Tuesday, June 30, 2009

street construction continues...

we're all tripping and ruining our tires as a result of the major infrastructure repairs throughout the neighborhood ... but I'm pretty sure it's going to be worth it in the end.

However, if you're like me and want to see the roads completely repaved (not just the half that they're working on), send an email to DDOT chief engineer Kathleen Penney: kathleen.penney@dc.gov.

Change happens when people constructively complain.

Monday, June 29, 2009

used car lot no more

one of my biggest praises for the Fenty administration is that thing are actually getting done. Sure, some of the big plans don't pan out as expected and he sometimes jetsets around without telling the press, but there is a new kind of efficiency and modern work ethic in the city that's pretty great.

outpost of sketchy used car "sales" no longer

case in point: the slew of grimy / sketchy "used car lots" that weren't even legit businesses that lined many of the city's up-and-coming retail corridors. the administration heard the complaints that they weren't actually selling cars to the public, and in swoops the Fenty crackdown to get rid of them. Love it.

they even took the signs

this month the car lot crackdown finally made its way to the corner of MLK Ave and U Street:

and now, another developable lot...

I still need to check out some of the lots on Good Hope - anyone notice if the same is true there? Remember, if you see something sketchy or want something fixed, just call 311 (Mayor's citywide call center) or plug a request into the Service Request Center.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

HABA won a Vision Award!

congratulations to the Historic Anacostia Block Association (HABA), who earlier this month was awarded a Vision Award by the Committee of 100!

top row, L-R: Courtney, Charles, Catherine; bottom row, L-R: Nikitris, Danae

The text on the award reads as follows:

Established in 2006, the Historic Anacostia Block Association (HABA) is a group of Anacostia residents, some recent arrivals, working to preserve and enhance what remains of the shrinking fabric of the Anacostia Historic District. While self-described as a “social networking” organization, it is much more than that.

HABA has worked hard to maintain the frame buildings in the historic district and to help residents with limited access to capital and rehabilitation know-how. It played an instrumental role in having the District of Columbia’s renewed program of historic rehabilitation grants begin with Anacostia. It also did the on-the-ground work of repeatedly advising residents of the grant program and assisting them in applying.

While communicating with younger residents via website and email, HABA does old-fashioned door to door distribution of fliers for residents without computer access. In doing this, they are helping to guarantee that what remains of the Anacostia Historic District (which has fewer than 500 contributing buildings) will survive and prosper.
Again - Congrats everyone, this is really cool affirmation that HABA is substantially serving the neighborhood!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Historic District signs are up

Not sure why these didn't go up years ago, but I'm happy to report that the Anacostia Historic District is finally marked with signs. It's nice to have some physical reminders of the district's boundaries, but also emphasizes our need to expand in certain areas to include some of the neighborhood's more fragile homes and commercial buildings.

Side note: did all the signs fall off the truck at some point? Most of them seem pretty dinged up...

Friday, June 19, 2009

FLAUNTing the coolness of the Costia

a review of one of the coolest things to hit Anacostia: Flaunt.
guest post by Beth Ferraro

bold and beautiful at the Honfleur, image by Terecico

The concept of Flaunt began as a collaboration of four photographers and four designers, though the resulting project became so much more than that. It evolved into an impressive show of local talent and passion for merging of these two genres. Project Beltway (headed by Rachael Cothran) and Ten Miles Square (brainchild of Heather Goss), along with Honfleur Gallery, have added Anacostia to the map of the fashion world. If even just for a night, VIP seats, long lines and a completely sold out show proved the idea's popularity.

Amy Cavanaugh (or is it Heidi Klum?) of Honfleur Gallery and Rachel Cothran of Project Beltway, image by Rory

In the run-up to showtime on Saturday, June 6th, the gallery was buzzing with models, stylists, assistants, photographers and press. The scene was complete when guests started queueing along the sidewalk early for the show, battling local road closures due to Unifest street festival that day.

the crazy awesome runway, image by yospyn

In the Washington Post’s article Lavanya Ramanathan ponders, “What do you do with fashion photographs that, oddly, aren’t trying to sell clothing, a way of life or desirable body type? [The organizers] make a case that such images belong on gallery walls ...[for]... exploring fashion's value as costume and cultural force. ” Heather Goss, founder of Ten Miles Squared, added to this by saying "This unique visual event revolves around the concept that the beauty of art is its lack of fixed rules and definitions.”

DJ Keenan, image by marc.benton

Dana Greaves, Taimur Baig, Lara Akinsaya, and Will Sharp’s designs were showcased on a hand made black runway, perfected with a red curtain and impressive soundtracks, spun by DJ Keenan.

even Good Hope road is cool (we already knew that), image by sduffy

Keep checking the ever-fashionable Project Beltway for future art/fashion developments.

Honfleur Gallery consistantly supports artwork that pushes the boundaries and proposes new ways for the audience to question and enjoy. Upcoming events at Honfleur include a Summer Jamboree, which features an two art openings, public art unveiling, and concert by regional act The Bellevederes. Check it out on July 24th at 7pm.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

r.e.e.l. committee sign-up Tonight

River East Emerging Leaders (r.e.e.l.) is looking for a few good men and women to help form several important community committees of the organization. This will ensure r.e.e.l. continues to build its core leadership base and help the organization grow and prosper.

We are looking for individuals who have an interest or expertise in a particular committee area (activities, findraising, community service, economic development, and marketing), but everyone is encouraged to join.

Tonight's event / planning session will be at the Anacostia UPO (1649 Good Hope) beginning from 6:30-9 PM.

Monday, June 15, 2009

some (pretty much complete) restorations

although it's pretty standard these days to see a bunch of houses under construction, it's still fun to see when they are done or almost done. here are a few houses that have gone through the Historic Homeowner Grant program:

On 15th Street, this chateau de chartreuse is a total show-stopper. At first I thought the color was kind of jarring, but now I'm liking it:

there is no hiding this corner beaut

second-story porches are unarguably awesome

On Maple View, this shady house has more muted colors (and looks Great):

the owner said that he got color inspiration from a magazine photo (good idea)

our neighborhood porches are unstoppable

On 13th, this brick twin got a repoint, a new porch (so did the neighbors, since BGV Construction needed to make a perfect match of the columns), and some fresh white trim paint:

oh ya, and a new fence.

And on V Street, this house is one of my new favorites. It used to be completely forgettable, but when the wood siding was revealed, the shutters added, and a classic palette was chosen, it's now one of the neighborhood's best:

the twin neighbor is about to get the same treatment

loving the planters - an easy and relatively cheap way to add some Pop to the porch

I think one of the best sells for buying and moving to Anacostia is the fact that most can take advantage of this great program. There's a fair amount of fixer-uppers on the market now - Join Us!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

this week in River East

Ward 8 Farmers Market Returns: this and every Saturday through November 21, come out to purchase fresh produce, herbs and plants provided by local farmers.
Old Congress Heights School parking lot, at MLK and Alabama Avenues, SE
Saturdays from 9AM - 2PM
For more information, call 202-561-8204 or email ward8fm@gmail.com. Photo clip courtesy of Flickr user Fedoramentok

- - -

16th Annual Hillcrest Garden Tour: take a tour around the yards of cape cods and colonials in Hillcrest, one of River East's best-kept secrets.
Departing from 2516 34th Street SE (corner of 34th & Camden)
Saturday, June 6th at 11AM
$10 (before June 6) or $15 (day of)
for more info and to reserve a spot, email gardentour@HillcrestDC.com or call Maurice Perry at 202-581-4022. For last years Post article on Hillcrest, Click Here

- - -

Flaunt Fashion Runway Show: this special photography exhibition from Heather Goss of Ten Miles Square and Rachel Cothran of Project Beltway showcases emerging local talent in photography and fashion design.
Honfleur Gallery, 1241 Good Hope Rd SE
Saturday, June 6th at 8:30PM
call the Honfleur to pre-purchase tickets at 202-580-5972

- - -

Historic Anacostia Block Association: learn the latest, including a word from Casey Trees on tree care and future plantings.
Anacostia UPO, 1800 Good Hope Road SE
Thursday, June 11 at 7PM
All these events and meetings should be pretty great, so hope to see you around town!