Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Profile of an Entrepreneurial Petworthian

Elizabeh, Yoga House, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Allow me to introduce Elizabeth Greathouse, who actually lives in Brookland but her business Yoga House Studio is located right on Georgia Ave. and Princeton above Temperance Hall. So that counts.

First, let me set the scene. I had arrived to the interview a bit early so I conveniently was able to grab a drink at Temperance Hall downstairs from the Yoga House. So it was quite a contrast, initially, when I walked up the stairs to meet Elizabeth. I was immediately hit with the smell of incense burning and I almost expected to see my college buddies sitting on the floor listening to some Grateful Dead, as I stumbled upon a huge number of shoes on the third floor landing. I dutifully took off my shoes and knocked on the door. There was dead silence. So I opened the door and peaked my head around. I saw about a dozen folks sitting on the floor in what I assume was a yoga position, um, breathing. Yikes, I instantly felt awkward. So I'm sitting on a bench just chilling when all of a sudden the entire group starts chanting. At this point, I'm saying to myself, maybe I should have had more than one drink. But as the chanting continued I have to tell you it was really quite peaceful and I started feeling super relaxed. Of course that may have also been the killer rum and coke Scott fixed me downstairs, starting to kick in. No doubt about it though I felt like I was in a very warm, peaceful, safe place which is actually quite a contrast from the bustling gritty Georgia Avenue scene right outside.

"Well, there are no longer people urinating in the doorways at 6:00 am in the morning, so that is a positive development." - Elizabeth Greathouse

Elizabeth immediately came over to me and welcomed me to yoga house. She is a beautiful woman who was positively glowing as we sat down to speak. Damn, that chanting really must work, I thought to myself. I asked Elizabeth how on earth (or heaven) she decided to pick Petworth for her Yoga studio. In the Spring of 2005, Elizabeth noticed on the Petworth listserv that Lakritz/Adler (the developers and owners of the building) were looking to rent out the two floors above Temperance Hall. Elizabeth notes that her Yoga Studio actually opened up before Temperance Hall. She also noted that she has a very good relationship with Temperance Hall now that the bass on the juke box has been lowered and since the smoking ban went into effect.

Prior to opening Yoga House, Elizabeth was a lawyer for 20 years before moving to DC in 2000. Not long after arriving she began teaching Yoga in Adams Morgan and Tenleytown. Yoga House opened its doors in September 2006 and Elizabeth initially had retained many of her students although she lost a few from the Tenleytown location. Elizabeth admits that she did not know too much about Petworth before moving her business here but was delighted that it was near her home in Brookland. Since coming here, in addition to Temperance, Elizabeth has become a fan of Domku. She would love to see a coffee shop open up on Georgia Ave. When pressed to discuss what type of change she had witnessed, for starters, she cited the fact that "you don't see too many junkies on the street at 6:30 in the morning anymore." Well, that certainly is a positive development!

"We have bamboo floors!" - Elizabeth Greathouse

The studio itself is beautiful. It is located on two floors. Both spaces exude calmness and serenity. The walls are exposed brick and on the second floor there is a string of colorful prayer flags. (I think they are the Tibetan kind but I forgot to ask.) On the third floor there is a little office area, a kitchen area and a big empty space for the students to spread out their mats. Also unique to the third floor and probably to Petworth in general is the gigantic gong at the front of the room which is used in a particular type of Yoga that Elizabeth teaches.

"I'm really passionate about what I'm doing."

There is no doubt about that. Every question I asked was answered with Elizabeth at the edge of her seat looking at me intensely, directly into my eyes. I felt like she was looking for my soul, fortunately I had brought it with me that evening.

"If the price of rent isn't crazy I'll stay here. I'm expecting the neighborhood to grow and improve."

Elizabeth was very honest and open about her thoughts on the space and the neighborhood in general. "The neighborhood hasn't improved as fast as I'd like but there is lots of development coming to this block, there are big condos going up above the metro so hopefully I won't get priced out!", she told me. When Elizabeth refers to the neighborhood she is talking about the immediate vicinity around her business on Georgia Avenue. She would especially like to see all the vacant buildings renovated and improved. She notes that "with pride of ownership comes beautification." Elizabeth currently has a five year lease which increases 5% a year and then has an option to renew for another five years.

"I get wonderful feedback."

This past weekend was her busiest weekend with over thirty students attending all three classes. Elizabeth teaches what is known as Kundalini Yoga which deals with breathing and mantras. She studied with Yogi Bhajan the founder of this style of yoga for eight years. Yoga makes Elizabeth "feel so much better emotionally and a lot more stable." Her classes are usually 2/3 women. I also noticed that there was lots of diversity in her class. The class seemed evenly split between black and white students.

Elizabeth teaches 4 private classes and 10 full classes. She has 7 other teachers, a few of whom are from the neighborhood. The classes cost $20 per session individually or $13 per session if you purchase a package. Currently she is able to pay all her bills but, she notes, fortunately, her husband, Mark, has "a good job and can pay the mortgage on his salary. He has trusted me to make the right decisions and he doesn't even do Yoga!", she explained.

"Some people are afraid of personal awareness because then they must take personal responsibility."

Elizabeth explained to me that Yoga is not religious rather it is spiritual. It is "spiritual in the sense of looking at spirit and emotions and having a concept of being able to affect life by thoughts and emotions." She concluded that "it has an awareness component not a religious one." I should add in addition to the spiritual component that yoga also gives a hell of a workout too.

I was very skeptical when I heard all the chanting but in the end my mind was changed. Each and every student had huge smiles on their faces as they exited the studio and they visibly looked super at ease. Elizabeth has a class for beginners on Saturday that I'm definitely going to check out... or maybe I'll still go to Temperance Hall for my own brand of relaxation. But I can conclude that we are very lucky to have this amazing place in our neighborhood. If you are remotely interested in Yoga I would urge you to check it out. I think I gained five years on my life and I only witnessed five minutes of one class!

To learn more:Yoga House Studio
3634B Georgia Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 285-1316

Well, I'm Not Looking For Work

Not Hiring, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Apparently, the condos going up over the Petworth Metro are "not hiring". Fine, I didn't want that new washer/dryer anyway!

Buying One's Home: Thanks Mom and Dad

The New York Times has a great article on those who saved up and sacrificed much to purchase a home without the help of their parents. There were stories of those living off a single $2.95 chicken sandwich a day for years. Now, I'll say right off, my parents were kind enough to help me on the down payment of my own home here in Petworth. And I am ever grateful for their help. But just for the record, my parents are hardworking retired civil servants not hedge fund managers. Well, I happened upon an interesting debate up in NYC over at the Brownstoner blog where there are lots of interesting comments. So, should we laugh at those who needed mommy and daddy's help in purchasing a home in DC (P.o.P. included). Or is it great that the folks could help out? What are the stories here in DC? Were you able to purchase your home by sacrifice and savings or did you rely on outside help or are those two choices even mutually exclusive? Whenever a guest comes to my home and compliments my house, I always say, "the purchase of this house would not have been possible without a generous grant from the P.o.P's Mom and Pop." So, what does it take to buy a home in DC today?

Get a Carbon Monoxide Monitor

Good eye Express on spotting this story. Apparently a home on the 600 block of Kenyon was evacuated due to excessive carbon monoxide. So make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries and make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector!

Beloved Warehouse Theater to Open in Columbian Heights, Hopefully!

Breaking news: a well placed tipster has just informed me that the recently closed Warehouse Theater is currently in negotiations to open up in a new spot in Columbia Heights. For those of you who are excited about the new Red Rocks Pizzeria, get ready to get a little more excited: The prime spot across the street in the old supermarket on 11th and Park Road is set to become the new home of Warehouse Theater. Additionally I hear the new headquarters of Rock the Vote are also in negotiations to open up in that location. Rumors, rumors but hopefully it is true. Great news for Petworth and Columbia Heights! Let's hope the negotiations go well...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

And the Sign Says...

What the hell does the sign say? I may be getting a little petty here but I have noticed a bizarre trend among many of the new shops opening up around town. Of course, I am delighted that these new shops are opening, there is no doubt about that. But you can see the signs of Beveragemania, Nani Kafe, 11 St. Deli, World Greatest Jerk-Mango Cafe, and others and they all have something in common. Instead of good solid signs they have flimsy banners almost scotch taped to their buildings. Whatever happened to proper signage? I'm sure it is a lot cheaper but it seems, well, kind of cheap. I also think proper signage shows a level of commitment and confidence that their businesses will succeed. Or perhaps I'm just being ridiculous...

11th St. Deli...Delicious

Bacon and eggs, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I'm not sure if this picture does it any justice but the bacon and eggs at 11 St. Deli are terrific. I asked for eggs over medium and they did it perfectly despite the fact that I broke the yoke when I opened the container upside down. But I think the coolest find from this shop is that they have southern sweet tea and free refills on them. Plus it only cost five bucks.

Neat Neighborhood Find

Nani Kafe, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Thanks to a few readers who have alerted me to Nani Kafe on Harvard on Sherman a bit south of Petworth. The proprietors were fantastic and they make a mean latte. If you are reading this from the Park View neighborhood I believe you have found your go to Coffee shop. I asked the owners how they chose their location and they replied that this neighborhood was in need of a good coffee shop. This cafe has definitely filled a gap on Sherman Road. Best of luck to them.

A Good Dry Cleaner!

After 5 years of living in Petworth I have finally found an excellent dry cleaner...in Columbia Heights. The Georgetown Valet Dry Cleaner right across the street from the Giant on Park Road was a delight. They even got a stain out that was set like three years ago. So if you are going grocery shopping at the Giant anyway, I'd recommend giving them a try. The staff was courteous and the cleaning was top notch and the price was right. There were no arguments, no staring contests, in fact there was no grumbling at all, it was a pure delight, exactly what going to a dry cleaner should be like...hassle free.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Question of the Day

The last profile of a Petworthian really got me thinking about the different neighborhoods in DC. It seems that people who move to Petworth often consider moving to Shaw, Bloomingdale, Brookland, Eckington, H Street, NE and Columbia Heights. I feel a strong solidarity with these neighborhoods and you'll notice that we all link to each other's blogs. When I was looking to buy a house I really only looked in Petworth and Columbia Heights, I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't even heard of Shaw then. Now I happen to have a bunch of friends who live in these other neighborhoods and we often joke with each other about who lives in the best neighborhood (of course I always win). At any rate what I'd like to know is how do people chose one neighborhood over the other? It obviously isn't the school districts and the quality of life seems to be quite similar. I know that I am grateful that I "stumbled" upon Petworth. But now that the word is out about all these great neighborhoods how does one chose? Is it just based on the physical house/condo/apt. alone? Tell me, how did you decide to buy/rent in Petworth or one of the other neighborhoods listed?

I've Got A Bridge to Sell You Too

Do they really care?, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I've noticed these signs popping up all over Petworth. Do you think they really care or are they just looking to prey on those in trouble?

First Takoma Park

Now, even the Martians want Bush impeached...(From a rowhouse in Columbia Heights)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

MPD Shirts?

NYPD Community Affairs, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Maybe Chief Lanier needs to get her officer's some shirts. Then I would know for sure when I've seen community policing in action...

Interesting Renovation

Ground Floor Reno, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

So I have seen a few of these renovations going on where they seem to dig out the basement to make it a separate entrance. I'm kind of undecided about these renos. Have you seen what I'm talking about? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Columbia Heights "Prison Door" Condo Update

CH Condo update, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Looks like renting may be a better option than selling. Seriously, why don't they get some proper doors?

House of the Week

I love this house. It has a fantastic garden and a really good vibe. It also is located right behind the awful Petworth atrocity going up on N.H. and Upshur so at least you can see what a beautiful house can look like when done properly. Those at work on N.H. and Upshur should take notes...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sophisticated Vandals

This is a renovation going on in Columbia Heights. The vandals must really hate that financing company...

Let Me Tell You About Ms. Martin

I had a neighbor who lived across the street from me a few years back named Ms. Martin. Ms. Martin was in her 80s and had a gigantic Doberman Pinscher. So every now and then Ms. Martin would buy these gigantic bags of dog food and whenever I was on my porch I would help her carry the bags into her house. And finally the most amazing thing happened, she began to tell me about her past. It turns out Ms. Martin was the first black person to work at the Supreme Court as a secretary. When she got to know me she showed me all the news clippings, brittle and frail with age like she was. But boy did she have spirit. When she got to know me even more, she would again show me the old news clippings but with an added touch. We would share a bottle of watermelon wine. She was so happy unscrewing this wine and pouring me some in an outlandish glass. And then she would show me old pictures. At the time she was a striking woman but she showed me old photos and let me tell you she was an absolute knock out back in the day. But I also have to be honest, Ms. Martin was quite old and every time I saw her or helped her with bags she would tell me the same stories over and over again and I began to dread these conversations which could last up to an hour. Well, a few years back Ms. Martin broke her hip and she was placed into a full time care facility and her house was sold and I haven't seen her since. Now when I look over at her house, I can almost taste the watermelon wine and see her huge dog and her even bigger smile. I miss Ms. Martin.

Take His Rook, Take His Rook!

Street Chess, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

So I walked out of Taco Bell and came upon a lively game of street chess on 14th Street. And let me tell you - eating two meximelts while watching a lively game of street chess rivals a live Nats game any day of the week except Sunday of course.

P.o.P. Drinking Tip #1

Next time you are at Temperance Hall try the UFO Hefewiezen on tap, it is delicious!

An Update on Updates

I still haven't heard back from Robin about discussing a Farmer's Market in Petworth but hopefully will soon so stay tuned.

I'm looking to get the t-shirts made in August/September and then have a P.o.P. Happy Hour at Temperance Hall to distribute them so stay tuned for that.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I love it when you call me big P.o.P.pa

Little Green Bag, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

So as I was walking down 13th Street yesterday in Columbia Heights when I encountered, depending on your perspective, a neat or not so neat neighborhood find. I have spoken about these little zip lock bags before but I had never encountered a full one. I always thought I'd find a really small peanut butter and jelly sandwich inside but alas my eyes have finally been opened. Fortunately, I didn't see the proprietor drop his stash but if I did should I have said, "excuse me sir, I think you dropped your stash?". So anyway, I sold it for $20 bucks so that's not so bad. (I'm just kidding mom.) To make a long story short, I smoked it. (I'm just kidding mom.) I threw it away. What would you have done with this neat find?

A Nice Touch

Cool # in Stairs, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

One day I too will have stairs and numbers as awesome as these...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Colorado Kitchen's Chef Responds to Your Comments

Thanks for your comment and more importantly thanks for the great food you provide!

"Hi, this is Gillian, Chef at CK. I was surfing the web to see who it was that snapped a camera phone shot as we opened a few Sundays ago. We were all wondering what that was all about. I'm glad so many of you love my restaurant. We try really hard to make it a great experience for everyone. If you hear me yelling back there. I'm yelling at a server to hurry and take you your food. Or Robin is yelling at someone to get them to greet the folks at the door. We've come a long way from the first days. We have a team of really competent folks now. However, sometimes they get overwhelmed by how many people are in the room. If I appear grouchy it is because I do all of the cooking. ALL OF IT. And I do all of it from scratch. I was not going to write but when someone said that my potatoes came from a box I had to say something. I boil 17 potatoes and then mash them, stirring in hot cream and butter. I do it. Not a prep cook. I make all of the sauces and I'm the one behind the stove. Yes I have had to leave the kitchen and talk to irate customers. I remember anonymous #1. He wanted just half a mimosa. But we don't do that. There was a misunderstanding. The server sold him the whole thing. They drank just about all of it. I agreed to take it off of the bill. But he continued to rant and rave and swear the server was a liar. She started sobbing. I remember asking him to calm down. But he continued to stomp up and down and carry on. I asked him to leave and not bother paying for anything. In these situations I ask people not to come back. I know some of you guys know that some people are looking for a bad time. Not that Anon was. But we can see them when they come in. Nonetheless, we try really hard to make a great experience for everyone. As for our prices. Gosh. I think they're pretty reasonable....only two things over 20. We've got a great casserole for about 10 bucks. I can barely eat the whole thing. If you've had a bad time or a long wait, try us for Sat brunch or Thur nights (burgers) it's not so busy. But don't every accuse me of cooking processed food. That is just not true. Those are fighting words. I take food very seriously. I use 100% jumbo lump in my crab cakes. I soak my chicken for fried chicken in buttermilk for 24 hours so it is as tender as can be. I'm very serious about this and I take none of it lightly. You will have good food at CK. If you insist on having something that's not on the menu like 1/2 mimosa, or a grilled cheese sandwhich for your culture-deprived child then you might not leave as happy as the other 40 people in the room."

A sign of the apocalypse?

McD wifi, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Holy cow, the McDonald's on 14th and U has Wi-Fi! What's next really good coffee? Wait, they do have really good coffee. I'm heading to the shelter...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Now That's A Tomato Garden!

NH Tomato Garden, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Yesterday was one of those beautiful Petworth days in all respects. The weather was beautiful and I decided to walk down to U Street to meet some friends for dinner. So as I'm walking down New Hampshire I notice a big spray of water coming from the alley. To satisfy my curiosity I had to check it out. I venture into the alley and I see an older gentleman probably in 60s watering his garden. My eyes go wide as I see all of the tomatoes he has successful grown. He is very skeptical when I approach him. He looked at me like I was crazy as I was ogling his garden. I asked him if I could take a picture of his garden. He replied "I don't care, take a picture of whatever you want", in not the most friendly tone. I was a little taken back. I quickly told him how amazing I thought his garden looked. At this point his eyes lit up for just a second and you could see him swell with pride. I then told him my woes about growing only two tomatoes and how they both got eaten by an animal. Without hesitating he walked over and plucked a handful of gorgeous red tomatoes and insisted that I take them. He told me he lived on the block for 35 years and has always had a garden. I was grateful for his generosity. I had so many more questions I wanted to ask him but he walked back to continue watering his garden. Well, I hope to catch him again to learn more about his gardening technique and to learn more about his experiences living in Petworth for the past 35 years. And yes, the tomatoes were delicious!

Mmm, Tomatoes...

Gift of Tomato, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I was given a handful of tomatoes by a complete stranger. (See above post)

Just another beautiful day in Petworth

Did you know that Petworth averages over 200 days of sunshine a year? Ed. Note: There is a slight possibility I may have fabricated that fact.

Upshur Street Charter School Development Watch

Looking good...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday question of the day

Great news. I have been contacted by the woman behind the Bloomingdale, Mt. Pleasant and U Street farmers market. I'd like to plan on meeting with her sometime next week.

She wrote:

"I am the Director of the Mount Pleasant, 14 & U and
Bloomingdale Farmers' Markets. I would be glad to come to a meeting
in Petworth and talk about how we started the farmers' market in
Bloomingdale -- and what it would take to start one in Petworth...."

So what do you think, do we want a Farmers Market in Petworth? Do we know why the efforts by the owner of Domku were unsuccessful? I remember signing a petition a while back. Should we involve Muriel Bowser in this effort? By the by, any opinion on how we think our Councilmember has represented so far? But most importantly are we going to make a real effort for a farmers market?

Reason # 52 Petworth is badass

Darfur, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

We have a social conscious.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

If You Can't Get a Tomato...

Plant a rose bush. Sure I had my two prize tomatoes eaten by a bastard squirrel or other such animal. Sure my cucumbers never even sprouted. Sure my peppers simply laughed at me. Well, plant a rose bush and you'll still get some joy. They look great and don't get eaten by animals!

Random PoP Observation

As much as I wish I rode a bicycle or walked everywhere I actually drive places from time to time. As such, I have to fill up the car with gas. So, this weekend I fill up the car at one of the "cheap" places down on Sherman Ave and I put 10 bucks in. You know how if you put 10 bucks in the nozzle gets really slow at $9.90? Well, this pump got really slow at $9.00! So for a full dollar at 1 cent increments I had to wait for it to reach 10 bucks. What the hell? Have you noticed this at gas stations around town?

A PoP Update

Lots of great changes are on the rise here at PoP. I'm currently in talks with a web developer to really spruce up the site. And I'm making T-Shirts. But these T-shirts won't be for sale. They will be free to our loyal readers. I'm going to hook up my favorite and most active commentors. So if you have any ideas for what you'd like to see on the t-shirt let me know now plus let me know if there are any new features you'd like to see on the site. And I'm going to get a new camera so my photos can actually be identifiable. So that is why I have added advertisements to the site. I want to supplement the out of pocket costs for these new developments. So support the sponsors by clicking on an ad! If you find the ads really obnoxious let me know that as well. I really do appreciate any feedback you may have on how you'd like to see the site develop.

Another Local Restaurant Gets a Great Review

The Washington Post reviewed Logan@the Heights in Columbia Heights today.

My favorite part: "The menu at the Heights plays up comfort food and offers something for everyone: steak frites for meat eaters, crab cakes for seafood fans, vegetable linguine for vegetarians and meatloaf for a homesick Midwesterner -- though no Midwesterner's mom is likely to have served meatloaf with a wasabi crust."

Read the full review here. But don't forsake El Limeno!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

El Limeno Gets Great Review in DCist!

The reviewers conclude "Overall the food was mighty tasty and the service was right on." I couldn't agree more!

Read the full review here.

Quarterly Community Policing Query

on patrol., originally uploaded by jendarrah.

In April District Matters wrote a nice little piece on the success of MPD community policing initiatives. As has been noted previously I've seen two cops walk past Domku once and in April I too saw one cop on foot from a distance.

So I've decided to start a quarterly query to see if anyone has seen a cop on foot patrol. I think it is a great idea if it is actually implemented. So has anyone seen community policing in full effect?

Reason # 48 Petworth is Badass

Bike path in Petworth, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

As you can see here Petworth has some very well marked bicycle only lanes. And as you can see here they are far superior to another city's bike lane.

Would this Law Fly in Petworth?

Since we've been on the Brooklyn kick I thought I'd share a law that they have on the books there:

"The current law holds property owners liable for the smallest candy wrapper (or soda can, like the one above that greeted us on our return from the airport yesterday) that any passerby decides to drop on the sidewalk — and even up to 18 inches off the curb."

You can read the full post from Brownstoner here. Scroll up to read the article, you'll be taken directly to the comments.

The law seems kind of whacked to me. I can't even imagine how deep in debt we'd be if the DC City Council were to look to fill its coffers this way.

Georgia Ave. Express Bus

Has been reviewed by Live From Third Rail. Read the review here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Profile of a Pregnant Petworthian (and Husband)

Karen and Steve, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Yesterday I sat down with with Karen and Steve who are expecting their first child in August. Steve, 38, an IT specialist for a government agency, moved to Petworth one year ago. He had been living in Dupont Circle for the past six years and decided to buy a house with his sister. After looking in Shaw, Brookland and Columbia Heights Steve ended up buying in Petworth because "Brookland wasn't city enough and Shaw was a bit too expensive." Karen, 38, a science writer and Pilates instructor, of course was consulted and added that "we liked how close it was to the metro, how close it was to the park (old soldier's home) and liked the diversity as well." Karen said, "I walked around and it was neighborly, everyone was very friendly." It also didn't hurt that "the house was completely redone and beautiful inside."

Karen had been living in Woodley Park but after their engagement, they pulled the old switcheroo on Steve's sister. So, Karen moved to Petworth and Steve's sister moved into Karen's condo in Woodley Park. Ultimately Karen and Steve will buy out Steve's sister and sell the condo in Woodley Park.

Karen went into greater detail about her love of Petworth. "I love the neighborliness and the fact that there are so many babies and toddlers on the block, all the parents say hi and offer helpful suggestions to me when they see that I am pregnant. In the 12 years I lived in Woodley Park there was nowhere near the amount of neighborliness that there is here." Karen also likes the diversity found in Petworth. "You don't see this much diversity and harmony too often in DC", she remarked.

Steve also likes the fact that Petworth is still very much a part of the city. He likes the urban feel combined with the neighborly feel. He also likes the fact that Georgia Avenue is such a vibrant street and he is excited about all the revitalization going on. Of course Steve and Karen were big fans of Temperance Hall (that is where we met for the interview.) Most of all both Steve and Karen would love to see a really good bakery come to the neighborhood.

When the baby arrives both Karen and Steve believe that Day Care is a very viable option in Petworth. They like the fact that there are so many day care options as well as not having to worry about booking them a year in advance. Karen also added excitedly, "and there is playground nearby!".

If all goes well when the baby reaches school age Karen and Steve would like to send him/her (they didn't find out the sex of the baby) to a Math and Science Charter school that is moving to Petworth. Unfortunately, this Charter school has such a good reputation that you have to win a lottery to have your child attend. Karen and Steve don't believe that DC public schools will provide the best education. They joke that if they don't win the lottery to the Math and Science Charter School they may start their own.

Five years from now Karen and Steve may have more children thus requiring them to find a bigger house. They'd like to stay in the neighborhood but if that is not possible they will seek to stay in the "general vicinity." In five years they hope that Petworth will remain a diverse and dynamic community with more commercial options. But they hope it retains the neighborhood feeling that attracted them to Petworth in the first place.

House of the Week

Sticking with the theme of the intersection of Colorado and 14th - check out this awesome house. The great hanging plants really caught my eye.

PoP Aquatic Observation #1

I saw this today in Yahoo news: Tanzania fishermen catch endangered fish. Um, if you catch (and kill) endangered fish is that a good idea? Isn't that like a hunter shooting a rare Snow Leopard?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Neat Neighborhood Find

Lily's Cafe, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Thanks to a reader for recommending Lily's cafe. Located two stores up from Colorado Kitchen (see below) this is a delicious coffee and egg joint. Lily's offers Wifi and friendly service. I had an egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant for something like two bucks. The way I can best describe it is: I wish it was closer to where I lived. It is a great joint for an egg sandwich and coffee but I don't really think it worth driving to. It would be the greatest thing on earth if I could stumble out of bed hungover and walk over to this place but the prospect of driving is just not worth it. However, if you live anywhere near walking distance of this location you must check it out. I want one in Petworth proper!

Colorado Kitchen

I know, my camera phone is terrible. But I think you can see how cool Colorado Kitchen is from this blurry photo. Colorado Kitchen is located on 14th and Colorado and is probably one of the coolest restaurants in DC. It is not cheap. But you pay for the good food and huge portions. I had the fried chicken with mash potatoes and corn and it fed me for two days. An all around cool joint worth checking out but bring your check book!

Mama Never Said There'd Be Days Like This

Writing this post brings me no joy but I promised a reader I would post about what I witnessed almost exactly a year ago. I never in my wildest dreams or rather nightmares thought I'd see someone shot in front of my eyes. It was the dead of summer on a beautiful evening. I had a buddy crashing at my house, and on nice evenings like this we would often drink a few beers on the porch. On this particular evening many of my neighbors had same idea. The wind was gently swaying the trees, keeping the mosquitos away and the evening cool. It was truly delightful.

Bang, pop, Bang, Bang, pop, pop! The calmness is instantly shattered. Time freezes. You can imagine Martin Scorsese artfully filming this scene. As I, unfortunately, had heard gun shots before I immediately jumped up. My buddy however, was unclear and starting looking around. We didn't see the shooter but the victim is lying face down bleeding. I scream at my friend, get in the house! Get in the house! My hands fumble reaching for my phone, shaking a little bit as I call 911. When the operator answers I can barely speak, finally mumbling "multiple shots, er gunfire, er multiple shots er I think someone's been shot." The operator calmly tells me that the police are on their way. I should say that this shooting took place approximately 20 feet from where I was casually sipping a beer.

Sure, enough the cops arrived in minutes. The ambulance then arrived soon after. All the neighbors pour out of their houses to see what has happened. I'm still breathing irregularly but I start to regain my composure. It seems as though the victim is still alive as he is loaded on to the gurney. Yellow Police tape has blocked off most of the street. Cops are looking for shell casings. I quickly finish my beer and pour a whiskey for my friend and a scotch for me.

It turns out that the shooter calmly walked up to the porch on the corner across the street from me and fired straight at a group of men hanging out. Then he apparently calmly walked away and got into a waiting car a few blocks away. As far as I know he was never caught. But what happens next is just as alarming. As the yellow police tape has blocked the scene people begin congregating around it like it is a velvet rope corralling folks before they head into a club. Well, the guy who was on the porch with the victim is visibly shaken and he is pacing up and down like a tiger. Some other neighbors I had never seen before come up from down the block and are talking about how upset they are that "they are shooting up our boys". And by "our boys" they mean our drug dealers.

I am told by another neighbor that the dealers have sent an "enforcer" to make sure nobody talks to the cops. And I didn't see anyone talking to the cops. Presumably the cops knew this because I didn't even see them making an effort to talk to people except for those who were standing next to the victim. Later the next day they would come to our doors to ask if we had seen anything. Unfortunately, it was so dark and it happened so quick, I was unable to provide any info. But it appears that there was some definite intimidation going on for those who had info. This was by far the scariest evening of my life.

And I was very sure that I was going to sell my house the next day. It took weeks for me to totally calm down. Was this normal? I decided since it was a "targeted" shooting, I was basically safe if a little shaken up. Of course if those on the porch had returned fire I very easily could have got caught in the crossfire and that is a terrifying thought. But I weighed everything that I love about Petworth vs what I had witnessed and I decided to stick it out. So far my decision has been a good one. I haven't come close to witnessing anything remotely similar to what I had seen that evening. I concluded that getting hit by a bus was far more likely and last I checked there are buses in every neighborhood.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday question of the day

As I think is very well known, I love Temperance Hall. I honestly think it is near perfect. So do we need another neighborhood bar? Or would you rather have something that we don't have yet like a bookstore or all the other ideas people put forth a few weeks ago. Yet, if you look at H Street, NE there seems to be bar after bar opening and they appear to be doing well. So what is the best way to spur development - to open a series of bars/restaurants and hope other development follows? Or can we have one perfect bar and hope that, that will attract the other types of development that we seek, ie coffee shop, bakery, chocolate shop etc? Will it occur when the big condos over the metro are built? So are there any economists out there? Urban planners? How the hell does "development" occur? And what role will the great streets initiative play? Somebody explain a few scenarios to me please.

I Shed a Tear of Joy Tonight

Red Rocks Opens!, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

All the hype is true! Red Rocks Pizzeria opened tonight and I wept like a baby I was so happy. Before I get to the restaurant let me just say that I think RedRocks represents all that is good and positive about development in Columbia Heights and Petworth. I sat outside and witnessed true diversity. There were Latinos, Whites, Blacks, young and old(er) and plenty of babies. I even spotted Petworth's very own Bill Crandall and family. It almost felt like a community get together. You could just sense how happy everyone was. Like they had been waiting so long for something like this to come along. And it didn't disappoint. Of course, there were some minor issues that need to be worked out but on opening night it is to be expected and overall I felt that the experience was sublime.

I started off with a delicious glass of Chimay beer which tasted like what I can only imagine beer tastes like in heaven. I ordered the Napoli pizza which came with anchovies, basil and all the good stuff. For 10 bucks it was delicious and plenty filling. But I think it is the combination of great food and great atmosphere that made the experience so pleasant. I honestly feel like that is the type of restaurant people have been dreaming about. And for the first time in a long time our dreams have finally come true. It is simple but classy, cheap but delicious. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Holy Awesome

Red Rocks Inside, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Red Rocks Pizzeria on the inside. See full post above.

Looking for an apartment to rent in Petworth?

People seem to like this building south of the old firehouse. I think you can see the number and the address in the photo...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Care to Speculate?

These two properties, 3917 and 3921 7th Street, NW were purchased for $450,000 each in September of 2006 by the same company. So what do you think they will become? New Condos? Refurnished single family houses? Or a monstrosity like the eyesore on Upshur and New Hampshire? Another question: if they were purchased almost a year ago how come there has been no renovation? $450k seems like a lot of dough for some shells. Which leads me to another question: are there any shells near you? I have seen a few renovated nicely and some not so nicely. How about you? Have you seen shells renovated? Do you have shells that have been around forever? Do they attract unsavory characters? Do you think some are related to the Shiloh Church syndrome? (Shiloh Church has owned a number of properties in various states of disrepair in the Shaw neighborhood for years.) Ok, that is enough questions. I'm sorry, I've been drinking...

My favorite band that I've never actually had the chance to hear

Local Petworthian's band has another concert. If you missed Ra Ra Rasputin at Wonderland you have another chance to check them out.

Ra Ra Rasputin w/the Husbands
Saturday July 14th @ 9PM
Velvet Lounge

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Does anyone rent in Petworth?

A little while ago a reader wrote in to inquire about renting options in Petworth. Before we address that issue I would like to give props to the apartment building right near the metro on New Hampshire and Quincy. This building (at least on the outside) is the ideal that other apartment building should strive for. First of all, it has a fantastic garden that is very well cared for. Secondly, almost every morning on my walk to the metro there is a gentleman (employed by the building) who cleans up all the trash that has collected around the building. I know I mostly focus on homes so I just wanted to give the respect that this building's management certainly deserves.

So, back to the question at hand. Not everyone can afford to buy in Petworth now that the prices have reached a certain level. But lots of people are becoming introduced to Petworth through Domku, Temperance Hall and word of mouth. So what are their options? It seems like there are a number of ads on craiglist to rent rooms or share houses. But what about traditional apartment buildings besides the one in this photo? Incidentally, does anyone know someone who lives in this apartment building. Is it as nice on the inside as it is on the outside? So, is renting a viable option in Petworth? How are the prices to rent here?

Neat Neighborhood Find

Again, not exactly in Petworth but close enough. There is a fantastic independent bookstore on 14th and Q near the Bike Rack. Until we get one of our own this great bookstore is well worth visiting especially if you like international travel.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Damn you Columbia Heights, Make Up Your Mind Already!

If Petworth is the love of my life, Columbia Heights is my mistress. I love the stability of Petworth but Columbia Heights has so much excitement. But I think Columbia Heights is going through a bit of an identity crisis. I altered my walk home today so I could take a picture of the new Dunkin Donuts (see photo down below - sniffle, sniffle). I have to say the walk up 14th Street past Florida is less than pleasant. At first there was simply an uncomfortable vibe in the air. And then there was spit in the air. You remember the expression if looks could kill? Crossing Harvard a young woman looked me straight in the eye and spit at my feet. What the hell? I was stunned. I had my ipod on and I was grooving to the Drive by Truckers minding my own business. Would she have spit at anyone's feet at that particular moment? As I have learned, it is often wiser to simply keep on walking. Which is what I did. Not two blocks later an older guy in his 40s yells at me: "yo baby, give me some of that water." I had a bottle of water with me as it was approximately 1000 degrees today. "Yo baby, give me some of that water." What the hell is that? Then of course I pass the gorgeous Dunkin Donuts. A few moments after that I pass the lovely Starbucks and the super cool Heights of Columbia Restaurant. So, Columbia Heights what are you? Are you just a hateful place or are you the hub of cool that I always tell everyone you are? Are you just playing mind games with me? I think we are old enough to be straight with each other. I think you are really good looking with your awesome rowhouses, sweet bars, and of course plentiful coffee shops (both chain and independent). So where do we go from here?

8th and Taylor Playground Construction Watch

Thanks to Susan for sending this great photo. It looks like they are very slowly making some progress at the playground being built at 8th and Taylor.

So close yet so far away...

Of course Columbia Heights has a Dunkin Donuts that is about to open on 14th St. just south of Harvard. Man, they know how to taunt me. I promise this is my last Donkin Donuts post for a while. Thanks to Chris for the heads up.

House and Garden of the Week 4th and Varnum

This house is ridiculous it has such a great garden. This picture obviously does not do it justice. The garden goes all the way down the side of the house around to the backyard. As a reader suggested, this is one of the greatest gardens in the neighborhood. They obviously spend a lot of time on it and we all get to enjoy it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bloomingdale's Farmers Market

Holy cow is this awesome. I am so jealous. Yes it is small. But as a start, this market is fantastic. Why don't we have one? Is Bloomingdale better than us? Better organized than us? Do we want our own farmers market or is the one on U Street close enough? I know the owner of Domku put out feelers a few months back about getting a Market in Petworth, so what ever happened with that? I am so jealous.

Which guy is the world's famous jerk?

Now, I love Sweet Mango Cafe located on New Hampshire Ave, right across from the metro. As I have said before you can not walk by that place without being overcome by a delicious smell of chicken cooking. Nevertheless, the new sign they put up is less than stellar. It says "Home of the World's Famous Jerk" and has a picture of chicken next to it. So obviously they are talking about the chicken. But the picture above the logo has two nice guys holding a bowl of mangoes. If I was one of those guys I would be a little pissed. Of course, I've been called a lot worse...

Let's hope the .4 includes a toilet

For Rent in Petworth, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is a seemingly normal advertisement for a house to rent in Petworth. But upon closer inspection you can see that the house is listed as "1.4 Bath". How do you not catch that? Since it is less than 2 bathrooms I would assume that, that .1 is very important if it indeed meant to say 1.5 Bath. I'm just saying...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bad boys, Bad boys, what you gonna do?

Anyone notice a large showing of Metro Transit police this morning? I know it is good that they are out there but when I see them in full force it always makes me a little uneasy, like they know something that I don't...

Friday question of the day

This issue has been getting a lot of local press lately. Street Harassment. The blog Don't Be Silent has done an excellent job documenting it. But my question to you is: Do you face street harassment in Petworth?

Best Italian Restaurant in Washington DC!

I was very hesitant to post this entry. This is my absolute favorite restaurant in Washington. Al Crostino, an Italian restaurant with a fantastic wine list and delicious food is located on U Street between 13th and 14th. The servers are the nicest, the chef cares, and the prosciutto is unbelievable. Normally, I like to keep secrets like this to myself but I have grown to like you guys so I thought I'd share. If you are going on a date this place is the best - you can impress without breaking your wallet. Plus you are in a fantastic location to go for drinks after dinner. The ravioli is my personal favorite but this is one of the few places where you really can't go wrong with whatever you order. So thank me later after you try this place!

Neat Neighborhood Finds: Volume Three

Well, not exactly Petworth but as I always say, if I can walk to it, I can blog about it. At any rate people seem to love bicycles in Petworth. And we have already seen the coolest bike in Petworth. So I thought people would like this neat find on Q Street just off of 14th Street: A sweet neighborhood bike shop.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fireworks Petworth, DC Style!

Let the debate begin. You know what I'm talking about. What a display! This has been one of the wildest performances I have ever seen in Petworth. I feel bad for all the people who treked down to the Mall, only to be evacuated, then having to fight the traffic when they could've just come to Petworth! The video below is only a fraction of the visuals. It should give you a good taste though. So what do you think - Awesome? or Next year I'm getting the hell out of dodge?

Charter school construction watch

Looks like the charter school going up on Upshur next to El Limeno is progressing nicely. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to its completion so that El Limeno will no longer be obscured by an active construction site. Viva El Limeno!

Best Neighborhood to Buy in Right Now?

You guessed it - Petworth of course! Washingtonian magazine interviewed Real Estate Blogger Ken Johnson who runs DCMud.blogspot.com and DCRealestate.com. The Washingtonian asked: "Best neighborhood to buy in right now: For value, try Silver Spring and DC’s Petworth and Shaw. Have patience. If you have no patience, DC’s Logan Circle."

Three words: Chili Cheese Fries

Great news to report from Ben's Chili Bowl located between 12th and 13th on U Street. Washingtonian magazine reports that they "have their hands on the former nightclub next door and plan to turn it into a second location with a lounge-y vibe and hopefully, a liquor license."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Jools Holland @ Petworth House

Jools Holland @ Petworth House, originally uploaded by xrrr.

I unfortunately was unable to upload a video that a reader had sent me. So I searched Flickr for fireworks in Petworth and found this lovely picture. I'm not sure what Jools Holland or the Petworth House is but, hey, if it has Petworth in the title, I'll take it! And it is a pretty cool picture too. So have a very Happy 4th of July, enjoy the fireworks wherever you watch them and be safe.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dunkin' Donuts How I Pine for Thee

I have not forgotten you. We are such an unlikely love affair. I despise the Red Sox "nation" and all that is New England, yet you are inextricably associated with that cultural backwater. I hate Tom Brady and his freaking smirk. I despise Manny. Yet I love you. I was first introduced to the beautiful coffee bean by your arch rival in Seattle. Starbucks. I know you get upset when I even mention her name. Forgive me. You have had my heart ever since I first sipped you in New York. I know how I have written that I will not lobby for you in Petworth. But I will never forget you. Mark my words, whether it is one year, five years or ten years we will be together again!

Washington D.C.'s Fireworks Rules

I suggest you take these rules with a grain of salt. But here they are in full courtesy of the Washington Post. It makes you wonder what crack team of detectives are monitoring the fireworks for sale on every other corner that are completely out in the open.

"Sparklers measuring 20 inches or less, torches, box fire, fountains, cones, dip sticks, non-poisonous snakes, paper novelty items, colored lights and paper caps are allowed. Any fireworks that move, explode, emit a flame greater than 12 inches, have a side-mounted fuse or fuse inserted along the product's surface, or contain highly oxidizing agents such as mercury or arsenic that the fire marshal considers to be dangerous to the safety of any person or property are not permitted."

House of the Week

Thanks to a reader who pointed out that I was focusing a bit too much below Grant Circle. As a result this week's house of the week is from Emerson and 4th Street. It is a beautiful house with lovely flower boxes. The picture speaks for itself as always.

Georgia Ave. condo watch

Well, there hasn't been tons of visual development. But recently we have seen the addition of a gigantic crane which is always a positive development. More to come...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mission Homeless Shelter to Georgia Ave.?

I am not affiliated with this group but was sent the meeting announcement.

G.A.R.D.S will be hosting a meeting on July 10th, 7:00pm to talk about how
Central Union Mission can be stopped from relocating to the 3500 block of
Georgia Avenue. The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center
located on the corner of Warder and Otis Pl, NW.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fireworks for sale and cell phones too!

Get ready. In just three days you all are about to witness a very special aspect of living in Petworth. As you have probably noticed by now there are fireworks for sale on almost every other corner. Maybe you have heard some firworks going off already. Tip of the iceberg my friends. Personally, I absolutely love it. My corner gets blocked off every 4th of July and there is an impromptu fireworks display put on by the neighborhood that lasts around half an hour. They are amazing. And my wonderful neighbors who put on the show also clean up all the refuse. So it is truly a special event put on by responsible folks. If anyone gets a good photo of the fireworks be sure to send them to me.

Garden of the Week 13th in CH

This is another beautiful garden also located on the front yard. I'm super jealous of this one.

Holy Corn on Georgia Ave.

That is some mighty big corn located right on Georgia Ave. in someone's front yard. Is it weird that someone is growing huge stalks of corn in their front yard? Personally, I'm jealous.

Garden store on 14th St.

Everyone was quite favorable about this garden store last I wrote about it. I just walked by it again and noticed they have added an addition. It looks like a number of locusts are crawling up the wall. Aren't locusts bad for gardens?