Monday, August 30, 2010

Yes! Organic Market Opening Tomorrow!

I haven't blogged much (if at all) about the new Yes! Organic Market opening tomorrow in on Pennsylvania Avenue in Fairlawn, Anacostia's neighbor to the north, because well, it's in Fairlawn and this is a blog about Anacostia. However, it's big enough news and close enough by to make it bloggable. Folks, we officially have good produce, organic dog food, and Fig Newmans in River East!

Owner Gary Cha was kind enough to give me a sneak preview of the new store - the only organic grocer east of the Anacostia River, and the first (of I hope at least a few) Yes! Organics on this side of town.

This market is noticeably larger than both the Capitol Hill and Brookland locations (although apparently similar to Georgia Ave store), and is much more spacious than I expected. Although not the same size as a Whole Foods, this store carries many of the same products and is remarkably comparable!

The first thing you encounter upon walking in is the produce: heaping bushels of peaches, heirloom tomatoes, kiwis, and avocados. It's shockingly awesome to see the colors and the freshness light up the displays.

Because Yes! Organic is committed to only serving fresh produce, it was the last to arrive and will not be completely stocked until just hours before tomorrow's grand opening.

You won't find Skippy on these shelves - the peanut butters are natural, and the bread comes in more colors than white. And check out the cheese selection!

I'm a huge fan of Naked brand juice, so this got me pretty stoked. They also have President Obama's favorite Honest Teas well stocked.

Like most grocery stores, this one carries more than just food - things like toiletries, paper goods, soaps and lotions. And yes, even great quality pet foods.

The refrigerated and freezer aisles are located towards the back of the store, and seriously people, this store has it all: soy milks (and almond, rice, cow, etc) galore, Ciao Bella sorbets and gelatos (and shelf upon shelf of other dairy treats), and tons of yogurt.


One of the coolest features of this market is the bulk foods section: flax seed, dried beans, dried fruit, lentils, rice, and even candy. I found owner-in-training Jodie making sure that each of the machines was properly working.

One of the key items missing east of the river is good quality snack food. There are a countless number of places to grab a bag of cheetos and a bottle of blue juice, but this adds something new: whole grains, gluten free options, and stuff that tastes good but is a few steps healthier.

Located at the foot of Pennsylvania Avenue's rise into Wards 7 & 8, the Fairlawn Yes! Organic Market will be a very welcome addition to the greater neighborhood. Grand Opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for tomorrow, August 31, from 2:30-5:30PM. The store will have its first full day on Wednesday, September 1st.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vivid Solutions = Awesomeness

So you've heard of Vivid Solutions, the crazy awesome digital print lab and photo gallery on MLK, right? Well, now you have.

Located at 2208 MLK Ave SE, Vivid Solutions is one of the businesses / art spaces that is pushing Anacostia into the cool category, and in a very legitimate way.

Here's a video about Vivid that DC Arts & Humanities put together:

Seriously, if you are a photographer or just a shmoe like me (who just had some iPhone photos printed there), check this place out.

From their website:
It is the only lab in the U.S. to offer the “Digigraphie” printing process created by EPSON in France. Digigraphie is a unique, authentic printing technique which sets a standard for precise color management of prints and reproductive works, currently used by many European photographers, galleries, and museums.

The lab achieves the highest technical performance from its Epson printers which utilize UltraChrome pigment inks combined with Epson fine art papers. Ultrachrome inks offer optimum print quality for beautiful, eye-catching archival photographs guaranteed for 80+ years.
Vivid Solutions is friendly, its tech is crazy up-to-date, and it's a beacon for what the neighborhood is evolving into.

Follow Vivid on twitter: @VividPrintLab


Tuesday - Friday noon to 5PM
Saturdays 11AM – 5PM


Andrea Hope, Director of Digital Production
Email -
Phone - (202) 758-0339

Friday, August 20, 2010

just get on the list already

Media? Politician? Restaurateur? Common Everyday Citizen? Then get on the list.

Even I don't know what's going down September 10! (ok that's not true). But seriously, email to get on the mailing list and to learn more about this ultra awesome, ultra hush hush unveiling.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Check it: Summer Youth Produced an Awesome Documentary on Anacostia

Just got the link to this amazing - and at under ten minutes totally accessible - documentary feature on what Anacostia is about and the businesses that bring it to life.

Good Hope: Anacostia from chris keener on Vimeo.

Produced by Chris Keener, DC Commission on Arts & Humanities, and some truly awesome teenagers with the Summer Youth Employment Program's media program, this video is a great way to learn about some of the businesses and people that make up the neighborhood. [I do have a small role in the video but as you will see that is not why I think the video is cool. ha]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Thing: Another New House

I don't think Martha has picked up this piece of news just yet, but ... new houses in Anacostia? It's A Good Thing. (that is, unless the builder does a slapped-together job, then it's a bad thing)

District Properties has been snatching up vacant parcels in the neighborhood over the past couple years and has been turning out some good additions to the hood. Their interest came at about the same time as the creation of the Historic Anacostia Design Review Committee, so the houses have been required to meet a more stringent building code than in years past.

This house is on 14th Street just across from the ├╝ber-lovely Frederick Douglass estate. To it's right is another house done by the same company, although it's original facade was preserved during the process.

[editor / design review co-chair's note: clearly both of these houses are completely white. blah. their next house on W Street will have some color.]

Interested in checking it out? It's for sale for $265,000.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Walkin' on Sunshine (and don't it feel good!)

Sometimes, to spruce up a neighborhood, all you've gotta do is plant a flower or two.

big sunny sunflowers on V Street

(yes, clearly I got an iPhone)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thinking About Running for ANC?

[cross-posted with permission from Frozen Tropics, the great blog covering neighborhoods surrounding H Street NE]

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are the lowest level of elected government official in the District of Columbia. They are also its most direct link to the citizenry. Commissioners are unpaid, and range in quality from the harmful obstructionist, to the apathetic, to the committed individual working hard to make his/her community the best it can be. One thing's for sure, we need more of the latter group. When you get a commission composed mostly of the latter sort it really can make all the difference.

So, if you have an interest in helping out your neighbors and neighborhood, consider running for ANC. Most ANC seats are uncontested, and that's a shame because competition can bring us more, and better candidates. It can also force us to step up our game. If you want to run, here's what you've got to do:

1. Head down to the Board of Elections and Ethics and pick up a nominating petition;
2. Get it signed by 25 registered voters who live in your SMD (you get extras in case some turn out to be invalid);
3. Turn in your petition by September 3rd.

You should probably also spread the news, and get feedback on which issues are important to your neighbors. Attend community meetings (hopefully you already do this). Talk to people in your community about their concerns. You should probably make up some flyers outlining your platform, and introducing yourself. You can distribute them door to door, and outside of polling places on election day.

photo by Mr. T in DC on flickr