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CLEAN-UP WRAP-UP by Scott Pomeroy
The Seventh Annual U Street Clean-up raised a record $11,060 for the Northwest Scholarship Fund. There were approximately 175 participants throughout a 60 block area. We planted over 1500 flowers, mulching and planting dozens of tree boxes from Westminister Street to Caroline Street and all the way up to Belmont Street and 12th Place. We painted out graffiti in several areas and will be continuing paint outs through out the summer. We also removed several tons of trash ....eventually.
We owe a great big thank you to Community Impact for helping to make all of this happen. The partnership with "Keep Washington Beautiful" and the Clean City Initiative are new resources that we can work with all year round. The next step should be identifying future projects and goals. The most timely need now is to identify empty tree boxes and dead trees so that we can make sure to be a part of the fall tree planting program.
Thank you to the following Generous Contributors:
and the these wonderful participants and contributors
and all the residents and children who braved the hot day to make a difference in the neighborhood. A particular thanks to the two DPW Rapid Response workers and the young boy with the leaf blower who spent the day mowing the Harrison Recreation Center for the first time this season. And a special thanks to GreenScene Landscaping of Chevy Chase and Rockville Flower and Plants for the emergency mulch deliveries.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
Philip Spalding & Lynn Coffin 1900 block of 13th Street
Minutes From Meeting of Thursday, 11 May 2000
No Police were present for the meeting.
Aaron Rodgers from Vacant Property Security Company presented on his firm's ability to secure problem buildings in the community with a high tech, metal system of enclosure. His firm has been contracted by DCRA, and he encouraged members to provide addresses of problem buildings in the neighborhood in which he can convey to DCRA for secure closure. The system is temporary and is rented at approximately $70 per month.
Scott Pomeroy made final preparations for the neighborhood clean up to take place may 13th.
Jeff Koenriech provided an extra $85 to CSNA for a project on senior citizen sponsorship, and members were asked to contribute ideas for the funds.
CSNA has a bank account of $2,140.32, minus funds allocated toward graffiti abatement and the welcome package fund.
Milt Grant announced the Shaw Cooperative Business Meeting May 16th to encourage neighbors to participate in a cooperative business venture in the neighborhood. More information can be obtained at 232-2915 .
Representatives from Metropolis Development presented their proposal for the 14th and U Street site to include retail on the ground floor with townhouses above facing 14th Street, and a nine story tower of condo units on the eastern edge of the property. Shalom Baranes is the principal architect, and following discussion on the project including height concerns, building materials, and street access, CSNA members approved the conceptual plans for the project, and forwarded this approval to the Historic Preservation Review Board.
Representatives from Donatelli & Klein provided a courtesy program on their planned apartment and retail development for the 13th and U Street site. Nearly 200 apartment units would sit atop ground floor retail facing U Street. The project is scheduled for a conceptual review at the June 7th U Street Historic District Review Committee and the June 8th CSNA membership meetings. No vote was taken.
Co-presidents, Scott Pomeroy, 667-6524; Paul Williams,
The U Street Historic District Review Committee will meet Wednesday, June 7 at 7 pm at the Saloon, 1207 U Street to review projects in our district. These include a condominium building proposed at 1451 Florida Avenue, with a presentation by the 'Architects Collaborative.' We will also be requesting additional information and discussion of the large apartment building planned for 13th and U Street, as well as an overall planning strategy for the U Street area in light of all the projects coming to fruition this summer/fall. Also, please make note and bring in any HD violations you may have witnessed, as we plan to update the enforcement list. All are welcome; please get involved now as there are projects proposed that will affect your U Street living and dining experience! Paul Williams
Spring Clean-Up 2001
Believe it or not CSNA Spring Clean-up 2001 is just around the corner, a mere ten months away. We're planning now. As part of the plan we need to identify each block organization within the CSNA area (9th to 15th, S to Florida Ave.). We also need to find those blocks that aren't represented by an organization and get someone on the block to be a block representative.
What Can You Do to Help? You can give the name and phone number of a contact person for your block organization. If you want to represent your block without an organization, give your name and phone number.
Give the name and phone number to: Chuck Baxter at 232-7921 or Cbaxter67@aol.com
NEWS AROUND U
From the Washington Business Journal
Area near 14th and P picks up high-end retail
With Fresh Fields already breaking ground on 1440 P Street, developers like Jim Abdo and Jon Gerstenfeld are beginning to see the area between Dupont and Logan circles in a whole new light. And soon, Washingtonians will too. By next year, Abdo's Development said residents in the area will be able to go to CVS to refill prescriptions, Starbucks for coffee, Anthropologies for hip, urban clothes, and, of course, Fresh Fields for food.
"I don't want to turn 14th Street into the inside of Pentagon City mall, but I do need anchor tenants to make smaller businesses feel comfortable," Abdo said.
Fresh Fields and future next-door neighbor CVS are the only retailers definitely going into the area, but the developer is close to signing high-end home furnishing and hardwood stores, Blockbuster and Hollywood video stores, Starbucks and Caribou coffee shops, as well as dry cleaners and banks. Abdo also wants to build an outdoor bakery or cafe in the building that is currently a 7-Eleven. He said 7-Eleven's lease is up at the end of this year, and he won't be renewing it. "There is a valuable need for services and businesses in this area other than just liquor stores," he said.
Gerstenfeld, owner, SJG Properties and owner of P Street's Lighthouse for the Blind building, said he's constructing high-end retail and residential space at the site, which should be finished by late 2001 or early 2002. Retail space will begin at about $35 per square foot, Gerstenfeld said.
Once a vibrant area for upper-income families, 14th Street suffered greatly during the Martin Luther King Jr. riots and "white flight" toward D.C. suburbs. White, upwardly mobile families moved away from the city in search of better schools and safe streets. However, a renewed confidence in the city has many empty nesters and "power couples" moving back to the area.
"This is an area that really speaks to a lot of people with two theaters [Studio and Woolly Mammoth] and proximity to U street and Dupont," Abdo said. "It behooves retailers to be in a market with new, urban dwellers."
This summer, Abdo completes The Manhattan, loft-style condos that range from $200,000 to $900,000. The complex will have 24-hour concierge service, a conference room and a possible skywalk to the Fresh Fields. "When people are spending half a million on condos, they want more from an area," Abdo said. Monty Hoffman, president of RN. Hoffman, agreed the renovated area will attract a slew of high-end retailers who have the best of both worlds - upscale residential neighborhoods and proximity to office buildings at Dupont Circle and K street.
"Retailers will do very well here because you have a dense population around the area with new residential projects like the Manhattan, 1440 Church street and the Zenith," he said. "It's a great economy and other areas such as Dupont and Georgetown are filled up."
A major force in the entire renovation process is Wayne Dickson, who recently launched his own real estate brokerage firm called Urban Partners with his wife Carol. With three decades of experience in the area, Dickson knows the demographics of 14th Street well. From a neighborhood conversation around a kitchen table to talks with the president of Fresh Fields, Dickson was convinced he could turn the "rough edges" of the area into a vibrant community. Convincing retailers to buy space in the area, instead of Georgetown, may be a challenge, but Dickson predicts the P Street neighborhood is home to serious buyers, not just window shoppers. "Logan Circle is certainly an area we'd be interested in," said Ann Marie Zeaser, director of real estate for Caribou Coffee. "It's a great area to have a store."
Michael Besancon, president of Fresh Fields, said the extreme density of the area, combined with an eclectic, diverse neighborhood, fits perfectly into the Fresh Fields model.
"Contrary to our upscale image, we are very affordable and in healthy, college towns," Besancon said.
The 39,000 square foot complex, may debut in either October or December, he said (Fresh Fields won't open during Thanksgiving time, according to Besancon).
[Article copied from http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2000/05/15/focusl7.htm1]
Ode To A Greasy Spoon By Akio Stribling
Besides courteous drivers and the right to vote, DC sorely lacks decent authentic diners. Diner connoisseurs looking for the classic chrome boxcar shape are forced to go to the Tastee Diners in Silver Spring, Bethesda, or Fairfax. The recent diner revival, epitomized by the Silver Diner chain, only makes one long for the real thing. A place that serves pasta primavera and a $9 glass of merlot has no business calling itself a diner.
One could measure the decline in the quality of urban life with the gradual disappearance of the neighborhood diner and the rise of factory food. No longer do we linger over plates of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, roast chicken with cranberry sauce, or savor the simple pleasures of that endangered species, the chilidog. In their place we have homogenized fast food that contains slightly less nourishment than the Styrofoam packing in which they are served. There was a time when fast food was a reward instead of a punishment, but that time will soon be a distant memory.
Lucky for Shaw residents, we have three examples of a vanishing breed: homecooked affordable meals served in an authentic atmosphere. All are a short walk from the hotdogs and halfsmokes smothered in chili. Humanity U Street Metro and each serves a distinct clientele.
Florida Avenue Grill, 1100 Florida Ave., NW, Washington 202/265-1586
For over 40 years, the Florida Avenue Grill has been heating it up and scraping it off for Shaw residents and visitors alike. Housed at an unassuming comer of 12'" and Florida, the Grill provides ample parking for those wary of making the trek on foot.
The Grill's cramped interior houses the long linoleum counter, chrome stools, and upholstered booths that diner enthusiasts come to expect. On weekends, it's standing room only for the post-church and Sunday brunch set. While you're waiting for your seat, take in the hundreds of celebrity photos that cover the walls. The famous and not-so-famous gaze down on plates of steaming ham and eggs, sausage and gravy, grits, and mugs of good hot coffee. Take your time going through the menu; the wait staff is usually swamped.
There's not much here for the vegetarian, but you don't come to the Grill for falafel and hummus. The fried chicken is simple and unassuming and makes for a satisfying meal with a side of collard greens. Those in a breakfast mood should consider the sausage and hash browns. One note of caution: the old saw "order what's on the menu" is highly encouraged. My companion consistently substitutes items on her order and has yet to get exactly what she wanted. Stick to the basics and you won't be disappointed, with one caveat. The Springfield ham could do with a bit more boiling, there's enough salt left in to give you high blood pressure just by looking at it.
Although more a quaint novelty than a place to dine at regularly, the Florida Avenue Grill is still worth going to with visiting friends out for a homecooked meal. Go during the week, sit at the counter, order a cup of coffee, and soak up the ambience.
Ben's Chili Bowl, 1213 U St. NW, Washington 202/667-0909
Long a staple of the late night imbibing crowd, Ben's Chili Bowl has been around almost as long as the Florida Avenue Grill and for good reason. Ben's Chili Bowl does one thing and they do it extremely well. Club patrons along U Street and as far as Adams Morgan are willing to make the hoof-it to Ben's for two simple reasons: chili dogs and cheese fries. Humanity has yet to invent a better way to top off an evening of wrist raising than to consume hotdogs and halfsmokes smothered in chili. Humanity doesn't need to.
Immediately upon entering Ben's, the patron is bathed in the delectable aroma of hotdogs sizzling on the grill. Make your way past the carryout line, pull up a stool at the counter, and flag down one of the harried servers. Don't bother with the menu posted above the grill. While you could order a variety of breakfast items from scrambled eggs and sausage to salmon cakes, the star of the show is the eponymous chili.
Ironically, the vegetarian with the late night munchies is fairly well served at Ben's. Veggie burgers are available; those used to the store-bought freezer section variety will not be surprised or disappointed. However, the vegetarian chili is surprisingly good, its spiciness compensating for its lack of toothsome ground beef. It's a standard textured vegetable protein in a tomato-based sauce with aromatic spices and just enough heat to keep you warm on the long walk home. The texture is balanced out with black beans and is delicious over fries. The non-vegan chili is bean free and it's just as well. The mixture is a rich ground beef concoction with plenty of body and works well over fries, dogs, burgers, or all by itself.
The true esthetic of Ben's involves impaling your late night hunger cravings on the twin spears of halfsmoke and cheese fry. The former is a dense, juicy mass of voluptuous pink meat, its casing offering just the right amount of resistance after having spent a half an hour or more on the open grill. The latter is a tongue-searing treat smothered in orange-yellow goop that has to be experienced to be believed. The motley crew of pub crawlers, barflies, and danceclub denizens makes dining at Ben's an experience in itself.
Open until Sam, Ben's Chili Bowl offers what DC needs a lot more of after-midnight dining with free entertainment.
Jinny French's Southwestern Cuisine, 1940 11th St., NW,
|June 7, 7:00 p.m.||The Saloon, 1207 U Street||U Street Historic District Review Committee||Paul Williams, 462-6251|
|June 8, 7:00 p.m.||The Saloon||Membership Meeting||Scott Pomeroy, 667-6524; Paul Williams, 462-6251|
|June 14, 7:00 p.m.||Civil War Memorial||ANC 1B Meeting||Glenn Melcher, 307-1099|
|June 27, 7:00 p.m.||922 Westminster Street||WNA Meeting||Chuck Baxter, 232-7921|
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