Wednesday, April 22, 2009

open studios at 52 O street this weekend.

This is one of the gems of our city. go check it out:

Friends, Family, Art Lovers of the World,

Come spend the weekend with 20+ artists opening their studios for your enjoyment!
This coming weekend, April 25 & 26 is Open Studios at 52 O Street Studios from
11am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday.

More info here:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunday Open Houses In and Around Bloomingdale

Lovely Spring weather continues to bring new listings and plenty of Open Houses to visit around the neighborhood. Here is the list for Sunday 4/19.

I am thrilled to have a new listing on Adams St, which is represented in the above picture. I hope to see lots of neighbors at the Open House from 1-4pm on Sunday at 167 Adams St NW. The home has 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, and a finished basement. It has been beautifully renovated and is priced at $499,000.

I was heavily quoted in an article in the NW Current newspaper yesterday and of course, mentioned beloved Bloomingdale. See below for the text:

Bargains can be
found, but steals
aren’t very likely

by Linda Lombardi, Current Correspondent

Even in a recession, some things
don’t change: If you want a deal
in real estate, you need to know
where to look.
The D.C. market peaked in 2005, so
prices have been coming down for four
years already, according to Suzanne Des
Marais of EYA Urban Properties. Des
Marais, who was recently voted one of the
best agents in the city in a poll by the
Washington City Paper, said that with
interest rates “ridiculously low,” it’s definitely
a good time to buy — but if you go
into it thinking that everyone is desperate
to sell, you may be in for a surprise.
Des Marais said even foreclosure properties,
if they’re in a good neighborhood
and in decent condition, are attracting multiple
offers — above listing price, although
still below market value — “so people
need to be prepared to compete.” With
condos as well, while a knowledgeable
agent may be able to help find a deal when
a project is almost sold out, it’s a misconception
that builders are desperate to get
rid of a glut of properties.
Carlos Garcia of the Eng
Garcia group at Keller Williams
Capital Properties said he finds
clients wondering why sellers are
being so tough in a down market.
“Buyers are sometimes surprised
that they’re not able to get
the discount off of [the] sales
price that they anticipate, when
they are looking in a very stable
neighborhood,” he said.
But basically, value is still
value, and neighborhoods with
good schools and retail are holding
that value, he said, with
close-in neighborhoods connected
to transit having become even
more desirable.
There are good deals if you
know where to look, though —
for example, both Des Marais and
Garcia are particularly enthusiastic
about Petworth as a place to
get value for your money. There’s
an excess of inventory, said
Garcia, and the properties are
wonderful homes in a neighborhood
that’s looking up, which
makes for a great deal.
“It’s beautiful turn-of-the-century
housing stock — block after
block of beautiful row houses,”
said Garcia.
They’re “great solid houses,”
agreed Des Marais — brick with
wood floors, and many with front
porches, in the $400,000 to
$500,000 range for one that’s
nicely renovated, and perhaps as
low as $250,000 if you’re willing
to put in some work.
There’s more to a location
than the buildings, though, and
Des Marais said Petworth has the
benefit of a high percentage of
owner-occupied houses — “it
feels very much like a neighborhood.”
Along with long-term residents,
Garcia said there are “lots
of young professionals and families
of all kinds.” There’s also
development under way at the
area’s relatively new Metro stop,
by the same company that did the
development at the Columbia
Heights station.
If you’re interested in more of
the amenities of the suburbs, like
a yard for your dog and a more
car-friendly situation, look just a
little farther north to 16th Street
Heights, said Des Marais, where
you’ll find Metrobus access, as
well as on-street parking and in
some cases a garage.
She’s also enthusiastic about
Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park,
which she says feels “like
Takoma Park 20 years ago” —
with yoga studios, an organic
market and properties ranging
from condos to large Victorian
If you’re not in a hurry, another
way to find a good deal can be
short sales. With many homeowners
owing more on their loans
than their houses are worth,
Garcia said banks — realizing
they don’t want to be in the business
of owning houses — have
become more open to authorizing
sales as an alternative to foreclosure.
Short sales can be a good deal
for everyone — the bank, the
buyer and the seller, who is
relieved of the burden of the loan
and takes less of a hit on his or
her credit rating. But the process
is more complicated and less
transparent than a normal sale.
You need to be able to be completely
flexible about your movein
date, and you need the right
broker — some don’t like to handle
short sales because of the
“Short sales are a terrific
opportunity, but you need to be
patient, and you need an agent
who really understands them,”
said Garcia.
No matter what you’re looking
for or where, Garcia said now is a
good time to buy for one big reason
aside from price: The slow
market means the process has
slowed down, too. When the market
was hot and people had to
jump on a decision on the spot, “I
know so many people who
bought houses that didn’t meet
their requirements,” said Garcia.
No house is a good deal if it turns
out it’s the wrong house, so that’s
a big advantage of this market:
“You are going to get time to

Friday, April 17, 2009

stuff to do this weekend

Wine Tasting at Windows Cafe
First and Rhode Island NW

Crispus Attucks Park Clean-Up Day
Please meet at the West end of the park (at the alley near 77 U Street NW) at 9 am for a fun day.

Any questions, please e-mail Molly Scott at: mhscott11 @

Howard University Day of Service in LeDroit Park
10 am - 3 pm.
To celebrate the inauguration of University President Sidney Ribeau, join students and volunteers throughout the community for a neighborhood beautification and clean up on Saturday, April 18, 2009, 10 am - 3 pm.

The university will also be hosting an information fair, barbecue, parade and entertainment in the Anna J. Cooper Circle at 3rd & T Street NW.
Visit .

World Missions Community Block Party
100 Block of Randolph Place NW

Bring your family, children

Come out and meet your neighbors!!!!!!!!

When: Saturday, April 18, 2009 at: 10:00a.m.
Where: World Missions EXTENSION Center
1720 First Street NW. Washington , DC 20001

Your Children will enjoy:

Playing Basketball and other games*Playing on the Moon bounce*Dancing and Singing* Winning prizes** DJ music*Face painting, Clowns* *Free Food*Aerobics*
Seminars*Joining our Community Book club*
Health Screenings!!!!!!!!!!!
Hear about how you can: Become a Mentor ;
Join our HIV-AIDS Support Group; and hear about our Just Friends Prison Support Group for incarcerated youth

Thursday, April 16, 2009

wine tasting at windows!

Tradewinds Specialty Imports, a DC based Spanish wine and food importer, will be having a neighborhood wine tasting event at Windows Cafe & Market on Friday April 17th, from 6-8pm. This import company is shy of being one year old but the inventory of award-winning cava, red and white wine is nothing short of remarkable. Prominent DC and Virginia based wine distributor, Brennan Downey remarked that “everything in the collection is outstanding.”

During this event, they will be accepting pre-orders for their flagship item, Centum Vitis, which was awarded the “#1 Wine of Rioja, 2008” and “Best Autor Wine of Spain, 2008.” This spectacular wine, presented in a gift box, along with a jar of 23K gold flakes, makes its premier entrance to the US in May.

The 3 guys who drive the success of Tradewinds are all residents of Columbia Heights and Bloomingdale and want to say thank you to their fans, friends and family that helped grow practically overnight. Today, you can find their wine at an array of top restaurants in the DC Metro area. Restaurant locations include all of the Latin Concept’s locations, such as Yaku, Mate, Chi Cha Lounge. An equally impressive number of fine wine retailers from Richmond, VA to several neighborhoods in the District also boast of carrying their all Estate-grown wine selections.

Windows Cafe & Market is located at 101 Rhode Island Avenue NW (corner of T Street and 1st Street NW). Tasting and amazing deals will be offered on their Brut and Rosé Cava, Albariño white wine, and flight of Barón Ladrón de Guevara red wines: Joven, Crianza and Reserva.

The website for Tradewinds Specialty Imports is

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

wanna grow some vegetables?

saw this over at the Bates Area Civic Association Blog:

Cindy Brown of Green Spring Gardens will be discuss how to grow vegetables in DC this Saturday at the Historical Society. More details below the jump.

Saturday, April 18
1 – 2:30 p.m. Family Urban Gardening
The Best Vegetables to Grow in DC
by Cindy Brown, Green Spring Gardens
Have you always wanted to start a vegetable garden, but don’t know where to begin? Or perhaps you’ve had bad experiences with weeds, bugs and unproductive plants. Maybe winter storms infected you with catalog crazies and you have a sack of seeds and no idea of when to plant them. Cindy Brown, Green Spring’s kitchen gardener, will show you how to refine or begin a vegetable garden, overcome nature’s obstacles, suggest productive varieties, and replace the fear with fun.
Cynthia A. Brown is Assistant Director at Green Spring Gardens. She enjoys entertaining the public with her gardening trials and tribulations. Cindy is a regular contributor to Washington Gardenermagazine, appears on local TV and radio shows, and is a frequent speaker at many venues.

Cindy started gardening because she loves to cook and was frustrated at the inability to purchase the special herbs and vegetables mentioned in cookbooks and cooking magazines. She believes that every garden should be a mix of ornamentals and edibles for a truly gourmet garden!

RSVP at 202-383-1828 (Ages 12 to Adults)FREE

This talk series is hosted at The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is located on K Street, NW between 7th and 9th streets, NW. DC — easy access by metro or bus

Monday, April 13, 2009

Prince of Petworth profiles Bloomingdale

The Prince himself talks about Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park in this video

Gentrification and the Callous Affluent Class

saw this on frozen tropics:

A friend sent me information from a forum on gentrification that he heard discussed on WPFW. From the way he described it it sounds like to may be more of real discussion that the title (Gentrification and the Callous Affluent Class) implies. The forum is really a three part event held on different days. First they will screen the documentary "Brick by Brick" that looks at gentrification in DC. The second event is a panel discussion on gentrification in North America. Part three is a panel discussion on gentrification worldwide.

Here's how the organizers describe it:

The panel discussions will allow the community to thoroughly examine the implications of gentrification, gentrification and racism, the institutionalized gentrification, the economic implication of gentrification, the implication of culture gentrification, the appropriation of African American cultural icons for the benefits of the 'gentrifiers', and the following questions will be addressed:
  • Have they come to live with us or displace us?
  • Who owns the planet?
  • Gentrification: Latest stage of colonial power - or - it's relationship to colonialism?
All events are to be held at Sankofa Video and Books (2714 Georgia Ave NW).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

because my wife has great ideas.....

my gal and i were walking past Metro Ice and she commented on the sale sign...."you know what would be great there ?", she asked.
"Crazy expensive upscale condos", i replied sarcastically.

"no, a garden center"
"it gets so much light right there and its so much open space."

as she was saying "garden" i was imagining a beer garden....

hmmm. maybe a beer garden store.........

block part on 100 block of randolph place nw

Community Block Party

Bring your family, children

Come out and meet your neighbors!!!!!!!!

When: Saturday, April 18, 2009 at: 10:00a.m.
Where: World Missions EXTENSION Center
1720 First Street NW. Washington, DC 20001

Your Children will enjoy:

Playing Basketball and other games*Playing on the Moon bounce*Dancing and Singing*

Winning prizes** DJ music*Face painting, Clowns* *Free Food*Aerobics*

Seminars*Joining our Community Book club*

Health Screenings!!!!!!!!!!!

Hear about how you can: Become a Mentor;

Join our HIV-AIDS Support Group; and hear about our Just Friends Prison Support Group for incarcerated youth

Monday, April 06, 2009

March Settled Sales and a Piece of Good House News!

My apologies to anybody who checks on this blog for available Open Houses in the area. They made it onto the Bloomingdale listserv but for some reason over the weekend my computer or antivirus or something did not like Blogger and would not let me post here. In any case, it seems to be working now, and here are the reported settled March 2009 sales for Bloomingdale:

I am very pleased to report that the big vacant house on the *NE corner of 1st and Randolph Pl NW has gone to successful settlement. People may remember that for at least a couple of years the front yard sported a "coming soon-Luxury Condos" sign that no doubt added to the beauty of the neighborhood, especially after it was tagged with a spray painted dollar sign. Bloomingdale neighbor and REALTOR, Rod Howard with Re/Max Allegiance represented the purchasers of the property. According to Rod, the new owners plan to renovate extensively and will move in to the property. As a bank-owned asset and complete shell, the property settled for $380,000. with no subsidy toward closing. It had been listed at $429,900. and was on the market a total of 79 days.

The only other reported settled sale in Bloomingdale for March 2009 was a 1 bedroom condo unit at the Providence, at 70 Rhode Island, which sold for $230,000. (This was not my listing. I have a different unit in The Providence that I have listed that is currently still under contract.)

*Oops. Was thinking NE but originally wrote SE.