Monthly Archives: January 2012
Alvaro Fernandez will be stopping by Cleveland Park Library on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 7PM to discuss his new book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The topic of the book is neuroplasticity, or the brain’s capacity to change itself based on experience.
[This] means that one’s brain is flexible enough to evolve as we age and that we can exercise our brains to enhance attention, boost memory, augment planning skills and manage anger and destructive emotions. Recent brain research proves that at any age, what we do in our lives influences how our brains and our mental abilities evolve. We are never too old to learn; we do not need to accept decline as inevitable. [link]
Like nearly all events at the library, this one is free of cost. Fernandez’s book will be available at the talk or you can find it on Amazon.
In today’s news for the 1 percent, the Washington Business Journal reported last week that Domaine Wine Storage and Appreciation has leased 11,000 square feet of underground space at 4221 Connecticut Ave NW. This address is current home to the vastly underrated Indian Ocean restaurant and the new Sushi Para. Exactly what value does Domaine seek to provide in the Upper Northwest market?
Wine storage appeals to both collectors who lack space to store their own bottles and serious investors who require precise temperature controls. Domaine will charge members between $2.50 and $4 per case per month to store wine, depending on what services they require. At the higher end, Domaine can digitally catalogue and monitor a customer’s collection.
The service is available at a pre-opening price of $1/month for storage of 1-149 cases.
Fledgling social network Google Plus may not have the allure or popularity of Facebook, but in the upcoming weeks it may be home to a nice slice of Cleveland Park drama. On Saturday January 21, Susan Kling Finston brought to the new social network her battle over a neighbor’s 1,400 square foot addition. The Finston family lives on the 3500 block of 30th St NW in the heart of Cleveland Park. Finston says, “This weekend I am taking a self-guided crash course in zoning law to block rich neighbors [sic] adding a 1400+ sf addition.”
The proposed addition is for 3011 Ordway NW. The home owners at this address have received approval from the ANC 3C and a recommendation from Historic Preservation Review Board for the special zoning exception. The special exception is required because the planned addition would exceed lot occupancy (set by zoning standards at 40 percent). The post construction occupancy would be 43.5 percent. The Board of Zoning Adjustment Schedules and Agendas (BZA) heard the case on January 17 and will render a decision on February 7.
Curious neighbors and zoning law nerds rejoice, because according to Finston, “Stay tuned – I will post photos and documentary support to Google+.”
Yay for snow, boo for it being on the weekend.
Snow is ‘piling up’ in Cleveland Park. Fine misty stuff. http://twitpic.com/89q84x
Mouth. is. watering.
Now THAT’S a beer @ St. Arnold’s Cleveland Park http://vsb.li/bN8L5P
St. Arnold’s dominates social media for another weekend
But I ordered the large… Here’s the beers at the new @starnoldsdc in Cleveland Park. St Arnold, patron st of beer. http://pic.twitter.com/QinGeomf
Solid food, yes.
Anyone eaten at Ripple in Cleveland Park? I’ve only had drinks there. Good food? Also, St. Arnold’s? #DC #food
Oh boy, just wait until next weekend
@unsuckdcmetro stuck on a red line train in Cleveland park bc a circuit is broken at Van Ness #WMATA
As we were saying…
Here is Metro’s sign on next weekend’s red line closures (Cleveland Park/Woodley). GL finding elsewhere. http://pic.twitter.com/LtUdZp4y
Last week we brought you an old advertisement for new construction in Cleveland Park. Today, we fast forward four years from that last post to bring you an original real estate advertisement from the Washington Herald. This advertisement is from May 1911. I could not determine the exact address, let me know if you have a guess.
One of the best parts about living in Cleveland Park is easy access to mass transportation. Even back when the neighborhood was first developed, access to the Tenleytown car line was one of its main selling points.
Even with the red line steps away and numerous busses crossing our environs, we still make frequent use of taxis. Complaining about DC cabs is an age-old tradition born in the days of DC’s infamous “zone” payment system. I tend to think DC residents are so quick to bemoan the system because its one of the most consistent gripes visitors make. DC tends to be a pretty easy city to sell to our out of town friends, but nearly every one mocks the taxi system. Perhaps this is what makes us all so ornery on this issue.
In any event, with a pending fare increase and drama surround the Uber service, DC Council Member Mary Cheh has asked citizens to share their input on the taxi system. I highly recommend that you share your thoughts in this taxi service survey.
One of the best parts of our neighborhood is the small town atmosphere that the Cleveland Park Listserv helps to create. Each Friday we will pull out some (possibly out of context) gems from the Listserv to share with our neighbors and friends. We hope these outtakes of the neighborhood news will get you ready for another great weekend in Cleveland Park!
Levity and thievery in CP…
We’ve come upon half of a power cord for a MacBook Pro, and we’d like to locate the person who currently has the other half. They are also in possession of both of our laptops along with a bag of dirty laundry (?) which they stole from our house during a daytime break-in today.
I went to St. Arnold’s (Connecticut and Ordway) last night and had a great dish of steamed mussels in white wine sauce and two different Belgian beers. This place has a warm atmosphere, good food, friendly staff.
People will pay to watch American basketball?!
I have two tickets to the American University versus Army basketball game that we can not use… The tickets are $17 each or best offer.
Rental iPads… the next Capital Bikeshare?
I’ve been toying with the idea of buying an iPad for a while, but can’t decide how useful it would really be for me. I’m just starting a project that I think could benefit from an iPad, so I thought maybe I could rent one from someone in the neighborhood for a few days, as a test.
Not a Saturday Night Live skit…
The Washington Calligraphers Guild is pleased to announced the 18th annual Graceful Envelope Contest, open to all ages with two separate student categories.
Just a stab in the dark but…
My nephew in New York City will be sworn into the New York State Bar at a ceremony in the next week or so…Does any Listserv member have an extra guest pass that you do not plan to use…?
True. True. True. Really?
The list [against DC cabs] is endless: 1) Lack of change…; 2) Refusal to pick up fares…; 3) The taxi cab queues that form by hotels refusing in-town fares…; 4) Discrimination against students…
Last Wednesday, the new Cleveland Park mussel bar, St. Arnold’s (in the old Sabores space), and its Underground bar (in the old Sabores Lounge/Club Soda) opened its doors. But we were curious: would the new location mimic the popular happy hour mussel deal found at the Dupont St. Arnold’s? We reached out to the manager of the Cleveland Park location and were happy to learn that they are now offering the happy hour specials we love.
Here’s the deals:
English premier league soccer fans will be glad to learn that Underground opens at 3 pm for soccer each day and offers a $5 special on all drafts and rails until 6:30 pm. From 3-6:30 pm, wings and onion rings are half price, and all mussels are $10.
St. Arnold’s specials run from 5-6:30 pm and also include half-price wings and onion rings and $10 mussels. The after work crowd can also enjoy $1 off all drafts during happy hour.
Check out these specials and more daily deals in our new Cleveland Park Happy Hour Guide.
Anyone traveling down Porter St. NW between Connecticut and Williamsburg in the past few weeks has noticed the pitiful condition of the road. Before taking a nice jaunt over to Columbia Heights or onto Rock Creek Parkway, drivers are met with a series of bumps. As you can see, a rather long scar in the road starts around 2501 Porter St. and continues to Williamsburg Lane. This unusual road irregularity has served as a veritable 30 yard pothole ready to damage cars and bicyclists.
So what’s the cause of this enormous winter pothole? Water system upgrades. Starting this past June, Sagres Construction of Alexandria started a critical project to repair water mains and replace fire hydrants.
The project got off to a conspicuous start this summer, when multiple neighbors complained the construction company did not follow DC regulations for establishing its “no parking zones”. On numerous occasions in June and July the company plunked down its “emergency no parking” signs without the proper notice. The company was required, by its agreement with the city, to provide 72 hours notice. Unfortunately, its signs read that their “emergency no parking” rights began in April. Had the cones been up this entire time, there would have been no issues. However, Sagres would randomly put up the cones, snaring unknowing residents and visitors. Police saw the April start date, probably not knowing the cones were just placed that day, and began ticketing liberally on Porter St for weeks.
Since then, the project has progressed neatly as the mains were fixed all the way up to the intersection of Connecticut and Quebec St. Currently, there does not seem to be any activity on the road, nor has there been for weeks. All that’s left is a rather large scar in the road and a series of duplicate fire hydrants that are covered saying “out of service”. Not surprisingly, many people seem scared to park in front of these out of service fire hydrants, probably fearing Sagres will come along and pull the cover off of them. These “duplicate” hydrants have been seen flooding the street (and occasionally the sidewalk), I am not sure if this is part of the system upgrade.
Because of this we reached out to Maria Gigova, Project Manager for the Department of Engineering and Technical Services. Ms. Gigova was kind enough to promptly respond to our request for information stating that “at this time only temporary pavement is installed associated with the new water main installations at this location and our contractor will replace the areas in the roadway where this installation is failing as soon as possible.” Additionally, “all affected areas in the roadway will be re-paved and restored per the DDOT standard requirements after all new water main installations are completed and tested.” The new estimated timeline has been pushed back (this project was originally supposed to be completed in 2011) to March 2012.
The one bonus of this problem is that people are slowing down so much for the large pothole that the city’s new speed camera must be incredibly inefficient.
Update: Two days following this posting most of the long scar that we discuss above was paved over making for a smoother ride along Porter St.
What’s it take to own property in Cleveland Park? For many young professionals this means taking a look at the condo market along Connecticut Ave. Regularly, we will be looking at the price level of condos available in Cleveland Park. Our survey area will be all condos for sale with a Connecticut Avenue address from Macomb to Tilden. We’re now using Zillow for our research.
Total properties: 11
Total 1BR: 8
1BR price range: $207,500-$435,000
Total 2BR: 3
2BR price range: $420,000-$675,000
Median days on the market: 89
New property spotlight:
3900 Connecticut Ave NW, #102-G
$285,000 – 1 bedroom
800 square feet
Days on Zillow: 4
Last month, Washingtonian released its “100 Very Best Restaurants” list for 2012. The new additions for Cleveland Park in 2012 mirror the “renaissance” the area has seen recently. The only Cleveland Park representatives on the list in 2011 were Palena and 2 Amy’s. This year there are six Cleveland Park representatives on the list.
Palena cracked the top 10 again, earning position #5 this year (#11 last year). Palena had not cracked the top 10 since 2009 (#5), earning place 18 and 11 respectively in 2010 and 2011. Following in the renovation-as-restaurant-improvement mold, Ardeo + Bardeo also joins the very best restaurants list for 2012.
Also included for this year is the new neighborhood sensation Ripple. Indique, which was shunned in 2011 despite inclusion of Indique Heights, now joins its sister restaurant in the list this year. 2 Amy’s remains listed, along with its Macomb St. neighbor Le Zinc.
Both Palena and 2 Amy’s had dishes featured in a recent spotlight on “Essential Eats” in Washington, DC.
Grab a copy of Washingtonian to check out the entire list.
Snow lovers and random-day-off prayers have had a disappointing winter. With just two dustings thus far (Halloween weekend and January 9th), we’ve avoided any significant accumulation. Average snowfall in Washington, DC is around 15 inches, a number that seems to be ambitious for 2011-2012. Last year’s total was 10.1 inches. Most prognosticators predicted a rather moderate winter, including the Old Farmer’s Almanac which said “winter will be drier than normal.”
There’s a pretty good analysis of why this could be over at Capital Weather Gang, blaming our dearth of snow on La Nina. The biggest snowstorms in DC tend to be of the Nor’easter variety. Historically, February (6.3″) has been the month with the most snow in DC, so perhaps there is room to hold out hope. January is the second snowiest month (6.2″), but its half way over and the extended forecast does not indicate snow. Even March has produced a few whoppers … the last being the “Superstorm” of 1993 which dumped 13 inches on us.
And now, in place of real snow a few more Snowpocalyse 2010 pictures from Cleveland Park. That 2009-2010 season was Washington’s snowiest with a whopping 55.9 inches of snowfall. For some this rare double blizzard, was an unmitigated disaster. Most, however, found some fun or relaxation in the storm, even if it came after digging your car out from under two feet of snow.