Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Couple Quick Items: Reduced Bus Service, SW Dog Park Listserv Created

- WMATA has proposed to change the 70/71 Metrobus routes that currently terminate at Half & O Street in Buzzard Point to instead end at the National Archives at 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, which would eliminate service in Southwest starting this fall. The 70/71 buses would be replaced with a new 74 bus that will run from 5am to 8pm Monday-Friday.  No service will be provided in the evening or on weekends. To supplement the lack of service during these times, the V8 bus will be rerouted to the affected area.  In addition, Metro is considering increasing headways between Metro rail trains on the weekends from 12 to 18 minutes on Saturdays and from 15 to 20 minutes on Sundays. WMATA will have a special hearing on Wednesday, June 8 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm at Arena Stage to discuss these proposed changes.  The hearing is sponsored by Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells and ANC 6D.  News of reduced Metrobus service comes on the heels of a transit development plan that recommends Circulator service on the Convention Center - SW Waterfront route to be discontinued while The Wharf gets developed due to low ridership.

- For all you dog people out there, a new listserv has been created just for you!  Email swdogpark@gmail.com to join the new SW Listserv dedicated to establishing a permanent dog park in Southwest. The new group will be sponsoring joint dog walks weekly for exercise and community building.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Photos from my ART and CaBi Ride Before the "Rapture"

Water taxi this way!

The Dolley Madison docked at the Gangplank Marina.

The back side of Cantina Marina facing the Washington Channel.

Going around Hains Point and the Naval War College.

The Washington Monument and the Old Post Office Building.

About to pass under the Memorial Bridge.

On the other side of the Memorial Bridge.

Riding past the new MLK Memorial - under construction along the Tidal Basin.

The DC World War I Memorial is getting refurbished across from the MLK Memorial.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Few Quick Items: Redistricting, Amidon-Bowen Library, Buzzard Point Stadium, SEC Lease Drama

- JDLand reports that the draft redistricting map has been released and the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood (as well as Near SE) will remain in Ward 6. In addition, the section of Ward 2 on the north side of the Southwest Freeway south of Independence Avenue will become a part of Ward 6.

- Amidon-Bowen Elementary School is one of five DC schools (42 schools nationwide) to receive a $200,000 grant from Target this summer, according to the Examiner.  From the article:
The minimum $200,000-per-school renovation will include light construction, technology updates, new furniture, carpet and shelves, and 2,000 books...Every student at the 42 selected schools and his or her siblings will receive seven new books. Target will also establish Meals for Minds pantry sites at each school to allow all students and their families to choose food to take home.
- More buzz about DC United's search for a new stadium site, this time from The Washington Post's Soccer Insider. The insider takes a tour of Buzzard Point to check out 100 V Street as a potential stadium location.

- The Washington Business Journal reports that the SEC and the GSA are having discussions about the lease the SEC signed at Constitution Center last year and the issues revolving around excess space the agency may or may not use.  In addition, the WBJ reports that the inspector general for the SEC says the agency could owe $94 million in damages for the space it leased but backed out of a few months later.

Niña and Pinta Arrive at Gangplank Marina Today

Two Columbus replica ships will be making their way up the Washington Channel to the Gangplank Marina this afternoon at 2pm and will stick around through the holiday weekend.  Below is the media advisory:
On Thursday May 26th at 2:00 p.m., the ‘Pinta’ and the ‘Niña’, replicas of Columbus’ ships will arrive in Washington. The ships will be docked at the Gangplank Marina, 600 Water St., until their departure early Monday morning May 30th.
The media are invited to a private viewing of the ships on Thursday after docking. The ships open to the general public on Friday May 27th. The Niña was built by hand and without the use of power tools and considered to be the most historically correct Columbus Replica ever built. The Pinta was recently built in Brazil and is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.
While in port, the general public are invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors, and $6.00 for students 5 – 16. Children 4 and under are Free. The ships are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. No reservations necessary. Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30 minute guided tour with a crew member should call 1 787 672 2152 and leave a message. Minimum of 15. $4.00 per person. No Maximum.
Visit our website OR EMAIL columfnd@surfbvi.com.
¿Dónde está la Santa María?

Capitol Skyline Hotel Pool Party Season About to Begin

This news kind of slipped through the cracks, but the Going out Gurus blog at The Washington Post reported last week that after two years of running pool parties, the organizers of the pool scene at the Capitol Skyline Hotel will change from Brightest Young Things to the team behind 18th Street Lounge and Marvin. No more Spike'd Sundays and "zany" poolside activities - instead, the organizers will focus more on music, drinks, and lounging. Food trucks will feed the masses. 

The pool parties became pretty popular since the Capitol Skyline Hotel refurbished the Olympic-sized pool, deck, and hotel a couple years ago. Two summers ago, the pool was the weekly hangout for the cast of Real World DC. Here's a snippet from the GOG blog about what's planned this summer at the pool:
Starting Memorial Day, the parties -- called “Dubsplash” -- will take over the pool every Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. DJs will include many regulars from Marvin and Eighteenth Street Lounge, including Jahsonic, Adrian Loving and Thomas Blondet, with guest appearances by ESL Music artists, including Ursula 1000, and Scott says that there will be regular afternoon performances by local bands, such as the Arkives, a reggae band that packs Patty Boom Boom, and disco-soul singer Frank Mitchell Jr. Later in the summer, Dubsplash will host larger bands -- including Thievery Corporation -- in the hotel parking lot adjacent to the pool, but details about those events are still being worked out. The opening weekend will be DJ-focused. Saturday the 28th finds D.C. funk fixtures Thunderball joining Marvin’s DJ Keenan. Sunday’s pool party features Volta Bureau -- a new DJ team featuring Will Eastman, Micah Vellian and Outputmessage -- with electro-spinner Chris Nitti opening.
The entrance fee for the parties will be $15 and there will be two bar areas - one by the pool and another indoors that will serve "really nice cocktails."  Pool memberships are also available. The Capitol Skyline Hotel is located at 10 I Street.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sneak Peek Photos of Station 4

 Last night, Andrew Lightman, the editor of the Hill Rag and SW resident, got a tour of Station 4 and was kind enough to pass along some photos he took of the restaurant.  He invited me to come along, but I had a prior engagement and unfortunately couldn't attend. As you can see from the photos, there are a variety of seating types in the restaurant.  Also, reader Sylvia noticed yesterday that outdoor seating was set up in the patio and it appears to be wicker furniture. Andrew notes that the bar and indoor lounge area are still under construction and vendor issues have delayed the restaurant's opening.  If you haven't done so already, make your guess of the restaurant's opening date in the comments.

The partition separates the main seating area from the bar.

Here are some cool red seats along the still-papered up windows.

Family style dining area.

Proprietor Med Lahlou in front of the gas fireplace.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

7th Street Landing Schedule for June

At this evening's Southwest Waterfront meeting co-hosted by SWNA and the CBCC, Elinor Bacon and Bob Rubenkonig from the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team discussed the community benefits package they agreed to with the city (which I will post about later), and in addition, Bob went over the programming schedule for 7th Street Landing for the month of June.

Starting on June 2 and every Thursday until September 29, there will be a farmers market with jazz and blues from 5-8pm. The farmers market will feature Arcadia Green Market, Red Apron Butcher & Larder, Buzz Bakery, Frank (handmade hot dogs from Red Apron), handcrafted beers and regional wines (from the purveyors of ChurchKey and Birch & Barley), and King Ribs BBQ with Grillmaster Bufus.  Click here for more information on the security plan for the market. The following jazz and blues bands by Jazz Night in Southwest, a project of Southwest Renaissance at Westminster Presbyterian Church, will perform in June:
  • June 2: Antonio Parker Quintet
  • June 9: Queen Aisha & Friends
  • June 16: Thad Wilson Jazz Ensemble
  • June 23: David Cole Blues Band
  • June 30: Nasar Abadey Quartet
On Friday evenings, there will be Summer Rhythms and a Food Truck Roundup from 6-8pm.  The following bands will perform in June, provided by DC Harbor Cruises:
  • June 3: Patrick Alband and Noche Latina (Latina and Salsa)
  • June 10: Crawdaddies (Cajun Soul)
  • June 17: New Legacy Jazz (Big Band Swing)
  • June 24: Higher Hands (Fusion)
Each Saturday morning in June there will be Waterfront Yoga from 10-11am provided by Flow Yoga on The Wharf with Caitlin Uzzell.  In addition, King Ribs will provide breakfast BBQ. All events at 7th Street Landing are free and open to the public. Activities at all events include Bean Baggo, Table Tennis and Bocce and free WiFi access. A monthly schedule of events for 7th Street Landing will be placed in The Southwester.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Station 4 News (or Lack Thereof)

I receive comments and emails almost daily from readers asking about when Station 4 will open. If I had more news about the highly anticipated neighborhood restaurant I’d most certainly share it with you all. However, I don’t. I’ve tried contacting the manager for an update, but there’s been radio silence so far. What I do know is the following:

The restaurant’s website states that Station 4 will now open in May – previously, it was winter 2011. Since winter 2011 has come and gone, the date was changed to May. Word on the street earlier this month was the owner was aiming for a May 15th opening, however, this latest opening date estimate has passed as well. I’ve been told so many opening dates (ranging from August 2010 to last month) I will no longer believe anything until I see food being served inside the restaurant or on the patio for paying customers.

As I tweeted last week, a peek inside the restaurant shows most of the furniture is installed and it looks like it is almost ready to open. Above is a grainy photo I snapped with my camera phone from that evening. Reader Sylvia recently commented there was a “For Hire” ad taken out on Craigslist last month. That is a good sign that the restaurant will open soon. Here are a few indicators I will look for that will assure me that Station 4’s arrival in Southwest is imminent: 
  1. Once a sign for the restaurant is installed outside its front door. When Subway and Waterfront Cleaners put up their respective signage, those establishments opened within a matter of days.
  2. Station 4’s website shows a menu.
  3. Furniture is installed in the patio outside.
Before I discovered the restaurant’s website changed its opening date to May, I tweeted my guess of the actual opening date to be June 4. Let me know what your guess is for Station 4’s opening (the first day with paying customers) in the comments and whoever is first to correctly guess the exact opening date (Station 4 employees excluded!) will get a drink on me at the upcoming 3rd anniversary blog happy hour (more details about the happy hour coming soon).

And Z-Burger…all I know is they are supposed to open “in a few months” but once I hear something more definite, I WILL let you know, so stop asking, ok? :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

EPA Towers at Waterfront Station on Track for Conversion to Residential

On the heels of the groundbreaking ceremony of Camden South Capitol apartments, which is supposed to get underway later this morning, there's news that the former EPA towers at Waterfront Station will soon be converted to apartment buildings. According to a source at Urban Atlantic, who purchased the buildings from Waterfront Associates on March 7 for $20 million, the developer will start construction this fall on the conversion of the East tower to 265 units and the West tower to 252 units. 20%, or about 104 units, will be set aside for households earning up to 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), which is approximately $51,750. Construction will last about 22 months, so expect delivery around the end of 2013. The buildings will be designed by Wiencek & Associates, the same architects that are working with Adjaye Associates on the Washington Highlands Library in Bellevue. The architects have made refinements to the designs originally done by Shalom Baranes Associates when the PUD for phase one of development was approved a few years ago. The ANC will most likely have to approve these latest design changes. I should be able to get new renderings in a few weeks since they are still being finalized. One thing is for certain though - the hulking concrete skin of the former EPA towers will be removed when the buildings are repurposed as residential.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Southwest Library Book Sale

The Friends of the Southwest DC Public Library is holding its Spring Book Sale this week upstairs at the Southwest DC Public Library, 900 Wesley Place (at K & 3rd St). All proceeds for the sale go directly to supporting programming and equipment needs of the SW library branch.

Member Preview Night: Wednesday, May 18th - 6:30 to 8:00 pm If you become a member at the door for $10, you'll have first pick of the sale.

Book Sale OPEN TO ALL: Saturday, May 21st - 10 am to 3 pm

Most Hardbacks - $2, All Fiction and Trade paperbacks- $1, Pocket Paperbacks - 10¢

Questions or Have Books to Donate? Visit their website, email at friendsofswlibrary@gmail.com, or call the Friends at 202-670-7795. “Like” on Facebook – Search for “Friends of Southwest Library"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Restaurants at Revamped L’Enfant Plaza Promenade Open for Business

This week marked the opening of Roti Mediterranean Grill (Monday) and Potbelly Sandwich Shop (Tuesday) at the L’Enfant Plaza Promenade food court. Roti’s hours of operation are: Monday – Friday from 6:30am – 8pm and Saturday from 11am – 4pm. It’s closed on Sundays. Potbelly will be open Monday-Friday from 11am – 7pm and Saturday from 11am – 5pm. It’s also closed on Sundays. This is the third Potbelly to open in Southwest (the others are located at 3rd & D Street and at The Portals on the 1200 block of Maryland Avenue).

Above and to the right are photos of the line at Roti during lunch today - the line wrapped around the corner. Lines were long at Potbelly on its second day of operations, but a security guard wouldn’t allow me to take photos (I guess I look like a terrorist or a scout from Quiznos?). Other retailers and restaurants will open in the next few months, including Gateway Newstands (spring), Frozen Yogurt Indulgence (spring), Gourmet Too (spring), Au Bon Pain (summer), Mamma Ilardo's (summer), Five Guys (summer), and Moe’s Southwest Grill (summer).

Below is a YouTube video shot yesterday by Chase Communications of the grand opening.

L’Enfant Plaza is owned by the JBG Companies and the renovation was designed by SmithGroup. Phase I of renovations began in November 2009, which included the food court area near the Metro entrance. Phase II began on March 1 and will last approximately 30 months. The rest of the retail promenade will be redone during this phase with nationally-recognized retail and a large glass atrium will be built where the glass pyramid now is located. Below is a rendering of the glass atrium (a section of the retail corridor in Phase II is rendered above left).

Renderings courtesy of SmithGroup

ANC 6D Meeting Recap

- Redistricting: At-large council members Phil Mendelson and Michael Brown attended the ANC 6D meeting – both of whom are members of the special committee in charge of redistricting. After a brief presentation by the council members, the floor was open to questions and comments from commissioners and the audience that lasted over a half hour. Just about all of the comments revolved around the proposal by Ward 8 council member Barry to annex Near SE and/or Near SW - everyone was against. The initial mark-up of the new Ward boundary map will be done after the council’s next meeting on May 25 and the entire process must be complete by mid-July. Once the redistricting map has been finalized, Ward taskforces will be created to work on ANC boundaries. After the council members left, commissioners Garber and Litsky introduced a resolution to keep Near SW/SE in Ward 6 which passed unanimously.

- Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL): The new CFL under construction at 4th and E Street is 55% complete and on track for completion by June 2012. Components of the facility currently underway include waterproofing of the lab space and installation of the sun shade louver system along E Street, which is one of the green components of the building (the CFL is aiming for LEED-Gold certification). Next month, the protected sidewalk along the west side of 4th Street will be removed. It may be moved into the curb lane of 4th Street or removed completely – approval for shifting the structure to 4th Street is pending DDOT approval. The protected sidewalk is being moved so new sidewalks, trees, and plants can be installed from July – November. By Halloween, the exterior of the building should be complete. So far in 2011, 113 tradesmen have been hired, out of which 67 (or 59%) are District residents. Through the duration of the project, 257 tradesmen have been hired, of which 133 (or 52%) have been District residents, and only three have been Southwest residents.

- 4th & M Street Intersection: Commissioner McBee mentioned that DDOT has issued a notice of intent for changes to the 4th & M Street intersection. Back in March, the ANC voted to request DDOT to make the following changes:
• Restore left-turn traffic signals on east & westbound M Street to turn on 4th Street.
• Allow drivers to make left turns on two lanes of northbound 4th Street towards M Street so employees at Fort McNair can get out of the neighborhood faster (the left lane would be left turn only and the next lane will allow cars to either turn left, go straight, or turn right).
• The Metrobus stop will return to the northeast corner of the intersection.
• U-turns will be illegal again on M Street.
• Restrict drivers from turning left from southbound 4th Street onto M Street (drivers leaving Safeway can use I Street as an alternative to go towards Near SE).
Within the past couple of weeks, DDOT has made changes to the 4th & I Street intersection (as I tweeted previously) which include the conversion from a “Barnes Dance” hybrid to a normal intersection. There is no longer a pedestrian-only window at the intersection; however, pedestrians are given a couple extra seconds to cross the street before the traffic light turns green for vehicles. This was probably done to facilitate the movement of vehicles from the Waterfront Station Safeway towards Near SE since the left turn lane from southbound 4th Street to M Street will be eliminated once that intersection is reworked by DDOT.

- Team to End AIDS: The ANC approved (6-1) the use of Town Center East Park temporarily by the Team to End AIDS endurance program to use as a staging area for their weekly runs around the city on Saturday mornings from May 21 – December 1 in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon and other races. The use of Town Center East Park is temporary due to the proximity of housing and potential disruption of library patrons as 70-100 runners gather at the park each week. The ANC is looking into other locations where the running group may gather instead, including the northwest parcel of Waterfront Station and 7th Street Landing.

- 7th Street Landing Farmers Market: Bob Rubenkonig and Elinor Bacon from Hoffman-Madison Waterfront presented their security plan for the weekly Mobile Market, which will take place each Thursday from 5-8pm (June 2 – September 22). The park will be reconfigured for market days, with security barriers erected along the top border by the CaBi station and near the entry points to the waterfront promenade at the water-facing side of the park, resulting in three entrances. Near the top entrance, there will be six market vendors set up and behind them new benches will be installed. A stroller corral will be located in the top right corner of the park and the port-o-potties will remain on the opposite corner. Prepared fresh foods will be sold near the music stage (while jazz is being performed) and on the opposite side near the DC Harbor Cruises kiosk. Beer and wine will be sold on the left corner near the water-facing side of the park, next to one of the prepared fresh foods booth, and seating will be located in the center of 7th Street Landing. Bracelets will be required to purchase beer or wine and 100% ID check will be in effect. There will be 3 security officers and 10 staff members at the market, including those from the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture and Hoffman-Madison Waterfront.

- Lucky Kabob liquor license: The ANC unanimously approved Lucky Kabob’s application for a CR-01 liquor license (may serve beer, wine, and spirits) at the restaurant, located at 1548 1st Street. Lucky Kabob opened last year and according to the proprietor, has done pretty well so far. After a six-month probation period, the ANC will reconsider the restaurateur’s request to allow dancing at the establishment at weddings, parties, etc. The Indian restaurant’s operating hours are as follows:
Carry Out
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 7:30pm; Saturday: 9am – 7:30pm; Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Dine In
Monday – Friday: 10am – 9pm, Saturday: 10am – 9pm

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blessing of the Fleet This Weekend

The Port of Washington Yacht Club will be hosting the annual "Blessing of the Fleet" flotilla this weekend along the Washington Channel. From the press release:
For the last 36 years, the Washington Channel has been the focus of the annual “Blessing of the Fleet”. First organized by the Washington Waterfront Association, the Port of Washington Yacht Club took over the ceremony five years ago to enhance the tradition on Washington’s Southwest Waterfront. Today, nearly 100 boats participate in a parade that features individual boats passing by a reviewing stand and being blessed by clergy before then sailing or motoring back to their home ports. The ceremony features a flag‐raising event and live music. This year’s event is Saturday, May 14, 2011. Festivities will begin at 12:00 noon...Interested people are encouraged to view the flotilla as it comes up the Washington Channel toward the Blessing platform. Views are best from Hains Point and East Potomac Park (north side) and 7th Street Landing (7th & Water Streets, SW).
The Port of Washington Yacht Club is an organization comprised of liveaboard and recreational boaters, Washington, DC residents, and associates members from across the country, with its headquarters located along the Southwest Waterfront. Its mission is to promote clean river and boating safety initiatives along the Potomac River, its tributaries, and the Chesapeake Bay.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Groundbreaking Set for 1345 South Capitol Apartments

In the May/June 2011 print version of Urban Land magazine, a caption for a rendering of Camden Property Trust’s 1345 South Capitol Street project reads that the WDG Architecture-designed apartment building is under construction. While that may not be the case today, it will be by the end of next week. As I tweeted this morning, a Camden representative told me a ground breaking ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 17th at 11am. This is a couple of months later than expected when news of the revived project first surfaced in January. The 276-unit project will be located across the street from Nationals Park, at the northwest corner of South Capitol and O Street. Its location should allow views into the stadium, the Anacostia River, and the Capitol for upper level residents. Some of the amenities planned for the $88 million apartment building include a rooftop pool and deck, below-grade parking for 250 vehicles, and ground-floor retail. Twelve of the units will be set aside as affordable housing. Leasing should begin around the middle of 2013.

Rendering courtesy of Camden Property Trust

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Capital Bikeshare Expansion Planned

DDOT has announced that the increasingly popular Capital Bikeshare has plans to expand later this year in the District with 25 stations and 250 bikes. There are several locations under consideration, including some in Southwest. The proposed Southwest stations include 4th & E Street, 4th & C Street, and 4th Street & Independence Avenue. All three of these proposed locations are proximate to the Federal Center SW Metro station. To see a map of all the proposed stations, check out this link. There are currently four CaBi stations in the quadrant (Waterfront Station, 7th Street Landing, Smithsonian Metro, and L'Enfant Plaza Metro). DDOT will host a public meeting on May 25 to solicit input from the community about which locations should be chosen.  The meeting will take place from 6pm - 8pm at 441 4th Street, NW, Room 1107.  In addition, the public can send an email to DDOT to comment on the proposed locations or submit their own suggestions (ddot.bikeshare@dc.gov).  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Census 2010 Paints an Interesting Picture of Southwest: Part I

While the District of Columbia as a whole gained residents over the past 10 years, the population of the Southwest quadrant of DC did not. Despite recent development in the little quadrant that could, the 2010 Census counted 20,916 residents in the Southwest quadrant, a decline of 9.8%, or 2,264 residents from the 2000 Census. When looking at the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood on the west side of the Anacostia and the Southwest neighborhoods on the east side of the river (including Bellevue and Bolling Air Force Base) separately, the population change looks different.  The Southwest Waterfront only lost 242 residents in the past 10 years, or 2% of its population. However, the eastern part of the Southwest quadrant lost 2,022 residents, or 17.9% of its population. 

Back when the 2000 Census was conducted, the west and east sides of the Southwest quadrant looked very similar.  The population of each were about the same (11,863 on the west side and 11,317 in the east) and the ethnic make-up of both areas were almost identical.  Below is what the ethnic make-up of the Southwest quadrant as a whole was after the 2000 Census: 
  • 65.2% Black or African American
  • 27.0% White
  • 2.3% Asian
  • 5.5% Other
  • (Hispanics or Latinos of any race make up 4.5% of the total) 
The last decade saw a divergence in demographics among the two areas of the Southwest quadrant.  After the 2010 Census, the ethnic make-up of the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood (or Ward 6 and a tiny sliver of Ward 2 portion of the quadrant) now looks like the following:
  • 54.3% Black or African American
  • 32.3% White
  • 5.1% Hispanic or Latino of any race (the 2010 Census counts Hispanics differently)
  • 4.5% Asian
  • 3.8% Other
The eastern neighborhoods (or Ward 8 portion) of the Southwest quadrant now look like the following:
  • 71.7% Black or African American
  • 18.2% White
  • 5.3% Hispanic or Latino of any race
  • 1.4% Asian
  • 3.4% Other
Since the last Census, the demographic changes in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood has trended similar to the District as a whole, with a larger share of White residents moving in and African Americans moving out. Meanwhile, the eastern neighborhoods of the Southwest quadrant have seen the population of all ethnic groups decline, but the percentage of African Americans in the area has increased to nearly 72% of the population. 

The Census Bureau will release more detailed demographics for the District of Columbia from the 2010 Census on Thursday, so once I sift through the data, be on the look-out for part II of this post sometime next week.

The following 2000 Census tracts were used to analyze the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood: 60.01, 60.02, 61, 62.01, 62.02, 63.01, 63.02, 64
The following 2000 Census tracts were used to analyze East of the River neighborhoods: 73.01, 73.08, 98.07, 98.08
The following 2010 Census tracts were used to analyze the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood: 62.02, 64, 102, 105, 110
The following 2010 Census tracts were used to analyze East of the River neighborhoods: 73.01, 98.07, 109

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tall Ships Invade the Channel

According to a press release from the Gangplank Marina, several tall ships will be docking in the Port of Washington (which includes the District of Columbia and Alexandria, VA) over the next couple of months, starting with the schooner Summerwind (pictured above), a 109-foot training vessel for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The Summerwind arrived at the newly revamped E Dock on Saturday and will be docked there until Monday, May 9. While at the Gangplank, the vessel will support U.S. Department of Transportation initiatives, including career days for junior and senior high students interested in attending the Merchant Marine Academy. Other tall ships on the way include the Colombian Navy's Tall Ship the ARC Gloria on May 24, the Niña and the Pinta on May 26, and the Sultana on June 16.

A Couple Quick Items: Commander Kamperin Retires, King Memorial Celebration

- MPD's First District Commander David Kamperin announced his retirement last week after 32 years of service in law enforcement (almost 26 years with MPD). In his email announcing his retirement, Kamperin mentions some of his accomplishments as commander:
Over the past nearly four years we have accomplished many things within the First District: increased foot patrols throughout the community, decreased response time for calls for service, improved customer service, enhanced Community Policing within the Patrol Service Areas and annual crime reductions. In 2010, through the dedication and efforts of the men and women of the First District, working closely with the community, 1D received the Department’s Crime Reduction Award.
First District Headquarters moved from 4th and E Street in 2009 to the former Bowen Elementary School along M Street.  The former headquarters building was demolished and the city's new Consolidated Forensic Laboratory is rising on the site. 

Kamperin's last day will be May 21, but the Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) for 1D will hold an event this evening at 7pm.  The event will take place in the community room at 1D HQ.

- The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is getting closer to completion along the Tidal Basin and plans are underway to celebrate the opening in August. The Washington Post reports there will be a week-long celebration leading to the unveiling on August 29th. The dedication will take place on the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Here are some details from the article:
The dedication will take place at 11 a.m. in West Potomac Park, near the site of the memorial, which is on Independence Avenue, southwest of the World War II Memorial. There will be musical tributes in the park before and after the dedication. Among the week’s events, a public expo marking King’s legacy will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Aug. 25-28.The memorial will also have an inscription wall, water features, landscaping and a bookstore and visitors center. Reserved tickets to the dedication will be distributed through an online lottery system, the foundation said. People can request up to two tickets by visiting DedicateTheDream.org. Visitors must register by 11:59 p.m. on May 31 to be included in the lottery. Ticket recipients for the seated and reserved standing areas will be notified by e-mail on June 15. Public standing areas that do not require tickets will also be available.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review of "Ruined"

I saw Ruined on Saturday at Arena Stage during its opening weekend and was very impressed by the performance.  The music throughout was great and Rachael Holmes, who plays one of the main characters, Sophie, has a wonderful voice. Ruined takes place in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and centers around a bar in a small mining town that doubles as a whore house.  The main character is Mama Nadi, a strong, but arrogant woman played by Jenny Jules, who is the proprietor of the whore house and makes her living by catering to miners, soldiers, and whoever else is passing through town. Mama Nadi takes in women who can no longer go home to their villages for whatever reason, and gives them food and shelter in exchange for their services at the bar.

My favorite (not exactly favorite, per se, but it was the most moving) scene in Ruined was when the character Salima, played by Donnetta Lavinia Grays (person on right) tells Sohpie the story of how she ended up at Mama Nadi's. There were audible gasps in the audience as Salima tells her story, which is quite graphic. My one criticism of Ruined is I thought the love story between Mama Nadi and Christian, a traveling salesman played by Jeremiah W. Birkett, could have been better developed. There were hints of it in the beginning and at the end, but in the middle, it was more ambiguous.  Perhaps that was done purposely. 

Ruined will be playing at Arena Stage until June 5 and tickets can be purchased using this link. Not recommended for children due to language and adult situations.

Photos courtesy of Arena Stage