.

Holiday Weekend Events: Baseball, FreedomFest, and More
Jun 29, 2011 10:32 PM
With July 4 being nice enough to fall on a Monday this year, the three-day holiday weekend is particularly chock full of events, with plenty of goings-on in Near Southeast. Here's a rundown. (Though, judging by how sparsely populated my office already is, just on Wednesday, I'm not sure how many people are left in town to read this.) And, for neighborhood residents, even if none of these events are on your dance card, you still might want to be prepared for heavier than normal crowds wandering around.
* For a headstart on the weekend, there's two events on Thursday, June 30. Ryan Zimmerman will host his 2nd annual "Night at the Park" fundraiser for his zIMS Foundation, which raises money for Multiple Sclerosis. It starts at 6 pm, and tickets are still available. Country star Rodney Atkins will be performing, as will David Blaine (for the VIP ticketholders). More details at the official web site.
* A few blocks away, in what could be considered a bit of counterprogramming, the Capitol Riverfront BID's Outdoor Movie Series will be showing "Shakespeare in Love," starting at 8:45 pm at Tingey Plaza behind USDOT.
* On Friday, the weekly Yards Park concert series continues, with rhythm and blues by the group Special Occasion rhythm and blues band Framewerk [my boo-boo, sorry], from 6 to 8 pm.
* The weekend at Nationals Park will be a busy one, starting with Saturday's doubleheader against the Pirates, the first of the Nats' upcoming 11-game homestand leading into the All-Star brealk. The first game (which won't be broadcast on TV, by the way), is at 3:35 pm, with the second game starting at 7:05 pm or later. The $2 tickets are sold out, but tickets bought for Saturday get you in to both games. And, bang zoom, there will be fireworks after the second game, "presented by Marvel Studios' new motion picture Captain America: First Avenger." (Might be interesting to wander to the Yards Park to watch from there, to see if it's a good vantage point.)
Sunday's 1:35 pm Pirates game is also "Nickelodeon Day" at the ballpark, with all sorts of family-friendly activities featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.
And, on Monday, July 4, the Nats will be hosting the Cubs at 1:05 pm, which will probably be a hot ticket. There's a series of special ticket offers for this "Patriotic Series" game.
See this Nats press release for additional details on all the promotions and festivities.
* Meanwhile, on both Sunday and Monday, the National FreedomFest concert will be in full swing at the Yards Park, from 2 pm to 9 pm on Sunday and 1 pm to 9 pm on Monday. The organizers say there will be more than 40 bands and DJs on five stages, along with food vendors, craft vendors, and more. Tickets start at $25, and are available via the web site, along with more information about the lineup and other details.
(Note that the concert and the baseball, running at the same time, may make finding spaces in the neighborhood surface parking lots a bit tougher than usual.)
I was going to include some other upcoming events in this post, but nobody's reading this anyway, so I'll save those for another time.
As always, if you want continuing updates on these sorts of events, my Near Southeast Businesses/Organizations Twitter list, which are also displayed in a box on the JDLand homepage, will give you all the news and late-breaking tidbits.

Weekend Events: E.T., Concert, Ward 6 Family Day, Blood Drive
Jun 23, 2011 3:14 PM
A few items on the events agenda for this weekend that might be of interest. (And the Green Line is the only subway line that *won't* be having track work this weekend, so you might as well take advantage). The lineup:
* You can actually start your weekend tonight (Thursday), with E.T. as the offering in the Summer Outdoor Movie Series. It's at Tingey Plaza (behind USDOT, at New Jersey and Tingey), starting at either 8:45 pm or sundown (can't ever quite figure out what "8:45 pm/sundown" signifies--whichever comes last?).
* Friday night has the weekly free Yards Park concert, from 6 to 8 pm. This week's act is Jimi Smooth, for your Motown listening pleasure. There will also be BBQ and other food options.
* On Saturday (June 25), Tommy Wells is hosting his annual Ward 6 Family Day, bringing it to the Yards Park for the first time. It's from 1 to 5 pm, and will have free food, live music, and all sorts of activities (including "arts and crafts projects to build boats to race in the water park"). There will also be a Diaper Drive (no, really), accepting both unopened and open packs of diapers. There's more information on Tommy's web site.
* If you want to add some additional community service to your Saturday, either before or after Family Day you can head to Nationals Park for the first of their two summer blood drives. The drive is from 8 am to 4:30 pm in the conference center, and "in exchange for their generous donation, those who donate blood will receive two tickets to a future Nationals game and a limited edition Adam LaRoche t-shirt." Appointments are required: Interested donors should call 1-866-BLOODSAVES (256-6372) or visit inova.org/donateblood, click 'schedule an appointment', then 'donate blood' and enter sponsor code 7665. (The next drive will be on August 27.) Read the Nats press release for more info.
* And the Yards Park events actually spill over into Monday, when at 10 am Mayor Gray will be giving an "update on his job creation and economic development agenda" at the Lumber Shed. (Probably no music or dancing at this one.)

Back from Across the Pond; Lots of Tidbits While I Recover
Jun 8, 2011 9:09 AM
I'm back in DC, having spent 11 wonderful days in Madrid, Barcelona, and cruising across the Mediterranean to Pisa, Florence, Rome, the coast south of Naples, and Mallorca. Needless to say, while I checked in on the news back home from time to time and tweeted an item or two if the timing was right, I wasn't following developments closely, and I'm pretty out of the blogging groove at this point. So I'm going to start back slowly with some easy items.
* Redistricting: The city council voted Tuesday to approve a redistricting map that, as expected, keeps Near Southeast in Ward 6. This continues to make Marion Barry extremely unhappy, and the Examiner reports that he'll be "asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open a Justice Department review of proposed new D.C. ward boundaries because, Barry says, they violate residents' civil rights." There's still a final vote to be had on the plan, probably on June 21. As for the last-minute changes that ended up keeping much of Ward 6 intact (moving Reservation 13 to Ward 7 instead of other areas), you can read Tommy Wells's blog for more details.
* Riverwalk: The Navy Yard announced last week that its portion of the riverwalk along the Anacostia River, running from the 11th Street Bridges to the Yards Park, will now be open from 5:30 am until "official sunset," seven days a week and including holidays; though there will still be closures as needed, which are announced on the Navy Yard Riverwalk Twitter feed. (I admit that I got a bit of a kick passing along this news via Twitter while riding on a train north of Rome.)
* DPW Move: The council passed emergency technical legislation on Tuesday that allows Capper PILOT funds to be used to build a new location for DPW operations in Northeast, which means that they should be moving from the 2nd and K site this fall (before "leaf season").
* Ward 6 Family Day: Tommy Wells's yearly event for Ward 6 residents will be held on Saturday, June 25, and will be at the Yards Park for the first time. It's from 1 to 5 pm, with "free food, live music, games and activities for the whole family as well as raffles featuring gift certificates from local businesses and sporting memorabilia from the Wizards, DC United and Washington Nationals."
* ANC 6D has its next meeting on Monday, June 13, at 7 pm at Arena Stage. The agenda is light on Near Southeast items, with only a resolution by David Garber about Near Southeast bike stations and requests by Cornercopia and Harry's Reserve to be exempted from the ban on the sale of "singles."
* Food Truck Festival: Bo Blair, the owner of the Bullpens and the organizer of Truckeroo on June 3, said in an e-mail that the event was a "massive, incredible success," with somewhere between 17,000 and 18,000 attendees and "zero problems." The next date for the event will be announced soon.
* Construction and Destruction: Construction has stalled on the Little Red Building v2.0 at 2nd and L, which ANC commissioner Garber says is a "building permit issue that is in process of being resolved - construction should start back 'soon.'" Meanwhile, the "re-dressing" of 225 Virginia is well underway, with the new exterior walls being hung on the north side of the building. And if it hasn't already happened, the trailer that was the original sales office for Capitol Quarter is being torn down, since construction of townhouses is now underway on that block. (Photos to come, at some point.)
* The Yards on Facebook/Twitter: I kind of stumbled across these (never saw any announcement about them), but the Yards now has an official Facebook page (which is available on Twitter, too) along with a separate one for the Foundry Lofts (its Twitter account is protected, though).
UPDATE: And, since this just came across Twitter: Dan Steinberg reports that Shake Shack and the other new Nats Park restaurants will open next Tuesday, the beginning of the homestand vs. the Cardinals.

Tidbits: Redistricting Latest, Retail, Outdoor Movies, Kittens, Events
May 24, 2011 2:17 PM
News has gotten a little sparse of late, though there's suddenly plenty of little updates and whatnot, some that I've tweeted (and some that I haven't). Sorry that this is a bit of a monster post, but that just means you need to read it all carefully!
* Redistricting: With the redistricting committee's proposed map of redrawn boundaries coming out no later than their meeting at 1 pm on Thursday, news has begun to trickle out of what it will look like. Mike DeBonis reported on Monday that any part of the city west of the Anacostia River being moved to Ward 8 is "off the table," since the split neighborhood of Fairlawn is expected to be moved entirely into Ward 8, which would satisfy the ward's population requirement. (He also lays out some of the other "on the table" moves.) In an "op-ed" today at The Hill is Home, Tommy Wells says that Ward 6's new eastern boundary may be 17th Street NE and SE, moving Hill East and its landmarks (RFK, Eastern High School, Eliot-Hine Middle School, and Reservation 13) into Ward 7. After the committee votes on its map Thursday, there will be a public hearing at 6 pm on June 1, before the entire council votes on the plan on June 7.
* Retail: The big International Council of Shopping Centers' REcon convention is underway in Vegas, and the Post's Jonathan O'Connell is tweeting all the DC-related retailer news, including that Mayor Gray and members of the city council had lunch on Monday with representatives of Forest City, who gave a presentation on The Yards. Will there be an announcement soon on things getting started at the Boilermaker Shops, as Forest City said there would be a few weeks ago? A Post feature on Capitol Hill restaurateur Xavier Cervera mentioned that he has "deals in the works for 400-seat and 140-seat restaurants on the waterfront," the first of which would seem to be the sportsbar rumored for the Boilermaker space. The rumblings below the surface that the official Boilermaker announcement is coming soon continue to be strong (with any opening being at least a year away, since there's a lot of exterior work to be done to the building), but there's been no official announcement of this or any other Boilermaker lease.
* In an Examiner article about Wegman's being wooed for DC's Walter Reed site, it's mentioned that Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront BID and city officials are meeting with AMC Theaters to discuss potential locations. The article describes a possible spot as "First Street, south of M Street and adjacent to Nationals Park." I'm a little skeptical of "First Street", mainly because the big empty lot along First (Nats parking lot F), owned by Willco and slated in the past for a mixed office/residential/retail development, hasn't seemed to be in play for any movement on any development. On the other hand, there's been talk that Akridge has been interested in having a movie theater as part of its Half Street development, also south of M and adjacent to Nationals Park, and construction could be starting there late this year. Either way, nothing is firm.
* Kittehs: Are you looking to adopt a cat? How about a Market Deli-branded kitten? Some residents have captured and spayed/neutered/vaccinated two of them, estimated to be 4-6 months old, and are looking for someone to adopt them. Here's the additional information. (I would have leapt at this, but my two cats, ages 17 and 14, would kill me in my sleep if I brought home new "siblings" for them.)
And, some upcoming events to note:
* The Yards Park folks have passed along the news that the fountains are off all this week for maintenance. No water-based frolicking for you!
* The Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Movie Series gets underway this Thursday (May 26). The theme this summer is Best of the Oscars, and they're starting off with "Casablanca." Movies start at 8:45 pm (or sundown), and there will be food trucks and snacks for sale. The movies have moved back to Tingey Plaza, just south of US DOT at New Jersey and Tingey.
* Harry's Reserve Wine and Spirits at 909 New Jersey is going to be having a free "community cookout" on their courtyard on Friday, May 27 from 5 to 8 pm, and again on Saturday, May 28 from 4:30 to 8 pm. They are doing it to thank the neighborhood for the support they've received since opening. There will be free "high-end" beverage tastings in addition to grilled offerings. The owners also want to pass along that they're getting fresh shipments of a variety of cheeses this week, and that they now have 800 beers in stock.
* Ryan Zimmerman's annual "A Night at the Park" fundraiser is scheduled for June 30, benefitting his ziMS Foundation. Tickets are now on sale, and it's been announced that country star Rodney Atkins is the featured performer.
* The Zoning Commission hearing on allowing Forest City to temporarily use the second floor of the Lumber Shed building as office space has been scheduled for July 7.

Thursday Tidbits: Bike to Work, New Tweeters, Crawfest, 55 M
May 19, 2011 12:26 PM
A roundup:
* Friday is Bike to Work Day, with the Yards Park being one of the morning "pit stops," from 7 to 9 am. If you're interested in joining in the fun, you need to register.
* The Canal Park folks have recently begun using their Twitter account, CanalParkDC. An update on the park's progress was tweeted on Wednesday, though it probably wasn't what park fans want to read: "Rain delays, water in our excavation preventing pouring foundations. Very frustrating!"
* The Navy Yard has created a Twitter feed for its portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk, to alert people to planned closings. This is in addition to the web page they've set up for hours and information about the riverwalk.
(I've added both of these feeds to my Near Southeast Businesses/Organizations Twitter list, which displays all the latest tweets in real time on the JDLand home page, for those of you who have remained blissfully outside of the Twitter vortex.)
* Louisiana State Society is having its Crawfest at the Yards Park on Sunday (May 22), with 4200 pounds of boiled crawfish, 150 pounds of jambalaya, sausage, corn, and potatoes, Abita beer, Louisiana music, and more. Society members get in for $45 per person, while non-members can pay $55 to attend. (Tickets for children 12 and under are $15.)
* DDOT says that its move out of the Reeves Center to Monument Realty's office building at 55 M is almost complete.
* Speaking of 55 M, it was named "Best Urban Office over 150,000 SF" at the NAIOP Maryland/DC 9th Annual Awards of Excellence.

Outdoor Movie Lineup; FreedomFest; Harry's Grand Opening
Apr 22, 2011 9:33 AM
A couple of event tidbits:
* The BID has announced the lineup for this year's "Best of the Oscars" summer outdoor movie series, running on Thursdays from May 26 through July 28. The movies, which are free and open to the public, will start at 8:45 pm (or sundown) at Tingey Plaza, which is directly behind USDOT at the corner of New Jersey and Tingey. There will be food trucks, popcorn, cotton candy, and Micha's sorbet.
* The National FreedomFest, a two-day music and arts festival, is coming to the Yards Park on July 3 and 4. They are advertising "over 40 bands and DJs" on five stages, along with food and craft vendors (and yes, beer, since the event is co-sponsored by Budweiser). Tickets are $19.99 per day or $29.99 for a two-day ticket, or if you're feeling special you can get special VIP and/or "Taste of Freedom" tickets, which get you access to VIP areas, free beer, private bathrooms (!), and more, but which are a bit pricier.
* And, on a somewhat smaller scale (but sooner!), Harry's Reserve has passed along word of its official Grand Opening, scheduled for Saturday, April 30, from 4 to 7 pm. There will be appetizers, wine tastings, and "high-end whiskey tastings" (wheee!). Savita also tells me that they've added a selection of cheeses, patés, and salamis to their lineup, as well expanding their lineup of spirits. Harry's also does wine tastings every Friday and Saturday from 4 to 7 pm.
* I should also mention Marcatus, the "creative art market" being held on the first Sunday of every month at the Yards Park. It's from 11 am to 6 pm, and offers live music and food in addition to artists displaying their works. Next one is May 1.
* And, just as I posted this, the BID sent out the flyer on the summer Wednesday lunchtime concerts, running from May 11 to August 17 from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Yards Park. This is in addition to the Friday evening concert series at the park that begins on May 13.

ANC Recap No. 3: Traffic Study, 10K Race, Liquor License Items
Apr 13, 2011 11:14 AM
Last missive from Monday's ANC 6D meeting..:
* It's apparently going to be "Neighborhood Day" at Nationals Park on Saturday, April 16. The Nationals said in a press release on Monday that residents will be able to purchase discounted tickets, but you apparently have to be in the know to find the nationals.com/neighborhood ticket sales link. (ANC commissioners got their free tickets for Saturday handed out at the meeting, since they'll be introduced on the field before the game.)
* With a unanimous 7-0 vote, the commission passed a motion authored by David Garber to request that DDOT fund a "comprehensive" traffic study of the M Street corridor and its neighboring streets in both Southeast and Southwest. Much of the discussion ended up centering around the wording of the motion (as is so often the case), with much concern about whether Maine Avenue should be specifically mentioned, especially given that the developers of the new Southwest Waterfront will be undertaking their own traffic study along Maine and Water Street. Commissioner Andy Litsky wondered about the traffic study in Southeast that the Capitol Riverfront BID is looking to fund, and Michael Stevens of the BID said that they would support a "holistic" approach to combining the various studies already done or on the boards (including the one CSX has apparently completed to look at the impact of their planned construction along Virginia Avenue, plus the reports done for the 11th Street Bridges EIS and the in-progress 14th Street Bridges EIS).
The motion was then amended to say that the ANC supports directing DDOT funds "to conduct a comprehensive traffic study and plan for the M Street SE/SW corridor and its feeder and surrounding streets and that all other area studies be integrated for DDOT's review in order to produce a comprehensive study, and that ANC 6D urgently supports the subsequent design process and implementation of a 'complete streets' plan to decrease the speed and volume of automobile traffic, and increase multi-modal transportation safety and efficiency as neighborhoods in 6D continue to evolve and develop."
(If you want to know more about the concept of Complete Streets and how it might inform a redesign of M Street, you can read my report on last year's public meeting held by Tommy Wells to start an "initial dialog" on the subject.)
* The commission also voted 7-0 to support the Pacers Home Run Classic 10K race, to be run on Saturday, June 18. Original plans to start and end the race at the Yards Park ran into some issues with the city's Emergency Management folks not wanting the race to run by the DC Water/WASA plant (and there was no explanation beyond that). So the race will now start and end at Half and N, across from the ballpark, then circle the ballpark down to South Capitol and Potomac before crossing the Douglass Bridge, running along Anacostia Drive in Anacostia Park to the skating pavilion, then doubling back. It's expected there will be 2,000 runners for the 8 am race. (Next year they expect to be able to start and end at the Yards Park and use the new floating bridge to Teague Park to get to Potomac Avenue and the Douglass Bridge.)
* In liquor license matters, it was reported to the commission that Das Bullpen did end up needing to get a new liquor license separate from that of The Bullpen 1.0, and that a new voluntary agreement was written up as well. This was all apparently done very hurredly, on the Tuesday before Opening Day, in order for ABRA to approve the new license on Wednesday in time for Opening Day on Thursday (though as we know Das Bullpen didn't open that day anyway). There's a full hearing on the license scheduled for May 31. If you haven't followed the Twitter flurry, Das Bullpen opened Tuesday (April 13) for the Nats/Phillies game.
* Also on the alcohol front, apparently both Harry's Reserve and Cornercopia are inquiring as to the possibility of the sale of "singles," in their cases to be the sorts of higher-end European beers that typically come in 20 oz or larger bottles. Coralee Farlee, who chairs the 6D ABC subcommittee, asked for some guidance as to whether the ANC is wanting to continue to not consider any exceptions for single sales, as has been the practice. David Garber and other commissioners expressed their support for the higher-end type of sales, and Andy Litsky said that 6D never really had the "singles" problem that lead the H Street NE corridor to ban those sales. Chairman Ron McBee instructed Farlee to check how other ANCs are handling the issue (apparently 6B allows sales of the 20-oz. bottles?), with an eye toward reexamining 6D's stance.

Sensorium, Nats, Water Taxis, and Other Events and Tidbits
Apr 10, 2011 10:55 PM
Sorry I went off-grid most of last week--when I said that the weather on Opening Day reminded me of 2008, I wasn't expecting to then come down with pretty much the same bug that clobbered me after the big event three years ago. (I'm also getting too old to traipse around outside for many hours over multiple days in 40-and-rainy weather.) I'm still not 100 percent, but here's a few items I'm passing along as I work my way back into the swing:
* As already posted, ANC 6D is meeting Monday night at 7 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L SE. There's lots of Near Southeast items on the agenda, including the Market Deli landmarking nomination, a call for a combined M Street SE/SW transportation study, and Forest City's desire to move its offices to the Lumber Shed at the Yards Park. ANC 6B then meets on Tuesday, but there don't appear to be any south-of-the-freeway items on their agenda, so I'll be skipping that.
* Sensorium starts its six-week run at the Yards Park on Tuesday, April 12. The Post's Going Out Guide posted some photos of the dome last week during construction, as did the Sensorium folks themselves. If you haven't been following this, Sensorium pairs a 12-course tasting menu with visual/performance art into a production that sounds like unlike anything on the current or recent DC agenda. There are two seatings every night (except Mondays), with tickets $150 per person. If you go, tell us all about it!
* Also at the Yards Park this week is the DC Challenge race and festival on Saturday the 16th, where you can test out your Amazing Race-type abilities in this "Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race."
* The Nationals have a big home stand, starting with the Phillies Tuesday through Thursday (so beware the descending hordes) and then the Brewers Friday through Sunday. All weekday games are at 7:05 pm, Saturday's game is at 1:05 pm, and Sunday is the usual 1:35 pm start. I haven't heard yet if Das Bullpen will be making its debut this week or not. UPDATE: The owner of the Bullpen told me on Monday afternoon that Das Bullpen will be open on Tuesday evening for the Nats/Phillies game.
* American River Taxi has begun its service between the Georgetown Waterfront, the Southwest Waterfront (which we're now calling The Wharf, I guess), and Diamond Teague Park. They have an 8 am commuter run on weekdays from the Wharf to Georgetown, then regular runs between the three stops starting at 10 am until 6 pm weekdays and 9 pm on weekends. (If you're wanting to try out the service to get to any of the Nationals games this week, they say that the boat leaves Georgetown at 6:05 pm [updated time].) Ticket kiosks are at Tony and Joe's at the Washington Harbor in Georgetown and the Gangplank Marina in Southwest, and tickets can also be purchased on the ship. Tickets will normally be $9, but are currently discounted at $8, according to SWill, who's doing a fine job following the venture's launch. ART has just one boat so far (the Dolley Madison), they are still adjusting their run times (right now it takes 20-35 minutes between stops), so following them on Facebook and/or Twitter is a good way to keep up with their service. They hope to eventually expand their offerings to National Airport, Alexandria, and National Harbor. (As of now, the Potomac Riverboat Company is the only outfit sailing to Teague from Alexandria, and that's just for Nationals games.)
* Harry's Reserve at New Jersey and I had its first wine tastings on Friday and Saturday. If you want to keep up with their news and events, you can friend them on Facebook (they've set themselves up as a Facebook "person" rather than a product page to "like"--perhaps they'll rejigger that soon.)
Also, a site note: with more neighborhood information being tweeted these days than I could hope to write about or even retweet, I've created a Near Southeast Businesses/Organizations Twitter list, which you can also browse on the JDLand.com home page, in the box below the map in the right margin--which is below the box with my own latest tweets, so clearly you can get a lot of Twitter content right here if you haven't joined the cult social media outlet yet. I'm trying to keep this list to very-very local businesses and groups (and not DDOT or the Nationals or other feeds that aren't mostly about goings-on in this area). If I'm missing any, let me know.

ANC Agenda: Market Deli, M Street Traffic Planning, Lumber Shed
Apr 6, 2011 1:51 PM
There's nothing I like more when fighting a cold than to think about an upcoming ANC meeting, but these are the sorts of sacrifices I make for you people. Miraculously, ANC 6D has already posted the agenda for Monday's meeting, which is chock-full of Near Southeast-related items and is coincidentally being held in Southeast this time around, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. Up for discussions and/or votes:
* The Market Deli historic landmark application, which will get a vote from the ANC as to whether or not to support it (and of course we know that at least one 6D commissioner will be voting for it!). The hearing in front of the Historic Preservation Review Board is scheduled for April 28.
* A presentation on the zoning request to allow Forest City to "temporarily" include office space in the Lumber Shed building in the Yards Park. I've written about this Lumber Shed request before, and in fact Forest City did a information presentation on this at last month's ANC meeting, but I was hoping to get copies of the new pretty renderings of the buildings before writing anything, and that never happened, and I knew they'd be back again in order to have a vote on whether the ANC will support the zoning request, so.... I promise to write about it this time.
* A resolution on a long-term traffic and transportation study for M Street SE and SW, also to include a "complete streets" plan, according to David Garber. This would appear to be wider in scope than the transporation study discussed in the draft Performance Parking report I wrote about recently that seemed to only cover the east side of South Capitol, but I imagine all will be clarified at the meeting.
* It turns out that Das Bullpen needs a new separate liquor license rather than operating on the Bullpen 1.0 license, so that's on the agenda as well. The hearing for that is scheduled for May 31, but the ANC will be voting on a "stipulated license," which I believe means that the bar could operate while waiting on the full license hearing. (And no, I haven't heard when they might be opening, though it wouldn't be before the next Nats home game, on April 12 vs. the Phillies.)
* And the BID is looking for support for the "Home Run Classic Pacers 10K Race" on June 18, that appears to start and/or end at the Yards Park and which I would guess (but don't know for sure) would involve some street closings.
The meeting begins at 7 pm, and does allow for short audience questions/statements on any agenda item where a vote will be taken, just in case there's any particular agenda item that people may feel strongly about one way or the other. (And all of this assumes that a government shutdown wouldn't affect an ANC meeting? Anyone?)

Pre-Opening Day Roundup: Shake Shack Coming by June, NatsFest Photos, Circulator's Hours Officially Expanded
Mar 30, 2011 5:46 PM
The news from Tom Sietsema whizzed around the Twitterverse early today: "acclaimed" New York restaurateur Danny Meyer is bringing four of his creations to Nationals Park, including Shake Shack, which has already had DC foodies salivating over a planned Dupont Circle location. Shake Shack will be replacing Five Guys on the Scoreboard Walk, and surrounding it will be El Verano Taqueria (serving Mexican snacks), Box Frites (Belgian-style fries with dips) and Blue Smoke (barbeque). The ink is apparently barely dry on the deal, so construction is only just now getting underway (as you can see in the photo at right and this one, which I took today at the ballpark). Shake Shack and the others are already operating at the Mets' stadium, Citi Field.
This isn't the only news of the day in regards to the ballpark food, as the team also announced new food partnerships: the Boston Beer Company will bring Sam Adams beers to the stadium, along with a new Sam Adams beer garden in May; Kayem Hot Dogs are now the "official frank of the Washington Nationals"; and Breyers is now the official ice cream. There's also changes to the existing concessions, including two portable Hard Times Cafe carts that will sell nachos. And a new "point of sale" operation that is supposed to speed up food sales and other transactions. (We shall see....!)
As for outside the ballpark, I peeked in on the progress at Das Bullpen, and while they were working very hard, it was hard to judge whether they'll be open by tomorrow morning. But the original Bullpen at Half and N will be opening at 10 am for all your late-morning beer-drinking needs. (Justin's Cafe will open at 10:30.) There was also work going on along Half Street, with Monument Realty finally replacing the Half Street advertising signage that for so long has declared "Coming 2009" with a more gentle "Coming Soon."
All this reconnaissance came as part of my short visit to NatsFest, and you can see a quick gallery of my photos from the event, none of which are terribly exciting and are more about little things here and there than the players or any of the activities. (I figured those sorts of photos would be a dime a dozen since every fan was toting a digital camera.) One change at the stadium visible in one of the photos (above the big honking new Jayson Werth banner) is that the red tent on top of the left-field garage that has been obscuring views of the Capitol for the past few years is now gone. Yay!
In other news, DDOT has announced that the Navy Yard Circulator's hours are indeed being extended beginning on April 1. From Friday through Sept. 30 (though could be continued in the FY12 city budget), the buses will run from 6 am to 9 pm weekdays and from 7 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, in addition to the extended hours on Nats game days. (They're supposed to post the 2011 Game Day Schedule, but it's not there quite yet.)
And, if you want more transit info before heading off to the ballpark, here's Metro's press release on its plans for extra trains, crowd monitoring, etc.
If I were in a generous mood, I could also link to today's front-page Washington Times story about how nothing is happening around the ballpark in terms of development, but if they are silly enough to dub the "new" Courtyard by Marriott (finished in 2006) as one of neighborhood's "signs of progress," then I'm not sure you need to read the rest. Besides, you can just read my roundup of what's changed since the end of last season to find out all you need to know.
We'll see what the weather does on Thursday--people seem to be sounding a bit more optimistic, but be aware that if there's rain, they'll most likely play Friday and not Thursday night.
UPDATED headline, tweaking "before June" to "by June."

Baseball Back for Fourth Season at Nationals Park; Neighborhood Update, Parking Map for Returning Fans
Mar 28, 2011 9:44 AM
It's hard for me to believe that this week marks three years since the first Opening Day at Nationals Park, but time does march on. Wednesday evening's NatsFest followed by three games against the Braves (starting with Thursday's 1:05 pm season opener) will bring a lot of people back to Near Southeast for the first time since last summer.
If you're one of them, and you haven't diligently been reading my posts (gasp!), you might be interested in knowing what's been going on since the last time you ventured into this neck of the woods. Here's the big items:
Yards Park: In early September, the first phase of the six-acre Yards Park opened on the banks of the Anacostia, just two blocks east of the ballpark. It's a space unlike any in Washington, and is definitely worth a visit, perhaps even on your way to Saturday's afternoon game, since the park is holding a Family Fun Day that starts at 11 am. (Even if you don't make it to the park right away, you can easily see it from the ballpark's southeastern viewing platform.)
It will probably be a neat place to watch the Friday night post-game fireworks as well (UPDATE: waah! no fireworks this year!), a trip which will be made even easier when a floating bridge connecting Diamond Teague Park--just across Potomac Avenue from the First Base Gate--with the Yards Park is completed, perhaps by the end of the season.
Unfortunately, most people visiting the park in conjunction with a Nationals game won't get to walk along the river all the way to 11th Street: while the Navy Yard has announced that its stretch of the boardwalk is opening April 1, the initial hours will only be from 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday.
Foundry Lofts: Just to the north of the new park, work re-started last September on the stalled Foundry Lofts building at 3rd and Tingey, and it is expected to be completed this fall.
Bullpen: It may not be ready by Thursday, but the open-air bar and live music gathering place across N Street from the stadium known as the Bullpen is opening a gameday beer garden to the north of its current spot, on the corner of Half and M across from the west entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station. With close to 80 picnic tables, it will have a capacity of over 600 and will offer European beers, sausages and other like fare, and a quieter environment than the original Bullpen (which will be remaining open for this season as well). The name of the new spot? Das Bullpen. (Yes, that's the moniker I flippantly gave the project back when the news first broke, which the owners decided to go ahead and use. #winning!)
Capitol Quarter: If you park in lot T on 3rd Street, SE, you'll see new townhouses going up directly across the street as part of Capitol Quarter's second phase of construction.
200 I: Just to the north of lot T and right by the Southeast Freeway, you'll see the old Star/Post Plant at 225 Virginia Avenue in the process of losing its exterior "skin" as it moves toward becoming 200 I Street, a DC government office building that will be completed next spring.
Canal Park: Right in the middle of things, across from the Five Guys and Subway, you'll see construction at last underway on Canal Park, the stretch of 2nd between I and M that at one time was a schoolbus parking lot and which has been plain open space for the past two years. The park is expected to be open by spring of next year, and so during the next 12 months expect there to be almost no parking along 2nd; the eastern part of the street is closed altogether. Also, note that L Street is closed for this one block, so you can't use it to get from New Jersey to 3rd or vice versa.
Harry's: If your path to and from the ballpark includes a walk down New Jersey Avenue (perhaps from the Capitol South Metro station), and you find yourself in desperate need of adult beverages, Harry's Reserve has now opened on the southwest corner of New Jersey and I, in the ground floor of the 909 New Jersey apartment building.
Florida Rock: While it hasn't happened yet, plans are for the concrete plant just south of the ballpark to be razed sometime this year, bringing unobstructed views of the Anacostia River to the southeastern viewing platform and clearing the Florida Rock site until the proposed 1.1-million-square-foot RiverFront project can get some financing and get started.
Getting Here: I've got my Stadium Parking map ready to go for 2011, though I've made no additions or deletions on it yet for the new season. I'll wander around this weekend and see if any new lots have popped up or old ones have gone away, though first impressions are that there are no major changes, certainly not in terms of the official Nats lots. (If you see any new lots or old ones that have gone offline, let me know so I can update the map.)
But with this area being a multimodal paradise, your better bet is Metro, or the Circulator that runs from Union Station and Eastern Market, or even Capital Bikeshare, now that there's a station at 1st and N. UPDATE: Forgot to mention the water taxi running from Alexandria, and it's possible that the new American Water Taxi service may get started up soon.
Retail? Eats? Unfortunately, if you were expecting this post to include a litany of new food and retail offerings, you will be just as disappointed as the residents and officeworkers currently are with the continuing lack of options beyond Subway, Five Guys, Justin's Cafe, and Cornercopia. There could be at least two additions before the end of the season, however: another beer garden (separate from Das Bullpen) is under development at 8th and L, SE, and the old "Little Red Building" site at 2nd and L is on its way to becoming "Lot 38 Espresso." Neither project has an announced opening date.
There is also lots of under-the-radar chatter of various restaurateurs starting to look at the area (which I haven't bothered posting, because a) I don't do rumors and b) it shouldn't really be news that they're looking in such an underserved area). With the above projects underway, along with DDOT and the FAA soon moving into 55 M, 20 M now 97 percent leased, and 100 M off the DL thanks to its foreclosure sale, there is a definite shift in the economic winds, and it would not be surprising to get some announcement of some new retail before the end of this season.
For more information on what's changed and what might be changing, check out my 2011 State of the Hood. The BID also did a recent roundup of changes.
If you want to relive the glory days of the ballpark's construction, you can wander through all my exterior and interior photos from that heady time, along with my many photo galleries from ballpark-related events over the years, from the groundbreaking to the topping out to each Opening Day. You can also check out what that part of the neighborhood looked like before the stadium's arrival. (Yes, I'm wallowing in nostalgia. It was a fun time.)
(UPDATED headline, because I can't count.)

DC Challenge at the Yards Park April 16; NatsFest Schedule
Mar 25, 2011 1:11 PM
The April lineup of events at the Yards Park continues to grow: on April 16 it will be host to the DC Challenge, an "Amazing Race" style scavenger hunt through the city. Competitors will "solve tricky clues" to plot the best route and race for cash prizes, and then afterwards there will be a "Finish Line Festival" with music, games, food drink, and the "crowd-judged costume contest." You can register online, and the web site has much more information on what's billed as "America's largest adventure race."
Also, in a slightly different vein, if you haven't already seen it, here's the schedule for NatsFest on Wednesday afternoon.
(One note on my handling of upcoming events--generally I'll post about something when I hear about it, and maybe give another reminder a couple days beforehand if the timing's right, and of course they're all always on my events calendar. But if you want lots of updates and reminders on goings-on at the Yards Park or other events handled by the BID, you'll want to follow those Facebook or Twitter feeds.)

Florida Rock Raze Permit, and Other Tuesday Tidbits
Mar 22, 2011 11:03 AM
All sorts of small stuff that has recently been Tweeted, or just left to molder until I finally got around to posting:
* A raze permit application has been filed by the Florida Rock folks for the concrete plant operated by Vulcan Materials Co. on Potomac Avenue just south of Nationals Park. This in an of itself is quite interesting, made even more interesting by a lack of response from Florida Rock Properties when I inquired as to what this planned razing might mean. From what I'm told, raze permits are valid for one year from the date of issuance (and this one hasn't been issued yet). The plan has been for a 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use project that would include office, residential, hotel, and retail in four buildings, plus lots of open space. (Note that the western part of the project can't be built until the new Douglass Bridge is built and the current one is demolished, which doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon). Whether the current plans will still be going forward with the current owners or if changes are in the works, we'll just have to wait and see, though considering that it took FRP a decade or so to get zoning approvals for the site, it would be no fun to see the process start over again.
* There was a kitchen fire on the 3rd floor of the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St. SE on Monday night, according to tweets from DCFireEMS. The bulk of the fire was handled by the sprinkler system, they say, and there were no injuries.
* The DC Music Fest planned for the Yards Park on May 7 has been cancelled "due to a lack of funding and sponsorships."
* The Five Guys at Nationals Park will not be back for the 2011 season, says Curbed DC. (The one on 2nd Street across from Canal Park is not affected by this.)
* Speaking of the ballpark, in case your attention hasn't yet turned to baseball, note that Opening Day is next Thursday (March 31), with NatsFest being held at 4 pm the day before. The first series of games (Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) will all be early afternoon starts (1:05 pm on Thursday and Saturday and the normal 1:35 pm start on Sunday).
And Saturday's game is bookended by Family Fun Day at Yards Park, being held from 11 am to 4 pm in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (Plus there's all the goings-on that day on the Southwest Waterfront, including the big fireworks display.)

Vote for Summer Movies, and Yards Park Events Gearing Up
Mar 7, 2011 2:55 PM
With "Academy Award Movies" having been the winning theme for the Capitol Riverfront BID's 2011 summer outdoor movie series, the BID is now asking people to vote on which Academy Award movies should be screened. The series starts on May 26, and will once again be on Tingey Plaza, at New Jersey and Tingey just behind the USDOT building. (Last year's screening location, the Canal Park footprint, will be unavailable this summer because the locusts have arrived, dogs and cats are sleeping together, and it appears that construction is about to get underway.)
While the movie series isn't being held at the Yards Park (just a smidge to the north of it) the BID is working on an ever-growing list of events that will keep the park hopping through the year:
* Kicking off the slate, there will be a Family Fun Day on April 2 from 11 am to 4 pm, in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. According to the press release, activities at the free event will include sake tasting and a Japanese beer garden by Mie N Yu, lantern making, sushi from Nooshi Sushi, a moonbounce, and more. (Then everyone can take a leisurely walk down M Street to the Southwest Waterfront for the Fireworks Festival, which actually starts at 1 pm and runs until the fireworks kick off at 8:30 pm.) This is also the day of the first Saturday home game of the year at Nationals Park, just two blocks to the west, starting at 1:05 pm against the Braves.
* Sensorium, the "culinary and sensory experience" announced a while back, starts its multi-week run on April 12.
* The previously mentioned DC Music Fest on May 7 has now announced its lineup.
* While the summer movies will be on Thursday nights, the park will also host a free summer concert series on Friday nights from 6 to 8 pm, kicking off on May 13 and running through August 19. This will be in addition the the lunchtime concert series that the BID has run for the past three years, and is expected to feature music ranging from jazz and blues to rock and reggae. (If you're a food provider and you want to serve at the concerts, here's the RFP.)
* July 9 will see MetroDash, the "country's premier obstacle race series," which includes obstacles such as tire flips, rope swings, 15-foot cargo net climbs, wall jumps, monkey bars, the "strongman shuffle." You can sign up here (if you dare), though the web site doesn't seem to be responding right now.
There are also plenty of private events already on the park's calendar, so if you were thinking about throwing your own shindig there, you won't be alone.
UPDATE, 3/20: According to their web site, the May 7 DC Music Fest has been cancelled, "due to lack of funding and sponsorships."

BID Summer Movie Survey; 225 Virginia Kick-Off
Feb 13, 2011 11:22 PM
Two very small items to start off the week:
* The BID has posted a survey to find out which movies people are interested in seeing during the summer's Outdoor Movie Series, scheduled for Thursday nights beginning May 26. (The movies have moved back to Tingey Plaza behind USDOT, since Canal Park will presumably be under construction.) They're offering two themes to choose between: Summer Vacation Movies and Academy Award Winners.
* StonebridgeCarras has e-mailed invitations to VIPs (a list that doesn't include moi) announcing a "ceremony to celebrate the official beginning of the redevelopment" of the former Post Plant, aka 225 Virginia Avenue, aka 200 I St., SE. It's scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 am at the corner of 3rd and Virginia, with Mayor Gray and other luminaries expected to be in attendance. Will the Bobcats now parked on site then start punching out the walls from the inside, as was the case when the old Capper Seniors building was demolished? Of course, in the case of the Post Plant, they're only "de-skinning" it, not bringing down the entire building. You can see a rendering of the new building on my project page.

Events News: Chocolate City, Sensorium
Jan 28, 2011 1:10 PM
Two events on the horizon (one near, one far) that might be of interest:
* On February 2 at 8 pm, Arlington Independent Media is hosting a showing of Chocolate City, the 2007 documentary by Ellie Walton and Sam Wild about families who were displaced by the redevelopment of Capper/Carrollsburg. There will be a conversation after the screening with Walton. (It would be interesting to know whether any of the families portrayed in the movie have since come back to the area by moving into any of Capitol Quarter low-income units, since the movie was filmed and completed before any of the construction at CQ started.) Tickets are $6, and the movie begins at 8 pm at the Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., in Arlington. (h/t reader P)
* Coming to the Yards Park in April is Sensorium, a "culinary and sensory experience featuring creative atmosphere and cutting-edge production." According to the press release, this will be a "sophisticated 12-course culinary production" from Executive Chef Bryon Brown, founder of Artisa Kitchen and the DC Supper Club series. A temporary structure (called a "geodesic dome" by the producers, but described to me by the BID as a tent) will be set up on the eastern side of the park, just south of the Trapeze School's tent, and there will be audio/visual and performance elements woven through the 12-course meal. (Cirque du Soleil meets Top Chef?) Each show will have only 30 tickets available, with two seatings per day (5:30 and 9 pm), running for six weeks beginning on April 12. Tickets are $150, but are discounted to $125 for the first four shows.
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More posts: Capper, Events, The Yards, Yards Park

Tuesday Tidbits: Harry's, NatsFest, Yards Park, Etc.
Jan 18, 2011 3:04 PM
Some recently Tweeted items, and a few new ones, worth wrapping up into a quick post:
* Last week I heard from the owners of what will soon be the Harry's Reserve "upscale" wine and spirits store at New Jersey and I, saying that they hope to be open by February 1.
* This year's NatsFest at the baseball stadium will be held on March 30, the day before the Opening Day home game against the Atlanta Braves. The schedule of events is still to come, but hopefully the decision to better tie in the event to the hoopla surrounding the start of the season won't be offset by it being on a Wednesday, when it's harder for kids to be there. (Especially kids who may already be playing hooky the next day!)
* The Yards Park web site now has information about renting space for public, private, or community events. And if you wander through the calendar, you can see what events might be on tap for this year, though the main calendar shows what's been confirmed, such as the Capitol City Beer Festival on May 28, the previously discussed DC Music Festival on May 7, the MetroDash obstacle course race on July 9, and a monthy Art Market.
* Stephen Strasburg, working on his degree while rehabbing, has written a thesis on the effects new stadiums have on neighborhoods, with a focus on Nationals Park. If he was looking for information on what the neighborhood looked like "before," I hope he found it! (And no, the thesis isn't available anywhere.)
* The National Capital Planning Commission will be looking at the final 11th Street Bridges site and building plans at their February 3 meeting. Gosh, I hope they like where the bridges themselves are placed in the designs!
* Off-topic, but the hunt seems to be back on for a new DC United stadium location, with one of the potential spots being across South Capitol Street at Buzzard Point in Southwest. (Please note that I said Buzzard Point. There is no s on the end. In case you missed 642 tweets about it today.) SWill has some additional information.
And, coming on Thursday (I hope), my 2011 State of the Hood roundup of the past 12 months' worth of activity, and what might be on the horizon. (I'm telling you this to force myself to actually get it done.)

DC Music Fest Coming to Yards Park on May 7
Jan 3, 2011 9:47 AM
Another DC arts festival is being inaugurated at the Yards Park -- this time it's the DC Music Fest, scheduled for May 7, 2011. With plans to "showcase some of the best artists and bands of the Washington, DC and surrounding areas," the event already has a lineup of 12 bands, three singer/songwriters, and 1 DJ on two stages. Other local artists who want to play at the event can submit themselves at the web site until February 1, and a panel of judges will choose which acts will be added to the lineup.
According to On Tap, tickets will be $25.
Back in October, the first RiverFrontFest debuted on the streets just north of the Yards Park, offering a day of local art and music.
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More posts: dcmusicfest, Events, The Yards, Yards Park

New Year's Eve Party by ReadysetDC at Trapeze School
Dec 30, 2010 6:02 PM
Just popping up in my inbox (which is hard to get to through the piles of opened boxes and discarded Toblerone wrappers) is news of the big New Year's Eve celebration ("Evolution 2011") being thrown by ReadysetDC Friday night starting at 9 pm at the Trapeze School's space at 4th and Tingey, SE at the Yards. Dance performance by Holly Bass, live music by Chelsey Green and the Green Project, AWR B-boy performance (you kids tell me what that is), aerial ribbon dancing performances, live painting by Brandon Hill of No Kings Collective, and much more.
Tickets are $95, and include an open bar, but you can get $20 off by using the discount code DC-LOVE. (They've even got a deal with the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L for a block of hotel rooms.)
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More posts: Events, The Yards, Yards/Parcel O

Pre-Weekend Cleaning Off of the Messy Virtual Desk
Oct 1, 2010 11:50 AM
Here's a bunch of little items that aren't ridiculously newsworthy, but that might be of interest. Since it's Friday and many of you actually have lives, I suggest reading a few at a time, and keep coming back over the weekend until you get through all of them. Some I've already passed along via Twitter (which you can also follow by being a Facebook Fan of JDLand), but some are surprisingly fresh. Here goes:
Top items:
* The process that will beget the new Southwest Waterfront is now underway, and SWill at Southwest: The Fabulous Blog With the Funny Name (did I get that right?) reports on this week's public meeting by the developers. Current plans call for 560 residential units, three hotels totalling 600 rooms, 840,000 square feet of office, 335,000 square feet of ground floor retail, some sort of music hall / museum / maritime education offering, 2,500 underground parking spaces in five garages, and 400-500 marina slips, with 60 percent of the site area being public space.
* Back before 1015 Half Street was a slow-to-finish office building, it was an old industrial building that in 1995 became the Capitol Ballroom and then eventually the Nation nightclub. But from its construction in 1931 until it was sold at auction in 1992, the southwest corner of Half and K was home to the J.E. Hurley Machine and Boiler Works company. And thanks to the Kinorama Flickr stream that took the Twitterverse by storm this week, here's a shot of the Hurley building, undated but probably in the early 1990s. The outlines of the more-familiar Nation building are clearly visible.
* Pastor Mark Batterson, writing about the National Community Church's purchase of the Miles Glass site at 8th and Virginia, says that they are looking at some of the adjacent properties as well. "Our current lot serves our current purposes, but when we think in twenty year terms the additional lots would give us more upside potential."
Calendar items:
* On Friday, Oct. 8, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure will be holding its opening ceremonies at Nationals Park. It's not just for participants, and friends and family are also being encouraged to attend. Walkers will start arriving around 6 am, with the opening ceremony beginning (with "community stretching" at 7 am). Afterward, the participants will begin their 60-mile walk (though I can't find a map to figure out their route). More information about the opening ceremonies and race here.
* Mayor-in-Effect Vince Gray is having a series of town halls during October, with the Ward 6 one scheduled for Oct. 27 at 8:30 pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol St. NE.
Tidbits:
* Because I'm worried that the Marines' hunt for a new barracks site isn't engendering enough conversation around here, I'll point people to Norm Metzger's report on last week's Community Leadership Group meeting that I wrote about here.
* The Examiner did a Three-Minute Interview with Sam Fromartz of the Virginia Avenue Park's community garden.
* It's time once again for the Capitol Riverfront Perception Survey. Tell 'em what you perceive.
Off-Topic:
* I've written a few times about my interest in Detroit, and whether it can come back from so far down. If you haven't been following along, here's a great essay with lots of photos, written by David Byrne. (Yes, that David Byrne.) (thanks to reader EH)
* And, for the ultimate Friday time-waster, here's my bottlecap chasing cat that thinks he's a dog.

Free Tickets to RiverFrontFest for Hood Residents
Sep 21, 2010 1:32 PM
I wrote over the weekend about RiverFrontFest, a new arts and music festival that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, on Fourth and Water streets near the Yards Park. While tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, the organizers are offering complimentary tickets for residents of Near Southeast. The tickets are limited to two per resident, and proof of residency with ID must be shown. The tickets can be picked up any time between now and Oct. 9 at either Justin's Cafe or Cornercopia, though both businesses ask that if possible people avoid coming to get tickets during the busy 11 am to 2 pm rush times. Here's the flyer with details on the free tickets, which you'll probably also see being handed out in the various apartment buildings in the neighborhood over the next few days.

WalkingTown DC 'Hood Tours Sunday Morning
Sep 21, 2010 11:25 AM
Missed this in yesterday's post on this week's events: WalkingTown DC is this weekend, and among the many (many!) walking and biking tours is once again a Capitol Riverfront BID-branded tour, "Capitol Riverfront: From Navy Yard to Front Yard", on Sunday (Sept. 26) from 10 am to 11 am. The tour, lead by BID executive director Michael Stevens, meets at the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard Metro station.
If you're in really (really!) good shape, you can then zip from this tour to the Stadium-Armory Metro station for a Ward 6 biking tour led by Tommy Wells, "Ward 6 Past Meets the Future Bike Tour." It's a 6.5-mile ride from 11 am to 12:30 pm that will start at Kingman Island and hit Eastern Market and Barracks Row before hitting the parks of Near Southeast (Canal, Yards, Teague, and Nationals) and then continuing on into Southwest.
No reservations are required for either tour. (I'd link directly to the entries for each, but the WalkingTown site isn't set up for that. So here's the lists of Sunday morning walking tours and the biking tours. Start scrolling!)

Back from the Midwest; A Few Events This Week
Sep 20, 2010 9:39 AM
I'm back from spending the past week wandering around Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland) and then spending some time in the Detroit area, where my husband grew up and where I lived for a few years as a tyke many years ago. If I was sent back in time 10 years and told to be a city blogger again but that I couldn't do Near Southeast, I would gladly have chosen to document the decay (and perhaps eventual return) of Detroit, because it's really on a scale that is hard for people to understand unless they've spent a lot of time driving all around the city (and not just on the freeways). It also means I would have spent the past 10 years eating plenty of Detroit Pizza at Buddy's and Cloverleaf and having far easier access to a bazillion breakfast options (at the Coneys and other "family dining" establishments) than we'll ever have in the DC Metro area. Plus there's the cider mills.
We also very much enjoyed Columbus, particularly the Short North and German Village neighborhoods (and driving through the Ohio State campus in my University of Florida-festooned car--ha ha!), and my husband also noted the bars and restaurants in the Arena District and asked if that's what will eventually be coming to Half Street. (I then asked him if he ever reads my blog.) Downtown Cincinnati has some great "old stock" storefronts and signage (which we're always big fans of), but we also enjoyed the Kentucky towns of Covington and Newport, right across the river from Cincy's two stadiums. It helped that our hotel was three blocks from the massive Covington Oktoberfest celebration. And yes, we ate chili. Cleveland was mainly a pilgrimmage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for me, but we did wander around to eat in the Tremont and Ohio City neighborhoods, and took a peek at Shaker Heights.
(Are you as worn out from our vacation as I am? We do tend to cover a lot of territory.)
I don't think I deprived you of any big news while I was gone, so, instead, we'll look ahead at a few events this week:
* Today begins the Nats' final homestand of the 2010 season, against the Astros, Braves, and Phillies, with the final home game on Wednesday Sept. 29 at 7:05 pm. And note that this Thursday's game (Sept. 23) against the Astros is a 4:35 pm start, and Saturday's game (Sept. 25) against the Braves is at 1:05 pm. Then you can start looking ahead to the 2011 Nationals schedule, where they get an Opening Day home game on March 31 against the Braves.
* Tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept. 21) is ANC 6B's monthly meeting (delayed a week to avoid coinciding with the election), and the agenda includes CSX's plans for an archaeological dig at Virginia Avenue Park. The meeting is at 7 pm at the People's Church, 535 8th St., SE.
* Thursday is the Washington Area Bicyclist Association's "Moonlight Ride at Yards Park", which includes an 11-mile ride starting from the Park at 8:30 pm heading west to the Potomac River, and a 6-mile ride starting at 9 pm that will go east over the Anacostia River into Anacostia Park and Historic Anacostia. The rides are free and open to the public, but they ask that you register in advance.
* And, looking ahead a bit, the newly redesigned "Parcel D" residential/retail/grocery development on the southeast corner of 4th and M in the Yards will be presented to the National Capital Planning Commission on Oct. 7.
UPDATE: I guess I should also be mentioning the launch of Capital Bikeshare today, with two locations in Near Southeast, at New Jersey and M by USDOT, and what the map says is another station at First and N, SE, by Nationals Park (which I had heard wasn't coming until next spring).

First 'RiverFrontFest' Coming on Oct. 9
Sep 18, 2010 3:35 PM
A new arts and music festival is coming to "space adjacent to the" Yards Park next month, named RiverFrontFest (my years of journalism training prevent me from calling it the "First Annual"). On Oct. 9 from 11 am to 7 pm, this event will feature "independent, creative artists and musicians in a fun, vibrant, family friendly setting," which is scheduled to include demonstrations from Trapeze School New York, a breakdance competition, and three stages of bands. There will also be local food and arts and crafts vendors.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the "door" (fence?); proceeds raised through the event will benefit local organizations including the Earth Conservation Corps, Kids Set Sail, and Living Classrooms.
If you're a performer who would like to participate, or an vendor/sponsor/other organization wanting to get involved, or someone wanting to volunteer at the event, the web site has the details, as well as "Festival Vision" page that describes a pretty wide-ranging bar that the organizers are trying to reach.
[It's taken a while, but I think i've puzzled out the "space adjacent to the Yards Park" designation--they say they'll be closing down Fourth Street and Water Street (the "Street" that runs between the Lumber Storage Shed and the Foundry Lofts) as well as "using an adjacent large green space," so I'm thinking this is more over by the Trapeze School and on the streets than anywhere on the park footprint.]
The Capitol Riverfront BID is one of the sponsors, but is not running the event, unlike many of the other parks/arts/happening events around the neighborhood over the past few years. (In fact, it's kind of hard to tell who *is* running it.)
(h/t Examiner and CP)
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More posts: Events, RiverFrontFest, The Yards, Yards Park

Reminder: Opera in the Outfield on Sunday
Sep 16, 2010 1:04 PM
A reminder that the third Opera in the Outfield is scheduled for Sunday (Sept. 19) at Nationals Park. This year it's Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball, for you dweebs who don't speak Italian), simulcast in HD on the ballpark's massive screen. The gates open at noon, with the show beginning at 2 pm, but there will also be lots of pre-show and intermission activities, such as photo opportunities with Screech, giveaways, and the new "Take Me Out to the Opera Songwriting Contest," giving fans the chance to apply opera-inspired lyrics to the old ballpark standby. (The winners will be announced during the "Seventh Aria Stretch," i.e., the second intermission.) Seating is available throughout the ballpark (not just on the outfield), and while reservations are no longer being taken for specific spots, fans can still show up. And, of course, it's free.
Reminders via the Nationals for attendees: Only soft-sided coolers smaller than 16 x 16 x 9 inches and containing individual-size serving food will be allowed; no alcohol will be allowed inside the gates of the ballpark; no chairs will be allowed inside the gates of the ballpark; no strollers or wheelchairs are allowed on the grass of the field; and no throwing items on the field.
And afterward (or before) you can wander two blocks east to the Yards Park if you haven't checked it out yet, or even if you have.
If you're going, I'd also suggest prepping yourself with multiple viewings of this and this before you head out.

Yards Park Before and Afters (and a Moonlight Ride)
Sep 8, 2010 12:47 PM
As promised, I've updated my Yards Park page to incorporate some before-and-after photos to highlight the transformation of this patch of land from a bunch of nothingness to a waterfront destination. But I'd also suggest looking through my Expanded Yards Park archive for a more complete set of photos that really show how these five acres have changed since 2005. (And I'll be adding more pairs to the expanded archive this weekend, having missed a few spots in my recent visits.) They really are a pretty striking batch of photos, if I may say so myself....
And, in other Yards Park-related news, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (with the BID and Forest City) is sponsoring a "Moonlight Ride at Yards Park" on Sept. 23, which includes an 11-mile ride starting from the Park at 8:30 pm heading west to the Potomac River, and a 6-mile ride starting at 9 pm that will go east over the Anacostia River into Anacostia Park and Historic Anacostia. The rides are free and open to the public, but they ask that you register in advance so that they know how many people to expect. (There's also discounted tickets available for that afternoon's 4:35 pm game at Nats Park versus the Houston Astros, if you want to watch a game with your fellow cyclists before heading out on the ride.)

Reader Mailbag: Kudos to Nats Park First Aid Staff
Jul 29, 2010 11:54 AM
From reader Linda G. of Richmond: "I want to let someone know how appreciative I am of the wonderful people that came to my rescue last Saturday night at the Dave Mathews/Zac Brown concert. I had ridden the metro and walked in. Then had to walk to our seats which were in section 418 three rows from the top of the stadium. By the time I got to my seat I was suffering from heat exhaustion and about to pass out. My son got wet paper towels and ice but ended up having to go get the first aid people to come help. They were WONDERFUL and I want to let them know how appreciative I am of them."

Upcoming Events: Seabiscuit, Dave Matthews, SoS
Jul 22, 2010 2:33 AM
For your scheduling pleasure:
* Thursday's BID outdoor movie is Seabiscuit, the heartwarming tale of a horse swimming across the ocean for food (no, wait, that's not right). It starts at Canal Park at Second and M streets, SE, at 8:45 pm, but you can arrive early for some hula hooping with Hoop Jams at 8 pm. Rain cancellations will be posted on the BID web site by 4 pm.
* On Friday night (July 23) the Dave Matthews Band will be in concert at 7 pm at Nationals Park, with the Zac Brown Band opening. Tickets are still available, and the concert will go on rain or shine. (If you're heading to the ballpark for the concert and are unfamiliar with the territory, here's my Stadium Parking information page. But make it easy on yourself just take Metro.) Speaking of the stadium parking page, I've now added the new (tiny) $10 lot on the northwest corner of New Jersey and I.
* The rest of the weekend will be quiet (and hot), but then on Tuesday the 27th the Summer of Strasburg will return to the neighborhood, as Stephen is expected to pitch against the Atlanta Braves in a 7:05 pm game.

Eagles Concert at Nationals Park Cancelled
Apr 19, 2010 2:51 PM
From DCist: "Live Nation just announced that the June 15 concert at Nationals Stadium featuring the Eagles, with guests Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban, has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts. If you purchased through Tickets.com, your ticket and parking will be automatically refunded the week of May 3; otherwise, contact your point of sale for a refund." [Hmm. Scheduling conflicts?]

Eagles (the Band) to Play Nats Park on June 15
Mar 16, 2010 10:46 PM
(I've just gotten back from a week traipsing around Arizona, so apologies for light/slow posting, including this one) It was announced today that the Eagles, with special guests the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban, will be playing at Nationals Park on Tuesday, June 15, with tickets going on sale at tickets.com on March 29 at 10 am. This is the second concert scheduled for the stadium this summer, with the Dave Matthews Band playing on July 23.
Astute readers might remember all sorts of rumors back in 2008 that the Eagles were going to play the first-ever concert at the ballpark, an honor which eventually went to Billy Joel and Elton John, last year (unless you want to count the Pope).

Some Quick Friday Afternoon Links
Feb 26, 2010 6:00 PM
* The Douglass Bridge (South Capitol Street) will be closed on Sunday morning for its swing span test, from 4 am to approximately 9 am, weather permitting.
* Tickets went on sale this morning at 10 am for the Dave Matthews concert at Nationals Park on July 23--looks like good seats are still available.
* There's been some press over the past few days about the new DDOT web site, especially the "Transportation Access Portal" that gives detailed information about projects around the city, but I was kind of underwhelmed until I found out that the projects of most interest to Near Southeast are under an "Anacostia Waterfront Initiative" tab rather than in the Ward 6 section. There you can find all sorts of project-management details (cost, schedule) for the 11th Street Bridges, the new Douglass Bridge (coming in 2018!), and even the RFK ramp demolition.
*And, in the gosh-why-would-you-think-I-was-killing-time-on-a-Friday-afternoon department, a shot of what the 1000 block of K THIRD Street SE would look like if it were in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (see large version):
* Plus, I think I have some cool items on the way next week. Fingers crossed.
* UPDATE: Shoot, I knew there was something else I meant to include: Minutes and materials from the last Lower 8th Street visioning session. A report will be submitted to the Office of Planning.

Next Week's Events (Justin's Cafe Liquor License, Boathouse Lighting, ANC6B)
Dec 3, 2009 9:17 AM
A couple events on the calendar for the week of Dec. 7 to highlight:
* On Wednesday, Dec. 9, ANC 6D's ABC committee will be having its monthly meeting (in advance of the full ANC meeting on Dec. 14), and on the agenda is "presentation of plans by Justin Ross re Justin's Cafe planned for 1st & L Streets, SE." This is the first step in the (long) process for Velocity's restaurant to get its liquor license, although I haven't yet seen an announcement/posting for their official ABRA hearing (maybe it'll be in tomorrow's DC Register). The meeting is at 7 pm at King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N Street, S.W.
* The Anacostia Community Boathouse Association will be having its annual Boathouse Lighting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 pm. This year's honorees include Tommy Wells, winner of the ACBA's "Champion" Award, who will get to flip the switch to turn on the holiday lights. The boathouse is at 1115 O Street, SE, nestled between the two spans of the 11th Street Bridges.
* ANC 6B (which is mostly Capitol Hill but includes the Eighth Street area south of the freeway in its boundaries) is having its monthly meeting on Dec. 8, and it includes a presentation by WASA on the Combined Sewer Overflow Project, and a resolution on the Ward 6 Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act of 2009, which has its city council hearing on Dec. 10. The meeting is at 7 pm at the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE.

Upcoming Events (11th Street Bridges, Last Movie, Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting)
Aug 18, 2009 12:40 PM
A slew of upcoming events to pass along:
* On Wednesday (Aug. 19), there's going to be an 11th Street Bridges Open House, billed as an update for Ward 8 residents about the status of the bridge replacement project. (But I'm guessing people from other wards can come, too.) It's from 7 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Union Temple Baptist Church at 1225 W St., SE.
* Thursday (Aug. 20) is the last night of the BID's 80's Outdoor Movies series, with "Ghostbusters" on the bill (rescheduled from a rainout earlier this year). Apparently the BID is planning a four-week fall movie series starting in September; I'll pass more along on that when I get it.
* Next Wednesday (Aug. 26) the DC Housing Authority is holding an official ribbon cutting and grand opening at Capitol Quarter, from 10 am to noon at Fourth and L, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. This is just a little over two years after the ceremonial groundbreaking, held on a sweltering day in June 2007.
* If you're desperate for something to do Wednesday morning but a ribbon cutting isn't your thing, the U.S. Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard will host "Pirate or Privateer? War of 1812 Day," a series of demonstrations and lectures on the War of 1812. The program, which runs from 10 am to 2 pm, includes Gun Drills in the replica of the USS Constitution and Sea Chanteys. The event is free and open to the public, though note that there's no parking available inside the gates for visitors.
* The National Capital Planning Commission again has the design of the 11th Street Bridges on their tentative agenda, for their Sept. 3 meeting. It had also been on the tentative agenda for the July meeting, but didn't make the final cut; hopefully that won't happen again, because NCPC always puts together such great reports on the projects it votes on (and posts them on their web site), so it's a good place to get details that have been hard to find elsewhere.
* This is still a few weeks away, but residents might want to mark their calendars that the next ANC 6D meeting, on Sept. 14 will be held in Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. I've been attending ANC meetings off and on for six years, and this is the first one I remember that will be crossing South Capitol Street.
* The next day, Sept. 15, Urban Land Institute Washington is holding its third Urban Marketplace Conference and Expo, which brings together "the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to explore redevelopment opportunities and best practices in emerging neighborhoods and corridors across the Washington metropolitan region." One of the day's discussions, from 3 pm to 4 pm will focus on the ballpark district (and I'm one of the panelists).
All of these are of course on my Upcoming Events Calendar.

Diamond Teague Progress, Cornercopia Peek, Plus a Few Other Photo Updates and a Parking Lot Update
Jul 16, 2009 8:46 PM
I took advantage of the sunny evening to dart around getting some desperately needed photo updates. First up is Diamond Teague Park, where progress on not only the water-taxi piers but the "on-land" portion of the park itself is now clearly visible from the viewing platform at Nationals Park. The last projected opening date I heard, a few months back, was July, but while it looks like maybe the park won't be pulled together in the next two weeks, it definitely appears to be getting there. See my Teague page for the latest pics.
I also snuck a peek through the door at Cornercopia and snagged a quick photo, showing goods now stocked on the shelves, but perhaps just short of being ready to open. Maybe they can get ready for all the folks heading to the ballpark this weekend? Don't forget, my offer still stands of a free sandwich to the first person who reports to me that it's open....
I also took some updated photos at Fourth and K in Capitol Quarter, where framing has sprouted on the north side of K. Then I wandered down to the Yards to get some better shots of the southeast corner of Fourth and Tingey, which is where the Trapeze School is going to be located. (You can also see the entire batch of today's photos, where you can then click on the icon to see an angle's entire history.) Speaking of the Trapeze School, the Post's Health section had a story today on what it's like to take a class from them. (You probably won't ever see *me* flying through the air with the greatest of ease.)
One other item--the WashTimes reported today that the Elton/Billy stage left centerfield in a bit of a mess, requiring the grass to be painted. As you can see from this shot I took during batting practice, it seemed to work pretty well.
Lastly, it only took me half the season, but I've now updated my Stadium Parking map to show the many options for cash parking (official and unofficial), in addition to the official Nats season ticket lots. And to think that there was a time when *some* people were worried there wouldn't be enough parking.

Upcoming Events, and Other Linky Goodness
Jul 14, 2009 12:14 PM
* This Sunday (July 19), there's going to be a "Grill-Off" at Nationals Park before the 1:30 game against the Cubs. Phil Bucco, who oversees the menus at the ballpark, will be competing against Teddy Folkman, the executive chef at Granville Moore's. It'll be an Iron Chef-like challenge, where the chefs won't know the ingredient they're working with beforehand. The event starts at noon, but the first-come first-served seats (in the Nats Family Fun Area) can be grabbed starting at 11 am, when the gates open. Plates will be judged at 1 pm.
* On Tuesday, July 21, the BID is hosting a "Mental Mapping" event, where they're asking residents to "Sketch out your shopping route to assist in a study about neighborhood retail needs." It's at Capitol Hill Tower at 6:30 pm; RSVP to rsvp@capitolriverfront.org.
* On Saturday, Aug. 8, the 3rd Annual Youth River Sports Day will be held at the Anacostia Community Boathouse, from 10 am to 2 pm. Rowing and paddling instruction, guided river tours, and more will be offered; my photos from last year's event give a taste of the activities.
* This is a ways off, but SWDC Blog reports that the next ANC 6D meeting, on Sept. 14 (no August meeting) will be held in Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. I've been attending ANC meetings off and on for six years, and this is the first one I remember that will be crossing South Capitol Street.
* Even farther off (well, the next day), Urban Land Institute Washington is holding its third Urban Marketplace Conference and Expo, which brings together "the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to explore redevelopment opportunities and best practices in emerging neighborhoods and corridors across the Washington metropolitan region." One of the day's discussions will focus on the ballpark district (and I'm one of the panelists). Early-bird registration ends July 31.
* In non-event news, Fox 5 reports on how the Nationals' problems on the field "are making the city's $700-million stadium look like a bad investment." To wit: "Before the stadium was built, the city projected average attendance at 34,708 per game and tax revenues from tickets and merchandise of $15.1 million for this season. The reality, average attendance is about 23,213, ranking the Nationals 24th out of 30 teams. Based on attendance figures through June, the city now estimates tax revenues of about $8.9 million. The office of the Chief Financial Officer says tax revenues could increase because average attendance has improved slightly since June." However, "The office of the Chief Financial Officer estimates the city will raise $50.2 million through its Ballpark Revenue Fund, more than enough to make the $32-million bond payment on the stadium with money left over. The bulk of that however does not come from the Ballpark itself, but rather from a utility tax and a business tax in the city."
* Since I was out of town this weekend, I missed all the Elton/Billy hullabaloo. Here's a pile of reviews and blog posts having to do with the big show.
* For your (off-topic) Real Estate Development Collapse reading pleasure, a long piece on Williamsburg, NY: "Most unsettling are the cases of the developers who seem to have vanished, leaving behind so many vacant lots and half-completed buildings--eighteen, to be precise, more than can be found in all of the Bronx--that large swaths of the neighborhood have come to resemble a city after an air raid."

Setting the Stage for Elton/Billy; Cornercopia Update
Jul 9, 2009 4:25 PM
These aren't the most exciting photos I've ever posted (and goodness knows there are a lot of pictures at JDLand that already fall into this category), but I couldn't pass up the opportunity, so here are some shots from inside Nationals Park today showing the construction of the stage for Saturday's Elton John and Billy Joel concert. It's in dead centerfield, taller than the Red Loft but not quite as big as the scoreboard. (There will be seating on the field, it just hasn't been set up yet.) And, if you make to the bottom of the page, there's a couple non-stage shots that might be of interest, too.
In other news, I stopped in Cornercopia, and they tell me that they have all their city permits, and are now just waiting to get set up with their distributor, so they could be opening next week. They also told me that they will have tables with umbrellas, chairs, and benches, and the all important water dish for dogs. If you didn't chime in on the last thread on what goods you'd like to see for sale there, leave a comment below; you never know who might be reading!

Billy and Elton on Saturday
Jul 8, 2009 10:40 AM
A reminder that the first big concert at Nationals Park (well, other than the Pope) is this Saturday, with Billy Joel and Elton John. Metro has just sent out a press release with its plans: "In anticipation of large crowds, Metro will operate additional eight-car trains on the Green Line leading up to the start of the concert. Additional personnel will be on hand at the Navy Yard Metrorail station on the Green Line, which is just one block away from Nationals Park. Upon conclusion of the concert, Metro will deploy eight-car shuttle trains that will operate between the Navy Yard and Mt. Vernon Sq/7th St Convention Center Metrorail station."
UPDATE: As for parking, apparently ticketholders have received e-mails urging them to prepurchase parking in the official Nats lots, and cash parking lots will be available as well.

Video of Obama at Five Guys, Ward 6 Family Day, and Other Tidbits
Jun 3, 2009 10:19 PM
* Admit it: you know you want to see it--here's NBC's coverage of the Obama visit to Five Guys, from Tuesday night's "Inside the Obama White House" special. (Click on "Part 5", "Out to Lunch with Obama.") With a bunch of brief glimpses of the Little Red Building!
* The Third Annual Ward 6 Family Day is happening on June 20, from 11 am to 3 pm at the Rosedale Rec Center in Northeast. Tommy Wells's web site says activities will include "Capitol Hill Bikes free bike safety inspections and adjustments, celebrity kickball game, Washington Humane Society animal adoption and training, basketball games, face painting, moon bounce, corn hole tournament, horseshoes and live music. In addition, the pool will be open for the summer."
* The Nationals are having their first Ladies Night and Homerun Happy Hour of 2009, Thursday night (June 4). Free food (Hard Times) and beverages, and "shopping, dancing, massages and manicures with participating vendors." There'll even be a mechanical bull. Tickets are $30, and include a seat in sections 101-104.
* The Board of Zoning Adjustment has approved Donohoe's requested extension on the special exception it received back in 2007 for its planned office building at 1111 New Jersey Avenue, which would have expired at the end of this year. I didn't watch the hearing, so I don't know how long the extension is good for.
* WBJ and City Paper have coverage of the naming of Valerie Santos Young as the new Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
* The May issue of the Waterfront Watch newsletter on doings around the Anacostia River is now available.
* The June Hill Rag has a summary of May's ANC 6D meeting, where Capitol Riverfront BID executive director Michael Stevens gave a primer on the BID's operations and plans.
* Speaking of the BID, they've redesigned their web site.

Quick Pics from Artomatic Sneak Preview
May 29, 2009 3:02 PM
Hard to believe, after the weeks of buildup, that the opening of Artomatic is going to turn out to be the *second* most exciting event in Near Southeast today, but it should still be noted that it did indeed open its doors at noon today, running for hours and hours between now and July 5. You can get all the specifics at the Artomatic web site, and I'm sure many local blogs and media outlets will give it coverage far beyond what my left-brain-ness is capable of providing, but I did take a few photos at the kick-off this morning that might whet your appetite to go give it a visit. And these shots were from just one of the eight floors' worth of offerings, so there's plenty that I plan to go back to see. (I also took a few photos of the surrounding skyline, since this was my first visit inside Monument's 55 M.)

WalkingTown DC Capitol Riverfront Tour
May 28, 2009 8:52 AM
In yesterday's Upcoming Events post, I forgot to include one other item: this Sunday's WalkingTown DC tour of the "Capitol Riverfront," led by the BID's executive director, Michael Stevens and sponsored by the BID and Forest City Washington (developers of The Yards). It starts at 11 am at the Metro entrance at New Jersey and M, and no reservations are required. The description: "The Capitol Riverfront is DC's new neighborhood on the river, a growing district-within-the-District that extends the city's skyline to the water's edge. Discover the history behind the growth of this new neighborhood, its industrial heritage, and historic buildings now under renovation as part of The Yards development with a focus on sustainable development and riverfront renewal."
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More posts: Events, The Yards

Upcoming Events, Updates, and Whatnot
May 27, 2009 4:22 PM
* Tomorrow (Thursday, May 28) at 10:30 am is the groundbreaking ceremony for the Park at the Yards, the first phase of which is scheduled to be completed next spring. The mayor is supposed to be in attendance--I may have to create a Shovel-Wielding Fenty photo gallery, since I now have quite a few of those shots.
* Friday (May 29) at noon is the opening of Artomatic at 55 M Street. I'm giving everyone advance warning that I am hopelessly left-brained, so I won't really even be trying to cover it much beyond wandering through to get the flavor. It runs until July 5, so everyone has plenty of time to get there and check it out. (You can see some of the installations already through the windows.) See my calendar for the specific days and hours (it's closed Mondays and Tuesdays).
* An extremely helpful commenter in this thread has explained why some of the flyovers and ramps are missing from the new Skanska/Facchina schematic of the new 11th Street Bridges design that I linked to: "[It] does not show all the ramp connections in the FEIS design because the District could only find $260 million to fund the project, and the FEIS design is estimated to cost $360 million. The District asked for proposals to build as much of the project as possible for the availible $260 mill, and the schematic shows how much the winning bidder Skanska/Facchina proposed to build. It is a lane-mile more than the next best proposal. The District's plan is to build the rest when they can secure funding (maybe sooner than later.)"
* While not mentioning Near Southeast specifically, this Post article from yesterday talks about the very tough office-space market in DC and surroundings: "'Unless they're already in the ground, they're not starting,' said Steven A. Levin, managing director at Spaulding & Slye. 'Any development project needing a loan over $25 million requires multiple lenders, and the guarantees are onerous. The amount of money you can borrow is also reduced.' [...] Dennis K. Moyer, a commercial real estate lawyer with Goulston & Storrs, said some of his clients are reviewing their existing loans and wondering whether they'll be paid, even on properties that are doing well. 'The next wave that comes is likely the workouts, foreclosures and restructurings,' he said."

Upcoming Events (Including the Bullpen?)
May 5, 2009 6:40 PM
* MissChatter has heard from a representative of the Bullpen beer garden at Half and N, saying that they'll officially open on May 15 at 5 pm, and from 11:30 am to midnight for the next day's doubleheader. We shall see. And, for folks who can't wait, or who would prefer a different type of pre-and post-game food and drink, this Hill Rag piece mentions that Eighth Street establishments Lola's and the new Molly Malone's (former Fin MacCool's) as well as the Ugly Mug are all running free electric-cart shuttles to and from the ballpark, starting two hours before gametime through 45 minutes after the final out.
* The fourth Anacostia Waterfront Forum is scheduled for May 19 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the MLK Library. This month's subject: "Waterfronts and the World's Great Capital Cities," with Harriet Tregoning, the director of the city's Office of Planning.
* Hard to think about when the weather remains so cruddy, but WalkingTownDC's Spring Edition lineup is available, and again includes a Capitol Riverfront Tour, leading by the BID's executive director Michael Stevens. It's on Sunday, May 31, from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Reservations for all tours will start being accepted on May 11.

Capitol Power Plant Going Green?; Yards Park Phase 2 Zoning Hearing Monday; Lawsuit to Stop 11th Street Bridges
Mar 1, 2009 9:56 AM
* (h/t reader F) The AP takes a look at the Capitol Power Plant just north of the SE Freeway, the neighborhood's second most "favorite" landmark (after the school buses) with its smokestacks obscuring the view of the Capitol dome from many locations. On Thursday, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to the Architect of the Capitol asking that the power plant switch from burning coal to using natural gas for its operations, saying "The switch to natural gas will allow the CPP to dramatically reduce carbon and criteria pollutant emissions, eliminating more than 95 percent of sulfur oxides and at least 50 percent of carbon monoxide...We strongly encourage you to move forward aggressively with us on a comprehensive set of policies for the entire Capitol complex and the entire Legislative Branch to quickly reduce emissions and petroleum consumption through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean alternative fuels." The AP's story tells how Congress has been trying to clean up the plant and make it more "green," and the potholes in the road to making it run completely on natural gas. I'm guessing it wouldn't be wise to start counting the minutes until the smokestacks are gone.
* On Monday at 6:30 pm the Zoning Commission is scheduled to have its hearing on the Phase 2 plans for the park at The Yards, though we'll see if the weather wreaks havoc with the schedule. Here's my notes on the presentation of the designs to ANC 6D, and my Yards Park page has renderings.
* (UPDATE) Missed this--the Examiner reported on Friday that the Capitol Hill Restoration Society has filed suit to stop construction of the new 11th Street Bridges, citing its "significant, irreversible, adverse effects" on the surrounding area. The CHRS web site has a bit more detail as well.
* Tickets still available for Elton and Billy. Apparently there was a bit of a glitch yesterday when they went on sale.

Billy and Elton to Play Nats Park on July 11
Feb 23, 2009 2:11 PM
The Nationals have now officially announced that the "Face 2 Face" Billy Joel and Elton John concert tour will be at Nationals Park, on Saturday, July 11 at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale Saturday (Feb. 28) at 10 a.m., exclusively at tickets.com. Prices are $56.50, $102, and $182.

Big Concert Coming to Nationals Park
Feb 19, 2009 10:53 AM
Looks like something's brewing at the ballpark.... On Monday the Nats are going to be having a press conference with Live Nation and Mayor Fenty "to unveil Washington, D.C.'s biggest summer concert and first-ever musical performance at Nationals Park." I wonder if the name of the artist(s) will stay a secret until then!
UPDATE: The PostRock blog says the rumor is it will be Elton John and Billy Joel, who are doing joint dates at two other ballparks this summer (Wrigley and Citizens Bank [Philly]).
UPDATE II: Per Jay in the comments, DC Wire has confirmed that it's the piano men. Will have to wait until the press conference on Monday to get date and ticket information.

Artomatic 2009 Official Announcement
Feb 12, 2009 3:30 PM
(h/t DCist) What has been unofficially official around here since early December is now officially official: Artomatic 2009 will be held in Near Southeast, at Monument Realty's 55 M Street office building on top of the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station, from May 29 to July 5. Here's the Artomatic press release, which says that registration for artists wishing to participate will begin in March.
What exactly is Artomatic? "Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic transforms an unfinished indoor space into an exciting and diverse arts event that is free and open to the public. In addition to displays by hundreds of artists, the event features free films, educational presentations and children's activities, as well as musical, dance, poetry, theater and other performances." Free to the public, it will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 1 a.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.) Artomatic is also looking for volunteers; see the press release for more details.

Capitol Quarter Houses on the Market; Sunday Concert at Marine Barracks Annex
Feb 5, 2009 9:21 PM
Two small tidbits:
* EYA sent out an e-mail today announcing that they are releasing "the final townhomes in Phase 1" at Capitol Quarter, with prices starting from the $630s. I don't know how many units are in this batch, or where in the Phase I blocks they're located. I'm pretty sure that a while back Phase 1 was billed as "sold out"--if I'm correct, these would be some houses originally reserved but now back on the market. (Buyer decides not to buy, buyer's credit worthiness tanks, etc. etc.)
UPDATE, 2/7: EYA tells me that the houses released are spread throughout the development: 421 L Street, under construction and expected to be ready in April (listed for $720,340 on the EYA "Move In Now" list), two houses in the block just to the north (expected to be ready in the fall), and four houses in the block bounded by I/Virginia, Fifth, Fourth, and K that could be ready by the end of the year. On all of these blocks the reservations placed by homeowners over the past few years have now been converted to contracts; that is expected to happen for the final Phase 1 block (between Third and Fourth and Virginia and I) later this year.
* From the Post calendar listings, word of a concert on Sunday Feb. 8 at the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters. (This is the first time I've ever heard of a concert there, though it's more than possible that the news of previous ones didn't make it onto my radar.) Here's the particulars: "MARINE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE, performance of works by Libby Larsen, Telemann and Stravinsky; followed by a tour of the facility; light refreshments served. 2 p.m., Marine Barracks Annex, John Philip Sousa Band Hall, Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue SE. Free. 202-433-4011." (hat tip to reader S.)
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More posts: Barracks, Capper, Capitol Quarter, Events

ANC 6D Doings, Part 1: Artomatic, Nats Express, and Capper PUD Modification Requests
Dec 8, 2008 11:10 PM
Just got back from ANC 6D's meeting, and I'll leave you waiting until Tuesday for the first details on Akridge's Half Street plans (I don't want to give it short shrift) but here's the other Near Southeast items of the evening:
* Commissioner David Sobelsohn said an announcement is likely coming next week that the city's 2009 Artomatic festival will be held in ANC 6D, "most likely ANC 6D07" (which is Near Southeast). I know nothing more than that.
* Sobelsohn also introduced a resolution to send a letter to Tommy Wells, DDOT, and other officials expressing the ANC's support for the continuation of free parking at RFK and the Nats Express shuttle buses "to reduce the incidence of illegal on-street parking in ANC 6D by people attending events at Nationals Park." The resolution passed 6-0. A few weeks ago it was reported that Wells wants to discontinue the service.
* The DC Housing Authority came requesting the ANC's support for a series of zoning items having to do with the Capper PUD, including extending some deadlines and also expanding the number of residential units offered. (You can read all about them here; I'm too worn out to go into them all again tonight.) There wasn't much discussion of the request itself, because the commissioners were, shall we say, displeased that a huge packet of supporting materials arrived on their doorsteps just last Friday (6D07's Bob Siegel didn't receive his at all, and were unmoved when told it was basically the same information they had received in July.
There was also displeasure expressed about the request to delay the start date for the Community Center at 5th and K to 2012, with the commissioners wondering what level the DCHA would consider a "critical mass" of residents that would make the center viable. (Only 300 of the planned 1500 units have been built so far, so it would seem that the threshold might perhaps be a bit higher.) But the Housing Authority made clear that obtaining financing for the project is the larger hurdle. The support request will be brought up again at the ANC's January 12 meeting.
* I admit that I didn't stick around for the late-in-the-agenda item on the Capper trash enclosures. But DCHA mentioned that they had met with the city's Public Space Committee in advance of their monthly meeting, and were making progress on modifications to the design. ANC chair Moffatt asked if the enclosures still exist at all in the new design, and when he got the "yes" answer, that ended the discussion.

Tiny Items to Mask the Reality That I Have No News
Sep 24, 2008 3:37 PM
* The Congress for the New Urbanism has named the 11th Street Bridges (along with the Southeast Freeway) to its Freeways Without Futures list, recognizing the top 10 locations in the U.S. "where the opportunity is greatest to stimulate valuable revitalization by replacing aging urban highways with boulevards and other cost-saving urban alternatives." It mentions the opposition of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society to the plans to reconstruct the 11th Street Bridges, scheduled to start next year.
* A few folks wrote in to mention that there's a new sign up advertising the planned office building at 1111 New Jersey. Despite some building permits recently in the pipeline, developer Donohoe told me a few weeks ago that no announcement of a groundbreaking is imminent.
* I seem to always manage to be out of town during WalkingTown DC, and so missed last weekend's jaunt around the "Capitol Riverfront." Blogger fourthandeye from The Triangle was there, however, and gives a nice overview via eyes that don't look at these streets every day.
* The weather forecast does not look good for Thursday night's final home game of the season at Nationals Park.

Stormy Weekend Items
Sep 5, 2008 3:08 PM
Doesn't look like Saturday will be a good day for taking pictures, and Sunday I'll be welded to the sofa watching the US Open, so this will have to tide you over to next week:
* WalkingTownDC has announced its fall lineup, and once again "Capitol Riverfront" is one of the tours, led by Michael Stevens, the executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. It's Saturday, Sept. 20, starting at 10:30 am. More info here.
* DDOT says that, weather permitting, the Douglass Bridge will be closed from 6 am to as late as 10 am on Sunday morning for some minor repairs: "Crews will be making minor repairs necessary to improve movements of the swing span that occur during the periodic opening of the bridge."
* If you've snuck a peek at the recent building permit applications and are wondering if the application for 1111 New Jersey Avenue means that Donohoe is close to getting started on their planned 200,000-sq-ft office building, I've already done the wondering for you, and the answer is "no"--just getting the paperwork out of the way. (Longtime readers will remember that the first building permit applications for 1015 Half Street were submitted more than three years before construction got underway.)
* Speaking of the building permit data, the feed for approved permits has been down since the end of July. The folks who handle the feeds assure me that it's being worked on, and will hopefully be back before too long.
* Apropos of nothing, here's a Washington Times story from Monday about the groundskeepers at Nationals Park.
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More posts: Events, Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues

Eagles Concert at Ballpark Off Tour Date List
May 12, 2008 12:02 PM
Hmmm, perhaps it's not a go yet after all--the July 26 date for the Eagles to be in concert at Nationals Park is now removed from their July tour date list, after popping up there last week. The WashTimes had reported last week that the concert was under negotiation, but then a few days later one of JDLand's commenters noted that the date was on the band's web site. And now it's not. We shall see.

Using the Ballpark for Other Baseball Events
May 5, 2008 11:22 PM
I've been meaning to mention this after hearing about it last week, but it wasn't until I saw this article in Tuesday's Post that I actually believed it--on Tuesday evening (May 6), there is a high school baseball game being held at Nationals Park, between my alma mater Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and arch-rival Whitman (at least they were arch-rivals back in MY day). Go Barons! Admittance is free, with gates opening at 5 pm for a 6 pm game.
The Post article explains that the teams are using the stadium for free, but they must each sell a minimum of 250 tickets to future Nationals games. This isn't necessarily sitting well with the organizers of the May 31 DC High School Baseball Classic, an all-day event "capped by an all-star game and a matchup of the District's top public school team and one from a top D.C. private school," at a cost of $36,129. (The B-CC game is expecting 200-300 fans, while the DC Classic is expected to have 5,000 people in attendance.)
Sayeth the Post: "The two games offer a look at how the Nationals are opening the $611 million, publicly financed facility for community use. The D.C. Classic will be one of the 18 days annually that the team, per its lease agreement with the city, operates the stadium for D.C. Sports and Entertainment. Tonight's game between B-CC and Whitman is not one of those days, but is the first of a pilot program the team is developing with an aim similar to the D.C. Classic -- generating interest in baseball among the area's youth."
(As for non-baseball uses of the ballpark, commenter Sam pointed out today that the Eagles's web site now shows a concert at Nationals Park on July 26, with tickets going on sale May 19. This after the WashTimes broke the story on Sunday about the show being under negotiation.)

Eagles to Play the Ballpark? (The Band, Not the Team)
May 4, 2008 9:19 AM
From the WashTimes: "It appears that Don Henley's 'Boys of Summer' -- the Eagles -- will likely play the first concert to be held at Nationals Park, on July 26. Although no such date appears on the Web site for the Eagles' summer tour, a VIP ticket request form obtained by The Washington Times lists an Eagles show on July 26 at the new baseball stadium in Southeast. Washington Nationals officials confirmed talks are taking place for such a show. 'It remains a discussion,' team President Stan Kasten said. 'There really isn't a deal yet. But there is no question we would like to be in the big concert business. We hope to know one way or another soon.' "
In other stadium events, I was amazed to find out at few days ago that this Tuesday (May 6) will see a high school baseball game between my alma mater Bethesda-Chevy Chase and rival Whitman; gates open at 5 pm, game starts at 6 pm. Admission is free. Go Barons!
And Saturday night was the big Nationals Dream Foundation gala at the new National Harbor in Prince George's County. One of the beneficiaries of the foundation's largesse is the Earth Conservation Corps (as announced a few weeks ago).

Mass Wrap-Ups; Somewhat Light Posting Ahead
Apr 17, 2008 10:59 PM
So, I failed as a neighborhood blogger and archivist and didn't get down to the ballpark (or anywhere close by) for today's Papal Mass. But I didn't have a ticket and couldn't have gotten within a block of the stadium without one. And I figured it all just might get some coverage in the media. I'm not going to track down every article, but here's a sampling:
Check out the Post photo gallery of the day, along with the main article and a feature by Hank Steuver. The WashTimes Papal Visit blog proclaims "Wow--What a Mass!" NBC 4 has a page devoted to all of its video coverage--make sure to scroll down and see the little piece on the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church that sits right at South Capitol and M. Channel 9 also has a story and a photo gallery, as part of all of their coverage.
Dr. Gridlock kept track of the roads and rails both before and after the mass, and there seem to have been no major meltdowns. Again.
And, in what baseball fans really want to know, NBC4 has the goods on the work it's taking to transform the ballpark back into a ballpark.
Despite my abject failure with the mass, this was a milestone day for me, because during the ridiculously busy home stretch of the ballpark's completion, I just kept telling myself that I only had to hang on through Opening Night and Pope Day, and then all would return to "normal." And now, after posting nearly 2,000 photos and 270 blog entries in these 108 days of 2008, I seem to have made it. Yay!
So, as a present to myself, posting will be a bit light over the next few days as I do a bit of battery recharging.

More Pope Stories Than You'd Ever Want
Apr 15, 2008 8:20 AM
* The Post, the WashTimes, and the Examiner all do their "preparing Nationals Park for the Pope" pieces. (There must have been a press tour, perhaps as part of this Archbishop Wuerl tour that WJLA reports on.) There's also plenty of detail in the Post story about how to get to the ballpark early, expected crunch on Metro during morning rush hour, etc. etc.
* The Post's Federal Diary looks at government plans to deal with what a e-mailer to me called "Take Your Pontiff to Work Day." Both USDOT and the Navy Yard will be open for business (as will all government agencies), with adjusted arrival times for employees allowed; DOT is apparently using this as a "large-scale test of its telecommuting program."
* A reminder again of the planned street closings this week, including the biggie that South Capitol Street (including the Douglass Bridge) will be closed from 2 am to 2 pm Thursday. And WUSA notes that there are river closings too, with the Anacostia closed from the 11th Street Bridges to the Potomac.
* The Capital News Service (seen here via the Miami Herald) talks about the desperation among the flock to get tickets, and how scalping is not being tolerated.

Watching the Ballpark Become a Spiritual Center
Apr 14, 2008 12:17 PM
The stadium web cam is worth peeking in on this week (in case you've gotten out of the habit) to see the work now underway to get Nationals Park ready for the Pope's mass on Thursday. (Note that the Miller Lite ad on the bottom left of the scoreboard is covered.) The 55 M camera shows a banner now hung on the eastern parking garage with the insignia for the Pope's visit.
And, since people have asked: I'm trying to find out how much longer this web cam will be running. (The centerfield camera was shut down last week.) Will report when I hear something.
UPDATE: "Soon," maybe even this week. 'Twill be the end of an era....
UPDATE II: As noted in the comments, the camera hasn't updated since about an hour after I asked when it would be turned off. Oops.

Morning Links: The Usual Pope and Ballpark News
Apr 14, 2008 9:31 AM
* After having its ninth-highest ridership day on Wednesday night (the predicted commuting catastrophe that never happened), Metro announces that Friday's hockey, baseball, and cherry blossoms trifecta resulted in its third busiest day ever, with 828,132 riders on Metrorail, behind only the Reagan state funeral in 2004 and a cherry blossoms/baseball doubleheader in April 2007. We'll see if Pope Day hits the list.
* The WashTimes talks about the potential traffic gridlock this week during the Pope's visit, especially for Thursday's mass at Nationals Park.
* WTOP reports that people trying to sell their tickets to the mass online are getting cease and desist letters from the archdiocese. Not to mention all-expenses-paid trips to purgatory.
* This NewsChannel 8 report from Friday talks about how the ballpark will be transformed into a "spiritual center."
* The Post writes about the Nationals Dream Foundation's Neighborhood Initiative, which I wrote about here. (This link is a day late, thanks to the Post's RSS feeds being, shall we say, untimely.)
* The Nats are out of town this week, returning on April 23 for a long homestand through May 4. This is mainly a cheap excuse to give the first link to a gallery I'm going to update throughout the season of photos I've taken at the ballpark that don't fall into the before/after or press event categories. Not much there now, but at the bottom of the page you can also follow the links to the piles of photos I took at the ballpark in March during the run-up to Opening Night.

Yet Another Batch of Mostly Cloudy Photos; Monday Meeting Reminders; Pope Street Closings
Apr 13, 2008 2:21 PM
If you like photos of streetscapes taken under overcast skies, this has been the site for you lately. Yeesh. On Saturday, before the rains came, I updated my shots of the western side of New Jersey Ave., showing how projects like 909 New Jersey, 70/100 I, Onyx, and 100 M have changed the view in the past year. At least the sun was out for the brief time on Friday evening when I took new photos of the western side of the ballpark, along South Capitol Street. So, adding these to the photos I took earlier in the week of First and Half streets, the current state of construction in Near Southeast is pretty well documented. And now the sun shall come out, but I'll be waiting a few weeks until the next round of updates (probably early May).
Monday brings some meetings with Near Southeast items of interest. At 6:30 pm the Zoning Commission will have its monthly meeting, and is scheduled to vote on whether to open up additional blocks in Southwest to possible temporary surface parking lots (you can watch via live webcast). At 7 pm at St. Augustine's church at 601 M St., SW, ANC 6D will have its monthly meeting, and will be looking at Forest City's plans for office and residential buildings at 401 M Street/400 Tingey at The Yards, and the request by the developers of the proposed 250 M Street office building to increase its height to 130 feet. The project at The Yards has its hearing at the Zoning Commission on April 24, and 250 M's is scheduled for May 14.
And, for this week's visit from the Pope, the Post has a huge graphic of road closures and other information to help get through the festivities. Note that, in addition to the closure of South Capitol Street from 2 am to 2 pm Thursday, it shows that Van, Half, First, and Potomac in SE will be closed at some point, as will O, P, Q, and Potomac SW from Half Street to South Capitol. "Expect other road closures around the ballpark from 9 pm Wednesday until 2 pm Thursday," it says.

WalkingTown DC Capitol Riverfront Tour
Apr 12, 2008 10:04 AM
The spring 2008 edition of WalkingTown DC includes a tour of "Capitol Riverfront: the New Neighborhood Around the Ballpark," on Saturday, April 26, from 10:30 am to noon. The description: "Alongside the Nationals ballpark, between the Anacostia River and the U.S. Capitol Building, a new cityscape is emerging - the Capitol Riverfront. Visit industrial buildings where the Navy once produced weapons ammunition and landmarks such as the blue castle trolley barn and beaux-arts WASA building. Learn how new development projects are transforming the Capitol Riverfront into a business center, urban neighborhood, and entertainment district." It's being led by the executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District as well as a representative of Forest City Washington (developers of The Yards). Meet outside the New Jersey Avenue exit of the Navy Yard Metro station. (As for this whole "Capitol Riverfront" versus "Near Southeast" thing--technically, Near Southeast is a subset of it, since the Capitol Riverfront BID also includes Buzzards Point. And I'm just remaining kinda old school about it all, too.)
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More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

South Capitol Street To Be Closed for Pope
Apr 11, 2008 7:34 PM
From a DDOT press release (not yet online), word that on Thursday April 17 (aka Pope Day), South Capitol Street will be closed from I Street to Firth Stirling Avenue, including the Frederick Douglass Bridge, from 2 am to 2 pm.

Metro and Parking Doom, Preparing the Ballpark for the Pope; Pick Your Disaster Scenario
Apr 9, 2008 10:09 AM
* NBC4 sets the vibe with "Traffic Nightmare Expected in DC Area This Evening", a short piece on the Wizards-United-Nats trifecta. They list the area around RFK as the possible flash point, though all of yesterday's Impending Doom stories pointed toward Metro and Gallery Place. Remember, if you're using the Nats Express, you have to park at RFK's Lot 7 tonight, not Lot 8. Dr. Gridlock has more on getting through the evening.
* WJLA gets into the mix with "Parking Woes Surround New Stadium," retelling a story they had on Tuesday about legally parked cars getting towed during Monday's ballgame. There's also a quote from a school bus driver lamenting not being able to park free on the street anymore, which I'm guessing won't be garnering much sympathy from the pro-Canal Park folks who want the buses out. And there's dueling quotes from Barracks Row shopowners, one who doesn't think it's fair and another who likes the turnover of spaces. There will be a public meeting next month to get first feedback on the new parking restrictions.
* For something a bit more uplifting, try Catholic News Service's "Turning a Stadium into a Cathedral for Pope's Mass in DC."
And, an observation:
* Conventional Wisdom leading up to Opening Day: "OMG! The stadium is going to be a disaster because there's going to be such huge traffic, transit and parking nightmares!"
* Conventional Wisdom after Monday's game: "OMG! The stadium is going to be a disaster because no one's going to go!" (Never mind that it was NCAA finals night/cold as hell/the Marlins/a school night/a game not in season ticket partial plans.)
Stan says the Nats will get the attendance they deserve. Ask the Capitals about that, when you're mulling whether to fork over a couple thousand dollars for a ticket to one of their playoff games.

Peeps, Yes. Pope Bobblehead....? (Update: Apparently Not.)
Apr 8, 2008 4:54 PM
UPDATE: Wow, thanks to reader S for seeing that Metro's already taken down the press release and the YouTube video. Must not have been going over quite so well, as I thought might be the case. Here's my original entry:
Apparently Metro was pretty pumped with the buzz they got a few weeks ago from their YouTube video showing marshmallow Peeps deciding to take Metro to the ballpark for Opening Night. They've now produced a sequel showing a Pope Benedict Bobblehead doing the same thing in advance of his April 17 mass. I hope the WMATA folks have said a few Hail Marys. You can check Metro's Papal Visit page for more information on how to use transit to get to the mass. (And here's the press release on the bobblehead video.)
POST-UPDATE UPDATE: Channel 7 reports (and the Post, too) that the archdiocese was unhappy about the ad.

Monday Post-Ballpark-Hangover Edition
Mar 31, 2008 12:35 PM
* Metro says that just under 21,500 fans used the Navy Yard Metro station for Sunday night's opener at Nationals Park, following the 15,141 who did so for the Saturday exhibition. (I wonder how many used Capitol South, or got off at Union Station and took the N22.) WJLA and others say that the station was cleared within a half-hour of the game's end, which can be verified by looking at last night's shots from the 55 M construction web cam.
* Moving on to the next huge event, the WashTimes says that 45,000 bar-coded tickets to the April 17 mass by Pope Benedict have arrived, and should be going out to parishes next week. Scalpers will be condemned to eternal hellfire and damnation.
* There's a nice piece in the April Hill Rag (UPDATED: now online) about this here Obsessive Compulsive Time-Sucking Vortex. And there's also a shout-out in this Virginian-Pilot story on the ballpark.
* On the flip side, I can't help but cackle at what was written in an online column by the San Antonio Express-News [emphasis mine]: "If you're craving actual photos of [Nationals Park] -- including work-in-progress updates -- go to the ballpark homepage for the Near Southeast DC Redevelopment agency. Sure, these people have a vested interest, but they also have lots of photos, a construction webcam and a well-done Q-and-A section on the park." I'm an agency now? Usually I'm just a development company. But, a note for readers who don't realize it: I'm none of the above. (I don't work for the Nats, either.) I'm just me.

Mental Health Day (but Not Quitting!); And, Can You Find Your Way to the Ballpark?
Mar 17, 2008 3:39 PM
I'm taking a bit of a mental health break today, to try to rest a bit and gird myself for the coming weeks. Not much news anyway, except for this WTOP piece on people being unfamiliar with the neighborhood around the ballpark [insert obligatory "if only there were a web site..." reference here]. Of course, because of this unfamiliarity, chaos will ensue.
And there's Dr. Gridlock's column from Sunday, which along with some good information on disabled access to the ballpark also includes discussions of Scary New Jersey Avenue and the "half-mile" walk from the Navy Yard Station to the ballpark. (Whaa...?)
Also, the Examiner has a summary of Metro's plans for Pope Day, most of which were in the WMATA press release I linked to last week.
And, I guess I need to address this--I've had a number of people ask me in the past few days about rumors apparently circulating that I'm going to shut down JDLand right after Opening Day. Perhaps this is an offshoot from the flippant comment I made in the On Site profile about just making it to Opening Day "and then I'll fall over", or maybe some off-hand crack in the blog about being close to collapsing.
But while it's no secret that right now I'm overwhelmed and teetering on the brink of absolute exhaustion in my quest to keep running the site at the level of detail it's mocked known for, and to respond to all the e-mails and questions I receive every day, I also see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know that, by May, things around here should settle back down to a more reasonable workload. I'm willing to hang on by my fingernails until then, although I acknowledge that I may miss a link here or there, or might be a bit briefer with some updates than I've been in the past, which I hope everyone can understand. But, beyond that, JDLand will still be around for a good while yet; there's still some developments I have to see arrive at the finish line, after all....
(And yes, there's probably a book in it all someday. After I sleep for a year or so.)

Morning Links: All Ballpark All the Time
Mar 14, 2008 9:27 AM
First off, I know the site's been having some downtime over the past few days (perhaps it's as exhausted as I am). Hopefully the performance problems will be addressed soon, but in the meantime, I plead for patience. Now to the morning linkage:
* The Washington Business Journal (suscribers only as of now) looks at whether DC really is a baseball town, shiny new ballpark or not: "But there is much more to this particular opening. Tucked within the tale of the modern glass and limestone structure lies a referendum on Major League Baseball's historic 2004 decision to move the Montreal Expos to D.C. [...] But the jury remains out as to how vibrant Washington really is and will be as a baseball market. More pointedly, the club is challenged with growing from a low- to mid-tier franchise into a truly great one."
* WTOP gives baseball fans a heads up that Near Southeast is a construction zone. (But you knew that already.)
* The archdiocese is not looking charitably on Pope ticket scalpers. In the meantime, the diocese in Richmond is holding a ticket lottery today.
* The Post's KidsPost page talks to one of the ballpark's architects about how he got into the biz.

Roundup: Metro and Pope Day, Positive Force
Mar 13, 2008 8:06 PM
(News is getting so overwhelming that I'm having to go to two-a-day link roundups. And still, I feel like I'm missing stuff or giving it short shrift. I guess all that patience being pleaded for by the city and the Nationals and Metro needs to extend to JDLand for the next few weeks, too.)
* Today Metro put out an expanded press release (after a similar one a few days ago) with additional details on how they're planning to handle the April 17 Mass at Nationals Park, or as I call it, Pope Day. There's also stories on Metro's plans by WTOP ("Forget about baseball, is Metro ready for the Pope?") and NBC4. In the meantime, Agence France Presse has a piece on how huge the demand for Pope tickets is.
* Via City Paper (which has taken the story to its bosom), a report from Fox 5 on the Positive Nature youth program at 1017 New Jersey, which is struggling to stay afloat after the huge increase in property taxes that has accompanied the redevelopment of Near Southeast. Don't forget that they're having an open house (they're calling it a "radical rally" to keep their doors open) on Saturday March 15 from noon to 3 pm.

Details on Metro Plans for Opening Day, Pope Day
Mar 8, 2008 4:03 PM
Metro has posted some information about how it plans to handle Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 30, and the Mass by Pope Benedict XVI on April 17. (This document comes from the agenda for its March 13 Customer Service, Operations, and Safety Committee meeting.) Some highlights, above and beyond the we've-put-up-a-web-site-and-printed-brochures bullet points:
* Metro is expecting 24,000 fans to come via Metro for Opening Day (21,000 of them via the Navy Yard station), and 26,000 Mass attendees. They also expect 60 percent of baseball fans to arrive via Metro during the season.
* The Opening Day plan includes the newly enhanced N22 bus service, 18 extra pre-and post-game trains (mainly on the Green line), extra eight-car trains (perhaps up to every third train), and converting the Navy Yard Station to "one-way" traffic. (I presume this means for pedestrians, though I'm not sure if this means that *no one* can enter/exit the station against the flow before and after the game.) The fact that this first game is on a Sunday night is allowing Metro and the city to avoid a possible complete meltdown of the transportation network that might happen if it occurred during an evening rush-hour.
* Because Mass attendees must be through security and into the park by 9 a.m., Metro expects the largest crushes of travel to be between 5 and 8 am (the height of the morning rush hour) and again post-Mass. All available extra trains will be used when the Metrorail system opens at 5 am, and there will be 18 extra trains after the Mass ends. And, again, the document says that the Navy Yard Station will be converted to "one-way," which ought to be interesting for the commuters trying to use the station to get to and from work during this Thursday event. And the dreaded phrase "Rolling Street Closures" is mentioned for Pope Day, in that it might affect bus routes coming into the neighborhood. If there were ever a day for Near Southeast residents and workers to telecommute....
With the uncertainties about how fans and the transportation network will handle the crush of getting to the new ballpark for the first time, and with the president expected to throw out the first pitch, the Nationals are opening the gates at 3:30 pm on the 30th, 4 1/2 hours before the 8:05 pm start time. I've been told that they've acquired more than 50 magnetometers to try to lessen the burden of passing 41,000-plus fans through security, but if you're going to the game, you might not want to show up at 7:55.
UPDATE: For more, see this Tuesday entry on additional news on Metro's plans.

Morning Roundup: Pope Tix Day, Metro Items
Feb 29, 2008 8:54 AM
* Today's the day that the Archdiocese of Washington is announcing the distribution of tickets for the April 17 Mass by Pope Benedict at Nationals Park to churches in the District and suburban Maryland. The Post reports on the pleas that church officials are receiving from parishioners desperate to get one of the hottest tickets in town. A spokeswoman says they've received nearly twice as many requests as there are tickets. There are even raffles where the winner gets a ticket to the Mass.
* Metro has decided to create a one-day "Pope Pass" for $9 for the estimated 25,000 Pope-goers who will be arriving at the ballpark on the subway. (Normally one-day subway passes can only be purchased after 9:30 am, but because of security concerns, those going to the Mass are going to be arriving much earlier than the 10 am start time.)
* Metro's board gave final approval to expanding the hours of the N22 bus route that runs between Union Station, Eastern Market, and the east entrance of the Navy Yard station at New Jersey and M. It will now run on evenings and weekends to help shuttle stadium-goers between those locations. And the board also gave final approval of some money-shuffling that will allow the closure of the Southeastern Bus Garage at Half and M. More on both of these items can be found in these two entries.
* And, in one final Metro item, the Post reports that council member Jim Graham says "he has been contacted by Washington Nationals representatives who wanted to know if the name of the Navy Yard Station could be changed to reflect the name of the corporation that buys the larger naming rights of the stadium." Answer? No way. Uh-uh. Nope. Forget it.

Morning Ballpark Linkage: Pope Blog, Stadium Interior
Feb 20, 2008 8:52 AM
* City Paper points us to a new blog by the WashTimes tracking all the news surrounding the Pope's April visit to the United States. Including, of course, the April 17 mass at Nationals Park. There's also the news that a 14-foot-tall crucifix from St. Mark's Church in Hyattsville has been selected to be displayed at the stadium mass.
* Nats320 continues with its series of, um, lengthy interviews, this time with the man whose company is going to be "dressing" the ballpark.
* I'm not sure why some news organizations are only now reporting this (since it was announced last week), but in case you missed it, single-game tickets for Nats games go on sale March 4.
* On Feb. 28, there's a gathering planned for people to share stories of the gay businesses along O Street SE that were shut down to make way for the ballpark.
* Check the stadium web cam's images from last night to see the ballpark's lights all turned on.

Quick Links: Cap City Beer at the Ballpark, Pope, NPR
Feb 8, 2008 8:49 AM
* Today's Washington Business Journal print edition (subscribers only) is reporting that the Nationals are finalizing a deal that would make Capitol City Brewing the "official local beer and the exclusive brew provider at the new stadium's beer garden." WBJ quotes Cap City's president as saying that the company is also negotiating for additional distribution points inside the stadium.
* From the Post, word that Benedict XVI will now be hauling out the Popemobile for two trips through the streets of Washington, adding public appearances that weren't originally part of the plan for his April 15-18 visit so that people who won't be able to get into the April 17 mass at the ballpark might still have a chance to see him. The routes haven't been finalized. Also, the Post says that information on tickets for the Mass is expected to be released this month.
* National Public Radio, which has been looking at locations in Near Southeast as well as NoMa and Silver Spring to consolidate its offices in 400,000 square feet of space, says it will make its decision by the end of May, according to the Montgomery Gazette, in an article that says Montgomery County has made a formal offer to lure NPR to Silver Spring. It's been rumored that NPR is the "preferred option" for DC officials to take over the city's lease at 225 Virginia Avenue (the old Post Plant).

High School Baseball Title Games at Nationals Park
Feb 8, 2008 7:50 AM
The Washington Times's Tim Lemke reports on his blog: "The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission has arranged for the city's high school baseball title games to be played at the Nationals new ballpark on May 31. The day will feature three games, plus an all-star game." So, that now makes two non-Nationals events scheduled for the new stadium (along with some Pope guy on April 17).

Today's Ballpark Links
Feb 7, 2008 9:26 AM
Your morning reading:
* Another worker has been fired at the ballpark for allegedly making "insensitive racial remarks," according to the Examiner and the Post (can't find this one online, though it was in the print edition). The Examiner says it's "the fifth dismissal of an employee at the stadium site over racially charged incidents in less than two weeks. D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission spokeswoman Chinyere Hubbard says a white carpenter made the remarks to two black electricians. She didn't specify what language prompted the action. The carpenter was employed by Mahogany Interiors, a minority subcontractor."
* Maryland congressman Steny Hoyer is concerned enough about the impact of the ballpark on the commutes of his constituents that he met with officials from the Nationals, DDOT, and Metro, and then sent out a press release about it: " 'With weekday evening games that begin at the tail end of peak commuter periods, it is critical that we explore all available options to streamline the flow of traffic and minimize congestion,' stated Rep. Hoyer. 'As opening day approaches, I intend to continue working with officials to mitigate the impact on motorists in our region.' "
* Hundreds are expected to compete this weekend to snag spots in the choir that will sing for Pope Benedict at the ballpark on April 17. About 550 people are signed up to fight for 250 slots.

Producing the Pope, Noose Hearing, Parking Hearings
Jan 30, 2008 9:21 AM
This morning's tidbits:
* It doesn't say anything about smoke machines or laser light shows, but this press release announces that "Showcall, Inc., an event production company based in Maryland, was selected by the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. to produce Pope Benedict XVI's public Mass at the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium on April 17, 2008." As for what that means: "Showcall, Inc. will provide stage and set design and layout, audio visual production, and overall show direction of the public Mass. Showcall will utilize its unique skill set in producing high-profile, high-threat level events and will coordinate with the Washington Nationals to host the first major event in its new baseball stadium. Showcall will work closely with GEP Washington, the overall DMC firm for the visit."
* Kwame Brown's Committee on Economic Development is having its hearing on the ballpark's "noose incident" today at 1 pm. I don't see it on the Channel 13 lineup, but perhaps it'll get shown live or will be broadcast later on.
* Today's two hearings on parking issues in front of the council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment are at 5 pm and 6 pm. My "real life" is on overload for the next few weeks thanks to Super-Duper Tuesday and the metro-area primaries, so I can't make these hearings in person, but I will watch the coverage later this evening and sum up.
* There's also now a joint hearing between the Public Works committee and Kwame Brown's Committee on Economic Development on the Ballpark Traffic Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP) scheduled for Feb. 28 at 6 pm. There should be explanations at this hearing as to how all aspects of getting to and from the ballpark are going to be handled (at first, at least). I believe that this information will be released to the public well before Feb. 28, though I don't know exactly when.

Tuesday Morning Linkage and Notes
Jan 29, 2008 9:21 AM
A few small items:
* There's been a competition to design the altar for the Pope's April 17 mass at Nationals Park, says The Post: the winning entry "uses a pattern of overlapping arches that is repeated on all the pieces, including the altar's base. [...] The chair has a very tall back with the papal coat of arms. The front of the pulpit, from where the pope will read, features images from the Bible."
* Howard University's student newspaper, The Hilltop, writes about Saturday's Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair: "The [Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Framework Plan], which calls for 6,500 units of new housing, 3 million square feet of new office space, 32 acres of new public park space and a 20-mile network of riverside trails, appeals to residents of wards 6, 7 and 8 who share a common interest in improving the area. 'I was surprised to find out that so much construction has already taken place,' said Anne Holdbrook, a resident of Anacostia. 'I hope that they continue the re-development because there are so many abandoned buildings that are around that make the place look very unattractive[.]' " (See my summary of the fair, too.)
* The DC crime reports data feed is back on line. However, apparently they've re-run all the data from 2006 and 2007, and feed consumers like myself are supposed to ditch the data previously downloaded and replace it with the new versions. With the files being H-U-G-E, though, it's going to take some time for me to do this. (UPDATE: Ahem. Guess that didn't take as long as I thought. This crime data archive is now updated.)

Pope Benedict: Look At Me, I Can Be Centerfield
Jan 7, 2008 10:14 PM
Tuesday's Post has the first details emerging about Pope Benedict XVI's April 17 mass at Nationals Park: "At first, the decision was made to put the altar at second base, which is where Yankees Stadium places the altar for papal Masses." But "organizers realized that they could fit in 4,000 more seats -- for a total of 45,000 -- if they placed the altar at centerfield." If you're going, plan to get up early: "The doors will open about 6:30 a.m. for pre-Mass activities, including music and videos." As for tickets? "Plans for distributing tickers have not been completed. But, in the past, tickets to major Catholic events have been distributed through parishes and Catholic organizations." Who gets to go? "The archdiocese has been asked whether non-Catholics can attend (yes) and whether the Mass is part of the Nationals baseball ticket package (no). The archdiocese is trying to keep the free tickets from popping up on e-Bay and falling into the hands of scalpers."

Ticket Information for Seeing The Pope Probably Available in January
Nov 30, 2007 9:01 AM
The Catholic News Service indicates that lots of people are trying to get tickets to the Pope's April 2008 appearances at both Nationals Park and Yankee Stadium: "To answer the question that is increasingly being asked of officials with the archdioceses of Washington and New York--and pretty much anyone else who works for the Catholic Church in the region -- you can't yet get tickets to any events during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to those cities in April. The two archdioceses don't expect to have information about how to get tickets for the few public events of the April 15-20 visit until after the first of the year. And what tickets are available will likely be distributed according to formulas that will give priority to people from Washington and New York and neighboring dioceses." The full itinerary is available here.

More Detail on the Pope's Gig at the Ballpark
Nov 14, 2007 9:02 AM
While still recovering from yesterday's media-event-propelled onslaught, I have enough energy to point you to today's Examiner story that provides more detail on how it came to pass that the Pope will be appearing at Nationals Park. (The archbishop called the Lerners.) This is actually a Nationals event, not one of the city's eight yearly allowed uses of the stadium.

Pope to Celebrate Mass at Nationals Park
Nov 12, 2007 11:33 AM
I reported on this rumor a few weeks ago, and apparently it's true, according to the Post: "Pope Benedict XVI will visit Washington and New York in April, the first papal visit to the United States since 1999 and the current pope's eighth foreign journey since becoming head of the Catholic Church in April, 2005. [...] The pope will arrive on April 15, and visit the White House the next day, according to the schedule released by the Vatican. On April 17 he will celebrate Mass at the new Nationals baseball stadium and meet later that day at Catholic University with leaders of Catholic colleges and universities from throughout the country." On April 20 he'll be at Yankee Stadium, I guess to make sure that both the American League and National League are covered. Here's the press release from the Catholic News Service on the announcement.

Pope in the Hood?
Oct 28, 2007 1:04 PM
(I have no way of verifying the authenticity or the reputation of this story, as it's just being reported on one blog, but it's too juicy to ignore. All disclaimers apply. h/t Ballpark Guys)
The Pope is apparently planning a trip to the U.S. in mid-April, with visits scheduled for New York and Washington, and the "Whispers in the Loggia" blog reports: "While most of the previously-noted itinerary of the Catholic University of America and diplomatic courtesies at the White House appear to remain in place, one reported change has the venue for Benedict's DC Mass pegged not for the expanse of the National Mall, but -- as with New York -- the new stadium of the Washington Nationals, currently projected to open barely a week before the visit takes place. (On a related note, Major League Baseball's scheduling for 2008 is still in its tentative stages and has not been publicly released.) Built to house a game capacity of 41,000, Nationals Park would likely seat closer to 50,000 for a papal liturgy."
Even the author--who writes for a international Catholic weekly--adds a bunch of a caveats to the news: "[P]apal trips are not formally announced by the Vatican until three months prior to a visit's taking place, and the detailed final itineraries are held until weeks before the journey. Bottom line: everything can, and very well might, change. But this is where things are heading as of the present... even if 'Nothing is confirmed until the Holy Father signs off on it.' "
(See this September item from the Catholic News Agency for early news of the papal visit, saying that Mass would be held on the Mall.)

WalkingTown DC Includes Near Southeast
Sep 12, 2007 4:21 PM
On September 29, the WalkingTown DC Fall Edition, presented by Cultural Tourism DC, will offer 45 free walking tours in neighborhoods all across the city, and one of them is in Near Southeast. (Pardon me, "Capitol Riverfront." Bah.) Here's the description: "Between the Anacostia River and the US Capitol Building, alongside construction of the Nationals' ballpark, a new cityscape is emerging based on a unique nautical history: the Capitol Riverfront. Explore the industrial buildings of the Yards where the Navy once produced ships' instruments and ammunition. Move on to the Washington Canal and the new environmentally sustainable Canal Park, then visit the historic Pump Station that previously supplied power to the Capitol. End the tour with a boat ride along the river." It will be led by Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. The tour starts at 10:30 am at the Navy Yard Metro station entrance at New Jersey and M. There's also tours of Poplar Point, the Southwest Waterfront, Barracks Row, Capitol Hill, etc. etc.; the list of tours is on the WalkingTown DC web site, and here's a press release with additional information.
More posts: Capitol Riverfront BID, Events

Earth Day Canal Park Cleanup and AWC Walking Tours
Apr 2, 2007 1:34 PM
Two upcoming events from the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation that might be of interest: On Earth Day, April 21, the AWC is running an Anacostia River Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration, with Canal Park being of the four cleanup sites (along with the Southwest Waterfront, Marvin Gaye Park, and Kenilworth Parkand Poplar Point). See their announcement for details, and also check out the Anacostia Watershed Society's Earth Day cleanup plans for the Anacostia. The next day, April 22, as part of Cultural Tourism DC's Walkingtown Tours, the AWC is sponsoring four different routes, none of which are actually in Near Southeast but which still might be of interest (the eastern riverfront and Poplar Point, Kingman and Heritage Islands, Hill East, and Marvin Gaye Park). The announcement has times and locations and whatnot.