Sunday, January 30, 2011

"CM Thomas, please allow the DC Council resolution that authorizes the city to lease the JF Cook School to YouthBuild/LAYC to expire"

See this letter to Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. from ANC 5C01 Commissioner Bradley Thomas and ANC 5C02 Commissioner Sylvia Pinkney:

Councilmember, Harry Thomas, Jr.
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Suite 107
Washington, DC 20013

Dear Councilman Thomas,

In accordance with the December 10, 2010, roundtable hearing outcome, Commissioner Bradley Thomas and I, on December 22, 2011, assembled the Truxton Circle witnesses to discuss the community`s stance regarding the use of the John F. Cook Elementary School. We exchanged possible alternatives to the ``no residential component`` stipulated by the community, developed and voted on three proposals.

First,the community would retain the J.F. Cook Elementary School. The community would work with identified developers to refurbish the school as a collaborative arts center partnering the visual and performing arts, community arts programming, artist studio space,and a design workshop under one roof. This would create a synergetic hub for the arts that meets the needs of area artists, designers, performers, and residents by creating a multi-purpose flexible venue which is used to provide a unique, exciting and culturally rich haven for the area residents and their families. An arts center would serve as a catalyst pivotal to the economic development and growth on North Capital Street, between New York Avenue and Florida Avenue, NW.

Second, the Youth Build Public Charter School (YBPCS) would be given a lease to occupy the first floor and the community would determine use of the second and third floors of the Cook School building.

Third, YBPCS would operate its school on the first floor, while the residential component, operated by the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) would be limited to twenty-five percent of the current proposal, or 5 residential units on the second floor, while the community would work with LAYC to determine the types of programs to be housed in the remainder of the space.

January, 13, 2011, Commissioner Bradley Thomas and I convened an informal follow-up meeting with LAYC representatives to explore feasible shared common ground regarding the John F. Cook Elementary School development project. The LAYC proposed affordable housing for 35 instead of 47 young adults. The young adults would be housed in eighteen units and LAYC staff in the remaining two. They also offered to reduce the number of adult residents by increasing the number of young families and to enter into a mutual agreement with the community stipulating the number of persons housed in the facility but made it very clear that any significant reduction of the number of housing units below the 18 designated for their constituent population would be fatal to their planned funding structure. They did offer various amenities for the community in exchange for our support of the project as is.

The LAYC/YBPCS representatives requested that we discuss their offer with our community group and provide feed-back. Wednesday, January 19, 2011, a meeting was called and a decision made to not accept the offer. The unanimous decision was based on the fact that because of its financial constraints and the inflexibility of the link between the size of the housing component of the Cook School project and its funding structure, the LAYC offer has effectively not changed.

Consequently, the community and LAYC have reached an impasse. Whereas the community has consistently been receptive to the Youth Build Public Charter School, we remain unified in our opposition to the residential portion of the project.

Respectfully, the Truxton Circle civic leaders and community requests that you stand with the majority of the residents in the Cook School neighborhood, the Hanover Area Civic Association, the Bates Area Civic Association and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C and vote and advocate in favor of allowing the council resolution that authorizes the city to lease the John F. Cook Elementary School to the YBPCS and the LAYC to expire.


Sylvia M. Pinkney
Commissioner ANC 5C02

Bradley Thomas
Commissioner ANC 5C01

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 1/30/2011

The list of open houses scheduled for Sunday can be found here. The same information in a map format with directions can be found here. To see info on each listing, scroll over the push pins on the map.

Friday, January 28, 2011

YouthBuild/LAYC: Call for a voluntary agreement for the Cook School redevelopment

See this second 01/28/2011 message from Bloomingdale resident Angie Rodgers:

Call for A Voluntary Agreement for the Cook School Redevelopment

Since the December 10th DC Council public roundtable about the proposed redevelopment of the Cook School, YouthBuild and LAYC have been meeting with civic leaders to determine how we find common ground that would allow the program to move forward. We have put a number of ideas on the table, and we continue to brainstorm.

We understand and respect that some of these ideas may appear to be just chatter to those who want to see the development happen without the housing, and are unmoved by any proposal that doesn`t completely remove the housing. There are several realities, though:

(1) redeveloping and operating a building of that size takes money, and the school portion of the project (YouthBuild) can`t do it on their own;

(2) even if YouthBuild could redevelop and operate the building on their own, the unique combination of education, job training and housing under one roof is a proven model that these two organizations want to replicate in the District. Where this model has been implemented, 77 percent of the participants break the cycle of welfare dependence for the first time in their family`s histories. So these two organizations haven`t partnered because of money; they`ve partnered for the opportunity to make an impact;

(3) YouthBuild and LAYC walking away and losing the roughly $1 million spent to develop the plans for Cook over the past year and a half is not like BP Oil losing a million in corporate profits. These are two nonprofits who have struggled through the recession just like other nonprofits, and have competed fiercely for public and foundation dollars and fundraised privately to make the Cook School happen. We have heard of references about moving the building to another community – Eckington, for example - and we are thankful to that welcome. Unfortunately, it would take another million to move to that site in Eckington. Once again, there are no corporate profits for the two groups to dig into to make this happen; it would take more public and foundation dollars, taking needed resources away from other worthy causes.

Given these realities, we think it would be a real loss if, as a whole, we couldn`t reach some agreement. We have put a number of compromises on the table, and we continue to brainstorm. We would like to turn those ideas and others into a voluntary agreement between us and the neighborhood. During a meeting earlier this month with ANC 5C Commissioners Pinkney and Bradley, we offered the following:

• Reducing the number of youth in the housing by increasing the number of families

• Advisory Board with community participation

• LAYC AmeriCorps members & YBPCS students engagement in volunteer community improvement projects

• Participation in affordable housing renovation in collaboration with housing developers (In Columbia Heights, LAYC bought houses along 15th Street and helped clean up that block)

• Community Meeting Space

• Community Arts activities & programming open to the community

• Community Policing & Safety activities – ideas may include coordinating community safety walks, conducting a needs assessment via LAYC`s existing Street Outreach & Violence Prevention teams, deploying our anti-gang programs, etc.

• LAYC Digital Connector program to support technology needs in the surrounding community

After that meeting, we continued to brainstorm and came up with the idea of YouthBuild and LAYC working to bring in resources for a public safety fund which could be used to re-do the pocket park at North Capitol and Florida, invest in existing neighborhood parks, and/or invest in new or ongoing safety programs. Could we be helpful in any way in advancing the fight for speed bumps on P Street (which would help us as well if we move into Cook)? Can we help with streetscape recommendations for the businesses along North Capitol Street? These are things that we are asking, but we want to know whether others are looking at the possibilities of this partnership as well. What can we get done in the neighborhood surrounding the Cook School? We`ve said that we want to be partners, but we need your ideas as well.

As mentioned, we think that the result of these ideas should be a voluntary agreement. If we can get a good exchange of ideas going on, perhaps we can move this discussion into an upcoming civic meeting (ANC or one of the associations) or plan a separate meeting. Our sense at this point is that we need something concrete, like a voluntary agreement to hammer out, to move us forward; otherwise we will only continue to talk around each other.

Please post your ideas to the blogs/listservs; email us at; or stop us if you see us out canvassing the neighborhood. We will come back to this space in a few days with a listing of all the ideas, and plans to move the conversation to some forum where we can discuss.

-- Angie Rodgers

YouthBuild/LAYC canvassing the JF Cook School neighborhood this weekend

See this 01/28/2011 message from Bloomingdale resident Angie Rodgers:

YouthBuild/LAYC Canvassing the Cook Neighborhood This Weekend

YouthBuild and LAYC stakeholders will be out in the neighborhood surrounding the Cook School this weekend to continue the dialogue with neighbors about the proposed redevelopment. We continue to hear concerns about how the proposed project may jeopardize public safety in an area that already has challenging safety concerns, how the project may not add needed momentum to economic development efforts, and how the scale of 47 additional young residents may overwhelm that block.

Of course, we think the project has some merit as is to counter these concerns in that it reclaims a vacant building that takes up half of a city block and turns it into an attractive development that will bring foot traffic/eyes on the street and 24-hour security. We`ve continued to meet with civic leaders, however, to put ideas on the table to address the breadth of concerns.

For example, what if LAYC offered some of the apartment units to families instead of youth? What if a community advisory board was set up to monitor the development? What if YouthBuild/LAYC worked to set up a public safety fund that could be used for things like re-doing the pocket park at Florida and North Capitol?

We want to know what you think about these ideas and others, and we want to hear your ideas as well. We will be out this Saturday morning to afternoon going door to door, and we hope to see you in the neighborhood!

-- Angie Rodgers

Thursday, January 27, 2011

North Capitol Main Street welcomes Fab Lab

See this message from North Capitol Main Street Executive Director and Truxton Circle resident Lonna Hooks:

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here:

Congratulations Fab Lab!

Awesome Foundation D.C. Awards its 1st grant to Fab Lab.


NCMS Congratulates Fab Lab

Awesome Foundation D.C. chooses Fab Lab for its first grant. The Fab Lab program is part of the MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), which "broadly explores how the content of information relates to its physical representation." Fab Labs are part of the maker movement, which celebrates the creative tinkering that has been part of the American character for centuries.

Phyllis Klein, who submitted the application for the winning grant, is currently operating a mobile Fab Lab on 14th Street NW. The Awesome Foundation grant will go to help activate a new bricks and mortar space on North Capitol Street, NW. Following is her successful application:

In the spirit of MIT's Fab Lab community outreach project, Fab Lab D.C. will create a high-tech, fabrication laboratory/community workshop in the heart of the nation's capital to advance creativity, innovation and collaborative projects. Fab Lab D.C. will serve and foster the creative community by providing access to digital fabrication technology, rapid prototyping, and the global Fab Lab network.

With a focus on life-long learning and emphasis on investigative teamwork, Fab Lab D.C. plans to provide a range of educational programs for people of all ages, including access to the international Fab Lab network and Fab Academy, which extend opportunities for information sharing, research and broader social impact.

Fab Lab is for local community members, life-long learners, inventors, entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals.

With its location within walking distance and in view of the U. S. Capitol Building, Fab Lab D.C. will also serve as a model for the nation's leaders in policy, government and industry to experience first hand Fab Lab's proven grassroots approach in developing technical education and literacy, promoting innovation, launching inventions and incubating new businesses.

Visit for more information.


Lonna Hooks
North Capitol Main Street
1703 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, D.C., District of Columbia 20002

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

perhaps Guns Into Plowshare sculpture for North Capitol & Florida Avenue NW ?

See this idea from a Bloomingdale resident who attended last night`s vigil for Billy Mitchell at the site of the 1/19/2011 homicide – the northwest corner of North Capitol Street NW and Florida Avenue NW:

At the vigil last night, our city councilmember recommended finding a way to revitalize the park where Billy Mitchell was shot. I just found this article about an anti-violence sculpture that`s been languishing out of sight in D.C. The sculptor is seeking a more high-profile place for the sculpture. I couldn`t think of a more visible appropriate location than the park at N. Capitol and Florida Ave. Do you have any suggestions, ideas, or thoughts on this?

Here is the article in question, which an image of the sculpture:

Plowshares sculpture in Washington moved again
By Sheldon C. Good
Mennonite Weekly Review

Examiner: "Residents: Area used as dumping ground for DC social services"

See this 1/26/2011 Washington Examiner article on the controversial topic of the plans by the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)/YouthBuild Public Charter School (YBPCS) for the J.F. Cook School on the unit block of P Streeet NW.

Note that the article title in the print version of this article is different than the online version. The print version article heading is ``Neighbors protest subsidized housing at youth center.``

And note that ANC 5C02 Commissioner Sylvia Pinkney, Lori Kaplan of LAYC and Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. are quoted.

Neighborhood, youth center at odds over subsidized housing

Residents: Area used as dumping ground for DC social services

Residents of the Truxton Circle neighborhood east of Howard University are banding together to protest subsidized housing at a proposed school and job training center, a move that could stymie the two-year-old project as it heads to the D.C. Council.

Locals say they are not against the charter school by the Latin American Youth Center that would help rehabilitate youths ~ but their neighborhood is becoming a dumping ground for social services without regard to community amenities.

Sylvia Pinkney, a commissioner on the area`s Advisory Neighborhood Commission, said Truxton Circle already has 13 social services such as Rachel`s Women`s Center or Isaiah House.

``We are not getting what we want ~ we want retail,`` she said. ``We would like some kind of business in Cook School that would draw people from outside of the community to our community.``

The Latin American Youth Center, based in Adams Morgan, wants to convert and expand the upper floors of the now-closed John F. Cook School building near North Capital and P streets into 20 apartments, 18 of which would house up to 47 young adults who are or are about to be homeless. The ground floor would hold the school and training center.

But residents are opposing what is essentially a non-negotiable aspect of the project ~ the youth center`s $13 million in funding from Lower Income Housing Tax Credits, private foundation money and a smaller portion from the Department of Mental Health, goes away if the project doesn`t include Section 8 housing.

``It`s not simply that we`re ignoring their concerns,`` said Lori Kaplan, the center`s executive director. ``It`s to change the housing tanks the entire project.``

Kaplan said the funding only allowed them to offer the neighborhood a reduced number of residents in the subsidized housing after both sides were told by D.C. Council to work out a compromise. Pinkney said this week that residents wanted five apartments or less; the number of people wasn`t the point.

``We are at an impasse,`` she said.

The council resolution that authorizes the city to lease the building to the youth center`s Youthbuild Public Charter School was reintroduced this month and expires in mid-February. Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. said the council would like to act but the inflexibility of the project`s funding complicates the issue.

``It puts me in a very awkward position because I`m very much a supporter of the school and the program, but at some point we have to listen to the public`s input,`` Thomas said.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Emergency Public Safety Meeting for North Capitol Street Area

Councilmember Thomas, in partnership with the Fifth Police District and North Capitol Main Street, Inc. (NCMS), will hold an emergency public safety meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at the offices of NCMS.

The meeting is in response to the shooting death of Bill Mitchell, Jr. on Wednesday, January 19th. A vigil at the site of the shooting will be held at 6 pm, prior to the community meeting.

Details are summarized below:


Where: Park at Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street, NW

When: 6:00 pm to 6:50 pm


Where: North Capitol Main Street Office, 1703 North Capitol Street, NE

When: 7 pm to 8:30 pm

"the problems at North Capitol St NW & Florida Ave NW"

See this 1/21/2011 post at the Eckington list by Bloomingdale resident Tom Usselman:

The problems at Florida & North Cap NW

For the 9 years I`ve lived in this neighborhood, Everyone in the city government has known about that intersection and what a nightmare it is. And I mean EVERYONE.

I think it is safe to say that every civic, police and business meeting has held special meetings to discussed this topic for as far back as anyone can remember.

Here are the issues:

1. S.O.M.E. ~ So Others Might Eat ( feeds 488 people from around the city twice a day. These people are bused in from all over the city. Bused in!
a. So after breakfast they hang out from New York Ave to Florida Ave and drink etc. until it is lunch time. Then hang out till it is time to head for the shelters or just sleep in the parks.
b. Talk to the owners of City Gear and Subway if you want an earful about that.
c. This loitering creates an atmosphere of lawlessness that allows other behavior to exist, drinking in public etc.

2. The bus stop on Florida Avenue is too close to the liquor store.
a. When the police attempt to move the troublemakers on, they claim to be waiting for the bus.

3. Methadone Clinics
a. At one point we had 3 methadone clinics located on New York Ave, I think there is only 1 left? And it may be closing soon which will help.

4. Vacant Properties
a. Property owners need this area to feel safer so they can attract businesses.
b. Talk to Brian Brown and Phyllis Klein. They have told me stories of potential tenants that drive up to check out a location and won`t even get out of their cars. They know they can`t make a business work with 15 homeless guys hanging out in front.

So the solution sounds easy to me, but there is no political will to make it happen.

1. Convince S.O.M.E. that the current feeding program it too large for a residential neighborhood. Encourage them to open smaller sites around the city to serve people where they stay. Why don`t they feed them from Catholic Churches?
a. We have had numerous meetings with them in the past 9 years and Catholic Charities only cares about the homeless they are feeding. They don`t give a crap about the havoc they unleash in our neighborhood.

2. Move the metrobus stop away from the liquor store.
a. Again no political will to make this happen.

3. Get Health and Human service workers out from behind their desks at the peoples building (right next to Wendy`s and out into the streets to help those people that can be helped.
a. I find it ironic that the building that houses Health and Human Services is a gated Campus!!!! So they don`t feel safe with their workplace location and stick a big fence around it, yet we are expected to put up with it.

And BTW these are not just my opinions, but things I have heard in the countless police, business and planning meetings.

The bottom line is that we need to reduce the loitering so we can attract businesses that will increase foot traffic and reduce crime. Seems very simple.

Tom Usselman

articles, newscasts, blog posts on the 1/19/2011 Fatal Shooting of Billy Mitchell at North Capitol & Fla Ave NW

Random act of violence claims man`s life
By Theola Labbé-DeBose
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 21, 2011; 11:33 PM

33-Year-Old DC Man Killed Walking Home in Northwest
Billy Mitchell was active in N Capitol St corridor
Updated: Friday, 21 Jan 2011, 5:44 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 20 Jan 2011, 11:43 PM EST
By ROBY CHAVEZ/myfoxdc

More Details in Truxton Circle Shooting of Billy Mitchell
Posted on January 21, 2011

DC man murdered for intervening during a harassment incident /

MPD 1D PSA 102

Homicide at North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue, NW

Man Shot and Killed at North Capitol and Florida Ave, NW Last Night
20 January 2011 12:30 PM
Homicide at North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue, NW

Father Of Man Killed Near Truxton Circle Asks For Help

Thursday, January 20, 2011

adult son of Bloomingdale resident Bill Mitchell shot at North Capitol St NW & Fla Ave NW last night, later died at the hospital

First, see this message posted at the MPD-5D list from earlier today:

From: "Greene, Lamar (MPD)"
To: "MPD-5D @"
Sent: Thu, January 20, 2011 10:35:46 AM
Subject: [MPD-5D]

On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 2311 hours, units from the Fifth District were dispatched to the intersection of North Capitol St and Florida Ave to investigate a report of the sound of gunshots. Prior to their arrival, a unit from the First District was flagged down by a citizen and advised of a shooting victim on the Northwest corner of the intersection of North Capitol St. and Florida Ave. NW .

DCFEMS responded to the scene and transported the victim (an adult male) to an area hospital, suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso. The victim later died as a result of the injuries. Violent Crime Branch detectives are investigating the case and ask if anyone has information please contact MPD immediately 202- 727- 9099.

Commander Lamar D. Greene
Metropolitan Police Department
Fifth District

b) Now see this Email from Bloomingdale resident Bill Mitchell just received:

From: William L. Mitchell
To: Scott Roberts
Sent: Thu, January 20, 2011 11:11:48 AM
Subject: Shooting At North Capitol and Florida


My son Billy was shot and killed last night at about 11:00 to 11:30 PM at North Capitol and Florida. I don`t have many details. Please put out a notice on the Bloomingdale list serve and ask for information from any witnesses -- who can contact MPD Homicide Detective Milton Norris at 202 - 497 - 4734 (cell).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

student seeking referrals for legal expertise on re-entry and recidivism of ex-offenders reentering communities

See this 01/19/2011 message from a resident of R Street NW:

Resource referral - The daughter of a good friend of mine is going to business school and is participating in a competition. Her team is proposing a project to provide training and funding for select individuals reentering communities after incarceration, with the idea that these individuals would then pass on their learned skills. She would like to know if there is any one with legal expertise in the area of re-entry, recidivism etc. with whom she might be able to consult. If you have any ideas, it would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

invitation to stop by Zee's Restaurant - and try the sorrel

See this 1/18/2011 message from Sean Ali-Aziz:

I know you don`t know me. but many in the neighborhood says you are the man, when it comes to spreading the word in Bloomingdale. If you can ``spread the word`` for me. Zee`s Restuarant 600 Florida Ave. You can look us up on FaceBook and check out our reviews on Yelp, etc. I would greatly appreciate it. Oh, ask everyone to try the ``sorrel`` ~ it is home made and according to everyone the best tasted.

issues with 2037 1st Street NW

See this 1/18/2011 message:

I am seeking advice from the neighborhood about the property at 2037 1st Street NW. At night, ALL NIGHT LONG, several nights a week, loud music is played out of the windows, which have no glass. The house is padlocked from the outside and no one responds to knocking or to police. In the morning, the music goes off. Every night it is the same recording playing on a loop. Lionel Ritchie. It`s like living next to a haunted 1980s roller rink. Why would anyone do this? And how can one make it stop? The owner, who is listed in DC tax records as having the same name as a former vice president of the Bloomingdale Civic Association, appears to do just enough to the exterior of the house to keep it from being condemned and to maintain residential tax status. But a glance inside the windows shows a falling-down hellhole. Does anyone have any advice?

Monday, January 17, 2011

fire on the northeast corner of 2nd & Thomas St NW this afternoon

It appears that no one was injured, which is good news.

1) See this report from

Fire crews fighting two-alarm house fire in Bloomingdale
January 17, 2011 - 04:01 PM

D.C. Fire and EMS fought a two-alarm fire in the Bloomingdale-LeDroit Park area in which several people sustained injuries. The bulk of the fire is out at this time.

The fire started in a two-story row house at 1923 Second Street NW and has reportedly spread to the building next door. Several streets in the area are blocked off for fire crews.

Twitter user 2lilwaynenprisn shot a brief video at the scene: .

2) And Prince of Petworth has a post on the fire as well:

Horrible Fire in Bloomingdale/Ledroit Park Monday Afternoon
17 January 2011 10:04 PM

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 1/16/2011

The list of open houses for Sunday can be seen here. The same information is shown in a map format with directions here. Scroll over the push pins on the map to get info on each property.

Not included in this list, I am doing preview tours on Sunday of Redstone Condos, located in nearby Park View. These are brand new construction, all 950 square foot 2BR 2BA condo units that include extra storage and parking, all in the mid-$300,000's. The address is 3577 Warder St NW, just a few short blocks to the Petworth Metro. Contact me directly at 202-641-5373 for an appointment to see.

seeeking referrals for home energy auditors

From a Bloomingdale resident:

I am looking for recommendations for home energy auditors. After December`s cold and a horrifying electric bill, I have to take some action. :)

Any recommendations from neighbors would be much appreciated! Thanks.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"aggressive panhandler" in LeDroit Park

See this 01/14/2011 message from a Flagler Place NW resident:

A group of 5 of us (4 guys, 1 girl) were walking up T street NW, towards the Metro, and turned right on 4th St by LeDroit Market when we were approached by a black male asking for money. He claimed he had just been robbed at gunpoint and needed $5 for Metro fare to get him back to Maryland and his baby momma. We politely told him sorry, we didn`t have any cash, but he proceeded to follow us for over 3 blocks to Oakdale St (between Elm St and V), loudly and insistently demanding we give him money. I told him if he didn`t leave, I would call the police. He got angry, started screaming profanities at me, and threatened to spit on me.

My boyfriend and another guy got between him and me, and he shoved between them, shouting at me while I called 911. The police dispatcher said they`d send a car, but I don`t know if they ever found him. He eventually turned down Oakdale and disappeared into the park back there. He was a black male, probably late 20s, with shoulder length dreadlocks. He was wearing a ski cap, red jacket, green sweatshirt and dark jeans.

To approach a group of 5 people ... he was obviously high and could have had a weapon, so people need to be careful in that area.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

firehouse update from Brian Brown

See this 1/12/2011 message from LeDroit Park resident and North Capitol Street NW firehouse owner Brian Brown:

Feel free to let the neighbors know that we have all the necessary finances in place to proceed with the [firehouse] project.

We have obtained the necessary permits to demo the areas necessary and that is being done.

The windows are also being prepped for replacement.

Historic signed off on the architectural design of the replacement garage doors yesterday and those are being ordered.

Look for the ABRA application to come up in one of the next couple of ANC meetings.

LeDroit Park & Bloomingdale Heritage Trail working group is soliciting volunteers

See this 1/12/2011 message from Bloomingdale resident Christian Seitz:

LeDroit Park & Bloomingdale Heritage Trail needs your help!

Share our history!

LeDroit Park & Bloomingdale Heritage Trail Working Group needs volunteers, participants, old family photos & stories.

Many believe Washington is a city of politicians. We know better! It is a city of great neighborhoods.

LeDroit Park & Bloomingdale are working together to develop our Heritage Trail. Heritage Trails are self-guided walking tours of historic neighborhoods featuring trail signs that combine stories, historic photos, and maps. These trails teach residents and tourists alike about the rich history that makes up the fabric of our city. You've seen these trail signs in the U Street Corridor, Shaw, Adams Morgan, Barracks Row, Pleasant Plains, and several other neighborhoods.

Heritage Trails are developed in coordination with community working groups. The working group shapes the trail; collects neighborhood stories and images, decides what sites are important to neighborhood history, what should be included on the signs, where the signs should be placed, what the trail should be named, and more. We are beginning the process of developing a trail for LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale, and we need your help. A little time can go a long way. Volunteers / participants can share a photo and a story, organize responsibilities, pass out flyers, reach out to former residents or their descendants, record stories, or conduct research.

If you're interested in participating in this wonderful project, please contact Robert Sullivan at 202- 365- 8542 or .

For more information on Heritage Trails, follow this link:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Big Daddy Running Club members -- no outside steps or staircases available in the general area?

Okay, the neighbor who asked about nearby exterior staircases or steps asked to have this additional message posted:

Big Daddy Running Club members:

Do any of YOU know of any outside steps that one can run up and run down in the general area?

Anything at Dunbar, Banneker, Howard, Trinity....?

Monday, January 10, 2011

looking for outside stairs to run up & run down

See this message from a Bloomingdale resident (who is aware of the Big Daddy Running Club):

I am looking for a set of outside stairs somewhere in the greater neighborhood that I can run and run down -- hopefully, not with restricted hours. But eager to hear about all outside steps that are available. Thanks.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Bloomingdale resident Zach Sherif: Designer lighting sample sale - 1/17 thru 1/23/2011

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Zach Sherif:

Designer Lighting Sample Sale - Monday January 17th thru Sunday January 23rd - By Appointment Only. 26 T St. NW. Please call 917 334 1488 to schedule an appointment.

Zach Sherif, an established NYC interior and lighting designer - and a now a new and proud fulltime resident of Bloomingdale - is opening up his studio and selling off the remaining 2010 inventory of his renowned and unique one-of-a-kind hand blown glass, brass and iron chandeliers. Zach has been credited for bringing chandeliers back in to style and is touted for his creativity, inspired vision and his passionate and intense love of lighting. Zach believes that ``…lighting is the single most important element of design in any room - it single handedly defines the mood.`` Clients include, to name just a few, Sarah Jessica Parker, Whoopi Goldberg, A-Rod and Naomi Campbell.

This is a remarkable opportunity to own one of his celebrated chandeliers - at 50% - 70% off - or have him custom make you a piece to size from his current stock of glass. Prices range from $175.00 for a smaller piece to $1,600 for a large regal dining or living room piece that would do justice to any home in the area. Zach is also available for interior design work - so if you need a quick makeover, staging or design for a single room or your entire home, give him a call to get a free estimate. He has an upcoming show in the spring of new lighting works at a local gallery - keep an eye out for it - you'll see it posted here!

seeking referrals for fire alarm monitoring companies

See this request from a Bloomingdale condominium resident:

Our condo building needs a new fire alarm panel, and is seeking referrals for fire alarm monitoring companies. Any good referrals?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

2010 Real Estate Market Numbers for Bloomingdale

If you hadn't already seen this article in The Washington Examiner about home gains in the DC area, you may want to check it out.

So, how did we do in Bloomingdale in 2010? See below for an overview. (Note that I am happy to send the actual data for one or more of the reports below. Just shoot me an e-mail via sdesmarais @ urbanpace dot com.)

Settled House (fee simple) Sales Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, NW Eckington
77 Total Sales
Average Sold Price $440,118.
Highest Sold Price $849,500
Average Days on Market 47

75 Total Sales
Average Sold Price $417,957.
Highest Sold Price $879,000
Average Days on Market 76

Settled Condo Sales Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, NW Eckington
24 Total Sales
Average Sold Price $319,262.
Highest Sold Price $528,000
Average Days on Market 79

28 Total Sales
Average Sold Price $326,677.
Highest Sold Price $540,000
Average Days on Market 113

House prices in the neighborhood saw an increase. With inventory of available homes for sale expected to continue to be tight, we may see another bump in prices over the Spring Market. The other piece of good news is that we saw a decrease in the average period of time that properties are staying on the market. Condo prices in the neighborhood saw a slight decrease.

Best wishes for a great new year,

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 1/9/2011

After the general lull over the holidays, open house activity should pick back up again. Here are open houses scheduled for Sunday. Here is the same info in a map format with directions. To see info about properties on the map, scroll over the push pins.

Friday, January 07, 2011

just bought a house in the neighborhood - now seeking an architect or interior designer

See this request from a Quincy Place NW household:

We just bought a house on Quincy PL and we are looking for an architect or interior designer who could help us with floor plan and other interior work designer.

We are willing to negotiate the payment plan, but we are looking to pay on hourly bases. If you have done interior renovation in the area and have any suggestion we would greatly appreciate it.

Please contact me at


? new basement-level coffee shop coming to south side of the 200 block of Florida Ave NW ?

A Randolph Place NW resident asks if anyone has info about what appears to be a new neighborhood coffee place:

Might someone know something about the new basement-level coffee shop coming -- located on the south side of the 200 block of Florida Avenue NW?

For about 3 weeks, we have seen a sign that says 'coffee house coming'...and there is a little neon open/close (I think) in the window. Very exciting.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

North Capitol Main Street: upcoming schedule of events

See this 1/6/2011 message from Lonna Hooks, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street:

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

North Capitol Main Street
Upcoming Schedule of Events

Dear NCMS Stakeholders:


Let's start the New Year off with a bang!

Join me for our 1st Board Meeting of the year.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
7:00PM - 8:30PM
NCMS Office - 1703 North Capitol St NE
Washington, DC 20002

Please RSVP if you plan to attend to:

And Beyond... Join A Committee!

North Capitol Main Street, Inc. (NCMS) invites you to help us continue the revitalization of our historically and culturally important neighborhood! Our important work is done through Four Standing Volunteer Committees which meet monthly at 7:00PM at NCMS headquarters, 1703 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Economic Restructuring and Design meet on the Second Wednesday - January 12, 2011. Promotions and Organization on the Third Wednesday - January 19, 2011.

For More Information & Commitee Details - Visit our website -

Drop us a line, or call us and let us know if you can come: NCMS Executive Director, Lonna Hooks 202-670-1703 or

A Penny For Your Thoughts...

Take our short survey and earn a chance to win $100.00
We want to know how NCMS can better serve you.
Simply click on the link below to take this quick survey.

Join Our Mailing List!

Show Your Support For NCMS

Help NCMS strengthen our community everytime you bank! Join our TD Bank Affinity Program (Code: A1919). All you have to do is let TD Bank know that you are a friend of NCMS. They will add you to our program and at the end of the year TD will give us a donation! It's quick - It's easy - It's a free way for you to support us! Call, stop by or email TD today if you bank with them already. Or stop by & open an account! They just opened up at 1275A 1st Street NE.

do you know who might own this dog found at Florida & Q St NW ?

See this late evening 1/5/2011 message from a Quincy Place NW resident:

On my way home last night I found the most adorable, neutered male, beagle mix dog. I spotted him near the gas station at the diagonal of Florida and Q Street NW round 10 pm. He narrowly made it across Fl. Ave. and came to me when I called him. He was a bit scared and shaking, but clearly someone`s house pet as he is well mannered and was not afraid of being approached. I brought him home with me and gave him some of my dog`s food and fresh water. He was not hungry, other than for dog treats, so is likely recently lost. Unfortunately he has no tag but probably belongs to someone in the neighborhood. I plan to take him to the shelter on Saturday. Attached is a photo I snapped last night. Please contact Melissa at 240- 498- 2481 if this is your dog, or if you know whom it belongs to.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

seeking referrals for drywall installation

From a 1st Street NW resident:

I am seeking a recommendation on dry wall installation. I have recently had my basement redone and need to re install some dry wall.

Also, we had insulation blown in, so we need those holes patched too.

litttle lost dog spotted at 1st & V St NW

See this message from a household on the 2100 block of 1st Street NW:

We spotted a little dog in the middle of the intersection of V and First NW tonite. I sat down in the street and convinced him to come my way, and so he did, after a little while.

He looks a little bit like a Llasa Apso, but I'm no expert. I'm including a photo.

Here is a 1/5/2011 late afternoon update from the household that found this puppy at 1st & V Street NW:

The puppy that we found last night is now at the New York Ave Humane Society Shelter. He will be there for five days and upon evaluation, if not claimed, will be put up for adoption.

For claiming purposes we named the puppy Spencer. The vet believes he is a Shih Tzu and about a year old. He did not have a micro-chip and is not neutered.

Spencer is a great dog, happy and house trained.

seeking roofer referrals

See this request from a resident on Quincy Place NW, north side:

We have a gutter that needs to be repaired on the third story of the building. All the roofers they have contacted say they can`t do the work because of the historic nature of the gutter, or because the roof is too high and they don`t have the proper ladders. I`m wondering if anyone has any suggestions for people who they know can do this kind of repair.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

North Capitol Main Street Clean & Safe Team December 2010 report

See this 1/4/2011 message from Lonna Hooks, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street:

The NCMS team collected 1,740 bags for the month - this equates to 26.1 tons of rubbish collected.

The team also treated the area with rocksalt around bus stops, handicap ramps and fire hydrants. They also shoveled as needed during the inclement weather.

Graffiti and Poster removals for the month totaled 37.

Yoga District GroupOn for today !

Some stale news: An Eckington resident advises about a GroupOn discount for Yoga District for today:

$29 for Five Yoga Classes at Yoga District ($50 Value)

worth: discount: savings:
$50 42% $21

Company Information:
Yoga District
Website: /
Dupont Circle Studio , U Street Corridor Studio , and Bloomingdale Studio

Looks like a good deal!
Good to see GroupOn reach Bloomingdale.