Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season

Just a quick note to advise everyone living and visiting our neighborhood during the holiday season that we all need to be on the lookout for crime. There is traditionally a spike in crimes of opportunity in the neighborhood during the holidays. The Metropolitan Police have told us at our recent ANC meetings that this is the time of year that they see an increase in the number of car breakins, package thefts, muggings, and burglaries. So enjoy the holidays but be aware of crime!

And remember to report any crimes that you witness along with accurate descriptions in order to help the Police catch the criminals!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

H1N1 Clinics Scheduled for Reeves Center

The DC Department of Health has scheduled H1N1 Clinics at the Reeves Center in our neighborhood for Dec. 5 and 12. The process is very organized and the lines move quickly. Don't miss this opportunity to get vaccinated for the H1N1 virus.

H1N1 Vaccine Clinic Schedule for Priority Groups

King Greenleaf Recreation Center (W6) Thursday, December 3 5 pm - 9 pm
Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center (W1) Saturday, December 5 8 am - 1 pm
Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center (W1) Saturday, December 12 8 am - 1 pm

In addition to the District-wide H1N1 vaccine clinics, residents can also receive the vaccine by visiting their primary care provider if the provider has registered to distribute the vaccine. District residents should call their healthcare providers to find out if they are providing the vaccine to their patients.

DOH will continue to update District residents as new information becomes available regarding H1N1 and the vaccine. Residents can find regular updates and additional information on H1N1 at in addition to calling the H1N1 hotline though Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Police Arrest Burglar Responsible for 55 Robberies

Sgt. John McDonald of the Metropolitan Police Department reported at last night's ANC meeting that they have arrested a burglar responsible for 55 burglaries in our neighborhood. Apparently, the suspect confessed to the burglaries. A major mystery has been solved, so congratulations to our police for their efforts on our behalf!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bike Lanes Come to 15th Street

After much public comment and with no clear winner among the four options offered by DDOT, a fifth hybrid alternative has been designed and is being installed on 15th Street. This alternative includes both north and southbound bike lanes. Vehicle traffic will continue to have three northbound lanes. You can visit the DDOT website to read about and view this design by pasting the following address into your browser:

DDOT will start the installation of a protected south-bound bicycle lane on 15th St NW between Mass Ave NW and U Street NW between Monday, Oct. 26, and Monday, Nov. 2, weather permitting.

Work is expected to last approximately 5 days. The contractor will work during the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. During the work, parking onn the west side will be restricted and will be released as work on the section is completed.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. James Cheeks at

Saturday, October 10, 2009

MASA 14 Opens

Last night MASA 14 opened to a VIP list of guests. I was privileged to be included to sample the offerings at our newest restaurant. Delicious small plates were everywhere last night as guests enjoyed the Latino-Asian cooking. This was followed by a selection of dessert plates that finished off the evening. The ambience is urban and minimal with exposed brick walls and a bar that runs the depth of the restaurant. It is conveniently located at 1825 14th Street, next to VASTU, and I look forward to stopping in again soon. For more information, please visit their website at

Best wishes for much success to Latif Guler, Manager, and the chefs, Richard Sandoval and "Kaz" Okochi, and the staff of MASA 14. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dupont Circle House Tour 2009: "Weekend in the City" to be held on Oct. 16, 17, 18

This Year's House Tour will expand the tour in a variety of ways to raise more money for the charities DCCA supports. Join in, meet your neighbors and help shape this exciting event by contributing your time, talents and ideas: Contact House Tour Chair, Robin Diener.

There’s still time to volunteer
for the 2009 House Tour on Sunday October 18. Volunteers are needed as house monitors and to assist with Afternoon Tea at the Washington Club. Volunteers earn a free ticket to the tour and an invitation to the volunteer “after party” on Sunday evening. Please contact volunteer coordinator Kay Marlin to sign up for a shift. Please specify if you prefer 1st shift or 2nd and if you are volunteering with a particular person or group.

There’s still time to contribute as a Patron, Benefactor, or Sponsor. Have your name listed in the 2009 House Tour brochure and in the Dupont Current.

There’s still time to advertise in the tour booklet contact Robin Diener 202 431-9254.

There’s still time to buy tickets. Tell your friends! Purchase online ($25 in advance/$30 day of). Tickets will be available in the following locations about Sept 25:

AXIS SALON - 1509 Connecticut Avenue, NW
DESIGN WITHIN REACH - 1838 Columbia Road, NW
GREATER GOODS - 1626 U Street NW
HOME RULE - 1807 14th Street, NW
JAVA HOUSE - 1645 Q Street, NW
TRUE VALUE HARDWARE - 1623 17th Street, NW
TRIO RESTAURANT - 1537 17th Street, NW

Friday, September 4, 2009

S and T Street Parks Open to Dogs and Humans

Yesterday, Sept. 3, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Acting Director Ximena Hartsock, ANC Commissioners, and other community leaders joined Ward 2 residents, park lovers, and dog owners for ribbon-cutting and leash-cutting ceremonies to celebrate the completion and the opening of the new parks at S and T Streets, NW.

"The ribbon and leash cutting ceremonies represents the first simultaneous opening of a people park and a dog park in the District," said Mayor Fenty. "After much anticipation, residents and pets in the community now have a safe, healthy environment to enjoy."

Renovations at the two parks, located along New Hampshire Avenue and 17th Street, NW, between S and T Streets, NW, began in Feb of this year. DPR's newest off-leash public dog park is located at the S Street Park, and an improved park and plaza can now be found at the T Street Park. The S Street Park dog park is a new 5,600 square foot off-leash dog park, and will be maintained by a partnership between DPR and Circle Dogs, the sponsoring community organization. Hours of operation for the dog park are Monday to Friday, 7 am to 8 pm; and Saturday to Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm. This is the third public off-leash dog park project completed by DPR. Metal sculptures by local artist Robert Cole have also returned to the parks.

"The Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to open the new S Street Dog Park and the new T Street Park," said DPR Acting Director Hartsock. "These parks are opening today with great support from the neighborhood."

The S Street Dog Park features an artificial grass surface designed specifically for dogs, ornamental fencing, entrances on both New Hampshire Avenue and 17th Street, seating areas, and a water fountain for dogs. Existing cherry trees in the park were preserved, and a new plaza was constructed at the corner of S Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The artificial grass being used for the dog park is K9Grass, which is the only artificial grass, designed specifically for dogs. The grass drains well, is able to withstand wear and tear, is easy to maintain, and the knitted structure of K9Grass helps wick away urine for a cleaner facility. In addition, the grass blades are coated with an antimicrobial product which helps fight odors and creates a safer, cleaner environment for the dogs.

Use of all of DPR's dog parks are free, but each dog must have a valid DC dog license and have a DC dog park registration tag. Applications for the DC dog park registration tag are available in the "Dog Parks" section of DPR's website,

At the T Street Park, the main feature of the renovations is the preservation of one of the oldest swamp oak trees in the District. To protect the tree roots, much of the park was landscaped with small plants to provide year-round visual interest, and a plaza was constructed near the intersection of 17th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The Friends of S and T Street Parks will also maintain a colorful planting bed at the southern tip of the triangle park.

After the ribbon and leash cutting, the DC Department of Health (DOH) offered free dog and cat vaccinations, and pet owners were able to have their pets vaccinated against rabies and DHLPP (distemper, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza viruses) free of charge. Also joining the event was the Washington Humane Society, offering dog adoptions to the public.

Photo courtesy of Commissioner Phil Carney

Monday, July 20, 2009

Neighbors Invited to Launch Party for new Local 14 Restaurant

Aman Ayoubi has invited residents and neighbors to the official party launching the Local 14 restaurant. It will take place on Sunday, July 26, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Whipple Farm in Rixeyville VA. Transportation will be provided from the front of Local 16 on U Street.

A seasonal farm-to-table banquet will be served by new Executive Chef Eric McKamey. Come meet the partners of Local 14!

Please RSVP by email at and indicate the number of guests and whether you will be needing transportation. Guests not on the attendance list will not be admitted. See you there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Plans for Local 14 Announced at ANC Meeting

Aman Ayoubi, owner of Local 16, announced his plans to open "Local 14" next door to Room and Board at the corner of 14th and T Streets NW. It will occupy the building that housed the historic first African-American department store in D.C.

He introduced his partners at last night's ANC meeting, noting that he will be working with a local farmer, architect and chef to bring this new restaurant to our neighborhood. The second floor will feature a Japanese-inspired grilled chicken kebab menu.

He also plans to add an enclosed roofdeck over his kitchen in the rear of the building. Neighbors who live behind the proposed roofdeck have filed a petition with ABRA to protest the license in order to negotiate a voluntary agreement with Aman and his partners. The ANC voted unanimously to support their efforts by agreeing to protest subject to the negotiation of a VA.

Aman plans to host a community event later this month at the farm so stay tuned for details.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DCRA Announces Shoring Plan for 1841 16th Street

More good news for our neighborhood!

Rick Busch, President of the Dupont Circle Conservancy, has announced that Linda Argo, Director of DCRA, has been authorized by the owner’s attorney to convey to the neighborhood that it is the owner’s intention to renovate the interior of 1841 and restore its exterior. According to Mr. Busch, "DCRA is moving very quickly with the contract..." Mr. Busch said that Ms. Argo indicated that the DCRA contracted work will take approximately five weeks to complete. "The fact that DCRA is working to create a contractual obligation to stabilize the building means that work will start quickly, instead of being delayed waiting for the owner to find her own stabilization contractor, " Mr. Busch wrote. "The cost will be approximately $225 K, which will be charged to the owner."

We look forward to the shoring up of this property and the subsequent efforts to preserve this historic building!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't Reward Demolition by Neglect at 1841 16th Street

Neighors, preservationists and community representatives joined forces Monday, June 15, at a rally to protest demolition of the building located at the corner of 16th and T Streets.

City officials have given notice that they intend to demolish the building because it is in danger of falling down any minute. There are conflicting studies that have been conducted by structural engineers and preservationists want to save the building.

To obtain more information, please contact Rick Busch, President of the Dupont Circle Conservancy at 202.462.0948 or email him at The 3,254-square-foot Dupont home is the “cornerstone” of a series of row houses designed by architect Nicholas Haller, Busch said.

“You should not reward these millionaires for demolition by neglect,” said Rebecca Miller, executive director of the D.C. Preservation League. “These are people who have clearly just flouted the law, and they should not be rewarded for it.”

The Dupont Circle ANC 2B voted unanimously to support the efforts of the Dupont Circle Conservancy and asked DCRA to shore up the building and levy a lien against the property for costs incurred.

Join the fight to save this historic building in our neighborhood!
Photo courtesy of

Friday, June 12, 2009

Room and Board is coming to 14th and T

It's official! Room and Board is coming to the corner of 14th and T Streets.

Nearly six months after its deal to buy the former Taylor Motors dealership at 1840 14th St. NW fell through, Minneapolis-based furniture store representatives say they were able to secure financing for the deal.

Room & Board bought the 31,600 square-foot building from Four Points for an undisclosed amount. Under the previous deal, the company was to pay $9 million.

Room & Board, which currently has nine U.S. locations, said it plans to open the American-made home furnishings store next Spring.

We welcome Room & Board to our neighborhood and wish them well in their repurposing of this significant building. They will join our burgeoning furniture and accessory marketplace along 14th Street and U Street. Let the renovations begin!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Robin Diener Wins DCCA Presidency

Congratulations to Robin Diener for her win! She received 57 votes and her opponent, Ron Clayton, received 53 votes after 8 provisional ballots were counted last Saturday.

Robin is a 16 year resident of Dupont Circle and has been active on the DCCA Board of Directors. She will also Chair DCCA's annual house tour, scheduled for October 2009.

Several years ago Robin ran for ANC Commissioner from SMD 2B04. She was unsuccessful in her effort but has attended ANC meetings to stay up to date on issues affecting the Dupont Circle neighborhood.

I look forward to working with Robin. Once again, Congratulations!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

DCCA Election Results in Tie for President

The Dupont Circle Citizens Association held its annual election of directors and officers on Monday, May 4. The race for President ended in a tie with 51 votes each for Ron Clayton and Robin Diener. Eight provisional ballots will be counted on Saturday to determine the winner.

John Hockensmith was unopposed in his bid for reelection as 1st VP as were Judith Niebrief for Secretary, Nancy Hartsock for Treasurer and Haru Shimura for a one year directorship. Other winners included Susan Dunn for 2nd VP and James Dudney and Marisa Uchin for three year directorships. Maureen McLellan and Lex Reiffel battled for a two year directorship in a race that is too close to call and will rely on the counting of provisional ballots to determine the outcome.

I look forward to working with the new board of DCCA and resolve to assist them in their various efforts on behalf of our community. At the request of the DCCA Board it was my pleasure to serve as Parliamentarian at the Annual Membership Meeting on Monday night to ensure that everything went smoothly. I can't wait to find out who DCCA's next President will be!

Friday, March 27, 2009

POLICY Restaurant Opens!

The new POLICY Restaurant has opened! This Tuesday neighbors had a chance to sample the small plates that the restaurant offers at a reception hosted by owner Omar Miskinyar. My favorite was the Grilled Short Ribs! We wish Omar and his crew much success! Visit for more information.

Monday, March 23, 2009

SPRING has sprung!

At long last, Spring has finally arrived! Please make sure to get out and see all of the wonderful gardens in our neighborhood that are beginning to bloom...

Monday, March 16, 2009

JBG Proposes New Hotel for 13th and U

The JBG Companies ( presented their plans to develop the corner into a 110 foot high hotel with 250 rooms at the recent ANC 1B meeting. The development is a PUD (planned unit development) that will require a zoning change since the "by right" height is 65 feet. Amenities will feature a rooftop pool and bar, art gallery spaces, and retail on the ground floor (including the current Rite Aid drug store). The development team reported that they have addressed parking concerns by featuring an all-valet two-story garage that will utilize mechanical stacking devices to far surpass the amount of spaces required by zoning.

For more information, please contact Matt Valentini, JBG project manager, at 240.333.3600.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Venues for Dining in the 'Hood

POLICY will open soon at the location shown here. You may have noticed all of the final touches being put on the place at the corner of 14th and T Streets. The community has been waiting a long time for this restaurant to be finished and to open. The Nolando Condominium is hosting an opening party on March 24. Visit to view their small plates menu and sides.

Simply Home is now NOODLES at the corner of 14th and U Streets. Owner Sak Pollert has remodeled the restaurant and is now offering a variety of noodle dishes at very reasonable prices (to draw in customers during this cost conscious recession). Good Luck!

Placards have been posted at 1825 14th Street, next to Vastu, for a tapas-style restaurant coming later this year.

Please support our neighborhood restaurants!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Revised Plans for Whitman Walker Approved by HPRB

On Thursday, February 26, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) approved revised plans for the Whitman Walker Project. The original concept plans that were presented to us in the Fall were modified by the design team to respond to community concerns about compatibility with the surrounding historic buildings. The JBG Companies will also develop an exterior kiosk to capture the role and contribution of the Whitman Walker Clinic to the AIDS history in the District.

Several minor adjustments will be made to respond to Dupont Circle Conservancy and ANC concerns about the Swann Street streetscape and the alley frontage. As I previously reported, the Board of Zoning Adjustment has already approved the variance and special exceptions that were requested by JBG for this project.

The BZA Board Order will require that JBG use only 40 per cent of the frontage along 14th Street for a proposed restaurant. JBG had wanted 100 per cent, but nearby residents and the ANC asked JBG to reduce the size of the restaurant space. Neighbors pointed out that the Arts Overlay recommends that 25% of retail space in the arts district be used for food and eating establishments. A survey conducted by the Mid City Citizens Association showed that we are now at 25% and they argued that no more space be set aside for food and eating establishments in the Arts Overlay.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

S and T Street Parks Get Makeover

I am pleased to announce that work will begin soon on the parks at S and T Streets. You may have noticed the new fencing and architectural drawings. These projects will include a dog park at the S Street park. I joined Mayor Fenty, Councilmember Jack Evans, and other community leaders at the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, February 10. The ANC has worked to bring these projects to fruition for eight years. We have discussed these parks during every year of my three terms. At last, we have results! The work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day...just in time for summer!
Photo courtesy of NEWS NOW at

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whitman Walker Project Moves Forward

The Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the request by the JBG Companies, the developer (, for a variance and four special exeptions at its meeting on Tuesday, February 3. The mixed use project now goes back to the Historic Preservation Review Board for approval of its conceptual design later this month.

The Historic Preservation Office staff report indicates that "the design (shown above as presented at the Dec. 18 hearing) is not compatible with the character of the historic district as proposed. The interwoven projecting bays, while interesting as a design idea, work at odds with the historic district by emphasizing the addition’s large size and horizontality; their proportion of glass to masonry and the scale of what appears as a single super-projection diminishes rather than enhances the historic building."

Stay tuned as further modifications to the design are made and presented to the Dupont Circle Conservancy, the Dupont Circle ANC, and HPRB for their review and approval.

The JBG Companies are also developing a proposed U Street Hotel at the corner of 13th and U Street.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Estrada Named Chairman Emeritus

After serving as Secretary, Vice Chair and Chairman (for two terms), the Dupont Circle ANC named Ramon Estrada its Chairman Emeritus at its January 2009 meeting. The position acknowledges Ramon's many contributions to the Commission during his 6 years of service. He will provide guidance and counsel to the Commission utilizing his wide experience in various matters including liquor licenses, zoning, historic preservation, and use of public space. He will serve as a bridge to various D.C. Goverment officials and staff with whom he has worked productively during his three terms on the Commission. Beginning his fourth term, Ramon is eager to continue the ANC's effectiveness, noting that the Commission is one of the best in the District.