Category Archives: Urban Living
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?
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
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!
It looks like it will be a lovely weekend in the neighborhood, and with more Red Line single tracking scheduled, it will be a great time to explore the neighborhood on foot. So grab a cup of coffee, take a morning stroll, and check out one of these neighborhood parks or walking paths:
1. Woodley Playground – This smallpark, found at Devonshire Pl. and Cortland Pl. (and seen above), contains nice, wooded trails.
2. Tregaron – Located on the Washington International School campus, visit the “trails, meadow and woodlands” at this estate.
4. Rock Creek Park – We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the lovely Rock Creek Park walking trails right in our back yard. Here’s a trail map, if you’re looking to check out a new part of the park.
5. Melvin Hazen Park Trail – You may have walked by this trail, located on the east side of Connecticut Ave. between Segwick and Rodman, dozens of times without noticing it. Quickly escape the busyness of Connecticut Ave. by walking this trail down to Rock Creek Park.
With blue skies and temperatures in the 70s predicted, this weekend looks like it will provide a couple gorgeous afternoons for a good date night. We suggest a stroll down to Woodley Park to take in some afternoon art, followed by an evening cocktail, sipped in on of the neighborhood’s outdoor cafes.
The Stamford Art Gallery in Woodley has historically featured great small exhibits, so we were excited to see a new opening at the gallery this month. The exhibit, Artists of Woodley Park, will run until July 15 and features works from a collection of both professional and amateur local artists and contains jewelry, pottery, photography, glasswork, charcoal drawings, prints, and paintings. The gallery is open until 7 pm on weeknights and 6 pm on weekends.
After perusing the gallery, you only need to walk down Connecticut to find several outdoor cafes, many with afternoon specials. We’ve noticed that the summertime crowd has already hit the patio of the perennial favorite, Medaterra, known for their cheap frozen drinks. The bar’s happy hour specials run from 4 pm to close on weekends. We would also recommend District Kitchen, which we hear has some great creative cocktails, or (our favorite) the gin and tonic tasting at The Gin Joint.
With DC Yoga Week beginning on Sunday, yoga deals are abundant this week! Here’s 5 we’re exited about in (or near) the neighborhood:
1. Unity Woods Yoga – The Woodley Park studio is offering two free classes on Friday, May 18, and daily classes for $5.
2. City Fitness Gym – This Cleveland Park gym features free yoga in May.
3. Bikram Yoga Dupont - It’s worth the short walk down Connecticut to check out this hot yoga studio who’s offering $5 classes all week.
4. Circle Yoga DC – Walk up Connecticut to visit this studio, offering yoga for adults and kids as well as mindfulness bases sessions for $5.
5. Cleveland Park Library – Always a Cleveland Parker favorite, the library continues its free yoga on Tuesday nights!
We were excited when the Post announced in April that a farmers market would be coming to Cleveland Park, but upon further investigation, we learned that permit issues might complicate its opening. We’ve now confirmed, however, that a new farmers market is expected to come to the neighborhood this summer.
Market manager Gloria Garrett tells us that there’s still some details to be worked out, but it’s expected to open the first weekend in June. In addition, rather than the Macomb St. location, as previously reported by the Post, the market will now likely take place on the west side of Connecticut Ave. (A similar market, which runs along 14th and U St., is very popular.) We’re excited that the new location will be convenient for neighborhood residents and should bring more visitors to the local businesses. Garrett also manages the Sunday Palisades Farmers Market, and we’re hoping that the Cleveland Park market will feature many of the same local vendors. We will update as soon as we hear more details on vendors and the market’s schedule.
With summertime and warm weather growing near, we’ve gotten really excited about outdoor patio season at our favorite neighborhood restaurants. Here’s to hoping the rain stays away this weekend, so that we can all get a head start on enjoying a nice outdoor burger and brew. This week’s Friday Five includes 4 patios we love (and one new patio we can’t wait to try):
2. Medium Rare – Medium Rare has a large patio that’s not in the middle of the sidewalk, unlike so many Cleveland Park eateries.
3. Siam House – The patio is small and a always a little packed (like the restaurant), but we love Siam House patio for a quick, inexpensive, tasty dinner or lunch.
4. St. Arnold’s – Who needs a patio when your whole restaurant becomes outdoor space?
5. District Kitchen – So we haven’t had a chance to check out District Kitchen’s new patio yet, since the restaurant just opened this winter, but we like what we see. Large patio in a great location for watching Woodley Park happenings and families trekking to the zoo. We hear good things about their sustainable wines and signature cocktails–can’t wait to try one outdoors this summer!
Any great patios we’re missing? Where are you excited to dine al fresco this summer?
As part of a new weekly post, we’ll be highlighting five things we love in the neighborhood. The first installment? Five red wines we’ve been loving lately. We love these wines because they make for a great dinner or night out and don’t break the bank.
1. Ardeo+Bardeo‘s Touriga Nacional, Cedro do Noval, Portugal 2006 ($35 bottle, we’re not sure if it’s available by the glass anymore) – It’s Portuguese, it’s something different, we love it.
2. Ripple‘s Cabarnet Franc, Domaine de la Butte “Le Pied de la Butte”, France 2009 ($11 glass, $33 b0ttle) – Complex and earthy for a cab franc.
3. Medium Rare‘s Fitou, Bertrand Berge, France 2009 ($9 glass, $34 bottle) – They call it complex; we call it delicious.
4. Ripple‘s Garancha Tintorera, Quitieria “Higueruela”, Spain 2009 ($6 glass, $21 bottle) – The best bottle of red wine we’ve found for $21 at a DC restaurant.
5. Calvert Woodley‘s Dow Douro, Vale do Bomfim, Portugal 2009 ($12 bottle) – Found while perusing Calvert Woodley’s eclectic selection; great rich fruity wine pairs well with cheese, crackers, and a casual night at home.
Cheers to the weekend!