A Pleasant Encounter — A Local Poet’s Work

Posted July 21, 2015 by Kent
Categories: literature

Tags: , ,
A Pleasant Encounter and other poems.

A Pleasant Encounter and other poems.

On June 29th I posted a brief introduction to Elois Jones and a book of poems she wrote in 1964. I’ve learned that Ms. Jones lives on the 500 block of Lamont Street though I have not had the pleasure of meeting her.

I’ve also been able to track down a copy of her book, A Pleasant Encounter and other poems. To give you all an idea of some of her work, I’ve copied two of the poems and posted them below.

While most of them tend to focus on love, there were two that really intrigued me. The first is “Birmingham — 16 September 1963″ and the other is “On Those Days — To the Memory of Our Beloved President, John F. Kennedy.”

Poem: To My Father

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Poem: To the Love of My Life

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Joselyn Restaurant Applies for Liquor License

Posted July 20, 2015 by Kent
Categories: ABRA, Restaurants

Tags: , , ,
Joselyn Restaurant, at 3303 Georgia Avenue.

Joselyn Restaurant, at 3303 Georgia Avenue.

The new Joselyn Restaurant, Bar & Lounge at 3303 Georgia Avenue recently applied for a liquor license and placards are currently posted. According to the placard, the restaurant serves Italian and Latin cuisine. The application also includes an entertainment endorsement to accommodate Latin dance lessons. The hours of operation for live entertainment will be 6 pm to 1 am, Sunday through Saturday.

While the ABRA application is new, Joselyn has been open for a little while. It is located between the Post Office and the former Mothership on Georgia Avenue.

New Panamanian Restaurant Coming Soon to Georgia Avenue

Posted July 17, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Restaurants

Tags: , ,
Esencias Panamenas, at 3322 Georgia Avenue.

Esencias Panamenas, at 3322 Georgia Avenue.

A new Panamanian Restaurant, called Esencias Panamenas, is in the process of opening in the former Rita’s Caribbean restaurant space at 3322 Georgia Avenue, between Morton and Lamont.

Earlier this week, the owners applied for a liquor license, so expect to see placards go up in the near future. The application describes the business as a sit down restaurant with casual dining and a family atmosphere that will serve Latin/Caribbean food. The application includes endorsements for entertainment and a sidewalk cafe.

Entertainment is planned to be Panamanian folklore dancing w/ native attire during certain Panamanian observed holidays, and be held between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Regular hours of operation will be between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. Wednesday through Monday, closed on Tuesdays.

New Seasonal Park on K Street — Could this Work on Georgia Avenue?

Posted July 16, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Streets and Trees, streetscape

Tags: , , , ,
The ParKIT sign expalin

The ParKIT sign explaining the concept.

On Tuesday, a new Parklet was opened on K Street in front of the Gensler building at 2020 K Street NW. The seasonal park takes the place of two parking spaces. As I checked it out (and I know others in the community have also been thinking along these lines too), I wondered if a seasonal, temporary park would be something that could be done on Georgia Avenue. More-so, I wondered if a parklet could be paired with a bike corral in an area like DC Reynolds, Looking Glass Lounge, and Walters.

One of the issues with Georgia Avenue is that the sidewalks are too narrow to accommodate outdoor cafe space. Furthermore, in an area like the 3600 block of Georgia, on a popular night their just aren’t enough bike racks to accommodate cyclists. If we could identify an area where three parking spaces aren’t needed, or, where the benefit of removing them for a seasonal park and bike corral would outweigh the loss of three spaces, we might be able to create the outdoor vibrancy that is definitely needed on Georgia.

Parklet(The new parklet on K Street, NW.)

While the parklet on K Street is a great place to sit, read, and relax, these aren’t the only activities that could be accommodated. As the photo below shows, the space could also be configured as an outdoor cafe or summer garden. This is precisely the type of activity that would help enliven Georgia Avenue but that we can’t accommodate with our current sidewalks.

San Francisco parklet(1300 Fulton Street Parklet (Hosted by Cafe Abir) Photo By: SF Planning (AS))

So the questions become: 1) Would the community be interesting in swapping out a few parking spaces for some type of seasonal park? 2) What activities should this park support? and 3) Ideally, where should this park be located?

Walters Opening in Park View This Friday

Posted July 15, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Bars, Taverns

Tags: , , ,

Following up on my May 9th announcement that the former Blue Banana/Park View Patio space would become a new bar/tavern called Walters, I’m please to announce that plans are to open this Friday at 5 p.m. Walters is located between Looking Glass Lounge and DC Reynolds at 3632 Georgia Avenue..

Last night I was able to check Walters out during a soft opening. My initial impression is very positive, and this seems like the first business in the space over the last 10 years that actually understand what a business needs to, well, stay in business. Overall, it was comfortable and welcoming.

Currently, the food selection is limited to house-made beef jerky, warmed and salted pretzels, baked buffalo wings, foot long hotdogs, a side salad, and traditional potato salad. Starting on Friday there will also be two sandwich choices as well. This is all a far cry and an improvement over the previous businesses in this space. There is also a small kids menu, complete with a connect the dots puzzle and a coloring page. Not bad.

I believe Walters has a lot of promise, and may prove to be a home run once its in the swing of things.

Below are a few photos from my visit.

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IMG_9115(Beer, jerky, and pretzel.)

IMG_9113(Alphabet soup, letters on the wall by the tables for young and old minds.)

Lower Georgia Avenue Main Streets Program Study In Progress

Posted July 14, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Small Businesses

Tags: ,
The west side of the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue.

The west side of the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue.

A Main Streets study has been underway since the beginning of April for the Lower Georgia Avenue area — defined as the section of Georgia Avenue within Ward 1. The study was funded by a grant from the Department of Small and Local Business Development to determine if conditions are right for a Main Streets organization on Georgia Avenue. The final report from the study is expected to be completed by the end of September.

One of the early outcomes of the study is an effort to develop an anti-graffiti program for Georgia Avenue. The effort will consist of two parts: 1) a Community graffiti removal event that may be scheduled on August 15 and, 2) a system to make graffiti removal sustainable.

The following areas are to be addressed in the main streets feasibility study:

  • Recommended Program Boundaries. The study will recommend a geographic district which would have the most likelihood of launching a successful revitalization program.
  • Support from Business Owners and Commercial Property Owners. As the most crucial stakeholders in any commercial revitalization effort, the business and property owners should be included in any planning effort This study will demonstrate how these two types of stakeholders intend to help fund and lead a new Main Streets organization. It will also demonstrate how they will continue working together whether or not a new Main Street program is established.
  • Support from Community Stakeholders. Neighborhood residents are the indirect beneficiaries and primary customers of the commercial revitalization effort. This study will demonstrate if neighborhood residents and community groups will support a revitalization effort as donors and as volunteer leaders. The study will also demonstrate the commercial district’s ability to serve residents, including Howard University students, as customers.
  • Sustainable Funding. The new Main Streets organization should be able to operate effectively whether or not funding from DC Government is available in future years. This feasibility study will include a detailed five-year funding plan for the organization which explores funding sources such as private organizations and neighborhood civic groups, as well as commitments from business and property owners.
  • The National Main Street Center utilizes a preservation-based economic development process called the Main Street Four Point Approach®, which serves as the foundation for local Main Street initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets-from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride. The analysis will explore whether this Approach is a good fit for this commercial district and how the Approach would benefit the proposed district.

The 151st Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens

Posted July 13, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Historic Landmarks, History

Tags: , ,

This past weekend marked the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens, the only Civil War Battle in Washington D.C. Fort Stevens is located in Brightwood, a short distance north on Georgia Avenue for anyone who hasn’t visited it. You can read more about it here.

I’ve also found the following presentation on camp life that was part of the 149th anniversary commemoration at Fort Stevens which you can watch below.

A short distance to the north of Fort Stevens is the Battleground National Cemetery, where forty soldiers who died in the Battle of Fort Stevens were buried on the evening of July 12. One additional soldier who fought in the battle was buried there in 1936.

The photos below show the Battleground National Cemetery.

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