Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Important Streetcar Meeting Tonight!

As you know, Anacostia was built as a streetcar suburb of DC. Bringing the streetcar back is a hugely important component to Anacostia's revitalization. Please try to attend tonight's meeting and vote for route alternatives that bring the line back to the downtown Anacostia area.

Historic allignment on MLK Ave between St. Elizabeths and Capitol Hill, via David Rumsey Map Collection

Press Release: The District Department of Transportation is seeking community input to identify route alternatives that best meet the transit needs of the community.

During this public meeting, the study team will provide updates on route alternatives that are being evaluated to create a transit connection between the Anacostia Metrorail Station and the 11th Street Bridge. Residents, members of the business community and other interested parties are encouraged to attend. Childcare will be provided for children ages five and older.

Wednesday, June 29, 7pm - 9pm
Savoy Elementary School
2400 Shannon Place, SE

For more information on the DC Streetcar project, visit

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Big Chair Coffee Has Closed. Good News?

[UPDATE: Big Chair is NOT ACTUALLY CLOSED. Sources were mistaken. However, they are still actively looking for a buyer, and this revelation does not explain why they were closed all last week...]

It's a bittersweet moment for Anacostia, yet one that won't inspire too many misty eyes: Big Chair Coffee has closed.

Never fear, it's not because Anacostians don't like coffee, it's just that we like good coffee (and cleanliness), and Big Chair's steep decline after it's major fanfare Winter 2010 opening was too much for most of its eager patrons to handle.

Rumor has it that the owners are in talks to sell the shop to someone new -- who would, I hope, take Big Chair's failings into account and make this place the neighborhood java joint everyone was hoping for from the start.

Regardless of what happens next, let this be a lesson to others that might come next: just because Anacostia is an under-served market doesn't mean that the neighborhood has lower expectations. We like nice things, too.

[See comments for ideas on why it closed / stopped being a go-to spot.]

original photo courtesy of Washington City Paper

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Food News: Kabobs for Anacostia?

This seems a bit random, but also goes to show that nowadays it isn't only the "expected" organizations and businesses that are beginning to move to Anacostia. Last week I got news that Rebiya Kadeer (read this great bio from the New York Times), the Uyghur activist and millionaire businesswoman who was exiled from China in 2005, purchased the long-boarded-up commercial building next door to the Honfleur Gallery.

At first, my understanding was that it would be the new DC headquarters for the World Uyghur Congress or the Uyghur American Association - but as of today I heard a different story.

According to sources who spoke with Ms. Kadeer at the site this morning, she plans to open a Uyghur restaurant - featuring the western Chinese ethnic group's famous kabobs - in the space later this year.

I'm sure more info will begin to seep out soon - but regardless of what moves in it's wonderful to see this abandoned and decrepit building go back to productive use! Crossing our fingers that kabobs are in Anacostia's future!

(I spent a semester in Beijing, and happened to live near a Uyghur-dominated commercial street so know and love the food. Great kabobs, edamame, flatbread, and potato dishes)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Potential Bright Future for the Big K Site

As you know, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DCHD) bought the Big K lot (MLK and Morris Road) and adjacent abandoned properties along MLK Avenue last year. They have been working with the neighborhood to develop a development plan for the site, and we got our first peek at the site's possible future last week. See before and after images below:

DHCD will begin stabilization of the historic properties this fall. As part of a community survey that went around, most people would like to see a mix of commercial and cultural uses at the site. As it is now, it is one of the most dilapidated sites in the neighborhood, and is a terrible gateway fore anyone entering the historic district. The rendering above looks amazing!
  • Click Here to see DHCD's June 9 presentation on plans and survey results regarding the Big K site
  • Click Here to see their more general presentation on Anacostia neighborhood stabilization
What do you think? Is this spot on or what? Of course, still a lot of work to be done, and these are in no way final renderings... but major kudos to DHCD for listening to the community!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Follow @AnacostiaNow on twitter!

Are you on twitter? Then make sure you start following @AnacostiaNow!

With all my other commitments around DC, I wasn't feeling like my @DG_rad handle was the best for All Anacostia, All The Time tweeting, so I created a new one for this blog and for strictly neighborhood-related tweets. I'll still be getting the word out on both, but this one is only about Anacostia, and will feature a fair number of retweets. Go ahead, make the follow.

Monday, June 6, 2011

St. Elizabeths West Campus Tour - Sign Up!

A couple days ago We Love DC had a great post about the uber-popular St. Elizabeths West Campus tours put on by the DC Preservation League.

The next tour is Saturday, June 18 from 10-11am. Sign up here!

These monthly tours fill up fast, so sign up today!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Arts on the Avenue Tonight and Tomorrow

This is crazy last second, but if you see this, head on down to the Blank Space for awesome slam poetry and art!

Check out for more details. Annoyed I am just now processing that this is going on! #crazybusy

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Solid House

I've always loved this house on V Street. All-brick construction - even the porch rails are brick!

Although I'm typically against window awnings, these ones have a bit of charm to them. I wonder, though, if they were removed if I'd love the house even more.