Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where can I buy a tree?

I want to plant a nice shade tree in my front yard, but I don't know where to buy one. Does anyone know of the closest / best place I could look? Thanks!

I was inspired to start looking now because Casey Trees is offering a $50 rebate for anyone and everyone who plants a shade tree in their yard in DC. For information and a coupon, Click Here.

You have to hurry, though, because the rebate expires December 31, 2007!

Monday, October 29, 2007


The Historic Anacostia Block Association (HABA) website is up! Definitely check it out, and if you live in the neighborhood or close by, we would love to see you at the meetings. The next meeting (Thursday, Nov. 15--mark your calenders!) is the celebration of HABA's one year anniversary.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

good article on anacostia

Howard University's Hilltop student newspaper just published a good article both in defense of and celebration of historic Anacostia.
Atop a scenic hilltop in southeast Washington lies a historical neighborhood that tells a story of growth and strength. ...
Click Here for the article

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good Hope Updates

1104 Good Hope (near Anacostia Park)
Before: nothin' special

After: pretty spiffy

Drake's: seems to be back on--new 2nd floor windows. The cursive Anacostia sign and clock will be back in place soon, hopefully

Suntrust Building: Looks like they are re-doing the exterior on the side--hopefully on the whole building! (as long as they use good materials and do a good job...)

1429 Good Hope: (Brown one on the left) I saw someone painting in here last week, and asked what was going in. Unfortunately he didn't know. Hopefully not another Tax Service (see neighbors below)

- - -

In other news, the Washington Biz Journal reports that the DC Gov will be taking space in the Anacostia Gateway building. Now that there's a tenant, please let there be good retail! (Please, no banks. Although selfishly a Wachovia branch might be nice.)

That's one fine lookin' building!

photos by DG-rad

Monday, October 15, 2007

Must See: Lessons from the Waterfront

Because today is Blog Action Day, I am posting about this year's topic: the environment. Anacostia is no stranger to environmental issues, most of which begin and end with the river.

At last Thursday's Historic Anacostia Block Association meeting, the Multimedia Training Institute screened their latest film project, dubbed "Lessons from the Waterfront: The Anacostia". It was an impressive film, both because of its enlightening content and the fact that it was produced by a group of Ward 7 & 8 teenagers.

A few lessons I was left with were:
-Do not litter. Most of the trash that gets thrown onto the street gets washed into the storm drains and into the river.
-Build Green. If you have the opportunity, use building materials that are recycled/recyclable, and techniques such as solar panels or vegetation on your roof to save energy.
-Developers: use low-impact development. Plans that help the environment and decrease the negative effects of storm water will really help our river.
Click Here for a Post article on the film

photo for graphic by flickr user Mr. T in DC

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anacostia's Own Vegan Soul Chef

Featured in the Washington Post Food section!

I hope many of you had the chance to sample Levita Mondie-Sapp's amazing chili at the Chili Bowl Bonanza last month at the farmers' market- if you look at my pictures from the event you can see her smiling as she dishes it out. Yesterday the Post ran an article about her mission to promote a new spin on soul food:
Mondie-Sapp's dishes are meatless and healthful, yet no one seems to mind. That's how eating habits can change, she says, referring to her one-woman campaign. "This is not an area known for liking vegetarian," she says with a thoughtful, intent gaze and quiet confidence. "But I've been able to show people that this food can be good."
And this (which I have been wondering for a while now...):
There's proof that the teacher's revolution is gaining a foothold in Southeast. Mondie-Sapp recently won the grand prize and her third consecutive "People's Choice" award in the annual chili cook-off held at the Anacostia Farmers Market.
What can we do to make this happen?
Someday, Mondie-Sapp would love to make Vita's Eatery a bricks-and-mortar enterprise right near her home -- maybe a cafe on the bottom and cooking classes upstairs, where she could teach people the benefits of a diet based on whole foods and whole grains.
Click Here for the full article

Click Here for her award-winning chili recipe!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ballpark? (and other photo updates)

...nope, not the new Nats park, despite it looking curiously similar. It's none other than the new Salvation Army building from Morris Rd looking towards MLK.

from MLK, looking southwest

One of the too-many forlorn buildings along MLK
(look carefully for the newly shattered window on the sidewalk)

Big K Liquors (Before)

Update: Big K Fine Wines & Spirits (After)
Now if only they'd trade the metal screens and doors with some nice windows and a storefront...

photos by DG-rad

Friday, October 5, 2007

Drake's Stop Work Order

As much as I have been wanting to love the new look of this building, my gut told me that something was amiss. And clearly something was. An email to Historic Preservation informed me that there are a number of violations -- my guess is that it was the non-historic-looking windows and potentially the stucco job that set them off. I was feeling creative tonight, but scroll down a couple posts for some real photos.

This brings up an interesting discussion point--and I am not intending to pick on Drake's here, as its efforts and initiative are truly honorable. However, as a fragile historic district, Anacostia can't afford to stray from its accepted preservation guidelines or a dangerous precedent will be set for future development. Yes, that's a hard line, but it is those guidelines that will ensure we end up with a neighborhood of lasting quality and character. Everyone that I talk to is incredibly eager for restaurants, shops, and the like. But--and this isn't easy-- we need to mandate that the projects that are built both set us apart as well as celebrate our architectural heritage.

- - -

Dusk sky over Anacostia Gateway:

photos and graphic by DG-rad

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Library Design Meeting Tonight!

If you are interested in what the new library will look like and how it will contribute to the urban structure of our neighborhood, this is the meeting to attend!

Thursday October 4, 2007 at 6:00 P.M.
Anacostia Interim Library, 1800 Good Hope Road, S.E. at 18th Street, S.E.
The DC Public Library is hosting a second round of Community Meetings to work with the community in designing and constructing the Anacostia Library. The Freelon Group is presenting their preliminary concepts to the community.
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Another very interesting piece, this one detailing some of the history of our neighborhood, from the news of yore:
"Editor Post: An article in a city paper of the 10th instant recounting the death and career of John W. Van Hook, one of the founders of Uniontown, now Anacostia, D.C., is suggestive of what, it seems to me, ought to be put on record, for the reason that the geography and material facts touching the true history of that, the largest and most flourishing suburb of the Capital, ought to be better known, especially by members of the press.

Prior to 1853 or 1854 the property was owned and cultivated as a farm and market garden by Enoch Tucker, who during one of those years sold it, about 100 acres, to John Fox, John Van Hook, and John Dobler, who subdivided it into streets and lots and called it Uniontown.

The post-office had previously been established under the name of Anacostia, but the first post-office there bore the name of Buena Vista, which, however, survived but a very short time.

Uniontown originally embraced but a comparatively small part of its present area. It was bounded by Monroe (MLK), Harrison (Good Hope), Taylor (16th), and Jefferson (W) streets*. Among other provisions set forth in its charter, the founders thought proper to prohibit negroes from ever acquiring title to a lot there. This accounts for the fact that it remained, notwithstanding the change of status of that race, almost exclusively a white man’s town.

A notable fact is that one of the founders of this place, through his misfortune, had to surrender his beautiful and spacious home to the Freedman’s Bank, and a negro, to the late Fred Douglas, became its occupant and owner. Some twenty years ago, realizing the awkward situation growing out of the difference between the name of the post-office and town in which it was located, they were, by act of Congress, through the agency of your correspondent, made synonymous. ~W. Lee White."
excerpt from letter to editor "Origin of Anacostia", The Washington Post, April 17, 1905

Click to Enlarge

1886 map portion courtesy of the library of congress

*note: present-day street names added in parentheses