Tag Archives: Columbia Heights

Off To the Markets: Columbia Heights Community Market

22 Jul

CH Farmers Market (sorry for the poor quality phone pic)

This summer brought many new things to Columbia Heights: Fro-Yo, an almost done 14th Street, and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace. Now, I’m a fan of just about any farmers market, but after a few Saturday mornings waking up at this market, I can’t stop raving on what they have to offer. It isn’t the biggest FM of the bunch, but what it lacks in vendors it certainly makes up for in variety.

The market is open from 9-2 every Saturday, and houses multiple vegetable growers (Chesley Farms, Dragonfly Farms and Licking Creek Bend Farm), a variety of meat vendors, cheese makers, bread bakers, and even a gelato guy.  Pretty much anything you might need.  The marketplace even accepts WIC and Stamps.

With no recent Arganica order, last Saturday KFB and I hit up the CH Community Marketplace with a few bucks in hand. We bought a loaf of whole wheat bread, 6 peaches, 3 nectarines, 3 tomatoes, a bundle of onions, red potatoes, green beans, a cucumber and 4 ears of corn all for just $20. A price that can’t be beat for such high quality, local produce.

Everyday several people read my review of Arganica Farm Club. I don’t want to put down the local delivery group which fed me through the winter, but recently I feel like it just can’t compare. DC’s Farmers Markets have so much to offer at such a great price.  You have the big markets like Dupont, but embracing the smaller markets like Columbia Heights Market will give you everything you need, the warmth of your neighbors, and the satisfaction you get from are purchasing real food.

The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace offers good eats, good people, and a good reason to wake up.  Don’t be a slacker and get your hungover butt out the bed for some food.

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Rave Run – Sweating It Out

25 May

5 Mile Route (Click image for interactive ap)

The first signs of a DC summer are here.  High temps and high humidity fill the late evening air, and I for one am glad to see it!  After such a long winter full of cold, icy runs, nothing feels better than returning to the house soaked with sweat.  It wasn’t until this week that I really had my first great hot run of the year.  After a weekend of no running and too much boozing, a swift 5 miles with a lot of leaking (read: sweat), couldn’t have felt better. It is one thing to get home and be tired from a run.  It is another thing to get home, be tired, and FEEL wet.  No question you just had a work out.

I’m not looking forward to 90+ degree training this summer, but I’ll soak up this 75 degree, 70% humidity any day.

So what do you think?

I’ll be post all of my routes on my MapMyRun profile.

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Columbia Heights Plaza

29 Sep
New Columbia Heights Fountain up and flowing.

New Columbia Heights Fountain up and flowing.

Walking home from work this evening, I saw the new Columbia Heights Plaza fountain running, with plenty people out enjoying it.  It was a little cool and windy out, but very enjoyable nonetheless.  I think it looks great!

PoP had an incredible post today with pictures of Columbia Heights now, and 7 years ago.  Definitely something everyone should check out if they haven’t already!

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Restaurant Review: Social

4 Sep

Everyone’s been talking blogging about Social, the new restaurant/bar in Columbia Heights, so I thought, ‘why not, I’ll join in.’  I was more than excited when I first heard a new place was coming in just around the corner from my house.  It was going to be my new hang out, my Cheers, if you will, but then it opened.

I didn’t make it the first weekend, so I was able to read a few reviews before going earlier this week.  The more I read, the more disappointed I became.  People didn’t seem to care too much for it, and I would have to agree.  They have this interesting “living room” theme going on.  While many people didn’t like it, I kind of got it.  Walking in, it felt comfortable, calm, and relaxing.  I was kind of digging it until I sat down.  Downstairs, instead of seats, they have these big ottoman looking things for you to sit on.  You shared it with the person in the table behind you, making it a little awkward to spread out.  After about 15 minutes my back started to hurt, and I became uncomfortable, making the comfy living room feel vanish.

We ordered a few drinks, I had a glass of wine and Roommate had a beer.  I asked a question about one of the wines, but the waiter had no idea how to answer.  The wine list wasn’t bad, but the beers were lacking.  They had a few solid choices, but nothing on draft.

Then we ordered an appetizer.  They have three sizes of everything.  I asked the waiter what the difference was for the crab cakes sliders.  His answer was, “I’m not really sure, I just know the larger sizes you get more crab cakes.”  While I’m sure that is true, it didn’t really help me out.  We ended up getting the small and it turned out to be 3 sliders, which worked well for us.  They were fine, nothing to write home about.

Before leaving, I asked the waiter about a happy hour.  He said they have one, but didn’t know the times or what the special was.  I know it must be hard your first week open, but they have had ample time to teach the waitstaff about the restaurant and the menu.  In my opinion, that is borderline inexcusable.

If it wasn’t in my neighborhood, I doubt I would ever go back.  But since I’m happy that new places like this are opening in Columbia Heights, I’ll have to try it some night for a real dinner.  I’ll just give them some time to pull it together.

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Litterbug for Life?

8 Jun
International Tidy Man

International Tidy Man

DC neighborhood blogs, like the Prince of Petworth have been writing about this for a long time.  PoP even started a neighborhood Clean Up day because of it.  For the most part, I’ve just been able to blow it off as “part of living in the city,” but today I saw something that really rubbed me the wrong way.

I was sitting out on my porch talking on the phone when I saw a guy walking down the sidewalk.  I didn’t think anything of it, as he was just strolling down the street.  I did notice he had a brown bag, most likely with a 40 of Old English nestled inside, but that seems far too normal around here, so I didn’t take a second glance.  Surprisingly, a cop rolls up from around the corner and asks the man to dump out the beer.   He seemed a little pissed (as anyone who just bought a new bottle of booze would be), but complied without trouble.  It was when the cop started to slowly ride off that the man got angry.  He yelled something, threw up his hands, and slammed the bottle on the middle of the alley he was standing in.  The bottle smashes, and 40 oz of glass spew all over the street.  The po po, who I’m sure saw the whole thing, didn’t seem to care.  What got me was that the cop cared enough to make the man pour out his beverage, but not enough to get angry about breaking a bottle all over the street!  Clearly the neighborhood would have been better off with a drunk guy walking home, than a street full of glass.

I’d say that most people will agree with me that littering goes hand in hand with economic levels.  Around the world, trash lined streets haunt poor neighborhoods.  Yet it would be hard to find a gum rapper in McLean.  So what is it that makes people litter?  Do people litter because they don’t care?  Because they don’t know better?  As a way of sticking it to the man?  No one wants to live in a dumpster, so why treat your community like a trash can?

I think it is probably a combination of several reasons.  First off people don’t care.  If you take no ownership of your neighborhood, why does it matter if you throw your empty cigarette box on the ground.  I’d say that most people who litter have seen their parents, friends, and neighbors do it their whole lives.  They know that maybe someone will come by and clean it up, and if they don’t, oh well.  Secondly, because they have never learned not to.  I’m sure people say, “don’t litter” when you are in elementary school, but they probably have not learned the effects of trash on local rivers, water supplies, and children’s hygiene.

While I think that neighborhood clean ups are great, and I love the initiative, it isn’t curing the problem.  Children need to learn from day one that it is not ok.  The problem lies when their families don’t know that.  It creates this never ending cycle, forming litterbugs that will most likely be littering lifers.  How can you make someone care?

Coffee Problem Resolved?

19 Mar
Photo taken in Columbia Heights Coffee

Photo taken in Columbia Heights Coffee

A few months ago, I reported that Columbia Heights has a coffee problem.  I was sitting around looking for a cup of espresso, and realized that my options in the neighborhood were far too limited, with Starbucks and Columbia Heights Coffee being really the only choices (excluding Sticky Fingers and Pan Lourdes).

Well, it has been a big few weeks for java in Columbia Heights.  To start with, Price of Petworth reports on Tynan – Coffee and Tea coming to Irving right next to Five Guys.  I can’t really find anything about it, but I have high hopes.

Located on 14th, next to Tivoi Theatre

Located on 14th, next to Tivoi Theatre

The other coffee excitement comes from Uptowner Cafe.  Uptowner Cafe already has two locations in DC.  The first on M and 23rd, and the second around G and 21st.  They have just announced that they will be opening up a third shop in the old Carvel Ice Cream shop right on 14th next to Gala Theatre.  Although I’ve never actually been to a Uptowner Cafe, it seems to be promising.  They serve breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and of course, coffees.  The website has no information (I don’t think it has been updated since its opening in 2007) about the new location, but they seem to be working hard.  I hope to see an opening of both the new coffee shops this spring. Until then, I guess I’ll be stuck with my own coffee press and a porch.

Más Pan, Porfa’

11 Feb

Yesterday I was kind of critical towards Pan Lourdes for calling itself a coffee shop.  Well I hated having that negative Hay Say cloud over one of my Mas Pan, Porfa'favorite spots in 20010, so I’m here to set my views straight.

Pan Lourdes’ arrival a few months ago had to be one of the best surprises since my move to Columbia Heights.  I remember walking by the old barber shop every day wondering what was going to happen to the space.  To my surprise, they seemed to have the place cleared out and open in about a week.  Since Pan Lourdes’ opening it has done nothing but get better.

After visiting Pan Lourdes for the first time right after opening, I was blown away with the feeling it gave me.  Throughout my time in both Chile and Costa Rica, one of my favorite things was to get fresh bread every morning for that day’s lunch and dinner.  Although variety was limited, the freshness and joy of buying bread baked that day was incredibly delightful.  This bakery gives me that same feeling.

I can easily look beyond the fact that sometimes you grab a piece not so fresh, because I know that it just means that tomorrow’s will be that much fresher.

Located right next to Gloria’s Papusaria (review at the jump), this taste of Latin America easily makes for one of my favorite blocks in Columbia Heights.

Columbia Heights Has a Coffee Problem

10 Feb
Columbia Heights has a coffee problem

Photo taken in Columbia Heights Coffee

All of your senses are heightened as you step into a coffee shop.  Your nostrils flair as the sweet smell of espresso floats through the air.  Nothing is more gratifying than the loud roar of a coffee grinder in the background.  Just thinking of a coffee shop gives you the feeling of warm, comfy chairs.  Dim lights and interesting artwork are so pleasing to the eyes.  Best of all, the gratifying taste of fresh roasted dark coffee as it hits your tongue.  It is hard to think of a more heavenly place than a good coffee shop.

Unfortunately for those of us who live in Columbia Heights, good coffee shops are few and far between.  We have what I’m going to call two and half.    The most obvious is the over crowded, obnoxiously loud Starbucks right on 14th.  I do what I can to avoid this place, if for no other reason than for the fear of losing my love for coffee shops due to its horrible characteristics.  Across the street lies the “half.”  Inside of Target sits another Starbucks, coffee brewed, but with seats of few.

The only real coffee shop worth a visit is Columbia Heights Coffee.  Located on 11th Street near Park, you are at least guaranteed a coffee shop experience.  It has the comfy chairs, the wonderful smell and pipping hot java.  As long as you can snag one of the few seats, you are golden, but if you hit the business at the wrong time, good luck.  I heard a few months ago that Columbia Heights Coffee had plans to expand in the empty space next door.  That rumor was shot yesterday by Prince of Petworth who reports that they could not get a permit.

It is so sad that with so much development coming to this neighborhood, we are left with few places to pump ourselves with a Red Eye delight.  I certainly think we could easily support a few more shops, so where are they?

My hope for those of us residents with caffeine addictions is that at least one brave soul will open another coffee establishment in the near future.  I would certainly support anyone willing to try.

**I would also like to note that Pan Lourdes also calls themselves a coffee shop.  While I absolutely love Pan Lourdes and their bread, I don’t think that placing a table in a shop that sells coffee merits the name “coffee shop.”  Same goes for Sticky Fingers Bakery on Park Rd.

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