Category Archives: General
The Going Out Gurus of the Washington Post recently updated their neighborhood guides and included our beloved Cleveland Park. Their full list of recommended neighborhood attractions can be found here, and includes many of the Cleveland Park institutions, such as Dino, the Uptown Theater, Vace, Palena, and the Zoo. We like that the guide also included (literally) off-the-beaten-path favorite Melvin Hazen Trail and new(ish) additions Sugar Magnolia and Medium Rare. But did they miss some of the smaller establishments and attractions that make this place really feel like home? (Then again, do we want the masses all crowding in for $5 drinks at Nanny O’Brien’s on a Friday night?)
What do you think readers? Did the Post get it right? What’s your favorite Cleveland Park business that’s missing from the GOG guide?
There is no better sign that the world will actually end in 2012 than the proclamation of the Washington Times that it is the year’s official newspaper.
Over at the popular forum DC Urban Mom, someone asks, “What’s so special about Cleveland Park?”
We are looking to buy a house and noticing that Cleveland Park is much more expensive than other Upper NW DC areas. Is it worth it?
Some of the responses include…
I think it’s got the potential to be somewhat walkable and convenient to metro which are important to some people.
It’s a ‘rubbing elbows’ thing. In true, historic district Cleveland Park, you’ve got a lot of VIPs there. Like, David Brooks just moved from close-in Maryland to a Victorian in Cleveland Park. However beware, because there is much real estate in 20008 calling itself “Cleveland Park.” Real estate agents would have you believe that everything up to practically Nebraska Ave. is “North Cleveland Park,” and while there’s nothing wrong with all those standard DC-issue red brick Colonials, you shouldn’t pay a premium for them as you would a 1890 beaut on Newark.
It has gorgeous, character filled properties, a great location, and cachet. It is not more expensive then the other “best ‘hoods though, like Wesley Heights, Spring Valley, Kent, Town of Chevy Chase (MD), etc… and its a bit less then Georgetown.
Since it’s the “least boring”…
The area near Connecticut Ave. is less isolated than most of UpperNW, and there are some fine homes within the historic district. I suppose it’s the least boring part of UpperNW, though it’s still fairly dull.
If you want a neighborhood for walking, Cleveland Park could work, as could Georgetown, AU Park (if you have kids), Capitol Hill, Logan Circle. Bang for buck I’d check out Columbia Heights, $1m can go quite far there.
What’s your belief?
It seems as if the old Cacao (Cold Stone) space will become a retail cell phone shop. The small but well-situated storefront at 3508 Connecticut Ave NW has been vacant since Cacao closed at the end of last year.
Details about the new business coming to Cleveland Park are sparse but the zoning review indicated that the space is being converted from prepared food to retail cell phone sales. It seems that you will be able to buy a cell phone and have it repaired, all within 10 feet of each other!
Our hopes for Jamba Juice Cleveland Park have been obliterated. In February, we posted our top 7 hopes for the 3508 Connecticut NW space. I guess, technically, number 7 came true…
We’d been hoping to make it Harpers Ferry for quite awhile, so we were quite excited to make the trip this summer. Of course, we also couldn’t resist hitting up the Maryland wineries we saw along the way. Here was our itinerary:
10:00 am – Leave Cleveland Park. Head North on I-270.
11:00 am – First stop, Elk Run Vineyards. Turn off 1-270 just past Germantown. Just past Mt. Airy, you’ll find a cluster of wineries with cute small tasting rooms situated in the middle of small vineyards in the rolling hills of Maryland. In the tasting room, you can pick six wines to try from their large selection–we particularly enjoyed some of their award-winning reds. For those currently into the Rose trend, they also had a tasty, summery rose.
11:30 am – Next stop, Black Ankle Vineyards. Just down the road, you’ll find Black Ankle Vineyards, where you can sip five of their wines in their gorgeous new eco-friendly tasting room, made mostly from materials grown on-site. While there, grab a light lunch of local cheese and salami and a baguette.
12:30 pm – Finish the wine tour at Loew Vineyards. There’s a reason we put this winery after lunch – their sweet wines seem most appropriate for after dinner sipping. But for their low tasting fee, it was fun to try some dessert-y (many containing fruit) wines in their tiny tasting room.
2:00 pm – Arrive at Harpers Ferry, WV. We took US-340 W straight down to Harpers Ferry. Plan to park outside the town, where you can take a shuttle in to the sites. (For any history buffs: Make sure to stop off at the shuttle stop Bolivar Heights, a former Civil War site, where we got to see a Civil War reinactment!) Enjoy stepping back in time for an afternoon while visiting this influential historical town where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. There’s something for everyone in this little town – hiking, shopping, museums, and lots of picturesque views.
6:00 pm – Head back to Cleveland Park. After a long day, you’ll be back in time for a relaxing evening.
Tip: If you go during the summer months, make sure to stop at some of the farm stands along the side of the road. Great way to go locavore and fill up your fridge with lots of delicious veggies without paying Whole Foods prices.
Looking to make it a weekend trip? Head over to Charlestown, WV and spend a night watching horse races at Charlestown Races & Slots.
Any pedestrian in Cleveland Park knows how frustrating it can be when sidewalks are not clear. This is just a simply annoyance for most neighbors who can walk around obstructions without a problem, but for senior citizens, handicapped, and stroller-pushing neighbors this can be a huge problem.
This is our mini-PSA to remind neighbors that it is their responsibility to trim the trees and/or bushes planted on your property. If they encroach on the sidewalk, they should be trimmed.
Recently Adas Israel had a landscaping company tell them that only DC could trim plants that overhang on the sidewalk. This is only half true. If the plant is on your property then it is your responsibility to keep it trimmed. The city will take care of “street trees” which are located between the sidewalk and curb.
Ordway and Rodman streets west of Connecticut can be a problem for pedestrians. The problem at Adas Israel (pictured above) will be taken care of soon.
Earlier this week we wrote up Cleveland Park Valet for its new ice cold water service. Today we share slightly more useful knowledge on our good friends there … they make keys. For a long time I went outside the neighborhood to get my keys made and it often came with mixed results. If you are looking to make keys in Cleveland Park, you can simply hop over to Cleveland Park Valet across from the library on the east side of Connecticut Ave.
Cleveland Park Valet
3303 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC
Get pumped people. Cleveland Park has added a new low-cost water supplier in the neighborhood: Cleveland Park Valet. As pictured (see bottom right), the dry cleaner is now offering ice cold water for a mere $0.75 a bottle. Not a bad idea to earn some scratch from the hot, tried, kid-wielding zoo visitors. Still over twice as much as Frozen Yo’s $0.29, but hey it’s less than a buck and certainly much less than CVS.
Cleveland Park Valet
3303 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC
A hidden gem!
Farming and city living don’t usually go hand in hand, but just off the beaten path of Connecticut Avenue you’ll find a flourishing garden full of beautiful colors and fresh fruits and veggies. The Melvin Hazen Community Garden, located on Sedgewick St in Northwest DC, is a great option for urbanites interested in getting their hands dirty and putting their gardening skills to the test.
Where it all began…
During World War II, the government asked citizens to pitch in and start growing their own food in private gardens and public parks to help ease the pressure on the already strained domestic food supply. These gardens came to be known as “victory gardens” and were treasured not only for the food they produce but for the morale boost they provided for those “serving” on the home front.
To help establish a dedicated space, the National Park Service designated part of Rock Creek Park for this purpose. The garden is named after former D.C. commissioner Melvin Hazen (fun fact: Melvin Hazen also chose the design for the D.C. flag).
Little has changed since then and a host of enthusiastic gardeners continue to tend their plots. Much of the garden is still reserved strictly for growing fruits and vegetables and, adhering to its original mission, at least 90 percent of the garden space must be used for vegetables though flowers are permitted on the remaining 10 percent of the land. The garden is separated into more than 100 individual 8’x15’ plots, though sizes do vary, allowing gardeners the freedom to grow fruits and vegetables of all shapes and sizes. The garden is strictly organic and the use of many common herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer is prohibited.
How can I get involved?
Plots in the Melvin Hazen Community Garden are available to anyone for just $25 per year. In addition to overseeing and allocating plots, the Melvin Hazen Community Garden Association also provides tools, wheelbarrows, sheds, and water for those without the requisite equipment as well as helpful advice for those that may not have the greenest thumb. The association also has a dedicated group of garden patrons, aka the “weed police,” who inspect plots monthly to make sure gardeners are doing their part to maintain their space.
Though the current wait time for a plot is four years, there may be other ways to get involved. To place your name on the wait list, send an e-mail to Melvin.Hazen.Garden@verizon.net with the following information:
If you’re anxious to get started, add your name to the volunteer list on the garden’s Google site. If a gardener needs assistance, or wants to share their plot, that’s your shot to get in!
Still serving a true community purpose…
The garden is again participating in the “Grow-a-Row” program through the Capital Area Food Bank to donate excess produce. Gardeners can leave extra garden goodies weekly to be delivered to So Others May Eat (better known as SOME).
Additionally, the University of the District of Columbia CAUSES (College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability & Environmental Sciences) has extended their service to Melvin Hazen gardeners.
So, slip away from city life for just a moment and visit us!
We’ve recently heard that a “breakthrough” has been made with regard to the permitting problems plaguing the much anticipated Cleveland Park farmers market.
We talked to Susie Taylor of the CPBA who emphasized that the CPBA and the CPCA have joined forces–along with market manager Gloria Garrett–to bring the market to Cleveland Park. Taylor tells us that the trio is diligently working on permitting issues, and recently discovered that a glitch in DDoT’s online permitting system was causing the delays. They have been working with the city to correct the problem. Taylor expects to resubmit the permit for approval by the end of this week and hopes that the market will be back on track after resubmission. She advises us that they are working to ensure that the market “enhances, rather than competes with” Cleveland Park’s existing stores, and the mix of market vendors has been “carefully created” to respond to CPBA concerns. Taylor, Garrett, and Jane Treacy from the CPCA plan to appear at Monday’s ANC meeting to seek the ANC’s endorsement of the market.
We still have not heard an anticipated opening weekend for the market or a list of participating vendors and look forward to the release of this information.
We’ve heard that many of you are excited about the new Cleveland Park farmers market (we are too!) and have had several requests for updates. While it originally looked like the market would open in early June, we’ve now heard that a few permitting issues may further delay the opening weekend.
We talked to Gloria Garrett, the farmers market manager for the Cleveland Park and Palisades locations, who told us that they are working to get ANC approval for the new location of the market, on the west side of Connecticut Ave. As we reported in May, the market was originally scheduled to take place off Macomb Street, but will now likely take place on Conn Ave., facing the businesses. Garrett tells us that there are several compliance issues that are being hammered out before the market can open, including providing for protection of the flower beds that run along the street. We appreciate that measures are being taken to keep our neighborhood beautiful, but can’t wait for a large selection of local produce right at our doorstep.
Space appears to be the main issue for farmers markets in our area–as we reported on Friday, the Van Ness farmers market is also looking for a new location. We will keep you updated on any further developments with both farmers markets, and when they open, make sure to stay off the flower beds!
We’ve heard from several sources that 4P’s (aka “Four Fields”, but does anyone ever call it that?) is closing in June. Seriously, this time. Or so they say. (We attended their last “closing night” in October 2011, and you all know how that turned out…) We’ve also heard that McFadden’s is taking over. But since 4Ps has surprised us more than a couple times in our time in Cleveland Park, we thought they might be looking for a second opinion. And of course, we’re happy to give them one. So for this Friday Five, we offer…
Five Things We’d Rather See Open in 4Ps than McFaddens:
1. Trader Joes. Because who doesn’t want $4 wine and $2 pasta sauce at their doorstep?
2. Panera. Good coffee, good bakery, lots of seating, free wifi. Yes, please!
3. Mellow Mushroom. If we had a good pizza/beer joint in the neighborhood, we would seriously never leave.
4. Jimmy John’s. With Jimmy John’s right down the street (and open til 3 am), life could be just like college again…
5. Anything but a tanning salon, a nail salon, or a CVS! I think we have those markets sufficiently covered.
What would you like to see in the space? Any McFadden’s defenders?
Happy long weekend!