Friday, April 30, 2010

? leak perhaps causing water to pool around basement door ?

From a Randolph Place NW household:
We have a slowly growing damp patch under the door sill, and the wall to one side, of our basement rear door (entry/exit for the apartment down there). The area is directly beneath our kitchen sink and dishwasher area on the first floor (so, one floor up). My hunch is we have a leak from the pipe(s) feeding/draining the sink and/or dishwasher, which is causing water to pool on the ground level (and within the wall) around that basement door. Is a plumber the right guy to call for this? An appliance person? Can they/should they get into a wall (through drywall or anything else) to take a look? If any Bloomingdalians have had something similar, I`d love to hear how they handled it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

fixing & replacing gutters

See this request from a Randolph Place NW resident:

We're looking for gutter fixers/replacers, if anyone knows a good one.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

camping in Crispus Attucks Park -- Saturday, May 22, 2010

See this announcement from Bloomingdale resident Mike Giordano:

Calling all Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Campfire Children - Young and Old!

Perhaps you`ve heard the news...we`re going to be Camping in Crispus Attucks. All you need to do is pitch your tent, donate $20 (if you have it), sign a release, and enjoy! It`s open to all, single folks and families.

We`re camping on Saturday, May 22nd, after the Bloomingdale Community Yard Sale. We`ll begin pitching tents around 5 pm. (Our rain date is Saturday, May 29th.) A police officer will be with us throughout the night - protecting from ghosts and other spirits that might be attracted by our campfire ghost stories.

We`ll be starting quiet time around 10:30, so we won`t bother our neighbors surrounding the park. We`ll also have a portable toilet for our convenience - hence the $20 donation. Any money collected above our expenses will be donated to the park.

To register, you need to email or call Mike Giordano, a neighbor at 129 U Street NW. or 202/ 234-5178. We have space for approximately 20 tents, so first come - first served.

We`ll collect the money and have you sign the release during set-up.

And if you don`t want to camp with us, you`re welcome to join us for campfire sing-a-longs and ghost stories.

And whether or not your attending, perhaps you`d let us borrow the following: portable firepits, fire extinguishers.

Thanks! Looking forward to spending the night with you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

dog found at 1st & Florida NW Sunday evening, 4/25/2010

A 1st Street NW resident sent an Email late Sunday evening about a friend who picked up the dog (see the pic) at 1st & Florida Avenue NW. He believes that the dog is now being kept at the pound. Here is contact info: 631 219 1371 or email

a shout-out for the Flagler Market at Flagler & W St NW

From a Flagler Place NW resident:

I wanted to send a message to the list concerning our corner stores. I live near Flagler Market and I choose to patronize the market whenever possible. Not only does Flagler carry many necessary items, but it is so convenient that I can't not shop there. I know it may not have the most welcoming aesthetic inside, but the owners are very nice and will go out of their way to accommodate us as patrons. I asked them to get Sierra Nevada Beer for me about a month ago and it has been there ever since.

So please if there is something you may need that they might have please, don't be afraid to walk in and look for it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

have you checked out Well Built at 14th & Q St NW ?

Your blog moderator look advantage of the great weather and strolled over to 14th & U Street NW. He passed 14th & Q Street NW, southeast corner -- formerly home to a travel bookstore that I liked.

The space is now occupied by WELL BUILT, which sounds like the name of a gym, but it is actually a cool furniture store.

The business owner is Ann Blackwell, formerly of Design Within Reach in Georgetown.

Painted on the back wall of her store are the eight areas of sustainability: Recycle, Local, Smart Wood, Long Life, Energy, Better Air, Ingredients, Well Thought.

For the retail locovores in the audience, Ann's "Local" is defined as being manufactured within 500 miles.
Ann says that her store has been open for three weeks now.
Visit her website for more info:
And stop by her store to see her 100% cool space! A nice addition to the other furniture and home furnishings stores in the 14th & U corridor.

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale scheduled for 4/25/2010

Yes, it is finally the last crazy weekend of open houses before the contract deadline for the Federal Housing Tax Credit. Here is the list of open houses and here is a map with directions. Let me know if you think the map is a useful feature to add to this weekly post.

pic of fake DCRA inspector who shakes down residents for money

Recall the resident on U Street NW in Bloomingdale who recently reported getting scammed by a suspected imposter DCRA inspector?
See this post from the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association list and the Shaw Neighborhood list about the fake DCRA inspector shaking down residents.

A city agency is warning homeowners about a con artist with an inventive, albeit illegal, scam.

The grifter claims to be an inspector for the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), the agency that handles building permits, housing codes, trash complaints and a plethora of other issues.

Here’s how the scam works: The guy approaches homes under construction, posing as a DCRA inspector. He tells the homeowner or construction crew that they could be fined for debris, garbage or other matters concerning the property. He pretends to call “headquarters,” then comes back to the victims and says he will have to fine them. The impostor then offers to forget the whole matter – for a little cash.

There have been three cases – that authorities know of – in the past 18 months. The bogus inspector hit most recently Monday afternoon in the 100 block of U Street NW. DCRA officials said their inspectors carry badges, and residents approached by anyone claiming to be an inspector should ask to see a DCRA badge. Any doubts – call the police.

First Published: Apr 22, 2010 10:06 AM ED

Saturday, April 24, 2010

bicycle stolen from North Capitol St & Mass Ave

See this 4/24/2010 message from Bloomingdale resident Jason Carnival:

My bike was stolen outside of work yesterday afternoon near the corner of Massachusetts & N.Capitol so if you could post the attached picture I'd appreciate it. See the pic to the right.
I know it's a long-shot, but since it sticks out so much and our neighbors work all over the city I'm hoping someone will spot it. I don't expect anyone to confront the person if they see them on it, just take note of the neighborhood/time, get a shot with a camera phone if possible and send me an email.

As an incentive, there is a $250 reward for information that leads to its recovery.

Jason jcarnival @

Model: Trek District
Color: Grey frame w/ BRIGHT orange wheels
Misc: It has a black "rubber-looking" belt instead of a metal chain brown leather seat and grips

announcing the annual Bloomingdale Yard Sale at Crispus Attucks Park - Saturday, 5/22/2010

Okay, here is what everyone has been jonesing for! The annual Bloomingdale yard sale at Crispus Attucks Park!

Here is the text of the flier distributed around the neighborhood, kindly supplied by Bloomingdale resident Tynesia Smith:


Sponsored by the CADC –A not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and maintaining Crispus Attucks Park for the entire community

Saturday May 22nd, 8AM -2PM
(Rain date: Sat June 5th)
The private community park between the unit blocks of U and V Streets NW and the 2000 blocks of North Capitol & 1st Streets NW in the heart of DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood.

This year CADC is pleased to announce that the Community Yard sale is being held in conjunction with the:
Annual Health and Fitness Fair - 10AM-2PM
A Community Health and Wellness Fair sponsored by Mt Bethel Baptist Church on 1st St. between Rhode Island Ave. NW and U St. NW

• Dozens of sellers and loads of shoppers on an acre of green park space
• We do all the advertising and bring all the buyers to you!
• Brings your wares* and a table, set up and sell – It’s that easy!

*Sorry, the sale of food is prohibited. CADC relies heavily on revenues from its snack stand to support its ongoing activities. Thank you for your understanding.

Registration Fee:
$25 if you register before May 15th and $35 afterwards (or the day of the sale).
Register on the park’s website at or contact Tynesia at
703-973-5733 or .

If you won’t be able to sell at the Yard sale, consider donating items to the “CADC Table.” 100% of the proceeds from these sales will go to park maintenance and improvement projects.
Contact Andrea at 202-986-7680 or to donate merchandise.


Today’s Date: ________________
Name: ______________________
Address: ________________________________
Phone: ______________________
e-mail: __________________________________

$25 per Space
(about 10’x10’) if paid on or before May 15th (Early bird discount)
$35 per Space (about 10’x10’) if paid after May 15th
Early bird discount (circle one)? Y N Number of Spaces: _____________ Total
Amount Due (number of spaces X registration fee): $_____________

Note: Sorry, we cannot supply tables. You may bring your own table(s), or are welcome to display your wares on the ground. If not using a table, we recommend you bring a blanket, tarp, or other covering in case the grass is damp.

Please check the types of items you intend to sell (check all that apply):
___ books

___ hardware, tools
___ small appliances
___ clothing ___ home
furnishings ___ sporting goods, games, toys
___ electronics ___ jewelry ___
other (specify):
___ furniture ___ music (CDs, tapes, vinyl)

Please note: CADC is not responsible for unsold items at the end of the yard sale. We expect that you will leave your rented space free of your wares and debris. If you have clothing items (clothing only) that you would like to donate to goodwill, please see a yard sale attendant for the drop off location.

*Sorry, sale of food is prohibited. CADC relies heavily on revenues from its snack stand and wishes to be the only provider of food & beverages at this event. Thank you for understanding.

Check or money order should be made payable to Crispus Attucks Development Corp. (CADC) Please print this form, complete it, and return with your payment to:
Crispus Attucks Development Corp.
ATTN: Yard Sale
2015 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001


All proceeds from Bloomingdale's Biggest Yard Sale will support the park improvement projects of CADC.

Friday, April 23, 2010

World Missions Community Block Party Health Safety & Fitness Rally – Tomorrow, Saturday, 4/24/2010

ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti passes along this event announcement from World Missions for Christ Extension Center, located on the northwest corner of1st & Randolph Place NW:

World Missions EXTENSION Center & Randolph Place Neighbors
Family and Friends
To Our
Saturday, April 24, 2010
(STARTS at: 10:00am)
Community Block Party
Health Safety &
Fitness Rally!!!!!

Where: 1720 First Street NW. Washington, DC 20001


Dental Cholesterol Blood Pressure Vision Consultations

Pediatrics Women’s Issues Dermatology Pharmacist HIV/AIDS Testing and Screening

Other Activities include:

• Hearing about our “Neighborhood Positive Alternatives”
Anti-Violence/Anti-Gang Conflict Resolution Program for Children and Youth
Free medical Health Screenings: Diabetes – Arthritis – Mental Health
….and much, much more:

*Playing Basketball and other games*Playing on the Moon Bounce*Dancing and Singing* DJ music * Free Food

*Face Painting,* Clowns* Aerobics*Domestic Violence Seminars

*Joining our Community Book club* Double Dutch Contest*

*Come out and meet your neighbors/Bring your children, jump rope/ skate board and roller blades for a healthy day of fun as you sign your children up for our After School
Program & Summer Camp!!!!!

SPONSORS: Ward 5 City Councilman Harry”Tommy”Thomas/DC Chartered Health Plan/Commissioner Lois Farmer-Allen/Commissioner Stu Davenport/Giant Food Store/The National Cathedral ABLE Club/AC Graphics/ & Other Officials/Colleges/Schools and Businesses

eager for an organic dry cleaner

From a resident along Bloomingdale's business strip:
Any chance we can get the dry cleaners at 1st and RI NW -- City Cleaners -- to switch to using organic solvents? I went there for the first time today (it's a block from my house) and was dismayed to hear the workers coughing in the back room. Plus there is no excuse for non-organic dry cleaning these days, as the organic alternative is now proven technology, and the old style has significant environmental impact.

Also, does anyone know of a good organic dry cleaners in the neighborhood?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jonathan Taylor named new Executive Director of North Capitol Main Street, Inc.

See this message from North Capitol Main Street board member (and Eckington resident) Karen Alston:

April 22, 2010
For Immediate Release
Karen Alston
North Capitol Main Street, Inc.

North Capitol Main Street Names Jonathan Taylor New Executive Director
New Management Capacity to Benefit Local Business Programs

Washington, DC - April 22, 2010 - North Capitol Main Street (, a non-profit organization dedicated to commercial revitalization along the North Capitol-area neighborhood business districts, has named Jonathan Taylor as its new Executive Director.

"With both a passion for the community and economic development and a proven ability to assist small and local businesses, Jonathon is uniquely qualified to lead the organization," said Pat Mitchell, North Capitol Main Street's Chair. "His talent and skills will be a tremendous asset in assisting us reach our mission and goals as an organization as well as getting projects off the drawing board."

Mr. Taylor brings over 23 years of community economic development experience to his new role, including several years with local and community based organizations. Most recently, Mr. Taylor for the last 10 ten years has been president of Kumase Development Group, Inc., a regional neighborhood economic development and real estate planning consulting company.

"I'm deeply honored to have been chosen to lead North Capitol Main Street through this exciting period in its history and I have a profound admiration for the organization and its accomplishments in its seven year history. I intend to build upon the groundwork established by the Board of Directors and committed community leaders," said Mr. Taylor.


About North Capitol Main Street
North Capitol Main Street, Inc. (NCMS, Inc.) is a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation founded for the purpose of serving as a catalyst for neighborhood commercial revitalization. NCMS, Inc. is a designated DC Main Streets program. Specifically, this volunteer-driven organization was established to revitalize the North Capitol Street area's historically and culturally important neighborhood commercial corridors.

The NCMS, Inc. service area includes the North Capitol Street business corridor between New York and Rhode Island Avenues, and the Bloomingdale Business District at Rhode Island Avenue and First Street, NW. NCMS, Inc. follows the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street approach to economic revitalization, which focuses on incremental change and self-help.

If you would like to learn more about NCMS and/or volunteer to put your talents to work in order to improve your neighborhood's business environment, please visit or email Jonathan at or call (202) 905- 6039.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

seeking a French horn for a middle school student

See this message from a Bloomingdale resident:

I have a friend whose daughter is in need of a French Horn. Her story is below. I was hoping that someone might have a used one they would like to donate or know where we can locate one very inexpensively. Please post on the listserv and they can contact me via email at


My daughter’s name is Bree T. Johnson; she is 13 years old and currently attends Oxon Hill Middle School in Ft Washington, Maryland. She has a 3.68 GPA and I believe one of the top 3 students in her class.

Bree began playing the French horn last school year because Oxon Hill Middle School at the time did not have a band teacher for string instruments. Bree previously played the violin. As the school year progressed Bree’s skill level on the French horn increased and before the year ended she was well on her way to becoming a very strong horn player.

Bree has continued to practice on the loaner horn that we have borrowed from her school and in March of this year she received an invitation from her future band director to accompany the Oxon Hill High School Band to London to perform at the Festival of Lights program in June of 2011.

We are very proud of her accomplishment thus far and feel very confident she has the potential to continue to excel on the French horn and with the proper coaching may some day be a professional French horn player in a symphonic orchestra.

Thank you for all your support.

check out Neighborhood Nights at 1905 in Shaw

See this message from Tony Lucca, owner and general manager of 1905 in Shaw at 1905 9th St NW, 2nd floor:

"Neighborhood Nights at 1905" are every Tuesday and Wednesday, and they are aimed at giving our neighborhood an option for something to do early in the week, without breaking the bank. "Taco Tuesdays" feature $3 lamb tacos and $6 taco/Sol beer combos. "Burger Wednesdays" offer half price burgers.

2. We are starting a new happy hour today: $3 select beers, $4 rail drinks, and $3 baskets of homemade salt and vinegar chips (chips available at the bar only). Happy hour is every day from 5:30 to 7:30.

3. Every day during happy hour, if you show an ID with a 20001 zip code, you get an additional 10% off. Just another way to say thank you to our neighborhood.

4. Live jazz every Thursday at 9PM. Four rotating bands throughout the month. No cover.

5. We just launched our brand new Spring food, beer, wine, and cocktail menus, with great seasonal specialties.

6. Follow us on Twitter @1905Restaurant or find us on Facebook - 1905 Restaurant.


Tony Lucca
Owner & General
Facebook: 1905 Restaurant

Aleks Duni (Baraki) unable to secure needed construction loan

Aleks Duni of Baraki is quoted is this Washington Independent newspaper article.

The first few paragraphs of this WI article have been copied in below. You can click on the link to read the entire article.

Small Business Owners Represent Lost Opportunity for Recovery
Frozen Credit Markets Still Plague Main Street Economic Growth
By Annie Lowrey 4/20/10 6:00 AM

Bloomingdale — a pretty neighborhood in central Washington, D.C., with brightly painted Victorian townhouses and wide tree-lined streets — is gentrifying. Ten years ago, it had problems with gangs, robberies and drug-related violence. Today those issues are greatly reduced, thanks in large part to the efforts of the neighborhood`s tight-knit community of black families and young professionals. In the past five years, it has cleaned up its streets, developed two new parks and a small urban farm and watched its home values rise.

Now, residents of Bloomingdale — east of the U Street corridor, near Howard University — could use some businesses. There is Windows Market, which sells sandwiches and groceries; Big Bear, a popular coffee shop; and Timor Bodega, an organic grocer. But the closest place to grab brunch or a drink after work is a fifteen-minute walk away. ``There`s just tremendous pent-up demand,`` John Salatti, the neighborhood commissioner, says. ``I couldn`t imagine how well a business would do if it could just open up.``

But the problem for Bloomingdale is that it just cannot get businesses to open up. It is not for a lack of trying. In the past year, at least half a dozen restaurants have attempted to set up shop in one of the neighborhood`s empty storefronts. There is the sandwich and pizza place attempting to move in next to the Howard dorm and the fancy new condo building. There is the neighborhood tavern trying to open near the yoga studio. There is the restaurant that wants to take over the old fire house. Not one has succeeded.

Consider, for instance, the case of Aleks Duni. He owns Veranda, a Greek restaurant in the Shaw neighborhood, as well as Heller`s Bakery and Marx Cafe in Mount Pleasant. The three small businesses together employ nearly 40 people and did well even during the worst of the recession. Duni set out to open a pizza restaurant on the main drag in Bloomingdale. He scouted out a location and secured the necessary permits, even getting a liquor license and thus a guarantee of good revenue. Now, no bank will lend him the $50,000 he needs to finish the job. ``It is only a matter of getting the money,`` Duni says. ``If I did, I could be open in a month.``

Duni approached four banks about securing the loan to finish construction and open the doors. Each one said no. ``There are a million reasons they give,`` Duni says. ``The first of them is that credit has been reduced.`` Now, he says, he is concerned about continuing to apply for loans just to be denied. ``If you apply and you don`t get the loan, your credit score goes down,`` he notes. Frustrated, he has even sought the help of the Small Business Administration, the government agency. ``They had nothing for me,`` he says. ``I don`t need to know what the loan requirements are. And the SBA cannot give me a loan.``

Duni is one of millions of frustrated small-business owners, who represent a lost opportunity for economic recovery and a major concern for the Obama administration. Over the past 15 years, two-thirds of the new jobs created in the United States were created by a small business. Small businesses, like big businesses, require loans to grow and hire new employees. But unlike their medium and large counterparts, small businesses are still hobbled by frozen credit markets. Lending remains on the wane despite the Obama administration throwing tens of millions of dollars at the problem. An SBA initiative to back loans has worked, but only on a limited scale. Most Main Street banks continue to decrease funding to small businesses, allergic to the higher risks they pose.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

car broken into in alley between S & Seaton NW

See this late evening 04/20/2010 message from a resident on the unit block of S Street NW:
Last night, my roommate`s car was broken into and rummaged through. Nothing was stolen (as he had nothing of value inside), but this is still something we should be aware of (as it is apparently still a problem in the neighborhood). He was parked in the alley between S Street and Seaton Place NW. Just giving a heads up.

found dog on unit block of U Street NW yesterday; picked up by Washington Humane Society

A U Street NW reported a found dog yesterday evening.
Here is a pic of the dog.

The neighbor who found the dog has this comment: “I had the dog picked up by the Washington Humane Society.”

seeking referrals for antique wooden dining room chairs that need repair

From a resident of R Street NW:
I have some antique wooden dining room chairs that need some repair. Any recommendations?

fraudulent DCRA inspector stops by

 (image via twitpic provided in comments)

See this 4/19/2010 message received by your blog moderator:

I'm new to the neighborhood - my boyfriend and I are renovating a house on U Street NW near North Capital and should be moving in at the end of the month. I was at the house today meeting with the alarm installer and had an unpleasant incident that I thought you might want to share with your readers. As I was talking to the alarm guy, another man walked right into the house saying he was a code inspector and the trash (from construction) in the front yard was in violation and the neighbors had been complaining. It hit a nerve because i knew the trash was an issue and we had been trying to get the contractor to get it cleaned up asap.
In retrospect, I'm pretty sure the guy was a fraud.
He talked to the workers and got their assurance that the trash would be moved the next day and said that he would cancel the fine and violation but then kept dropping hints that i should buy him dinner or lunch. I was so flustered because he walked right in, seemed to talk the talk (threatened to issue a stop work order) and I have had minimal dealings with the contractors and the work, I'm not knowledgeable about that sort of thing and it's rare that I'm on the job site (myboyfriend is the architect for the project). I finally gave him a $20 - and it's rare that i actually have cash. He had some sort of id around his neck, but i didn't get a good look at it and i asked for a card (after i gave him the $20) but he said he didn't have one on him. That's when i knew i'd been scammed.
I can give an accurate description of the man - I spoke with him for about 15 minutes – if that would be helpful. I considered calling the police, but also figured that it would be a waste of their time. A friend of mine regularly reads your emails and said there had been incidents of fraud and contractors being robbed, so I thought I might share my story in case it helped others avoid a similar situation.

Robert Brannum's statement regarding Boundary Stone's presentation and discussion last night

See this message from Bloomingdale Civic Association President Robert Brannum, following last night's civic association meeting, which included a presentation by Colin McdDonough, Gareth Croke and Matt Croke of Bloomingdale Hospitality LLC, a.k.a., Boundary Stone Public House, which was followed by at times passionate and at times heated discussion:

Dear Bloomingdale Neighbors,

On 1 June 2010, the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration will consider an application for a retail class ”C” tavern license for Bloomingdale Hospitality, LLC.

The owners, Colin McDonough, Matt and Gareth Croke, owners of Bloomingdale Hospitality, LLC, have gathered over 300 signatures on a petition in support of its application and held an open house for residents of the immediate area to receive an advance look at the facility.

According to the owners, “Bloomingdale Hospitality LLC is crafting a neighborhood establishment created to foster a warm, welcoming environment where people can gather to enjoy food, drink, and the simple pleasure of music and good company. It is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We support our community and embrace the powerful role that business has in environmental and social responsibility. We are resolute in our desire to achieve a
sustainable business and be a positive force in our community

Tonight at the meeting of the Bloomingdale Civic Association, a special presentation was made to provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about the plans for Boundary Stone Public House. As with many community meetings, residents expressed their views with passion. While there were some concerns expressed regarding the impact within the immediate area of the Pub and discussion about establishing a voluntary agreement (or the need for one), there was not any vocal opposition to the opening of the Pub.

Tonight’s meeting was designed to provide ALL community residents an opportunity to be heard and to have questions answered. While a vote was not taken, residents will have another opportunity to express their support for the licensee at the next meeting
(Monday, 24 May 2010) of the Bloomingdale Civic Association. At that time, a vote by the Bloomingdale Civic Association can be taken to express the will of the broader community.

However, tonight, it is clear by the comments voiced; the owners have significant support for their business venture. Many Bloomingdale residents, in the past, have made known their desire for businesses of this nature in the community.

The Bloomingdale community is made of varying personalities, reflecting the diversity of the District of Columbia and America. Communities thrive best and help enhance the quality of life for all its residents with respectful conversations and willingness to hear from each other. It does not matter, whether one has resided in Bloomingdale for 30 years, 30 months, or 30 days; all of us want to live in peace and harmony with our neighbors.

As a growing community, Bloomingdale has an opportunity to show other District neighborhoods how people can live together as one united community.


Robert Vinson Brannum
President, Bloomingdale Civic Association


P.S. From your blog moderator: If you are going to reply to this post, please do not do so anonymously. Thanks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boundary Stone making a special presentation at tonight's Bloomingdale Civic Association meeting

See this message from Bloomingdale Civic Association President Robert Brannum:
The Bloomingdale Civic Association, Inc.
April 2010
Monthly Meeting
Monday, April 19, 2010, 7:00pm
St. George`s Episcopal Church
2nd and U Streets, NW


Special Presentation (invited): Bloomingdale Hospitality, LLC [Boundary Stone Public House]
[30 minutes]

I. MPD 5th District / PSA 501 Report – 15 Minutes
II. McMillan Sand Filtration Development – Update – 10 minutes
III. Bloomingdale Beautification/Cleanup Day – Recap – 10 minutes

VI. Reports from:

A. Office of Councilman Harry Thomas, Jr.
B. Executive Office of the Mayor
C. ANC Commissioner John T. Salatti
[15 minutes]

VII. Community Announcements – 5 minutes

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale on Sunday 4/18/2010

If you're still trying to catch the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit, hang in there. Inventory is tight and just one more weekend left. Lots of Open Houses in and around the neighborhood on Sunday.

I have a great new listing at 39 Seaton Pl NW that will be open 2-5pm on Sunday. Listed at $545,000., this fantastic renovated Victorian is not expected to last very long. Here is a virtual tour. (The one I have listed next door had multiple offers and was under contract within three days).

Friday, April 16, 2010

bicycle stolen from front porch on Bryant St NW

See this 4/16/2010 message from a Bryant Street NW resident:

Last Friday, my bike (red ladies` hybrid) got stolen on the 100 block of Bryant Street. It was firmly locked to the front porch of the house, so someone must have really made an effort to take it. And some nerve, as it was taken during daylight hours. I suspect someone who passes by regularly might have noticed that the bike is parked on that same spot often, and waited for a chance to grab it. From now on I`ll keep my bike in the house. I thought I`d alert other residents to this in case they want to consider doing the same. I didn`t report it to the police but, now you mention it, perhaps I should so at least they have it in their records.

Teri Janine provides Bloomingdale clean-up details

What are you doing tomorrow? How about helping to clean up Bloomingdale?

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Teri Janine, coordinator of the Saturday, 4-17-2010, Bloomingdale neighborhood clean-up:

REMINDER: The Bloomingdale Clean Up Day is tomorrow, Saturday, April 17, 2010! Meet us in the park across the street from Big Bear Cafe at 9:45 am. Don`t miss our presentations on gardening and tree box maintenance featuring the garden expert for our local FOX affiliate, WTTG, Derek Thomas, and our own Ward 5 Arborist, Shawn Walker!

Also, today is the last day to take advantage of the special Bloomingdale discount at Garden District. You`ll need to bring in your flyer (let me know if you need me to email you one) and proof of Bloomingdale residency (whatever you have - license, checkbook address, utility bill, etc.) today between 4-8pm. (They may close at 7 if there`s rain this evening - but I`m not certain about that).

A very special thanks goes out to ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti for, among many other things, securing a large contingency of Howard University student volunteers --we`re expecting at least 25 Howard volunteers!!! As if that weren`t enough, Commissioner Salatti also secured a second group of Howard University students, the Howard Steppers, who plan to provide entertainment while the organizers allocate supplies and assign volunteers to work areas. With so many volunteers, for planning purposes, it would be a HUGE help if you could let me know TODAY what projects need to be tackled on your block or anywhere else in the neighborhood, or 214-908-1913. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or want to volunteer.

Also, a very special thanks goes out to ANC 5C03 Commissioner Stu Davenport and the crew at Big Bear Cafe, who will be providing free coffee for volunteers!

There will be a special trash pick up for the event. All trash needs to be at a designated trash collection site (1st & Randolph, NW; 1st & Rhode Island Avenue , NW or 1st & W, NW) by 1:45 pm. There will be something at each of the locations to indicate which corner we plan to use (a banner, a person and/or bright yellow trash bags). No bulk trash will be picked up. Trash should be in yellow DPW trash bags or regular trash bags, except that wood and tree limbs must be cut into four foot lengths, no wider than 6`` in diameter weighing no more than 60 lbs. each.

The free mulch/compost mix will be on the concrete slab in Crispus Attucks Park.

We will also have a limited supply of cleaning supplies and plants to distribute.

See you tomorrow!

Teri Janine

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheryl's Gone reading series at Big Bear Cafe - Thursday, 4-15-2010

See this announcement from Wade:

Cheryl’s Gone Reading Series – April Edition

Elizabeth Arnold
Dan Gutstein
Christy Zink
Maureen Andary

Thursday April 15 – 8pm
Big Bear Café
1st and R NW
Washington, DC

Elizabeth Arnold has received a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. She recently learned that she has won an Amy Lowell travelling scholarship for 2010-11. Her three books of poems are The Reef (University of Chicago Press,1999), Civilization (Flood Editions, 2006), and Effacement (Flood Editions, 2010). Arnold is on the MFA faculty at the University of Maryland. She lives in Hyattsville, Maryland.

non/fiction is Dan Gutstein's first collection. His writing has appeared in more than 60 publications, including Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and Best American Poetry, as well as aboard metrobuses in Virginia. He has received awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, University of Michigan, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and other groups. He works at Maryland Institute College of Art, and prior to MICA, served as Visiting Assistant Professor in creative writing at George Washington University.

Christy J. Zink is an assistant professor in the University Writing Program at George Washington University. Her work has appeared in the American Literacy Review, the Washington Post, and in the anthology Electric Grace. She was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and leads community writing workshops in Washington, DC.

Maureen Andary is a cabaret folk artist from Washington, DC, and one-half of the duo The Sweater Set. Learn more, and listen, at

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

scooter in the alley

See this 4/13/2010 message from a resident on the unit block of U Street NW:

This Schwinn motor scooter has been standing in the alley next to 15 U street NW since Sunday afternoon. Hopefully one of your readers recognizes it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

volunteers needed for this Saturday's Bloomingdale Clean-Up

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Teri Janine:

Be Part of the Solution


Saturday, April 17, 2010, 10am-2pm (Volunteers arrive @ 9:45am to sign-in) Meet @ 10 in the park across the street from Big Bear Café (near 1700 1st St NW (between N Florida Ave & N R St NW))

This year, Bloomingdale will be a proud participant in Keep America Beautiful`s annual spring event: the Great American Cleanup. The Bloomingdale Clean Up Day will include gardening and tree maintenance tutorials featuring DEREK THOMAS, the garden expert for our local Fox affiliate, WTTG, see, and our own Ward 5 Arborist, Shawn Walker. Please contact Teri Janine ASAP if you are interested in attending the presentations.

Free mulch* Limited supply of free plants* Alley, side walk and park clean up * Tree box beautification * Light yard work * Special Saturday trash pick up* Please notify Teri Janine ASAP or your Block Captain if you desire assistance with your tree box or with light yard work.

We are also pleased to announce that, in support of the Bloomingdale Clean Up Day, from Monday, April 12, 2010 through Friday April 16, 2010 from 4-8pm, Garden District, located at 1740 14th Street, NW, is offering Bloomingdale residents a special discount of 15% off annuals, perennials and shrubs purchased for this event only and a $50 rebate on trees from Casey Trees. During these off peak hours, Garden District staff will be readily available to answer your gardening questions. To receive the discount, please provide proof of Bloomingdale residency and a copy of this flyer.

Brought to you by the Bloomingdale Civic Association’s Beautification Committee

For more details, to volunteer and/or donate supplies contact Teri Janine or 214- 908- 1913.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nationwide Open House Weekend

We are fortunate in DC to have a real estate market that lends itself to an active open house culture. In honor of April being Fair Housing Month, the National Association of Realtors is sponsoring the Realtor Nationwide Open House this weekend. The intent is to encourage open houses, particularly in neighborhoods that may not provide as much open market access as we enjoy. As part of this event, I will be holding my new listing in The Nebraska open at 51 Randolph Pl NW from 2-5pm on Sunday 4/11. More info on that and all the other listings open on Sunday can be found by clicking the link.

For curious neighbors, 1922 3rd St NW, the large yellow detached house designed by James McGill, will be held open on Sunday. I represent Community Three Development, who currently has the property under contract. Neighbors may be interested to see firsthand the current condition of the property, which will require extensive and expensive reconstruction. Bill Jackson from Long and Foster will be holding the property open from 1-4pm. Follow the history of the development process by visiting


street cars in bloomingdale

I really don't anticipate retuning to add much content to this blog, and i am very happy that Scott Roberts resuscitated this site,. I did want to post this info on street cars, and i'm sure i'll post something when the first tavern opens up. ; )

I first hear talk of the streetcar project after i moved to bloomingdale in 2003,  and there was a lot of rumbling about the anacostia streetcar experiment in 2004. Shortly after i started this site i mentioned the possibility of street cars ( again) coming through our neighborhood back in 2005.  That post included its then proposed lines and routes:
This was a hopeful study and the links are now dead. ( check out the old content on this cached site) there was so little information to be found about streetcars then. some seldom updated sites and discussion boards. promised of an already past completion of the anacostia line, etc.. 

Here's one brochure i got at some community meeting, maybe even adams morgan day:
some of the ideas kept changing street cars to bus rapid transit to rapid bus to aw hell you're just on yer own.  i posted a few other things here and there when there was info, but it wasn't until early autumn last year that things got really exciting. it was when DDOT published this plan
Like the 2005 info, this plan included a route that goes through bloomingdale plus a second route!
Here is the proposed plan in its final phase

The two lines in Bloomingdale are in the Phase II portion of the plan.  i take the 90 buses very often, and i would sure like a non-transfer route out to mount rainier.  I have no idea of the time lines, or how likely this is to truly happen. i'm deeply skeptical, but i hope it does get built.

There are some upcoming meetings about the developments if you are so inclined to attend.

April 20th
Wheatley Elementary School
1299 Neal Street NE
(DDOT) Director Gabe Klein and Streetcar Project Manager Scott Kubly will update D.C. residents on DDOT’s progress toward bringing streetcars to the District.

May 6
5:00-7:00 pm
Renaissance Hotel
999 9th Street, NW
This meeting will address the current legal and environmental framework for modern streetcar systems. The seminar is free and open to the public.
Rich Bradley, President of DCST and Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement District, will moderate a panel of transit and urban design experts. Martin Schroeder, Chief Engineer for the American Public Transit Association, will review existing and developing streetcar technologies. Greg Baldwin, a Principal with Zimmer Gunsel Frasca, will present strategies for integrating streetcar infrastructure into urban streetscapes. A question and answer period will follow.


Greater Greater Washington
d. 's facebook page
Frozen Tropics
United Streetcar ( streetcar manufacturer)

a history of the Bloomingdale Civic Association

From current civic associaton president Robert Brannum:

Dear Bloomingdale neighbors,

Your Bloomingdale Civic Association has a rich history and legacy in service to this community. During the recent Bloomingdale Town Hall, several residents identified themselves as new to the Bloomingdale community. As president of this historic community association, I welcome you to the neighborhood. I also invite you, and all other Bloomingdale residents to attend the regular monthly community meetings (every 3rd Monday at St. Georges` Episcopal Church, 2nd and U Streets, NW), which provide an open community forum for all Bloomingdale residents.

At these open community meetings, Bloomingdale neighbors talk community issues such as regarding public education, public safety, liquor license applications, economic development, neighborhood clean-up, block captains, and program services to youth. We also seek to use this as a opportunity for Bloomingdale residents to share ideas and to announce community events of interests. The Bloomingdale Civic Association believes in bringing people together in harmonious community service for all.

On behalf of the officers and members of The Bloomingdale Civic Association, you are warmly welcomed to join us. Please feel free to share this among your web community.


Robert Vinson Brannum, President
The Bloomingdale Civic Association

Historical Summary

The Bloomingdale Civic Association was established in June 1921 with Frank Coleman as its first president. The Bloomingdale Civic Association is an historic civic association organized from the interests of a group of residents of Quincy Place, NW and was reported to be of the most aggressive and progressive civic associations in the District of Columbia, this according to article written in the Washington Afro American on 4 August 1951. In a later article published in the Washington Afro American, 10 December 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower blessed the association stating,``I was particularly delighted to see this organization staring to work. It is the kind of thing that appeals to a soldier`s heart: decide what to do then do it and stop talking about it.I will follow it every step of the way, certain that you are doing a great job for the United States of America.``

The Bloomingdale Civic Association which serves the Northwest area of the District bounded on the South by Florida Avenue, on the North by Michigan Avenue, on the East by North Capital Street, and on the West by 3rd Street, west of North Capital Street, both North and South of Rhode Island Avenue. The U. S. Soldiers` Home, Washington Hospital Center, Children`s National Medical Center, the main Catholic University campus and Trinity University are to the North; LeDroit Park and Howard University are to the West.

Bloomingdale was the country estate of George and Emily Beale members of a prominent military family. In 1834, George Beale deeded land and right-of-way to springs on his Bloomingdale estate to the City of Washington as a water supply for the Capitol. Both General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln were visitors to his home. In 1887, the Bloomingdale estate was divided among Emily Beale`s heirs and sold to several real estate developers.

During World War I, Washington experienced a growth spurt, and areas North, Northwest and East of the Bloomingdale area. This paved the way for African American home ownership in the Bloomingdale area despite the fact homes in some sections of the community had covenants prohibiting African Americas from owning, renting, or using the homes in any way. These covenants had been added to deeds during the wave of segregation and Jim Crow legislation in the District of Columbia during 1890`s and early 1900`s. Some areas of the Bloomingdale community remained exclusively white until the mid-1950.

African Americans began buying homes in Bloomingdale in the late 1920`s. Early African American residents of the community were drawn to Bloomingdale because as a community it was seen as a neighborhood for African American professionals - possibly because of its proximity to Howard University. The Bloomingdale community gradually became one of the first stable African American communities in Washington, and section of Washington where many African American lawyers, teachers, pastors, physicians, dentists, professors at Howard University and other African American professionals were able to buy homes in area. The community spirit is deeply embedded along the streets of the Bloomingdale Community.

Today, the Bloomingdale community remains a densely populated area with primarily Victorian classic brick single-family row homes with their original architecturally ornamentation and brickwork. Today the neighborhood is returning to full swing. Longtime residents live next to young professionals and their families. The streets are abuzz with the laughter of children. Passersby are greeted warmly by residents sitting out enjoying what Bloomingdale has to offer -- a sense of community.

Over the years, Bloomingdale Civic Association has been a leader in revitalizing and improving the quality of live for residents of Bloomingdale. The goals of the Bloomingdale Civic Association are: to create a process and environment of revitalizing its cultural and heritage needs, inspire and motivate everyone to discover and express their values, talents and strengths; to develop a stable community with resources assuring the survival and protection the residents and visitors in the Bloomingdale community against displacement other unjust or overwhelming interferences and disruptions in their lives; to achieve economic vitality with full employment adequate and available consumer goods and services, quality education for young people of the community, sufficient income to meet their needs and the resources necessary for the continuance health of the community.

Today, in 2010 the Bloomingdale Civic Association seeks to maintain and continue its presence and ability to enhance the quality of life for all residents of the community. It also continues to emphasize beautifying its neighborhood, education, affordable housing, employment, and targeted business expansion and development.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Brian Brown responds

See this message from Brian Brown.

(And please -- no more anonymous comments.)

Dear residents,

While I typically don`t respond to inflammatory emails, I frankly have gotten tired of having ``stones`` thrown at me so I am choosing to respond to this email. I want to remind residents that I am a 22 year resident of the Shaw/Ledroit Park/ Bloomingdale area. I would also like to respectfully suggest that there are more constructive ways to reach out to developers other than email flames. These kind of public emails to listservs are the very reason many small and medium sized developers won`t talk to residents unless they have to. I think most large developers talk to the neighborhoods because they have to because they need zoning changes. I would like to think that I am more open than most developers as I have tried to share as much information as I could publicly without endangering my projects. In some cases this has been only with recognized community leaders (ANC, etc), as the nature of negotiations on particular projects have required signed non-disclosures. It is also interesting to note that of all the emails over the years from people publicly complaining about an issue they had on one project or another as far as I can remember I have never been contacted directly by the same people to directly ask any questions. Here is my response.


Brian Brown

I didn`t put the note on the vehicle because if I had, I would have signed it and included my phone number. That said, we have a project manager who is at the firehouse almost daily, getting quotes on the new scope of work for the revised project. The project manager says he did not put that note on your vehicle. That said, it is private space and we need access at irregular times. As a result we are particular about vehicles parking there as they frequently pull too close to the building and block the door we use to access the building. The other vehicle that has been parked at the firehouse for the last couple of months is licensed, insured, and tagged and is owned by relatives of mine who are out of town. They usually keep it on the street, but we all know how difficult it is to keep vehicles on DC streets when traveling.

As for the 4-6 pickup trucks parked in my yard, that is BS. I own two small Toyota pickup trucks. (I want to remind everyone that this is a 9 bedroom house.) We also have 9 adults staying in the house in addition to children so, in addition to the 2 trucks, there is an SUV, a van, a Toyota Avalon, and a Ford Dump that are there regularly. (6 in total) All these are kept in a private parking area that has room for 11 vehicles. All run, have tags, and are insured.

I would also disagree about the ``pop ups`` on North Capitol. While North Capitol is not historic, the addition to the two buildings in the 1300 block of North Capital was designed fit the irregular height of the block. When I saw the original facade design by the architect (which was an ugly popup), I sought the informal advice of staff members of DC`s historic preservation office, and I used their recommendations to complete the façade design. The building on the 1400 block of North Capitol is not a popup. It is a new building from the ground up as such was designed as infill.

I would agree that the partially completed wall is not particularly attractive. We have DC Government to thank for that. When we started the wall, the intent was to finish the wall in a 5-week period. We applied for and were issued the appropriate building permit. We also applied for and were told no public space permit was required. This was partially correct. We started the project and 1/2 way through we got stopped because the local / on-site inspector said one was needed. The on-site inspector went back and forth for the next two weeks with the public space inspector at 941 North Capitol. It turned out that the front and back are not public space but the side yard is and that the person that issued the permit did not check the side yard. The public space inspector who stopped the work would not let me fill in the dirt or put in the required footer until the proper permit was issued. No fines or stop work was issued because DCRA acknowledged that it was their mistake. The time of that delay resulted in it taking me about 3 months to resubmit the public space application. It turned out that as the wall was approved by Historic Preservation, it required the application to be formally submitted to public space committee because of the design and height. This is an extended process similar to a zoning or historic review committee. This process was going to require significant time and money on my part to resolve, which frankly in late 2008 and early 2009 I didn`t have.

As a result of that snafu and the economy the public space submission dropped to the bottom of my to do list. Over Christmas 2009, I prepared the application and I went down to DCRA to discuss the application with Public Space. The person at the public space was very sharp, and she suggested a much simpler elegant solution which required me to revise the plans one more time.

This was done and I got sign off from Historic Preservation about three weeks ago on the revised design, which I believe that Public Space will allow without the extended committee review. A couple of weeks ago I went down to DCRA right before they moved to their new location. I discovered a new hurdle. Changes in the public space fee structure now require over $12,000 in permits and deposits. (Five times what I had budgeted.) I don`t know about anyone else but I personally don`t keep have an extra 10k laying in my personal accounts to throw at surprise bills.

Frankly if I had known all the pain that this wall was going to be I wouldn`t have started it. That said, I am looking at alternatives to resolve this issue.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

bicyclist struck by car near Big Bear Cafe last night

See this 4/8/2010 message from a W Street NW resident:

A friend of mine was hit by a car last night at First, R and Florida Streets NW on his bike ride home from work (basically in front of Big Bear Cafe). The driver hit him on purpose...road rage we suppose. My friend did not provoke him. The driver left the scene, and witnesses got a partial plate number. Please ask our neighbors to keep their eyes peeled for a black 2000ish VW Jetta with a sport rack on top with a colorful sticker on the rack. Its a Maryland plate that begins with 9FF. Police said if they catch this guy he will probably be charged with vehicular assault due to his aggressiveness. Fortunately my friend only has few bumps, bruises and scratches, however his bike took the worst of it: back wheel is destroyed, frame may be bent, and the seat was demolished.

This is a HUGE reminder to 1) WEAR A HELMET 2) cars will always win 3) the most important thing is to get home, not who is right or wrong in a bike/car conflict!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

seeking referrals for gas fireplace installers

A 1st Street NW resident has this request:

Could you post a request asking for referrals of someone to install gas fireplaces? We have been unable to locate a reputable person who is licensed in DC to install gas inserts into two fireplaces. It is surprising that it is hard to find someone who wants to do this work.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

car tags stolen on U Street NW

This message is from a resident on the unit block of U Street NW:

The front tag has gone missing from my car twice in the last month. I now feel they were stolen both as I had my mechanic tighten up my tags a few days ago so it couldn't have dropped off. I'm curious if anyone else on the unit block of U or the neighborhood has had this problem.

a comment about the firehouse + more

See this message from a resident of the unit block of R Street NW:

Last night I parked my van on the lot in front of the fire station on North sCapitol Street. This morning, to my dismay, I discovered a note which stated, “Warning! Your vehicle will be towed next time. Please do not park here. Owner!” However, I noticed that another vehicle parked beside mine, which has been parked there most of the year, did not have a warning on it. I am wondering if the “Owner” is Brian Brown, the same person who got a sweetheart deal from the D.C. Government to develop the fire station into a community restaurant, but has failed to live up to his commitment to the city and the community and now wants to sell the property for an outrageous profit. Or is this the ame person that added pop-ups on two buildings on North Capitol, totally defacing the cityscape and devaluing the community. Or is this the same person who has transformed the Anna Cooper House into an eyesore: unfinished and crumbling retaining wall, gym wquipment on the front porch, and four to six pick-up trucks parked in the yard. Maybe it’s time for Bloomingdale to consider whether the “Owner” actually has Bloomingdale’s best interest at heart. And maybe he should have the courage to leave a name with his notes.

Friday, April 02, 2010

UPS slip at the door

From a Channing Street NW resident:

I found a UPS slip at my door yesterday. It said UPS was there to deliver a package to me but I didn’t answer the door so they will come back tomorrow (being today). It had the area for writing my name and signature marked. So I wrote my name and signed the area, and left the slip at the door before I left home today. When I came back the slip was not there but I didn’t see any packages either. I called UPS. They checked all their records. Called me back and said their system shows no package for me and no driver having come to my door yesterday. Obviously someone put the slip at the door and then took it away. And that person now has my signature. I wanted to let the neighbors know about this in case they get a slip too. It would safer to call UPS to confirm that they in fact have a package before signing the slip and leaving at the door.

seeking a charity that will pick up furniture in Bloomingdale

From a resident on the unit block of U Street NW:

We have a couple pieces of furniture we would like to donate to a charity. However, we need to have it picked up from our house and we are having problems finding a group that picks up from our neighborhood. Does anyone know which charity will pick up furniture from 20001?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

local business

I added a list of local business to the bottom of the right margin.
If i'm missing a place, please leave it in the comments.

i also did some general upgrading to the site, and added a "tweet this" button.
btw, you can follow InBloom's twitter feed here